One of the more interesting aspects of the litigation against the Orthodox Bahá'ís brought by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States headquartered in Wilmette (hereafter called the "sans-Guardian Bahá’ís"), was the way in which the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís acted as if the principles of the Guardianship were created by Charles Mason Remey and Joel B. Marangella.
Althought the Orthodox Bahá'ís believe that Shoghi Effendi was the first Guardian, Charles Mason Remey was the second Guardian and Joel B. Marangella was the third Guardian, it was not any of the Guardians who created the idea of the Guardianship. Throughout the litigation, the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís acted as if the principle of the hereditary Guardianship is what distinguishes the Orthodox Bahá'ís from the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís. This, of course, is untrue. The teachings of both organizations have the idea of the hereditary Guardianship. This is a teaching espoused by `Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will and Testament, and Shoghi Effendi (who was accepted by the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís) wrote extensively on the subject. The idea did not originate from the Guardians. The only difference between the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís and the Orthodox Bahá'ís, is that the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís lost their faith in the Covenant after the death of Shoghi Effendi, falsely believing that the essential Institution of the Guardianship had come to an end. However, the fundamental teachings of the Faith have become so lost, that the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís act as if the Guardianship is not part of their teachings.
During the deposition taken by Mr. Dolan for the sans-Guardian NSA of Orthodox Bahá'í Hand of the Cause Marilyn Meyer, he questions her about her duties as a Hand, and on the hereditary Guardianship, as if these things were somehow unknown to the Wilmette NSA. On cross-examination, the Orthodox Bahá'í attorney had to get Ms. Meyer to teach these lost but fundamental teachings of the Faith to the Wilmette NSA:
12 BY MR. GOLDBERG:
13 Q. Okay. I have a few questions for you just to
14 clarify some of the things that you testified to.
15 A. Okay.
16 Q. You said that the goal of the National
17 Spiritual Assembly of the -- under the Remey
18 organization was to teach the guardianship. Can you
19 tell me what that means, what does it mean, what is
20 the guardianship?
21 A. The guardianship is the unique feature of the
22 revelation of Baha'u'llah. It is the guardian -- we
23 should -- that we should never be without a point of
24 guidance. The guardian's job is to interpret the
25 writings among other things, to elucidate on the
1 writings. And he is head of the Universal House of
2 Justice without which they cannot function.
3 Q. Is the guardianship unique to the Remey NSA?
4 A. To the Remey NSA?
5 Q. Yes. Did that -- did it arise out of Mason
6 Remey's teachings or --
7 A. No, the guardianship is unique. And Shoghi
8 Effendi has written that it's unique to the Baha'i
9 faith all together. And Shoghi Effendi stressed that
11 Q. And Shoghi Effendi you testified earlier was
12 the first guardian. How did he become the guardian?
13 A. Shoghi Effendi was appointed by Abdu'l Baha,
14 [chosen]shows in by Abdu'l Baha to be the first guardian.
15 Q. And so the guardianship then is a feature of
16 the heterodox or the Wilmette group as well as the
17 Remey NSA; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 MR. DOLAN: Objection, leading.
20 BY MR. GOLDBERG:
21 Q. So what is the difference between the
22 Wilmette NSA group and the believers under the
24 A. We hold the same beliefs up until the passing
25 of Shoghi Effendi; that is, we believe Baha'u'llah to
1 be the manifestation of God. We believe his eldest
2 son, Abdu'l Baha, to be the center of the covenant.
3 We believe that Shoghi Effendi was the first guardian.
4 The -- what are we calling you?
5 Q. Wilmette group, Wilmette NSA.
6 A. I forgot, I'm sorry. Has not acknowledged a
7 guardian since the passing of Shoghi Effendi. That's
8 the point of divergence.
Transcript of deposition of Marilyn K. Meyer, April 18, 2007 (Exhibit C to OBF Sur-reply)
Later, the OBF attorney has to ask Ms. Meyer to explain the Institution of the Hands, another Institution that has been lost to the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís:
Q. Okay. New topic. You testified about --
4 well, Hands of the Cause and the purpose of the Hands
5 of the Cause and things like that. Do you recall
6 whether -- well, let me ask you this, is the Hands of
7 the Cause an institution created exclusively by Joel
9 A. It is not.
10 Q. Where does the Hand of the Cause come from?
11 A. Again, using the definitive document for the
12 administrative order, it was designed and implemented
13 by -- designed and anticipated by Abdu'l Baha. And it
14 was implemented by the first guardian Shoghi Effendi.
15 Q. And did Shoghi Effendi appoint Hands of the
16 Cause then?
17 A. Shoghi Effendi did appoint Hands of the
19 Q. How about Mason Remey?
20 A. The only relative statement that I could
21 remember was that Mason Remey said that all of the
22 supporters of his organization should be considered
23 Hands of the Cause. There was no individual
25 Q. Okay. And you -- well, let me ask you this,
1 is the Hands of the Cause, does it have any
2 administrative authority or power?
3 A. The Hands of the Cause have no administrative
4 authority or power.
5 Q. So --
6 A. Per the document of Abdu'l Baha's Will and
8 Q. So they function on their own or how do --
9 A. They -- they serve -- they serve the
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. And they serve them in various ways because
13 under Shoghi Effendi they had different talents. So
14 the hands serve at the request and bidding of the
It is unfortunate that the sans-Guardian Bahá’ís have strayed so far away from the original teachings of the Faith that they barely recognize the teachings when they hear it from the mouths of the Orthodox Bahá'ís. For them, the Guardianship and the Hands of the Cause are relics of history instead of the living and vital Institutions of the Administrative Order of Bahá'u'lláh that they were intended to be and they truly are.
For more information about the court case against the OBF, go here: