BAHA'I ORGANIZATIONS CHANGE THE MEANING OF THE WILL AND TESTAMENT TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS TO AUTHORITY
Shoghi Effendi states requirements of a true Baha'i believer:"Qualification of a believer . . . unreserved acceptance of, and submission to, whatsoever has been revealed by their (the Bab, Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha) Pen, loyal and steadfast adherence to every clause of our Beloved's sacred will." in Baha'i Administration, p. 90
In the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha (1944 edition trans. by Shoghi Effendi), on page 25, we read: "For he is, after Abdu'l-Baha, the guardian of the Cause of God...He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One..." In matters of the Faith it is incumbent on true Baha'is to obey the instructions and guidance of Shoghi Effendi, which means that the two quotations cited above must be obeyed by all true believers. The fact is that today, in all the Baha'i communities, these requirements have been either ignored or forgotten. In some instances new members may not know of these requirements, and if they fail to research the Teachings they remain unaware of the extent their leaders have deviated from the Will and Testament and the instructions of Shoghi Effendi. Older members of those communities should know what is happening, and it is difficult to understand why they continue to acquiesce in these departures from the provisions of the Will and Testament and the instructions of the guardian.
"As to the most great characteristic of the revelation of Baha'u'llah - a specific teaching not given by any of the Prophets of the past -- it is the ordination and appointment of the Center of the Covenant. By this appointment and provision He has safeguarded and protected the religion of God against differences and schisms, making it impossible for any one to create a new sect or faction of belief. To insure unity and agreement He has entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world including the Interpreter and Explainer of His teachings so that no one may interpret or explain the religion of God according to his own view or opinion and thus create a sect founded upon his individual understanding of the divine words. The Book of the Covenant or Testament of Baha'u'llah is the means of preventing such a possibility, for whosoever shall speak from the authority of himself alone shall be degraded. Be ye informed and cognizant of this." Abdu'l-Baha in Baha'i World Faith, p. 248 (see also page 428)
Any extrapolation or interpretation of the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha constitutes our own, individual reinterpretation of that Will, and such individual interpretation, be it by a person or the present UHJ, forms no part of that Will. The interpretations of the Appointed Interpreters represents the meaning of the Word of God, and if we can reinterpret whatever suits us or promotes our claims, then the Appointed Interpreters serve no purpose whatsoever, and Their designated purpose, given by Baha'u'llah, is nullified. When we do this then the Will and Testament is no longer respected and enforceable, and the breakdown of the Baha'i community results (as we see today), because the Will and Testament is the authoritative interpretation of the Appointed Interpreter, Abdu'l-Baha.
The book Dispensation by Shoghi Effendi represents further interpretation and clarification of that Will by the Appointed Interpreter, Shoghi Effendi. To be true to our Faith, to be true Baha'is, means that we must obey the interpretations of the second Appointed Interpreter of the Cause of God, as well as those of the first Interpreter. The interpretations of Shoghi Effendi and Abdu'l-Baha are concerned primarily with the Guardianship and the UHJ and obligations of believers, and herein we are concerned with those Writings that have been interpreted by the Appointed Interpreters. Most of the Teachings concerning spiritual matters, etc. have not been interpreted.
This article has been prepared to demonstrate how and where the present UHJ and the splinter Baha'i communities, have departed from the Will and Testament and the instructions of the guardian. After Shoghi Effendi died the Hands assumed control of the "main stream" community on the basis of the title "stewards" (according to their definition of that word), and their claim that they were being guided from the Abha Kingdom by Shoghi Effendi. They said they were following the wishes of Shoghi Effendi, but one of the first things they did was to disband the International Baha'i Council that Shoghi Effendi had established (they set up a new IBC temporarily, with elected members) to act as intermediary between the Baha'i world community and the governments of the nations, and which was to last until the UHJ was formed according to the requirements of the Will and Testament. Not only this, but they called all those who disagreed with their acts and words, "violators", even though they had no right to do so. Then, in 1963, they set up_ their_ version of the UHJ, with only nine members rather than having members from all nations, as specified in the Will and Testament.------Concerning the time when the UHJ should be established, see page 7 of The World Order of Baha'u'llah by Shoghi Effendi:
"It will be evident, therefore, that given favorable circumstance, under which the Baha'is of Persia and of the adjoining countries under the Soviet rule, may be enabled to elect their national representatives ... the only remaining obstacle in the way of the definite formation of the International House of Justice will have been removed."
