The Fatal Flaw in Baha’i Authority

This is the direct sequel to my first blog entry on the Baha’i faith:

The basic problem of authority in the Baha’i Faith, with its false claim that those authorities are infallible, really becomes obvious when you consider the issue of the Guardianship, which Shoghi Effendi held from 1921 until his death in 1957. He was appointed to that position by his grandfather, Abdu’l-Baha.

O ye the faithful loved ones of Abdu’l-Baha! it is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi… 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… All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error.
(`Abdu’l-Baha: Will and Testament, pages 25-26)

Later, Shoghi Effendi himself wrote:

Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baha’u’llah would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as Abdu’l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. …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the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn.
(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha’u’llah, page 148 )

It stands to reason that if Shoghi Effendi must be obeyed absolutely as the representative of God’s will, then he himself must obey the Baha’i commandments that came before him. If he was disobedient to Baha’i laws, then no one should obey him.

Baha’ullah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, stated in his book of laws, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 109, “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will.”

Likewise, Abdul-Baha, son of Baha’u’llah, in the very Will and Testament by which he appointed Shoghi Effendi to the Guardianship, stated: “It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own life-time 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, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:—“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.”(Abd’ul-Baha. Will and Testament, p. 12.)

Shoghi Effendi did none of these things. He had no children, and in fact he expelled from the Faith as “Covenant-breakers” every other descendant of his own grandfather, thus betraying the Faith. When he died in 1957, he left no will and had appointed no successor, thus failing to obey the very Covenant he was expected to uphold.

With no further guidance from the Guardian, the Hands of the Cause of God that he had appointed to assist him did the only thing they could to keep the Baha’i Faith alive: They took over the Faith and arranged for the eventual election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963. But without a Guardian to preside over that body, it would never be in accordance with the very writings that established its authority. And the only ones who could be Guardian were the male descendants of Baha’ullah, all of whom were excluded from the Faith by the first Guardian!

Indeed, the simple fact that Shoghi Effendi disobeyed both Bahau’llah and Abd’ul-Baha by not leaving a will, by expelling all his own relatives from the Faith, and not appointing in his lifetime one of his brothers or male cousins as his sucessor to the Guardianship should be enough to demonstrate that there is NO “true” Baha’i Faith existing today. Its authority is meaningless by the testimony of its own history!

And perhaps this was inevitable, since Baha’ullah himself warned his successors in the Faith not to exceed the proper bounds of their authority. Referring again to the Kitab-i-Aqdas, we find this as paragraph 37:

“Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evil-hearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in ‘Iráq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot.”  (Emphasis mine) 

Since any Baha’i would affirm that Abdu’l-Baha is inferior in rank to Baha’u’llah, we have to apply consistent logic to the Baha’i Writings;  and when we do…..

“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 Abha 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. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him!” (Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Page 11 [Emphasis mine] )

There is no way that passage can be reconciled with the one of Baha’u’llah denying that anyone can receive direct revelation from God before the passage of 1000 years. And that might explain why Shoghi Effendi died

  1.    without issue
  2.     at the relatively young age of 60
  3. in the midst of the Ten Year World Crusade he was leading and…
  4. in London, NOT at the Baha’i World Center.  

He was probably struck down by God himself just as Baha’u’llah would have predicted. And despite the desperate efforts made ever since to teach and proclaim the Baha’i Faith under the Universal House of Justice, it remains to this day a small, cultlike body scattered over the world, with no potential to make any real difference in the world at large.

To all those who are still members of this Faith, as I was years ago, I implore you to be fair in your judgement and search your feelings. The Baha’i Faith has failed you and you need not be bound by laws, authorities, or institutions that are not based on truth. Whether you belong to the mainstream Baha’i Faith that follows the Guardianship-less Universal House of Justice, or one of the splinter groups that rejected the authority of that body, the fact remains you follow a spirtually dead faith and are totally wasting your time. The Baha’i Faith will never become the great religion of the world Baha’ullah and Abdu’l-Baha envisioned it to be, because Shoghi Effendi ruined it with his blind assumption of his own infallibility. His own relatives questioned his decisions and were expelled for doing that. If you cannot question authority, it can destroy you. Or, in this case, the credibility of the authority is destroyed and opposing it becomes a moral obligation. Let it be so!

