1). Branch has only spiritual significance here, i.e. male Baha’i. Shoghi Effendi had excommunicated all male members of his family so, of course, blood relevance is irrelevant as interpreting a blood descendent of the Prophet to wear the mantle of Guardianship is not possible. 2). The Custodians are an institution made up of whole cloth and not a part of the Will and Testament of Abdu’l Baha. Mason Remey is on a runaway train with Ruhiyyih Khanum supporting the Persian Hands that the Guardianship had come to an end and God had changed his mind (Bada). He is the only Hand not giving way to the specious argument that God had changed His mind. 3). Assent of the Hands (as interpreted by the third Guardian, Joel B. Marangella) is a public acknowledgement of the Guardian’s choice of successor (Not unlike the Knights of the Round Table). Certainly the vassals of the King are not in a position to thwart his choice of successor.
Below is an excerpt from Joel B. Marangella’s Ridvan Message of 2005.
Mason Remey has recorded in his Dairy titled, “Daily Observations” that Shoghi Effendi never directed him to activate the Council under his Presidency during the remaining years of his ministry, although Shoghi Effendi did assign individual tasks to members of the Council and he had himself acted as Shoghi Effendi’s representative in meetings with officials of the Government of Israel. Although Shoghi Effendi had limited the initial functions of the Council to the Holy Land and to relations with the Government of Israel, he stated that: “To these will be added further functions in the course of the evolution of this first embryonic International Institution marking its evolution into officially recognized Bahá’í Court, its transformation into a duly elected body, its efflorescence into the Universal House of Justice.”
Of significance and puzzling at the time, was the fact that Shoghi Effendi, in a message of 8 March 1952, announced the appointment of Rúhíyyih Khánum as his “chosen liaison” with the Council. It was only some eight years later and some three years following the passing of Shoghi Effendi that it became clear why Shoghi Effendi had found it necessary to appoint a “chosen liaison” with the Council, even though six of its members permanently resided in Haifa and he met them every evening at the dinner table. It then too, became obvious why Shoghi Effendi had never instructed Mason Remey, as its President, to convene this embryonic Council into an actively functioning administrative body during the remaining years of his ministry. For had he done so, he would have had to depose Mason Remey as its President (a permanent appointment and not a temporary one) because, according to the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, only the Guardian of the Faith presides permanently as the ” sacred head” of the Universal House of Justice, albeit brought into life in its embryonic form. For, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has stated, “The embryo possesses from the first all perfections. . .in one word, all the powers. . .” (BWF, p. 313)
Shoghi Effendi, in his message of 23 November 1951, outlined the projected “added further functions” of the Council which would be assumed sometime during the period of the Ten Year Global Crusade scheduled to commence at Ridván 1953, when he stated: that this “Master Plan designed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will embrace the continents of the earth, and will bring the Central Body directing these widely ramified operations into direct contact with all the National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world, which in varying degrees, will have to contribute their share to the world establishment of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and envisioned by Daniel. . .” As direction of the National Spiritual Assemblies would require the Council to become an actively functioning body that would have been presided over by Shoghi Effendi, himself, if he had not appointed Mason Remey as its President, Shoghi Effendi, obviously had been aware that his own passing was destined to take place before the expiration of the Ten Year Global Crusade and therefore, in preparing this message, had forecast in this indirect way his own early demise which actually took place six years later in November 1957 at mid-point of the Ten Year Crusade.
There can be no question that “CENTRAL BODY” referred to in Shoghi Effendi’s message above could be none other than the International Bahá’í Council, as it certainly did not apply to the Hands of the Cause, the first contingent of twelve living Hands having been appointed by Shoghi Effendi a month following the issuance of this message on 24 December 1951.
Notwithstanding the very clear intention of Shoghi Effendi, as undeniably shown in his message quoted above, that the International Bahá’í Council would be the body”directing” the “widely ramified operations” of the National Spiritual Assemblies involved in the prosecution of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade and thereby clearly require the services of the three secretaries of the International Bahá’í Council, specifically appointed by Shoghi Effendi for this purpose, these secretaries never wrote a single letter to the National Spiritual Assemblies during this Crusade. For, they were prevented from doing so for the reasons discussed below.
The Hands of the Cause at the time of Shoghi Effendi’s passing, whose number had increased to twenty-seven through additional appointments, inexcusably failed to recognize the position of the International Bahá’í Council, potentially at the time of its appointment, as the supreme administrative body in the Bahá’í Administrative Order, as they had either overlooked, ignored, or completely forgotten the tremendous importance Shoghi Effendi had placed on the formation of the International Bahá’í Council in his Proclamation and his subsequent message of 30 June 1952 confirming that this International Council was nothing less than the embryonic Universal House of Justice when he stated that “at long last the machinery of its highest institutions has been erected and around whose most holy shrines the supreme organs of its unfolding Order, are in their embryonic form, unfolding.”
The failure of the Hands, upon the passing of Shoghi Effendi, to recognize that this embryonic Universal House of Justice could now emerge into active life and take over direction of the National Spiritual Assemblies in their prosecution of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade, as envisaged in Shoghi Effendi’s message of 23 November 1951, coupled with their loss of Faith in the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and in the immortality of the divinely-conceived “Child of the Covenant” —the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’-Bahá— as a result of their misguided search for a will and testament left by Shoghi Effendi, inevitably doomed to failure, as Shoghi Effendi was obligated to appoint his successor “in his own life-time” according to the explicit terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, led to their fateful decision to declare the Guardianship of the Faith forever ended. They then further incredulously deluded themselves into believing that they had become the sole heirs of Shoghi Effendi’s authority until such time as they would prematurely call for the election of a Universal House of Justice of their own making, during Ridván 1963 and although minus the Guardian as its “sacred head” still pretend it to be and foist it upon an unsuspecting Bahá’í World as the same Institution delineated by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament.
Although the Hands of the Cause have no administrative responsibilities under the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, they seized complete control over the affairs of the Faith, established an illicit body of nine Hands which they gave the appellation of “The Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith,” subordinated the International Council to this body, and, contrary to the intentions of Shoghi Effendi, as expressed in his message of 23 November 1951, took over the direction of the National Spiritual Assemblies in their prosecution of the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade, as evidenced in the book that was subsequently published under the title of “The Ministry of the Custodians, 1957-1963.”
As a result, neither the Secretary General of the International Bahá’í Council or his two assistant Secretaries ever wrote a letter to the National Spiritual Assemblies pertaining to achieving the goals of the Ten Year Global Crusade. If, on the other hand, this supreme Council—the embryonic Universal House of Justice—established by Shoghi Effendi had been permitted to function and evolve through the successive stages that he had outlined, the Hands of the Cause would have come to realize that the irremovable head of this body appointed by Shoghi Effendi, could be none other than his appointed successor and that it was, in this indirect way (chosen to veil from the believers the imminence of his passing) that Shoghi Effendi had clearly and undeniably provided for the continuance of the Guardianship, in faithful compliance with the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
You realize that almost no Haifan Baha’i would EVER accept as valid your claims and opinions, how much less likely someone who rejects the Baha’i Faith completely. But I still thank you for coming here and spelling out the Orthodox Baha’i positions with such clarity. I will thus end on that note and wish you farewell.