It is obvious that this situation did not exist in 1963 nor does it exist today. The National Spiritual Assemblies could have set up an international teaching committee until the requirement given by Shoghi Effendi would be fulfilled. As we know, it will not be possible until after the calamity and the coming of the next Manifestation of God. However, the Hands thought they could override the instructions of Shoghi Effendi at that time, and their UHJ now does the same, as pointed out below. The present day Baha'is have not taken the authority nor the position of the Guardian seriously.
I. CONCERNING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRANSLATIONS AND INTERPRETATION
Most of the "main stream" Baha'is today believe that translations are the same as interpretations. Georgine and I have translated the Arabic Bayan into English from the French of A.L.M. Nicolas (whose French version is not good), but we did not interpret it. There is a world of difference. It is true that occasionally a translator will interpret a phrase if he/she doesn't understand the actual interpretation because it contradicts his/her conditioned beliefs, but this doesn't happen often.. Anton Hadad has done this in his translation of the Surat'ul'Hykal in at least one paragraph. Sometimes interpretations by translators are in the footnotes, not in the text. The _translations_ by Shoghi Effendi are not intended to be interpretations of the Writings, his interpretations of those Writings are clearly indicated.
The Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha is an interpretation of the meaning of the Writings of Baha'u'llah, and since Abdu'l-Baha was the Center of the Covenant, His interpretations should be obeyed. Baha'is should not make claims that differ from His interpretations, nor make extrapolations from His interpretations which are "interpretations of His interpretations", which is what the "main stream" Baha'is, their UHJ, as well as _all_ the little splinter groups have been doing. I will elucidate below.
The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah which is often printed as a part of the book The World Order of Baha'u'llah, is Shoghi Effendi's interpretation of the intent of The Will and Testament, but Shoghi Effendi was the appointed interpreter of the Word of God, and his interpretations should be obeyed, but they have been ignored. In it Shoghi Effendi describes the relationship of the UHJ to the Guardian, and defines the limitations of the UHJ. The Hands and the UHJ have deviated from his interpretations.
II. CONCERNING THE PRESENT UHJ AND THE ONE DESCRIBED BY ABDU'L-BAHA
Since Abdu'l-Baha is the Interpreter of the Word of God, His interpretation of what the UHJ should be is contained in His Will and Testament. Therein He states clearly that the UHJ intended by Baha'u'llah must have a Guardian as its head for life. Without a Guardian as its permanent head, this UHJ is obviously not the UHJ intended by Baha'u'llah if we accept Abdu'l-Baha as the Appointed Infallible Interpreter of the intent of the Word of God revealed through Baha'u'llah. To be a Baha'i one must accept the station of Abdu'l-Baha and His authority.
"It [the UHJ] enacteth all ordinances and regulations that are not to be found in the explicit Holy Text.. By this body all the difficult problems are to be resolved and the guardian of the Cause of God is its sacred head and the distinguished member for the life of that body."
Also, in referring to the limitations of the UHJ (the real one described in the W and T, not the existing body), Abdu'l-Baha wrote that the UHJ will "deliberate upon all problems which have caused difference...and matters that are not expressly recorded in the Book ... This it can do because that law formeth no part of the Divine Explicit Text." Thus it is clear that a properly constituted UHJ (which is not the existing body) can only legislate on matters not covered in the Writings, including the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Below I will discuss how it requires a Guardian to tell them when they exceed their limitations, and hence they are not infallible as they claim. Even a real UHJ as defined by Abdu'l-Baha requires a Guardian as its head as a source of infallibility.
"All of the civic affairs and the legislation of material laws for the increasing needs of the enlightened humanity, belong to the House of Justice. This, the House of Justice, will be not only a body for the legislation of laws according to the spirit and requirement of the time . but a board of arbitration [a board of arbitration is not a judicial body, not a court of justice, but only functions as an arbitrator of disputes ] for the settlement of all disputes arising between peoples ... The Universal House of Justice has only the legislative function; the executive power belongs to the administrative department of government ... Again I repeat, the House of Justice, whether National or Universal, has only legislative power, and_ not_ executive power ..." Abdu'l-Baha in Star of the West, Vol.. 7, No. 15
I mention this quotation because most of the "main stream" Baha'is and other Baha'is believe and claim that the UHJ has executive and judicial functions as well as legislative powers. In the Will and Testament , page 13. Abdu'l-Baha mentions the Supreme Tribunal which is a judicial body, and on pages 14-15 He speaks of the Executive body; both are indicated as separate from the UHJ, since neither function has been given the UHJ.
III. THE UHJ AND MASON REMEY CLAIM TO BE THE SUCCESSORS TO THE GUARDIAN
In a Baha'i publication (The Baha'is) which has been approved by their censoring bureau, and consequently by the NSAs and the UHJ, it states:
"For Baha'is, the Covenant made by Baha'u'llah is both a renewal of the promise of Divine guidance and a system that ensures its continuance. Specifically, the Covenant can be understood to be synonymous with the line of succession described in the Will and Testament of Baha'u'llah. This line goes from Baha'u'llah to His son, Abdu'l Baha, and then from Abdu'l-Baha to His grandson, Shoghi Effendi, and to the Universal House of Justice." The Baha'is, NSA of the United Kingdom. p. 49
This is a deceptive and misleading statement, because the successor to the Guardian is supposed to be another Guardian, not a UHJ. In the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha we see:
"O ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon the guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own lifetime him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity ... (etc) ... should he not inherit of the spiritual within him ... then must he, (the guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him." p. 12
It says nothing about the UHJ being the successor to the Guardian, and the successor is always referred to in the third person singular. Shoghi Effendi died without appointing a successor. The present body calling itself the UHJ has no right to claim to be a "successor". They have made the same mistake Mason Remey and all his followers made, claiming to be the "successor" to the Guardian on the basis of their interpretations and extrapolations of the interpretations of Abdu'l-Baha which are embodied in the Will and Testament. Of course, in addition to the requirements for the appointment of a successor in the Will and Testament, there are the statements in Dispensation concerning the requirement for observing the law of "primogeniture" in the appointment of a successor, a definitive statement showing that the successor must be a descendant of the Holy family. The so-called "Covenant of Baha'u'llah" they speak of only mentions that Abdu'l-Baha is the Successor to Baha'u'llah and does not speak of the other things they mention. None of these misleading statements would arise were the UHJ and the other groups instituted according to the interpretations of Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi.
Mason Remey, along with the 25 other Hands of the Cause, signed a document stating that Shoghi Effendi had not appointed a successor (Baha'i World 1954, 1963, pp 344,345, 346) Yet, when Joel Marangella presented Remey with his re-interpretation of the meaning of the Will and Testament, Mason Remey changed his mind and declared himself to be guardian.. His claim is no more valid than the claims made by the Hands and the existing UHJ., and is not based on the explicit text of the Will and Testament. Now the two "successors" of Mason Remey claim all the rights and powers of a real Guardian.
IV. THE CLAIM OF THE UHJ THAT IT HAS THE RIGHT TO INTERPRET THE TEACHINGS, OR AT LEAST THIS IS INFERRED BY THEIR STATEMENTS AND IN PUBLICATIONS.
The real UHJ described in the Will and Testament and in Dispensation (by Shoghi Effendi) was not given the right of being considered the authorized interpreter of the Word of God. Neither were the Hands given this power, although they assumed it when Shoghi Effendi died, by calling all those who publicly disagreed with their acts based on their interpretations, violators. So, in effect, both the Hands and this UHJ have taken over this right without authorization, simply by assuming that they can call those who disagree with their interpretations "violators."
This assumed right of unerring guidance in interpretation is stated in that same publication cited above, and which was distributed all over the Baha'i world. As I noted, it could not be published nor distributed over several years without the clear approval of the NSAs and the UHJ.
"Baha'u'llah Himself established the institution of the Universal House of Justice, and it occupies a unique position in the Baha'i administrative order. Baha'is understand that its decision-making on spiritual matters is unerringly guided by God." The Baha'is, p.46
As noted above, the UHJ can only legislate on matters not in the Writings. Neither the Will and Testament nor any other document gives the UHJ the right to claim unerring guidance in spiritual matters . On page 11 of the Will and Testament it only gives the right of unerring guidance in the interpretation of the Writings to the Guardians, and no mention is made of anyone else having this right or power. If the UHJ and the Baha'is in general obey Baha'u'llah they must acknowledge that the interpretation of the meaning of Baha'u'llah's words given in the Will and Testament is the correct interpretation. The Baha'is must stop reinterpreting the interpretations of the Appointed Interpreters !