37 thoughts on “The Fatal Flaw in Baha’i Authority

  1. Thanks for the references, T0lk. I have read those passages before, and once accepted them as valid because I WANTED to believe them, not because they really made sense. They don’t, any more than the errors and contradictions of Christianity, Islam, or other religions make sense. Unless and until you look for absolute consistency in any belief system, you will be led astray. Reality, as revealed by science, is the only way to go for me now!

    I have NO use whatsoever for religious doublespeak!

  2. And for the most moronic testimony of being a Baha’i I’ve ever seen, look here:

    She sounds like a fourth-generation IDIOT! Even mainstream Baha’is are not as stupid, to me! There is no such thing as an “Orthodox Baha’i”, really. That is a delusion.

    • Guardianists (Charles Mason Remey followers) are the best example of cognitive dissonance. The BUPC and it’s failed prophecies are the best example, but Orthodox Baha’is are also examples.

  3. There are answers to these matters. Please check my blog If these are your only issues with the Baha’i Faith they need not be. I should have a detailed posting up in the next 24-48 hours on the Guardian’s statement about “divorced from the institution of Guardianship” which has mostly been misunderstood. Later I will post something about why Shoghi Effendi didn’t write a will, so please check back. These matters have answers. Best regards
    Brent Poirier

    • Brent Poirier, while I totally share your condemnation of Mason Remey and all those who followed him, the fact remains that Shoghi Effendi made it impossible for the Guardianship to continue after him by having no children, expelling all his male relatives from the faith, and leaving no will. Ironic that you say here:

      One of the traits of the Head of the Baha’i Faith is that he upholds the actions of his Predecessors. Abdu’l-Baha upheld every word Baha’u’llah wrote, and His Writings are replete with praise of Baha’u’llah and every deed He performed. Likewise, Shoghi Effendi upheld every deed and word of both Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha, and of course, this is what we expect from the Head of our Faith. It is inconceivable that Shoghi Effendi would ever say that Abdu’l-Baha misunderstood Baha’u’llah’s Teachings and set the Faith on the wrong course. The Successor never condemns what his Predecessors did, because they are all sustained by the same divine guidance. It is so obvious we hardly think of it.

      You uphold the words of your Predecessors by OBEYING them, not merely giving lip service to them! By not appointing a successor in his lifetime, Shoghi Effendi DISOBEYED Abdu’l-Baha! It’s so obvious that I no longer need to deny it, like I would have a decade ago.

  4. One more comment — the video you mention and describe as “moronic” is not from a Baha’i. It is from the cult of personality which is known as the “Orthodox Bahai” movement focused on a man claiming to be Shoghi Effendi’s hereditary successor and interpreter of the Word of God; though he has no family relation whatever, and is unfamiliar with the languages in which the Baha’i Writings are revealed. His writings are not about the propagation of the teachings of Baha’u’llah; they are about himself and his faded claim.

    (Dale Husband: Look, Brent, they CALL themselves Baha’is and insist that they are the true Bahai’s, just as you do, so your saying they are NOT Baha’is and that they belong to a “cult of personality” just shows your double standard. As I see it, ALL religions start as cults of personality, including the original Baha’i Faith and Christianity! Again, I do agree that it was improper to replace the real first Guardian with a fake one not even descended from Baha’u’llah, but the fact remains that a second Guardian WAS needed after Shoghi Effendi’s death, and his making it impossible to appoint one and not doing so himself means that he himself broke Abdu’l-Baha’s covenant. EVERYONE claiming to be a Baha’i today is failing to follow the Covenant, yourself included! The Covenant ended the moment Shoghi Effendi died, period! Therefore, you cannot follow [or break] a Covenant that no longer exists!)

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  7. Dale, this reminds me of another issue related to gender equality. The fact that the Guardian is a male only position. I don’t know if a female Guardianship would have helped or not. I don’t know if all female descendants were excommunicated with the males ones or not. Female descendants are called “leaves” rather than branches. It’s weird that being a leaf doesn’t confer any extra status the same way being a branch does.

