INTRODUCTION:

THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF FRANCE

TO THE BAHÁ'Í WORLD

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, faithful and obedient to the Covenant and to the Second Guardian of the Faith (National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France elected for the year 117 of the Bahá'í era), brings to a close its activity this Ridván 118. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, whom only the community can elect the successor-Assembly for the year 118, will, in conformity to Bahá'í Administration, cease to exist until there are a sufficient number of Local Spiritual Assemblies in France to form another, at some future time, with the approbation of the living Guardian (Mason Remey or his successors appointed in conformity to the Testament of the Master 'Abdu'l-Bahá).

Before this National Spiritual Assembly of France can bring to a close its activities, it is its duty to make known to the world in general and the Bahá'í World in particular, that, contrary to what has been understood by many Bahá'í people in France and throughout the world, it has never ceased to exist during the year 117 of the Bahá'í Era and affirms and reminds, that nothing whatsoever, nor a person either, excepting eventually the Guardians of the Bahá'í Faith, can dissolve a National Spiritual Assembly in such a way. The present narrative that it wishes to promulgate throughout the Bahá'í world, is entirely approved by the Second Guardian of the Faith, Mason Remey. It is, at once, an authentic document that will destroy the baseless and insidious rumours, presently circulating within the Bahá'í World, on the subject of this genuine and true Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France and if need be, for posterity, its defence and the history of the violation of the Faith in France during the year 117 of the Bahá'í Era.

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To facilitate reading and not to lengthen the text, the following abbreviations are used:

NSABF : National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France

NSA : National Spiritual Assembly;

LSA : Local Spiritual Assembly

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SUMMARY OF THE EVENTS, FROM THE 23 OF APRIL 1960, SURROUNDING THE PROCLAMATION OF THE SECOND GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH, MASON REMEY, AND OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF HIM BY THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF FRANCE

  1. -CONVENTION OR ANNUAL CONGRESS OF RIDVÁN 117 AND OF ITS PREPARATION ( Ridván: Period of the Bahá'í calendar from the 21st of April to the 2nd of May).

  1. official request on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of France, for the year 116 of the Bahá'í era, to the Local Spiritual Assemblies of France to elect their delegates for the convention, in conformity to its Statutes and the Bahá'í Administrative Order, as follows:
  2. (There existed in France, at that time, seven LSA's).

    Châteauroux : two delegates ;
    Lyon : two delegates ;
    Marseille : two delegates ;
    Montpellier : two delegates ;
    Nice : four delegates;
    Orléans : two delegates ;
    Paris : five delegates.

  3. Reminding the LSA's on the subject of their elections for the year 117 during Ridván, the 21st of April 1960 (13 Glory 117).
  4. The date of the convention or annual congress was fixed by the National spiritual Assembly of France for the 23rd and the 24th of April 1960 (15 and 16 Glory 117 Bahá'í Era)
  5. the elected delegates for the Convention or annual Congress were as follows:
  6. Châteauroux: Madame Elisabeth McHenry et Monsieur Lucien Jouardon;

    Lyon: Monsieur Diarins Chaize et Monsieur Jacques Soghomonian;

    Marseille: Madame Suzanne Soghomonian et Monsieur Jean Soghomonian;

    Montpellier: Madame Tirandaz et Monsieur Sabet;

    Nice: Mesdames Andrée Gaertner, Sara Kenny et Suzanne Bouster; Monsieur A.M. Barafroukhteh;

    Orléans: Madame Ayned McComb et Monsieur Joel B. Marangella;

    Paris: Messieurs Bernard Fillon, Donald Harvey, Fritz Kestler, Georges Colombo Pirally et Alain Tamenne.

  7. The third annual Congress or Convention, held on the 23rd and 24th of April 1960 (15 and 16 Glory 117 of the Bahá'í Era) at the Haziratu'l-Quds of Paris, 11 Rue de la Pompe, 16th Arrondissement.

The Convention was opened in the presence of the seventeen delegates and a very large number of the Bahá'ís of France and neighbouring communities.

The Message from the Hands sent for the occasion was read; a telegram was sent to them to express during the Ridván, the joy and thanks from the French Bahá'í community.

The elections of the members of the NSA for the year 117 took place on the 23 of April 1960 around 4 o'clock, with seventeen delegates present along with the Bahá'í friends at the Convention. There were seventeen votes, one by correspondence, the nineteenth delegate was not present until the Sunday morning and thus could not vote.

Elected to the NSA of the Bahá'ís of France were the following members:

Mrs. Sara Kenny et Mrs. Henriette Samimy ;
Messrs. A. M. Barafroukhteh, Monir Derakhchan,
Bernard Fillon, Donald Harvey, Joel B. Marangella, Jacques Soghomonian, Alain Tamenne.

From the end of the session, during which these elections took place, the three elected members (Joel B. Marangella, Bernard Fillon and Donald Harvey) having received the largest number of votes, drew lots to see which one of them would convene the first meeting. It was Mr. Marangella. He immediately called a meeting of the elected members who were all present, to elect the officers of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France.

The following officers were elected:

President: Mr. Joel B. Marangella;
Vice-President: Mr. Alain Tamenne ;
Corresponding Secretary: Mr. Bernard Fillon;
Treasurer: Mr. Donald Harvey ;
Recording Secretary: Mrs. Henriette Samimy.

The Convention was brought to a close on the evening of the 24th of April and was characterised, in general, as harmonious and enthusiastic.

  1. - FROM THE DAY AFTER THE CONVENTION, MONDAY 25 APRIL TO TUESDAY 26 APRIL 1960, at 1600 hours, THE HOUR AT WHICH WAS RECEIVED THE PROCLAMATION OF THE SECOND GUARDIAN, MASON REMEY (17 & 18 B.E., 5TH & 6TH Days of Ridván).

The Secretariat was put in good order within the Haziratu'l-Quds.

The Secretary was typing a polycopy stencil to advise the Hands of the Cause and the National Assemblies world-wide of the names and addresses of the President and Secretary of the new National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of France for the year 117 of the Bahá'í Era ( the letters polycopied were never printed, the events which followed never allowing the necessary time for this to take place.