"... After the passing of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsan (Branches), the Afnan (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-Tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God ... to turn unto Shoghi Effendi ..He is the expounder of the words of God and after him will succeed the firstborn of his lineal descendants..." P. 11, Will and Testament
In the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah Shoghi Effendi, the appointed interpreter after Abdu'l-Baha, defines the limitations of the UHJ and stresses the necessity of having a Guardian as its head. Shoghi Effendi makes it quite clear that without a Guardian as its head, the infallible guidance of the UHJ is withdrawn.
" ... He (the Guardian) cannot override the decision of the majority of his fellow-members (of the UHJ), but 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. He interprets what has been specifically revealed, and cannot legislate except in his capacity as member of the Universal House of Justice. ... " p. 150 Dispensation
Obviously, if the members of the UHJ require a Guardian to tell them when they are wrong and exceeding their authority, they cannot be infallible without the Guardian. The fact that they are not infallible and are not the appointed interpreter of the Word means that they are unable to call anyone a violator who disagrees with their interpretations. The truth that they are not in any way the UHJ described by Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi means that they are not unerring in anything they say or do. On page 140 of Dispensation Shoghi Effendi warned the Baha'is that ... :
"Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baha'u'llah would be mutilated . . . without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn."
This is the present situation, the Source of the infallible guidance for the UHJ is no longer there, and so the members of the UHJ no longer know their limitations, nor when they make a mistake . . . although 99.99% of the Baha'is are either ignorant of these warnings, or pay no attention to them.
V. THE PROBLEM OF CALLING OTHER BAHA'IS "VIOLATORS" WHEN THEY DISAGREE WITH OUR INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TEACHINGS
In one of his communications to the American Baha'is, Shoghi Effendi wrote through his secretary:
"The Guardian, LIKE THE MASTER BEFORE HIM, has not considered it advisable to as yet permit any person or Assembly to put another person out of the Cause of God . . . NO ONE BUT HIMSELF CAN PRONOUNCE A PERSON TO BE IN THAT DISEASED CONDITION WE CALL 'COVENANT BREAKING.'" U.S. Baha'i News. No. 220, June 1949
This limitation was given during the time of Abdu'l-Baha, according to the statement above, although I do not have the actual quotation from Abdu'l-Baha. The UHJ assumed this power without explicit authorization, just as the Hands did earlier, and as do the little Baha'i splinter groups even now. Those who disagree with__ their interpretations__ of the Teachings, or more explicitly, of the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha, they call violators, although none of them have that right. In the Canadian Baha'i News, called Baha'i Canada, Ed. 6, No. 5, Jan/Feb 1994 the so-called UHJ sent this message, putting " now the Universal House of Justice" in parenthesis wherever the word Guardian is stated or intended.
". . . expulsion or excommunication, which can be effected by the Guardian alone (now the Universal House of Justice) in his capacity as the supreme spiritual head of the community, has far-reaching spiritual implications affecting the very soul of the believer . . . involving not only the particular relationship of a believer to his local or National Assembly, but his very existence in the Cause . . . in case he is excluded from the body of the Cause by an act of the Guardian (now the Universal House of Justice) he ceases to be a believer, and cannot possibly identify himself even nominally with the Faith." From Principles of Baha'i Administration by Shoghi Effendi, p. 86
Thus the UHJ and the leaders of the various Baha'i splinter groups have assumed the rights of the Guardian by simple reinterpretation of the words of the appointed interpreter, believing themselves to be, in each case, the supreme spiritual head of the Cause (see VI and VII below) ! The UHJ has used precisely the same method used by Leland Jensen to try to prove his claims, by quoting Shoghi Effendi and then inserting his name in parentheses next to the word "guardian", using the same method with prophecies. It is astonishing that anyone who reads the Teachings follows leaders who use such deceptive methods to control their communities.
The members of the UHJ community claim that the Hands had the right to call those who disagreed with them , violators, on the basis of the statement in the Will and Testament, which reads: "My object is to show that the Hands of the Cause of God must be every watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the guardian of the Cause of God cast him out from the congregation of the people of Baha and in no wise accept any excuse from him." It does__ not__ say that the Hands can call anyone a violator or covenant breaker, it only states that they can cast them out of the community or congregation, and remove their membership in the community. It does not in any way permit them to disobey the Guardian's statement that only he can designate anyone to be a covenant breaker or violator. Those believers the Hands described as covenant breakers after the Hands assumed control over the Baha'i community, never objected to or opposed the Guardian or the Guardianship (even though they did set up psuedo guardians) and so even casting them out of the community does not meet the requirements stated in the Will and Testament.