    Are women incapable of being in charge religiously? (Women leadership in religion is controversial in most religious groups. Religions that allow female leadership are in the minority. Just compare Anglicans to Catholics for an example.)

    I have read Reform Bahais and other Will and Testament skeptics who say it is a forgery and wasn’t written by Abdul Baha.

    • First, I direct you to read this:

      Second, the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha does not rule out a female Guardian, since it says that Shoghi Effendi would most likely be succeeded by the “first born of his lineal descendants”. Thus there was a 50/50 chance that his first child would have been a daughter and therefore first in line to be the next Guardian.

      Third, I actually think women have a greater spiritual capacity than most men and should be the leaders of most religions.

      Fourth, ALL of Abdu’l-Baha’s other grandchildren, male and female, were expelled from the Faith as covenant-breakers by Shoghi Effendi, often due to some of those members refusing to disassociate from others who had already been expelled. Only a deranged megalomaniac turns on so many of his own relatives like that.

      Fifth, Abdu’l-Baha’s sister, known as the Greatest Holy Leaf, is revered by many Baha’is to this day for her role in keeping the community united in the early days of Shoghi Effendi’s Guardianship.

      Sixth, there is no clear evidence that the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha was forged. I know Ruth White made that claim for many years and got nowhere with it, finally causing her to leave the Faith completely. I think she was in denial about the matter, refusing to believe that Abdu’l-Baha would appoint as his successor someone who would take the Baha’i Faith in a direction so different from Baha’u’llah’s original vision. But I do not think Abdu’l-Baha himself was loyal to that vision, or he would not have expelled from the Baha’i community his brother Mirza Muhammad Ali, who had clearly been named Abdu’l-Baha’s successor in Baha’u’llah’s own will and testament, known as the Book of the Covenant. The Covenant of Baha’u’llah was broken by Abdu’l-Baha, and the Covenant of Abdu’l-Baha was broken by Shoghi Effendi (by his not appointing one of his male relatives to the Guardianship while he was still alive) and shattered completely by the Universal House of Justice when it ruled out any future Guardians. The whole Baha’i Administrative Order since 1963 has been a ridiculous farce!

      • Dale, that reminds me of a similarity between the Bahai Faith and North Korea. Shoghi Effendi can be compared to Kim Il Sung. The latter is the Eternal President of the People’s Republic of North Korea while the former might as well be the Eternal Guardian of the Cause of God.

        Both expelled people from either the Bahai Faith or from the Workers Party of Korea. Both didn’t have any successors, thus making themselves Eternal only person to fill their seat. While the expulsions were only excommunication in the former, in the latter it was Soviet style Un personing. Kim and his sons and grandsons are all deranged megalomaniacs who turned on family, friends, and close party members.

        • The writings of both Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi make clear that the Guardianship could only be held by one of the male descendants of Baha’u’llah; could have included Shoghi Effendi’s brothers, cousins or uncles; all were referred to as “Aghsan”, the Arabic plural of “branch” as specified in the Will.

          There are several postings about the Guardianship here:

          You have to take all of the divine verses together and not isolate one passage.

          Shoghi Effendi was mild and humble, not arrogant, not in need of personal homage. But he never compromised one atom, in requiring deference to the institution of the Guardianship.

          He also did not permit anyone, including those family members he grew up with and loved the most – his brothers, his cousin and lifelong companion Ruhi – to detract from the majesty of the position they held as the kin of the Manifestation. They were expected to marry “high” – to marry into the families of devoted believers. Instead they married into families of Covenant-breakers, thus bringing the spirit of Covenant-breaking into the Holy Family, into the World Center, into the very heart of the Faith. And for this he first warned them, then he cast them out. And it killed him, he died an early death, brought on by the harm they did. People who accuse him of being a megalomaniac do not know anything about him. I have met a number of people who knew him, and they loved him more than any human being I have ever personally heard of. He was innocent. Read the Priceless Pearl if you want to know who Shoghi Effendi was, read Giachery’s “Shoghi Effendi – Recollections,” read Faizi’s “Meditations on the Eve of November 4th,” read Mrs. Khadem’s book “Zikrullah Khadem.” He was the greatest man of the 20th century, after Abdu’l-Baha.