  1. - THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE RECEIPT OF THE PROCLAMATION OF THE SECOND GUARDIAN, MASON REMEY

The Secretary (Mr. Bernard Fillon) immediately telephoned the President (Mr. Joel B. Marangella) in Orléans to inform him of the reception of the Proclamation of the Second Guardian, Mason Remey. The decision was taken between them, to immediately bring this Proclamation, in the company of Mr. Tamenne, to Orléans.

The secretary then telephoned, on his own authority (without reason, moreover) to Madame Léa Nys, the Secretary of the regional Assembly of the Benelux countries, in Brussels, to ask her if she had received the Proclamation. Madame Nys replied that she had not and asked to be kept informed of events if possible. By the end of the afternoon, Mr. Tamenne and Mr. Fillon had left for Orléans to deliver the Proclamation to the President of the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of France.

AT THE HOME OF THE PRESIDENT, 7, rue Jousselin, Orléans.

After prayers, and in the presence of Mrs. Marangella, the President read the Proclamation aloud. Upon this, the three officers of the National Spiritual Assembly of France, thus together, decided to convene an extraordinary reunion of the NSA for the week-end of the 30th of April - 1st of May 1960 ( 3rd and 4th Beauty 117 of the Bahá'í Era, 10th and 11th day of Ridván).

As the Proclamation was in English, it was decided to translate it into French for the benefit of the members of the NSA prior to its extraordinary reunion, and to communicate to the Treasurer, Mr Donald Harvey, who was living in the Haziratu'l-Quds, for his assistance in its translation.

During the same evening, research was undertaken of the Messages of the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, concerning the formation of the Bahá'í International Council and the appointment of its members, with Mason Remey as President, as well as certain extracts of the Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. It was decided to translate essential passages of the Messages of Shoghi Effendi dating from 9 January 1951 (10 Honour 107 B.E.) for the members of the NSA of France. (Only nine copies of these extracts were printed for this extraordinary reunion of the NSABF).

In conclusion, these three officers decided not to inform the other members of the receipt of the Proclamation and of its contents, either by letter or within the letter convening the meeting, in order to avoid any premature discussion and subterfuge, outside the NSABF, prior to this body's consultation.

Mr Fillon and Mr Tamenne returned during the night of Tuesday the 26th of April, 1960 to Paris. The Secretary delivered the Proclamation in English the very same night to the Treasurer as had been decided.

  1. - FROM WEDNESDAY 27 APRIL TO SATURDAY 30 APRIL 1960 ( 19 Glory 117, the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Beauty 117 B.E; from the 7th to the 8th day of Ridván).

The Proclamation was translated by Mr. Tamenne and Mr. Harvey, as was the message of Shoghi Effendi concerning the International Bahá'í Council and the appointment of its members, of which nine copies were made.

The Secretary convened, officially, all of the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France to an extraordinary reunion to be held from the 30th to the 1st of May, 1960.

Two telegrams were received from Haifa :

  1. Grateful acknowledgments on the subject of the Convention.
  2. Repudiation on the part of the Hands of the Faith in Haifa, of the Second Guardian of the Faith, Mason Remey.

This second telegram was immediately communicated to the President ( the President, the Vice-President, the Secretary and the Treasurer were thus all aware of this telegram within a few days after acknowledging the receipt of the Proclamation of the Second Guardian).

Before this extraordinary meeting of the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of France, the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer prepared the agenda (notwithstanding the fact that these four members had already recognized the Second Guardian of the Faith, Mason Remey, and did not want to influence, in any manner, the other five members , so that their investigation could be made in the strictest confidence, independent and outside of any influence whatsoever, even from the telegram of repudiation from the Hands).

The agenda was as follows:

    1. Prayers ;

    2. Delivery to the members of the Proclamation and the Message of Shoghi Effendi without commentary.

    3. After the provisional start of the session (approximately two hours), a period of examination for the nine members, each separately and alone.

    4. After the resumption of the meeting, consultation and vote for the recognition of the Second Guardian were a motion presented.

    5. The reading of the telegram of the repudiation by the Hands of the Faith residing in Haifa (no copy was made of this) after which, in conformity to Bahá'í Administrative Order, the possibility of a reconsideration of the motion of acceptance, put in the form of another motion.

    6. The continuation of the agenda of this meeting was to be decided, then, by the same NSABF.

  1. -THE EXTRAORDINARY REUNION OF THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF FRANCE, the SATURDAY, 30 APRIL 1960 ( 3 Beauty 117 Bahá'í Era) at 1400 hours.

All of its members were present: Mrs Sara Kenny and Henriette Samimy; Mr. A.M. Barafroukhteh, Monir Derakhchan, Bernard Fillon, Donald Harvey, Joel B. Marangella, Jacques Soghomonian and Alain Tamenne.

The agenda had been followed until the consultation; at which point, the members agreed to await the following morning before passing upon the decisions in order that each could study, more profoundly, during the night, the Sacred Texts. The members were reminded that they should pursue their investigation in complete independence, without mutually influencing one another.

Sunday, the 1st of May, 1960, the resumption of the meeting in the morning. The continuation of consultation.

Mr. Barafroukhteh announced that he had telephoned the Hands in Haifa. This was astonishing to say the least (Mr. Barafroukteh had, on his own authority, decided to telephone Haifa, not having as much as advised the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France nor obtained from them the authorisation to do so or to fulfil that mission).

The motion was made of the acceptance of the Second Guardian. At this moment, Mr. Barafroukhteh threatened to walk out of the meeting if this motion was voted upon. The President told him then to await the result of the vote and if the result precluded his working amidst this National Spiritual Assembly, if he so judged, he could exempt himself therefrom. He then prepared to leave before the vote. His words were " Very well, inasmuch as its like that, I'll leave." (1)

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, remaining with a majority, in fact could not be prevented, in any way, from continuing its meeting in conformity with the Administrative Order (minimum: five members)

After this incident and many prayers, the motion of the acceptance of the Second Guardian, Mason Remey, was voted upon by secret ballot. The motion was carried unanimously by the eight members present.

After this vote, a reading was made of the telegram of repudiation from the Hands in Haifa. The President then asked if this had, in effect, provoked, among the members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of France, a change, etc… The result of this was that no motion of reconsideration was moved.

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(1) Mr. Barafroukhteh left the meeting and waited in the secretary's office in the company of Mr. Yadullah Yazdanian, who awaited the results of the meeting of the NSABF. The latter had deduced from the work involved in the translation being carried out by the secretary prior to the meeting, that very important news would result. At the end of the morning's session of the 1st. of May, Mr. Yazdanian received a translation of the Proclamation (one of nine copies) but was requested not to impart its content until the following day, when the Bahá'í Community of France was to receive it.

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Prior to the vote, at the moment of the vote and up until the definitive result of the vote during this extraordinary reunion, no news was received from either the Hands of the Cause other than the telegram of repudiation from Haifa, or from Assemblies throughout the world. This fact demonstrates that the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of France had been working outside any influence, from whatever source ( influence of friendship, prejudice, etc…) and from whomsoever.

The distribution of the Proclamation to the French Bahá'í community was carried by a motion of acceptance. However, the proposal to distribute the telegram of repudiation was refused. (2)

Resumption of the meeting on Sunday afternoon the 1st of May 1960. Eight members were present, Mr. Barafroukhteh continued to absent himself.

Consultation regarding the communication to be made to the French Bahá'í community.

The following decisions were undertaken, in the form of motions carried (accepted).

  1. For the distribution to the Bahá'í community in France, attach to the Proclamation of the Second Guardian, the extracts of the 9 January 1951 Message of Shoghi Effendi referring to the International Bahá'í Council, joining the extracts of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and other Holy Texts as well as the letter on behalf of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, recommending that each consider and study this subject in a personal and independent manner, considering the study of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, by Shoghi Effendi, and that everyone keep in contact with the NSA of France for all communication in this regard. (See annex 1)

  2. Inform the Local Spiritual Assemblies of France of the recognition of the Second Guardian by the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of France. (See annex 2.)

(All the correspondence was prepared and expedited during the night of the 1st and the morning of the 2nd of May 1960, the delivery of which was made by special delivery express mail to each member and individual of the French Bahá'í community). (3)

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(2) Mr. Barafroukhteh did not appear during the morning meeting. During this session, Mr. Navidi ( Member of the Auxiliary Board for the protection of the Faith in Europe), telephoned the President, asking if the NSABF had received a false Proclamation from Mason Remey. Without qualifying it as such, the President confirmed that it had.

(3) A mimeograph stencil had been prepared in advance for just such an eventuality by the Secretary. The copies were then made on that very night.

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By motion carried, a telegram was dispatched to the Second Guardian to apprise him of his recognition, by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France. A second letter was also dispatched requesting what should be done regarding the project of a meeting of the Hands of the Faith and the members of the National Spiritual Assemblies of Europe to be held in May. ( Meeting to be held in the Haziratu'l-Quds in Paris.)

In the course of the afternoon session of the 1st of May, Mr. Navidi telephoned once again requesting the President. It was the Secretary who had answered his call and replied to the question: was it true that eight members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France had recognized the Guardian (where did he get this information from?) The Secretary regretted to inform him that he was unable to reply to his question. (The qualification of an Auxiliary Council member does not provide, under any circumstance, the right of interference with respect to the workings of National Spiritual Assemblies.)

  1. - FROM THE 2ND TO THE 7TH OF MAY, IN THE MORNING, IN THE SECRETARIAT OF THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF FRANCE.
  2. To understand the events which took place on the 7th of May, 1400 hours, until the 8th of May in the morning, it would be necessary to understand the campaign of influence and partisanship which unfolded during the period from the 2nd until the 7th in the morning and which was carried out by elements from within as well as without the French Bahá'í Community and whose principal instigator was Mr. Barafroukhteh, a member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France. In effect, just as every Bahá'í knows, nothing can be distributed without the assent of the said NSA and these same are answerable only to the living Guardian and a Universal House of Justice which is inseparable from the Guardian while he is living. (neither Shoghi Effendi nor Mason Remey have as yet given the date or the orders with respect to its establishment). Consequently, no member of a Bahá'í Assembly is given the authority or rights, apart from those which are his own as an individual, to report on these matters. However, Mr. Barafroukhteh violated the Bahá'í Administrative Order by acting on his own authority and against a decision by the NSA of which he was a member. Only the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France according to its understanding prior to its recognition of the Second Guardian, and in the face of a belief in the absence of a living Guardian, could, at its own behest, enter into communication with the Hands of the Cause in Haifa in order to ask its own questions. ( Naturally, this was followed up until the recognition of the Second Guardian, Mason Remey. This recognition allowed us to comprehend that between the passing of the Guardian Shoghi Effendi and the receipt of the Proclamation of Mason Remey, the authority of the Hands was unfounded as were, in consequence, the workings of the National Spiritual Assemblies with the said Hands. Does not the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, teach us (this had been forgotten) that the Hands of the Cause and the National Spiritual Assemblies must show fidelity only to the Guardian and not unto themselves?)

    The Secretary ascertains, that by the visits received, the friends in general, are prompted to take the advice of one another rather than investigate, in a personal and independent manner, that which was underscored in the Proclamation of the Second Guardian. The usual questions being:

    "What have the Hands done?

    "What did Rúhíyyih Khánum do?

    'What have the other NSA's done?

    It is obvious that the fundamental principal involving personal and independent investigation of the truth, seemingly, has been forgotten.

    Mr. Alain Tamenne, Vice-President of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, who had, for some considerable time, been giving his all in the administrative work of the NSABF and in particular, owing to the preparation of the Convention, had, up until this point, continued to visit with and assist the Secretary in the discharge of his Administrative matters was, nevertheless, in difficulty with and doubted the action undertaken by the NSABF. On Wednesday, the 4th of May, unable to keep to himself the fact that the NSA of France had not made available to the French Bahá'í community the telegram of repudiation of the Hands, asked the Secretary how this had been approved and distributed the telegram forthwith to the French Bahá'í Community. The Secretary reminded him of the fact that three members of a National Assembly may convene a reunion. This request was made by telephone to the President, who, along with Mr. Tamenne and the Secretary, convened an extraordinary meeting for the reason of considering the following motion: "To make known to the French Bahá'í Community, the text of the Letter of Repudiation [from the Hands in Haifa]" For technical reasons, both the meeting and motion were stated and moved by telephone by the Secretary. Only Mr. Barafroukhteh refused to vote and replied: "Do what you will." The motion was carried by a majority of the eight remaining members. A copy of the telegram was then sent to the French Bahá'í community accompanied by a letter written by the NSABF indicating the chronological sequence of events of the receipt of the Proclamation of the Second Guardian, Mason Remey and of the telegram of repudiation of the Hands of the Faith in Haifa. (See annex 3)

    During this period, Mr. Navidi ( member of the Auxiliary Council of the Hands for the protection of the Faith in Europe, residing in Monte-Carlo, a Bahá'í community under the jurisdiction of the Italo-Swiss Regional Assembly), sent on his own authority, the text of the telegram, [to that Assembly] accompanied by a commentary. (See annex 4)

    The acknowledgment of receipt of a telegram on Wednesday night the 4th from Sara Kenny,[a resident of Nice] sent from Monte-Carlo (other members of the NSA of France received it as well). She withdrew her vote in support of the Guardian (she telephoned the President at the same time). On Thursday, the 5th of May, Mr. Tamenne made known his convictions to the Secretary that everything that the NSA of France had done was false. On the evening of that same day, Mrs. Kenny telephoned the Secretary, and later the Treasurer. She made it known in her conversation that outside influence had destroyed that which she, herself, had believed in. The Treasurer, Mr. Donald Harvey, around midnight, finding himself alone in the Haziratu'l-Quds, was visited by Mr. Tamenne who tried to convince him of the falsity of his acceptance of the Second Guardian.

    During this period a telegram was received from the Hands of the Faith in Haifa, announcing the visit of Mr. 'Abu'l-Qasin Faizi. The President was informed by telephone and with his consent, the secretary convened an extraordinary meeting [of the NSA]for Saturday, the 7th of May, 1960 at 1400 hours. At almost the same moment, each member of the NSA of France received a telegram from Mr. Barafroukhteh, who, on his own authority and for his own purpose, was convening a meeting at the same time (to receive Mr. Faizi). (It is only by way of the intermediary of the Secretary, the President or in the absence of the latter, the Vice-President, or upon the agreement of any three members of a National Spiritual Assembly, that a meeting can be convened, according to the statutes of the NSA of France, Article 5: … no other person shall have the right. - This same clause appears in Article 5 of the statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of the United States which Shoghi Effendi had designated as a model to be adopted by the National Spiritual Assemblies world-wide.

    During this same period, the President received two letters, one from Mrs. Samimy, the other from Mr. Tamenne, containing the same declaration as Mrs. Kenny (by telegram): They were each retracting their vote of acceptance of the Second Guardian.

    Following these repudiations of the vote and the acts of Mr. Barafroukhteh, it was evident that the Bahá'í Administration in general and the statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France in particular, had been violated. In consequence, prior to receiving Mr. Faizi, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France needed to resolve its internal problems, in good order. The President, the Secretary and the Treasurer provided, within the agenda of this reunion to take place, and prior to meeting with Mr. Faizi, a session to discuss and attend to these problems, only after which the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France would receive him in a formal session.

    It was during this session, preceding the meeting with Mr. Faizi, that those members of National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, who had retracted their [previous] vote recognizing the Second Guardian, (by secret ballot within the NSA) could legally present a motion of reconsideration of their original motion. In no manner had any of these members the right to rescind their vote outside of a legally constituted meeting of the NSA, much less, publicly. On the other hand, nothing could have prevented, in addition to these three members, other members of National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France from changing their minds. It was of primary importance that the meeting take place, to provide the assurance that the original decision to accept the Second Guardian was still valid prior to receiving Mr. Faizi, this in addition to the resolution of the problems innumerated above.

    It should also be stated that in consideration of the flagrant violation and underhanded and insidious machinations to oppose the sacred decision (taken by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France that had not undergone any modification) by Mr. Barafroukhteh, his eventual expulsion as member of the NSA [had to be considered]. If this expulsion had been in effect, Mr. Barafroukhteh would not have attended, naturally, the reception of Mr. Faizi by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France.

    On Saturday morning, the 7th of May 1960, the Secretary received a visit from Mr. Navidi who tried to convince him that his recognition of the Second Guardian was false.

    There was also the problem which had not been resolved. The National Spiritual Assembly had not been able to contact Mr. Faizi to communicate the hour at which time he would be duly and legally received by them. The events of the Saturday afternoon confirm, once again, that the Bahá'í Administration had been completely violated by several members of the NSA of France. Indeed, these members, at their own behest, had entered into communication with Mr. Faizi and indicated to him at what time the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France would receive him. In reality, the NSA had decided to convene at a chosen time and not at a particular hour in order to receive Mr. Faizi.

  1. - THE RECEPTION OF MR. FAIZI BY THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF BAHÁ'ÍS OF FRANCE, OUTSIDE OF ANY LEGALLY CONSTITUTED MEETING, WHICH WAS NEVERTHELESS CONVENED IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER AS INDICATED IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER.

At 1400 hours, Mr. Faizi, accompanied by Mr. Navidi, and some members of the National Spiritual Assembly presented himself at the Haziratu'l-Quds. At this moment, eight members of National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France were present, as was Mr. Faizi and Mr. Navidi.

The President, Mr. Marangella, arrived at precisely 1400 hours. He apprised Mr. Faizi that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France had to meet prior to his being received by them in order to administer certain matters. Mr. Faizi took no notice and showed him a letter of introduction. (See annex 5) The President told him that he was in no doubt, be that as it may, as to his mission on behalf of the Hands in Haifa, but that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France only recognized the authority of the living Guardian and of the future Universal House of Justice (inseparable from a living Guardian and whose establishment will be announced at the date to be fixed by the present or one of his legal successors according to the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá) but in any case, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France needed to convene prior to receiving him. In every way, Mr. Marangella was exercising his rights as President of the NSABF and tried to convene the NSABF before it could receive Mr. Faizi.

Mr. Faizi refused to allow the NSABF to convene, insisting that they meet to place themselves at his disposal. This exchange lasted a fair while, but owing to the impossibility of obtaining from Mr. Faizi its right to convene, the NSABF concluded: " We will receive you outside of any normal and legal session of the NSABF, simply as a group of individual Bahá'ís."

After the reading of a prayer, Mr. Barafroukhteh, prompted by Mr. Tamenne, made an disingenuous remark directed to Mr. Marangella and Mr. Fillon, because they had conferred together and apart from the rest, regarding the illegality in the acceptance of the meeting, which was outside a normal legal session of the NSABF and consequently, out of order. The result of this remark was that Mr. Marangella and Mr. Fillon, who had been seated together, were separated by Mr. Tamenne, who, on his own authority, chose to sit between them.

(This description of the atmosphere at the commencement of this meeting, whilst excessively negative, is illustrated in order to show the complete absence of spiritual life which characterised it, as well as the absolute illegality and irregularity of aspects of Bahá'í Administration. Only reference is made in this meeting, to the names of the members of the NSABF omitting their duties as officers of this NSABF, as it was an illegally constituted reunion).

As soon as everyone was seated, and after the aforementioned prayer, before Mr. Faizi took the floor to speak, Mr. Monir Derakhchan asked him two questions:

  1. What right had Mr. Navidi to send him a copy of the telegram (telegram sent to the Bahá'í community of France as indicated above) accompanied in addition by a letter in which he was attacked personally.
  2. To this there was no response.

  3. Had the nine Hands in Haifa been elected or nominated (appointed) during the first conclave of the Hands?
  4. Mr. Faizi answered him: "They were nominated (appointed)."

Mr. Faizi, in turn, asked questions of the members of the NSABF; among which, he demanded to know why the Hands had not received the report of the annual Convention of the year 117. It was Mr. Fillon who replied stating that he was under no obligation to do this, as it was outside any legally constituted meeting and certainly not after the recognition by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France of the Second Guardian. (See chapter II of this report).

Later, Mr. Faizi asked then who were the members who had recognized Mason Remey as the Second Guardian. There was, initially, a protest among a certain number of them regarding this inquisitorial question, the vote being regarded as strictly confidential, secret and within the purview of the National Spiritual Assembly. Finally, in face of such a flagrant violation, Messrs. Joel B. Marangella, Monir Derakhchan, Jacques Soghomonian, Donald Harvey and Bernard Fillon raised their hands in unison, whereupon Mister Faizi declared that he was dissolving the National Spiritual Assembly of France. This action on the part of Mr. Faizi left one speechless. By what right is this [National Spiritual Assembly] being dissolved [by a Hand of the Cause]? Can one find this authority within the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá?

At this, Mr Faizi declared that he had all he needed to know and that he wished to leave. But, at the request of one of those present, who asked him to remain to provide clarification, he resumed his seat.

Mr Faizi had brought with him certain texts in order to justify the position of authority that the Hands in Haifa had automatically assumed. From this he put forth the words "Chief Stewards" and presented it as the right of authority of the Hands granted them by the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, and then quickly, he declared that there would be no more Guardians, that the Guardianship of the Faith had ended and, to prove this, the Hands in Haifa "held all of the necessary Tablets" whereas those who accepted Mason Remey as the second Guardian, were basing their acceptance entirely upon the [article in] the Bahá'í News of the United States. In effect, Mr. Marangella produced the Bahá'í News of 1951 and 1952 wherein were found the Messages of Shoghi Effendi proclaiming the creation of the International Bahá'í Council and hailing its [formation]as: "The greatest event… [and most significant milestone in evolution of Administrative Order . . .] (Extract from the Message of Shoghi Effendi of 9 January 1951 in Bahá'í News of the United States, wherein he designated its members and Mason Remey as President of "this embryonic body of the Universal House of Justice" (see messages of Shoghi Effendi of 9 January and 2 March 1951 [and 8 March 1952]).

On this subject, Mr. Marangella, then asked about the number of members of the Bahá'í International Council.

"Fourteen!", replied Mr. Faizi. At which Mr. Marangella retorted that Shoghi had only appointed nine. ( The reply of Mr. Faizi was correct from the point of view of the Hands, inasmuch as they had added, at their own behest, five of their own number to the four Hands that had been appointed by Shoghi Effendi [as members of the Council], an act which they had never announced).

Mr. Marangella referred to the second stage of the evolution of the International Bahá'í Council, the Bahá'í Court, "the essential prelude to Universal House of Justice" (according to the Message of Shoghi Effendi in the Bahá'í News of the United States, of May 1951[p.2]), which the Hands had declared as their intent to put in place during the current Bahá'í year.

(It was obvious that were this to be done, it would result in the dismissal of Mason Remey, in his capacity as the President of the International Bahá'í Council [and the one who should be the Chief Judge of that Court]). He asked whether the Bahá'í Court was to be formed. Mr. Faizi replied to that in the negative. As astonishing as it was, it contradicted what the Hands had stated in their message of 4 November 1959, whereby they announced that all nine members of their International Bahá'í Council would be elected.

Mr. Faizi also produced a tablet written in Persian, in which he referred to the well-known argument used in the past by the violators against the Master 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and which has been described in great detail by the Master himself, in referring to the violation [of the Covenant] in his Will and Testament: "Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying imposter". (see the last page of "Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh). Mr. Faizi declared that this referred to the Guardianship, thus he perverted the meaning of the Words of Bahá'u'lláh.

Mr. Faizi produced yet another document, signed by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France at the time of its formation in 1958 and which declared its fidelity to the Hands of the Cause ( this same document was signed by all of the National Spiritual Assemblies from around the world after the death of Shoghi Effendi). Mr. Faizi pretended that the NSA of France had therefore been bound to the Hands. In truth, the NSA of France had signed this document at the express request of the Hands in Haifa and during the period when a certain confusion reigned following the passing of Shoghi Effendi. Mr. Marangella simply made the remark that the signature in no wise took precedence over the recognition of Mason Remey as the Second Guardian by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France. On this subject, it is worthwhile to recall that one must remain faithful to the Hands in their capacity and responsibility under the commands of the living Guardian as described in the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Added to this are the statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France (statutes which are copies of those of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, approved by Shoghi Effendi and authorised by him as a model [to be followed by all NSA’s], mindful of the laws of different countries, and registered after the fact of a recriminating document, where they recognize as the sole (superior) authority in the last instance, the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice ( The Universal House of Justice being inseparable from the living Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith[ as its "sacred head"). Mr. Donald Harvey remarked, on the subject, that he was in accord with the agreement to obey the Hands and the Guardian, to which Mr. Faizi replied with alacrity: "Impossible, It's one or the other". It was evident, by his response, that, notwithstanding the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, already then, many of the Hands were refusing to obey the Guardian.

The discussions continued in this same vein for a long time. It is therefore unnecessary to report on this further.

When these (discussions) drew to a close, in a disorderly manner, the President attempted one last effort to convene, legally and in an official capacity, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, with, however, those members who had retracted their recognition of the Second Guardian, preventing him from doing so.

_________________________

A few moments later, the five members who remained from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, Messrs. Derakhchan, Bernard Fillon (Secretary), Donald Harvey (Treasurer), Joel B. Marangella (President), and Jacques Soghomonian, convened a formal session. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France ascertained that the violation was so strong that there was no immediate way in which they could oppose it in a strictly spiritual Bahá'í manner. It was concluded that once the matter had settled and that the status-quo presented a more favourable solution, a certain period of time would have elapsed. They would study how the status-quo could be achieved in the form of the following motions:

  • The five members who were faithful to the living Guardian, Messrs. Derakhchan, Bernard Fillon (Secretary), Donald Harvey (Treasurer), Joel B. Marangella )President) and Jacques Soghomonian, tendered their resignations to The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France.

NOTE: Their resignations were deposited in the mail-box of the Secretary, which remained open, in the Secretariat, perfectly in order and which no person could access, obviously this being the role of the Secretary.

The resignations of the members of a National Spiritual Assembly, moreover, cannot be accepted except by a majority vote at the very least, of its members. In consequence, if each of the members who are the majority of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France tender their resignations in the letter box of the Secretary, the status-quo is obtained automatically and lasts as long as the five members who are in the majority of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France have not been legally convened again and that this same NSA during the meeting hadn't taken a decision on these resignations. ( A meeting could be convened by the President or by any three members of a National Spiritual Assembly. In addition, if a meeting is convened by three or even four members, this meeting cannot take place because of a lack of a quorum, in conformity with the Bahá'í Administrative Order and the statutes of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France). There are no means by which the dissolution of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, under any pretext, is foreseen in its statutes and only the Assembly itself can modify its proper statutes.

  • The return in good order of the Secretariat and of the Haziratu'l-Quds in general terms.

  • The immediate departure of the permanent resident of the Haziratu'l-Quds ( Mr. Donald Harvey, Treasurer of this National Spiritual Assembly who had been, officially, the permanent resident since 1958).

(See annex 6)

___________________________________

THE CONTINUATION OF THE VIOLATION AFTER THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF FRANCE, BY ITSELF, PUT INTO EFFECT ITS OWN STATUS-QUO

___________________________________

Mr. Faizi, assisted by those members of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France who had repudiated the Second Guardian, and certain members of the local Spiritual Assembly of Paris, convened a general meeting of the Parisian Bahá'í community, during the evening of Sunday the 8th of May (12 Beauty 117 of the Bahá'í Era). The office of the Secretary and its contents had been broken into. In effect, Mr. Faizi presented to the assembled Friends, the letters of resignation of the five majority members of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France to prove that the said NSA of France had been dissolved and thus had given support to this unfounded and illegal dissolution which he himself had decreed.

From that moment occurred the following events under the direction of Mr. Faizi.

    1. The dispatch by Mr. Faizi to the Bahá'í community of France, of a letter announcing the dissolution of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France(?) and measures taken, or to be taken, against those members who had recognized Mason Remey as the Second Guardian. (See annex 7)

    2. The dispatch of a copy of a letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'í of the United States of America, addressed to all the National Spiritual Assemblies throughout the world, advising them of their repudiation of Mason Remey as the Second Guardian (See annex 8), as well as a message from the Hands of the Cause in Haifa, by way of the NSA of the U.S.A., referring to the expulsion from the Faith of various persons. (See annex 9) (4)

     

_____________________________________________

(4) The other National Spiritual Assemblies from around the world had not received, on the part of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France, any message or advice to indicate that this National Spiritual Assembly of France had accepted the Second Guardian of the Faith. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France did not communicate with anyone outside of its own jurisdiction.

No person, not an individual, not a National Spiritual Assembly, not a Local Spiritual Assembly, not the Hands, nor an institution, whatever it may be, has the right to expel whomsoever from the Bahá'í Faith, as the Guardian, Shoghi Effendi reserved for himself this exclusive right on many occasions. The Hands who, according to the Will and Testament of the Master 'Abdu'l-Bahá (page 19 of the Franco-Belgium edition of 1958), have the right to expel from the faith SOMEONE WHO DISOBEYS THE GUARDIAN, were never given the authorisation or orders to use this right by Shoghi Effendi. It is also stated in the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá that the Branches, the Hands and the friends must show obedience to the Guardian and he who disobeys the Guardian, disobeys God.