What has happened since the passing of Shoghi Effendi is what happened after the passing of Jesus Christ, when the leaders of the churches claimed powers which were not given them by the Manifestation. In this instance, the UHJ and all those who call themselves regents or guardians, make claims which are not based on the explicit text of the Will and Testament or on any of the Writings of Baha'u'llah. Unless God intervenes, and restores the Guardianship (perhaps under another name), the future is bleak for all Baha'is. This is the statement of Shoghi Effendi regarding the assumed rights of the Christian leaders, which also applies to the Baha'i "leaders" of today . . . :
". . . none did He specifically invest with sufficient authority to either interpret His Word, or to add to what He had not specifically enjoined . . For this reason, in later generations, voices were raised in protest against the self-appointed Authority which arrogated to itself privileges and powers which did not emanate from the clear text of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and which constituted a grave departure from the spirit which that Gospel did inculcate . . ." World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 20
None of the "leaders" in any of the Baha'i communities, including the UHJ as a body, can substantiate most of their claims by any explicit Holy Text in the Baha'i Writings. If such a situation were to continue without the direct intervention of God through another Manifestation, in the future there would be millions who would disagree with the interpretations of their leaders, quite willing and able to challenge their unfounded claims of authority, a process which has already begun in the "main stream" Baha'i community (as can be seen on computer internet). As a consequence, those millions would be considered outcasts from the present Baha'i communities, and would perhaps form a "protestant" group. How can there be a World Order based on such an unstable foundation? The Hands called the Guardianship "BADA", meaning that God had changed His plans and we did not need the Guardian, but did He change His plans? As we have seen, for any UHJ to function properly, a Guardian is absolutely necessary, otherwise it is not the UHJ defined by Abdu'l-Baha's interpretation.
VI. THE GUARDIANSHIP DEFINED IN THE WILL AND TESTAMENT, WAS TO LAST AS LONG AS THE BAHA'I DISPENSATION !
Shoghi Effendi wrote that the Guardianship, guided directly by the Bab and Baha'u'llah was to last as long as this Dispensation, and since it has ended, it is a sign that another Manifestation, the third Letter of the Revelation of the Greatest Name, is soon to appear, to reestablish this function for the future world government, even if under another title.
"The Guardians are the evidences of the maturity of mankind in the sense that at long last men have progressed to the point of having one world, and by needing one world management for world affairs . . . In the spiritual realm they have also reached the point where God could leave, in human hands, that is, the Guardians, guided directly by the Bab and Baha'u'llah, the affairs of his faith for this__ Dispensation__." Shoghi Effendi, cited in Baha'i News of the U.S., June 1950
I have heard many Baha'is in the "main stream" community under the UHJ say that the end of the Guardianship is the sign of the maturity of the Baha'is, which contradicts Shoghi Effendi's statement cited above.. As is clearly stated by both Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, the Guardianship is indispensable if we are to have a unified world Faith. The guardianship defined in the Will and Testament has lasted as long as the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, and when the Dispensation of the third part of the Revelation of the Greatest Name appears, it will be reinstated according to the needs of humanity by the Manifestation of God.
"The text of the Divine Book is this: If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the Divine Questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong. The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God is this: that between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no contention and dispute might arise; that they may speak with each other with infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of controversy. they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their discussions no longer, but ask the reality of the question from the Interpreter. This is the irrefutable command." Abdu'l-Baha cited in Baha'i World Faith, p 428
VII. THE CLAIM BY THE UHJ THAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO "PROTECT THE FAITH"
As we have seen earlier, the UHJ has only legislative power over things not mentioned or inferred in the Writings of this Cause. They do not have all the powers and privileges they claim, and which their present followers accept without thought or understanding, save for a few with insight. In the Will and Testament Abdu'l-Baha writes that this function of protecting the Cause is the duty of the Hands under the directions and guidance of the Guardian. They cannot assume the powers of a Guardian, which they did in 1957 and on, simply by saying, as they did, that they are being directed and guided from the Abha Kingdom by Shoghi Effendi. Anyone can make such a claim, with equal validity or lack thereof, a fact which I pointed out to them in the 1960s . And now the UHJ claims those same rights and privileges formerly claimed by the Hands.