          • Brent Poirier, your statements are as illogical as ever. You’d think after several years you would have learned something from others like me, instead of assuming you know it all.

            First, it is YOU that isolate passages in the Baha’i writings and ignore how they contradict one another. Why would Baha’u’llah in his own will and testament designate the Greater Branch (Mirza Muhammad Ali) to have a rank below that of Abdu’l-Baha and then designate Muhammad Ali as Abdu’l-Baha’s successor if there was ANY sign that Muhammad Ali would later become the Arch-Breaker of the Baha’i Covenant, as he has been stigmatized by Baha’is? That shows that Baha’u’llah (and God, by extension) was lacking in foresight. Muhammad Ali should have been given no rank at all, and his unworthiness should have been mentioned in that document, if the hateful things said about him in Haifan Baha’i propaganda were true.

            “The writings of both Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi make clear that the Guardianship could only be held by one of the male descendants of Baha’u’llah”
            So if the first born of Shoghi Effendi was a girl and she had an excellent character, she would still not be allowed to become Guardian? You really have no idea what idiocy and hypocrisy you just admitted to, do you?

            “Shoghi Effendi was mild and humble, not arrogant, not in need of personal homage. But he never compromised one atom, in requiring deference to the institution of the Guardianship.”
            Sorry, but if the institution of the Guardianship is bogus, as I have stated in other blog entries, there is no need for deference to it. It is the height of arrogance and dishonesty to demand obedience to a false authority.

            “They were expected to marry “high” – to marry into the families of devoted believers. Instead they married into families of Covenant-breakers, thus bringing the spirit of Covenant-breaking into the Holy Family, into the World Center, into the very heart of the Faith.”
            Did it ever occur to you that they thought it was SHOGHI EFFENDI who was actually breaking the original covenant of Baha’u’llah?

            And it killed him, he died an early death, brought on by the harm they did.
            No, he died because like all megalomaniacs, he insisted on having personal control over all aspects of the management of what he led, instead of delegating responsibilities to others to lighten the burden on himself. He worked himself to death because he wanted no one else to ever have a say in issues like how to direct the Ten Year World Crusade.

            “He was the greatest man of the 20th century, after Abdu’l-Baha.”
            You are truly insane to say such a ridiculous thing. I know some Popes like John Paul II, some national leaders like FDR, and some scientists like Albert Einstein, who have contributed more to humanity with their works than Shoghi Effendi and Abdu’l-Baha ever did.

            Fuk off, you delusional ass!

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  29. According to u/investigator919. the problems of succession in the Baha’i Faith go back way farther than Shoghi Effendi.

    {{{The whole chain of successors in the Babi-Baha’i movement is flawed all-over:

    First the Bab claims he is the gate to the Mahdi.

    Then he claims he is the Mahdi himself.

    Then he claims he is a new Prophet.

    Then he claims he is God.

    Then he is sentenced to death and killed (a dead God).

    Then he appoints Subhi Azal as the new God and his successor.

    Then Baha’u’llah casts Subhi Azal (the helpless God) aside and deprives him of his Godhood.

    Then Baha’u’llah claims he is a new Prophet.

    Then Baha’u’llah claims he is God.

    Then Baha’u’llah dies (oops another dead God).

    Then he appoints Abdul-Baha and after him Muhammad Ali as his successors.

    Then Abdulbaha takes over and excommunicates Muhammad Ali and disobeys the will of Baha’u’llah.

    Then Abdulbaha appoints Shoghi as the next successor in his will. However, this is disputed and Baha’is refuse to publicly display the manuscript of Abdulbahas will.

    And Shoghi was supposed to appoint his eldest son as the next guardian and this was to be continued. However, Shoghi was sterile and had no children and died without appointing a successor.

    Then the UHJ was supposed to be legitimate if and only if a Guardian existed alongside it, but ooops the lineage of Guardianship died with Shoghi….

    It’s a total mess and I cant comprehend how someone would still believe in this movement.}}}

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