It is now a well-known and widely accepted fact that Shoghi Effendi acquired the position of Guardianship solely based on the forged Will and Testaments of Abdu’l Baha and by no other official introductions or prior appointments. The strongest evidence of the will of Abdu’l Baha (as released by Shoghi Effendi) comes from the then leading forensics expert Dr. Ainsworth Mitchell who’s forte as the lead consultant for the Scotland Yard providing expert witness on issues of the written word and handwriting. He has said as part of his investigation into the Will and Testament of Abdu’l Baha that the document provided is a forgery. This report is widely published on the internet.
Now, the question arises, is wrongly claiming the Guardianship the only crime that was committed by Shoghi Effendi, or was there more such crimes which generally people don’t talk about? Let’s us look at “some” of the crimes committed by Shoghi Rabbani which took the faith in another direction altogether, away from the path shown by Baha’u’llah and the Master.
1) Went against the Master – Shoghi Effendi, when younger, used to routinely disobey his Grandfather (Abdu’l Baha). After failing in his college at the age of twenty-four (on account of his wayward activities), Shoghi Effendi chose to enroll himself at the Oxford University. This was despite the objections made by the Master.
The Lady Ruth White has noted the following in her book regarding this unfortunate event. “In the autumn of 1919. Despite the objections of Abdu’l Baha he went. This act demonstrates that Shoghi Effendi had little consideration for the wishes of his grandfather, who was then seventy-four years of age. It also shows that he was lacking in the spiritual attributes which would have enabled him to know that it was of far more value to be with Abdu’l Baha, both spiritually and mentally, during the last two years of his life,” (Reference: Ruth White, Abdu’l Baha’s Questioned Will and Testament, p 29)
2) Introduced Fascism to the faith – Shoghi Effendi brought Fascism to the Faith in such a way that it resembled a society in which a government governed by a dictator controls people’s lives and individuals are not permitted to disagree with the government. When you read about the experiences of persons who were close to the Master and working for the Cause all over the world after the Master was requested to report back to the Guardian and cease all operations. Looking at their actions, you can see that they were all committed to the Cause, conveying Baha’u’llah’s teachings to the masses. Some of the Baha’is who were subjected to Shoghi Effendi’s excommunication decree were Lady Ruth White and Mirza Ahmad Sohrab.
3) Copy Right the Baha’i Religion – As unbelievable as it may seem, they attempted to copyright the Baha’i Religion, filing two lawsuits in 1941 against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab and Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler to prohibit them, or anyone else, from calling themselves Baha’is or spreading the religion unless they did so through their organization and according to their dictates. Naturally the National Spiritual Assembly lost both suits, and they were severely reprimanded by the judge. He made it clear to them that in this day of religious freedom, no one can copyright a religion or claim the exclusive rights to it. Mirza Sohrab and Mrs. Chanler, who are the founders of The New History Society, established to spread the Baha’i teachings, did a great service to mankind, by winning these two suits. They won religious freedom for the Baha’i Movement and broke the stranglehold that the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is had over it, which had impeded its progress. (Reference: Baha’i Leads Out of the Labyrinth by Ruth White)
Abdu’l Baha says, “No one can bottle up the Baha’i Spirit. The Baha’i Spirit is the most illusive ether; it is here, it is there, it is everywhere. It is the origin and substance of the highest ideals of this and the coming ages. The Baha’i Spirit is undogmatic, super-racial, inter-social and non-partisan. The Baha’i Religion is not an exclusive society, but a Divine congregation, the dome of which is the Infinite Heaven, and the temple of which is the expanse of the earth.”
4) Excommunicating the family of Baha’u’llah – As per Baha’i teachings, there is to be no clergy or supreme leader / unquestioned commander in the Baha’i faith. But Shoghi Effendi managed or rather ruled the faith as his personal fiefdom. Much akin to a tyrant Pope or a crazy Mollah, he excommunicated the entire family of Abdu’l Baha on frivolous pretexts, like traveling abroad without informing him or for marrying without his permission or even for attending Baha’i gatherings without informing him. While none of these innocent family members of Abdu’l Baha broke the Covenant, what they did break was the ginormous ego of this tyrant “Guardian” which resulted in their excommunication. The true reason for these excommunications was Shoghi Effendi’s insecurity about his fragile position and his paranoia which afforded no challengers or questioners to his unchecked authority.