"My object is to show that the Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest AGAINST THE GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD cast him out from the congregation of the people of Baha and in no wise accept any excuse from him . . . All must be under his shadow and obey his (Guardian) command. Should any, within or without the company of the Hands of the Cause of God disobey and seek division, the wrath of God and His vengeance will be upon him . . . pp 12,13
"For he (Guardian) is, after Abdu'l-Baha, the guardian of the Cause of God, the Afnan, the Hands, (pillars) of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn unto him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One." p. 25 in the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha.
As you can see, the Hands only had the right to "protect" under the direct orders of the Guardian, and not on their own, a right they assumed when Shoghi Effendi passed away. And as we saw earlier, the Guardian did not give anyone the right to call another believer a "violator". Now the so-called UHJ has done the same as the Hands, far exceeding its authority. The Hands and the present UHJ call people who disagree with their interpretations "violators" even though such Baha'is support both the Will and Testament as well as the Guardianship. Being "cast out of the CONGREGATION of Baha'is means taking away voting rights, etc., not call anyone a violator, for as we have seen above, only the Guardian has that right.
VIII. THE QUESTION OF THE HUQUQ'U'LLAH, THE "RIGHT OF GOD"
The Huquq'u'llah was a voluntary tax on the excess wealth of believers which was to be given to the Guardian, and to no one else, to be used for charitable works, etc. In the Will and Testament, p. 15, we read:
"The Lord, as a sign of His infinite bounties, hath graciously favored His servants by providing a fixed money offering (Huquq), to be dutifully presented unto Him, though He, the True One and His servants have been at all times independent of all created things . This fixed money offering . . . is to be offered through the guardian of the Cause of God..."
The present UHJ, however, has again deviated from the interpretations and limitations given by the Appointed Interpreter, claiming the huquq'u'llah for itself. In the end notes of the Kitab-i-Aqdas (p. 219) the members of the UHJ have written:
" . . . There now being no Guardian, it (i.e. the huquq'u'llah)is offered through the Universal House of Justice as the Head of the Faith."
The UHJ was never designated as, nor intended to be, the head of the Faith. It does not have the power of infallible interpretation of the Word of God, which is a power of the Appointed Interpreter, and no one else, and is a requisite of the "Head of the Faith." The future International House of Justice, when it is established, will be the legislative "head" of the world government, not of the Faith.
IX. THE PRESENT UHJ CONTINUES TO MAKE UNAUTHORIZED INTERPRETATIONS OF THE WORD OF GOD.
This UHJ has set up the institution of the World Counselors, which is not indicated in any of the Teachings, and which constitutes a priesthood, with powers similar to those of clergy in other religious organizations. The World Counselors have a body of Auxiliary Board members, who may be considered the lesser priests. With a Guardian the Hands were under his guidance and he in turn was guided by the Holy Spirit through the Manifestations, but these officials created by the UHJ have no such guidance without a Guardian. You do not avoid being a clergy simply by adopting other titles, if your acts and functions are similar to the ordinary clergy of other religious organizations.
". . . the total absence of episcopal authority with its attendant privileges, corruptions and bureaucratic tendencies, are further evidence of the non-autocratic character of the Baha'i Administrative Order and of its inclination to democratic methods in the administration of its affairs." World Order of Baha'u'llah. p. 154
One need only to read the translation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas published by the "UHJ" to discover other instances where the "UHJ" has interpreted the Words of Baha'u'llah.
"There are before you so many temptations, trials, afflictions, calamities and difficulties because you have to be purified through fire and sifted through the sieve in order to separate the wheat from the tares. Verily, I say unto you; none will be saved but the believers, and from the believers only the sincere, and even those are in great danger, especially in such a time." Abdu'l-Baha in Baha'i Scriptures, p. 445
"O ye spiritual friends ! Firmness must reach a degree that if all the souls (Baha'is) be destroyed by the evil wishers and there remain but one, that one singly and alone should be capable of withstanding all who live on earth, and of spreading the fragrances of holiness."
"Thus may ye remain unshaken by the painful occurrences in the Holy Land, and remain firm throughout the disastrous events. If all the friends oppose (the Cause of God) with sword and one remain (firm), he will be the proclaimer of God, a divine herald, and will stand before all upon the earth." Abdu'l-Baha in Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha, pp. 25, 379
People of all religions, including Baha'is, should remember that a Covenant is a two-way agreement. When God makes a Covenant with the believers of a Manifestation, the promises made therein require that the believers obey His Teachings and Laws. If they fail to obey, and turn away from, or ignore, His Appointed Interpreters, they ought not expect that the promises made, which were conditional on their obedience, to be fulfilled !!