_____________________________________________

  1. The Bahá'ís who had accepted the second Guardian, Mason Remey (outside those of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France) received telegrams or letters which placed them in a terrifying state of mind. (see annex 10)
  2. An anti-Guardian campaign was systematically launched across the entire French Bahá'í community in the form of letters, telephone communication, and personal visits to communities, groups or Assemblies ( with the aid of not only the Bahá'ís of France but also Bahá'ís who were foreign to this community.
  3. A publication, which took the name of Bahá'í Journal (which had been the name of the publication of the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahá'ís of France), was distributed and the first numbers essentially attacked the Guardian, Mason Remey, and the Bahá'ís who supported his Guardianship, and at the same time gave support to the campaign of persuasion of Mr. Faizi.
  4. The local Spiritual Assembly of Paris received from Haifa the untimely title of "Mother Assembly of France".
  5. This local Spiritual Assembly of Paris organized elections for a new National Spiritual Assembly. These elections were held by correspondence and the votes were counted on the 31st of May 1960 ( 15 Grandeur 117 of the Bahá'í Era ), in the presence of Mr. 'Abu'l-Qasim Faizi and Adelbert Muhlechlegel ( the latter, a Hand of the Cause in Germany), in the Haziratu'l-Quds, Paris.

Note:

This translation made from the original has been approved for publication on the Internet by the Third Guardian.


ANNEX 1.


NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF FRANCE

11 rue de la Pompe - Paris ( 16th )

Paris, the 1st of May 1960

To all the Baha'is of France,

Dearly beloved friends,

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France, in extraordinary meetings of the 30th of April and the 1st of May, have been made aware of the Proclamation of Mason Remey, herewith attached. After prayers and study of the Holy Texts, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France recognizes Mason Remey as Second Guardian of the Baha'i World Faith.

Consequently, it recommends that all Baha'is within the community consider the importance of this decision, to remain firm in the Faith, the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Covenant and to investigate the truth contained within this Proclamation, and this, each on his own, as have done the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.

It suggests that you study, in particular, the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh of Shoghi Effendi ( last chapter "The Administrative Order", p. 55 ) as well as the enclosed extracts.

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France ask that you send them directly any communication, that you wish to make to them.

Renewing our entire devotion to our dearly-beloved Faith, rest assured, of our fraternal love, in Bahá'u'lláh.

For the National Spiritual Assembly

of the Bahá'ís of France.

In his service,

The Secretary

(signed)

B.Fillon.


ANNEX 1. (cont.)

….The embryo possesses from the outset all of the perfections, such as spirit, intelligence, sight, smell, taste – in one word all of the powers – but they are not visible, and become so by degree.

'Abdu'l-Bahá

Baha'i World Faith, p. 313 ( in English)

(Telegram from the Guardian)

Proclaim National Assemblies (of) East (and) West weighty epoch-making decision (of) formation (of) first International Bahá'í Council, forerunner (of) supreme administrative institution destined (to) emerge (in) fullness (of) time within precincts beneath shadow (of) World Spiritual Centre (of) Faith already established (in) twin cities (of) 'Akká (and) Haifa.

…..induce me (to) arrive (at) this historic decision marking most significant milestone (in) evolution (of) Administrative Order (of the) Faith (of) Bahá'u'lláh (in) course (of) last thirty years.

….to these will be added further functions (in) course (of) evolution (of) this first embryonic International Institution, marking its development into officially recognized Bahá'í Court, its transformation into duly elected body, its efflorescence into Universal House (of) Justice, (and) its final fruition through erection (of) manifold auxiliary institutions constituting (the) World Administrative Centre destined (to) arise (and) function (and) remain permanently established (in) close neighbourhood (of) Twin Holy Shrines. Hail (with) thankful, joyous heart (at) long last (the) constitution (of) International Council which history will acclaim (as the) greatest event shedding lustre (upon) second epoch (of) Formative Age (of) Bahá'í Dispensation potentially unsurpassed (by) any enterprise undertaken since inception (of) Administrative Order (of) Faith (on) morrow (of) 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Ascension, ranking second only (to) glorious immortal events associated (with) Ministries (of the) Three Central Figures (of) Faith (in) course (of) First Age (of) most glorious Dispensation (of the) five thousand century Bahá'í Cycle. Advise publicise announcement through Public Relations Committee.

(signed) – SHOGHI .

HAIFA, ISRAEL, the 9th of January 1951.

 

ANNEX 1 (end)

 

EXTRACTS OF THE WILL AND TESTAMENT OF

'ABDU'L-BAHA

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.

– the election of these nine must be carried either unanimously or by majority from the company of the Hands of the Cause of God and these, whether unanimously or by a majority vote, must give their assent to the choice of the one whom the guardian of the Cause of God hath chosen as his successor…..

– The Hands of the Cause of God must be nominated and appointed by the guardian of the Cause of God. All must be under his shadow and obey his 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, for he will have caused a breach in the true Faith of God.

The obligations of the Hands of the Cause of God are to diffuse the Divine Fragrances, to edify the souls of men, to promote learning, to improve the character of all men and to be, at all times and under all conditions, sanctified and detached from earthly things. They must manifest the fear of God by their conduct, their manners, their deeds and their words.

This body of the Hands of the Cause of God is under the direction of the guardian of the Cause of God.

– concerning the House of Justice which God hath ordained as the source of all good and freed from all error, it must be elected by universal suffrage, that is, by the believers. Its members must be manifestations of the fear of God and daysprings of knowledge and understanding, must be steadfast in God's faith and the well-wishers all mankind.

– Unto this body all things must be referred. It 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 life of that body.

ANNEX 2.

 

NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF FRANCE

11, rue de la Pompe - Paris (16th)

Paris the 1st of May, 1960

To the Local Spiritual Assemblies of France.

Dear Friends,

The National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of France meeting on the 30th of April and the 1st of May 1960 to consider the Proclamation of Mason Remey which was received on the 25th of April, 1960, have recognized Mason Remey as the Second Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.

We recommend that you consider, after prayers and reflection, the contents of this fundamental Declaration as a reflection of the wishes expressed by Shoghi Effendi.

Given the importance of this Proclamation, the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of France recommends a most great firmness vis-a-vis the other members of your community in order to obey and collaborate with our Second Guardian.

For The National Spiritual
Assembly of Baha'is of France

In his service,
The Secretary
(signed)

B.Fillon

ANNEX 3.

NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF FRANCE

11, rue de la Pompe - Paris (16th )

the 4/5/60

TO ALL THE BAHA'IS OF FRANCE.