5) Introduced the concept of election exactly the same as Bolshevism – The notion of election proposed by Shoghi Effendi in the Baha’i Administration was identical to Bolshevism, the communist system of administration instituted in Russia following the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. All of his techniques, as well as those of the National Spiritual Assembly, are remarkably similar to those of the Soviet government at the time.
Despite the fact that Abdu’l Baha said: “The future is bad…Nations should strive to extinguish this fire (of Bolshevism) so that it would not spread to other countries. It will soon affect other countries…for the mass of people have a Bolshevik tendency.” (The Light of the World)
As quoted by Lady Ruth White in her book ‘The Baha’i Religion and its Enemy the Baha’i Organization’, under Chapter II, “Shoghi Effendi conducts the Baha’i elections in the same manner, and it is more of a farce than that of the Bolsheviks. Like them he studies the roll of the Baha’is and, through a system of espionage, he knows every shade of belief among them. He selects those who lean most favorably towards him, and the voters have no more to say about who is to be elected than the Russian people have under the Soviet regime. And like the Soviet government his chief aim is to suppress man’s freedom of conscience. There is no greater violation of the Baha’i teachings than this.”
6) Converted charity funds for personal use – According to a famous Russian proverb, “one is not a thief till caught stealing.” So, only this one episode demonstrates Shoghi’s malice towards the faith in the presence of the Master. As narrated by Lady Ruth White in her book, The Baha’i Religion and its Enemy the Baha’i Organization – “In the Autumn of 1919 I sent to Abdul Baha an American Express Company check of Five hundred dollars and asked him to apply it to some of the many charities he was dispensing. About four months after we arrived in Haifa as the guests of Abdu’l Baha. On the day before departure I asked Abdu’l Baha if he had received the check. Without a moment’s hesitation and very emphatically he said that he had not received it. He repeated this a number of times, and seemed indignant that it had not been turned over to him. I discussed this with various members of the family of Abdu’l Baha, and one of the brothers-in-law said he would go to town and inquire about the matter. He returned and said there were no records of the check. When I returned to America, I asked the American Express Company to look up the receipt of the check I had sent through their office, and on the back of it was the signature of the person who had received the cash. This person was Shoghi Rabbani [i.e. Shoghi Effendi]. Circumstantial evidence also points to the fact that Shoghi Effendi used the money to go to Oxford University. For immediately after cashing the check he departed for Oxford.
7) Making the Faith a bureaucratic organization – Was the Baha’i Faith designed to be a very bureaucratic religion ruled from on high? Because of such a mind-set existing throughout the Baha’i community since the passing away of the Master, many Baha’is have been alienated from the Faith. Is this, however, the substance of the original teachings? Can anyone imagine Baha’u’llah excommunicating somebody based on some questions? Was the notion of “Independent Investigation of Truth” then a sham?
When a Baha’i expresses his opinions, the chain of excommunication begins, eventually culminating in his expulsion from the faith. Even bringing out the scripture texts in this article and striving to change the Faith in accordance with such teachings, Baha’is today would be expelled from their faith. All thanks to the ‘so-called’ Guardian for introducing such teachings in the faith. Indeed, Baha’is are frequently reprimanded or expelled from their religious community just for voicing thoughts that oppose those in authority in national and international organizations.
8) Not leaving behind a Will – Writing a will has been made mandatory for all Baha’is, and it is referenced in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will,” Baha’u’llah writes in Kitab-i-Aqdas #109. Shoghi Effendi not only willfully defied Abdu’l Baha but also decided to skirt divine law by failing to leave a will and left the Baha’is’ affairs in chaos following his death. What a great Guardian to have; if he is unconcerned about his own matters, how can he keep the Baha’is in order?
On that note, I’d want to leave you with a thought and quote Abdu’l Baha, who made such a warm welcome address on his visit to London. The Master announced that everybody who has ever heard the name Baha’u’llah and has been following his teachings is a Baha’i, even if he does not call himself a Baha’i.
“It makes no difference whether you have ever heard of Baha’u’llah or not. The man who lives the life according to the teachings of Baha’u’llah is already a Baha’i. On the other hand, a man may call himself a Baha’i for fifty years and if he does not live the life he is not a Baha’i. An ugly man may call himself handsome, but he deceives no one, and a black man may call himself white yet he deceives no one: not even himself!” (Abdu’l Baha in London, p. 106.)
Thank you for sharing your perspective and insights. It’s important to engage in discussions and reflections about faith and its interpretation. If you have any more questions or if there’s anything else you’d like to discuss or learn about, feel free to ask.
Reference : The Caravan, Volume 6, Edition 5