Dearly beloved Friends,

We are sending you a communication which has come to us, by way of a telegram, from the Hands of the Faith residing in Haifa.

We have thus endeavoured to be mindful of the chronological order with which the reception of this news was received, as such, by the National Spiritual Assembly and which had, similarly, at that time, been delivered to the members of this Assembly.

In this way, we have respected, in fact, the order of messages received and transmitted.

In our estimation, we felt that it would not have been just or loyal that you would receive, at the same time, the Proclamation of the Second Guardian and the telegram from the Hands in the Holy Land, as no member of the National Spiritual Assembly had, at the same time, received communication of the two messages.

 

For the NSA of Baha'is of France
The Secretary: B. Fillon

(signature)

(stamp)

BAHA'I NSA

PROFOUNDLY REGRET TO INFORM THE BAHA'I WORLD THAT HAND OF THE CAUSE MASON REMEY CLAIM THAT HE IS THE GUARDIAN OF THE FAITH (stop) THIS UNREASONABLE CLAIM IS CLEARLY CONTRAVENES THE SACRED HOLY TEXTS. CAN ONLY BE VIEWED AS THE EVIDENCE OF A MENTAL ABERRATION (stop) CALL UPON THE BELIEVERS EVERYWHERE TO JOIN WITH THE HANDS IN THE HOLY LAND TO REPUDIATE THIS WAYWARD ACT (stop) SHARE THIS MESSAGE WITH THE FRIENDS.

HANDS FAITH

ANNEX 4.

 

THE BAHA'I FAITH

HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD IN EUROPE



AUXILIARY BOARD FOR

AUXILIARY BOARD FOR

THE PROTECTION

THE PROPAGATION

OF THE FAITH

OF THE FAITH

Profoundly alarmed, inform the Baha'i world:

The Hand of the Cause Mason Remey claims to be the Guardian of the Faith. Stop. This absurd claim clearly contrary to the sacred Holy Texts is uniquely the result of profound and evident mental troubles

Inform all the believers throughout the entire world to join with the Hands in the Holy Land for the complete repudiation of the fact of this absurd action. Communicate this message to the friends.

Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land

HAIFA THE 28-4-60

On the instructions of the Hands of the Cause, a copy of this message is sent to the friends in order to ignore the erroneous decision of the NSA of France dated the 1st of May, 1960.

For the Hands of the Cause in Europe

Dr. NAVIDI

 

 

ANNEX 5.

HANDS OF THE CAUSE

residing in the Holy Land

 

The 5th of May, 1960

Post Box 155

Haifa, Israel

National Spiritual Assembly and French believers

Dear Friends,

The Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land have sent to France, the Hand of the Cause 'Abu'l-Qasim Faizi in order to have a meeting with The National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of France and to act on behalf of the Hands with respect to the situation provoked by the unfounded Proclamation of Mr. Remey.

Mr. Faizi will act in accordance with the instructions given to him by the Hands in the Holy Land. He is authorised to take all necessary measures to execute these instructions.

In the service of the well-beloved Guardian,

HANDS OF THE CAUSE IN THE HOLY LAND

(signed) A. Q.Faizi

HORACE HOLLEY
PAUL HANEY
JALAL KHAZEH
JOHN FERRABY
A. FURUTAN
A. Q. FAIZI



ANNEX 6.

Paris, the 22nd of May 1960

Very dear Friends,

This is not a letter from your National Spiritual Assembly; it is a communication from individual Baha'is as such, the five majority members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France, who have recognized and accepted Mason Remey as the Second Guardian of the Faith.

We owe you an explanation for our actions of the 7th of May, 1960. In the face of a possibility of division within the French Baha'i community and to avoid antagonism, we have thought best that the status-quo of your National Spiritual Assembly will remain completely neutral for the moment. To be created and knowing that all resignation, according to the Baha'i Administration, within the National spiritual assembly, can be accepted by this assembly (naturally by majority) - (Article six of the statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France), we have deposited in sealed envelopes, addressed to The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France, inside the mail-box of The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France, in the secretariat of the National Baha'i Centre, our respective resignations.

Until our Second Guardian, Mason Remey, asks for your National Spiritual Assembly to resume its activities ( Article 9 of the Statutes of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France), we will serve as intermediaries between yourselves and him.

Herewith attached, the First Encyclical Letter, in a series, that your Guardian sends you. In addition, we are attaching a copy of the legal statutes which apply to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France in relation to the Government of this country.

( signatures )

 

Donald Harvey

Joel Marangella

Bernard Fillon

Monir Derakhchan

Jacques Soghomonian

ANNEX 6.

–2 –

P.-S. Here is the account of the state in which we have left the National Baha'i Centre of the Baha'is of France during the evening of the 7th of May and the night of the 7th of May until the 8th of May 1960. (the Centre is on permanent loan to the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Paris, and is the reason for which it had not been possible to lock it).

  1. All the papers and material belonging to the Local Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of Paris were in evidence and openly left in the Secretariat.
  2. The library belonging to the National Spiritual Assembly was closed and locked and the key deposited within the safe.
  3. All of the paper stock and material of the Secretariat of the National Spiritual Assembly remained in the locked armoire transferred to this effect, and the key was deposited within the safe.
  4. The two sets of pigeon-holes of correspondence and documents of the National Spiritual Assembly were locked, the key for which was deposited within the safe.
  5. All of the legal documents, the bookkeeping, the petty cash, the cheque book, etc have been deposited within the safe, the keys being in the possession, respectively of Mr. Donald Harvey, treasurer, and Mr. Fillon, secretary. Naturally, this safe had been locked.
  6. The resident, who had, among other things, been in charge of the storage of archives, moved his personal belongings out, leaving behind only the archives in his room.
  7. The two typewriters, the two mimeograph machines (Gestetner) and the alcohol copier, have been left in good order in one corner of the Secretariat.
  8. In the drawers of the writing desk of the Secretariat, remains a small stock of ordinary as well as air-mail envelopes, with the letterhead of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France, as well as an important stock of divers envelopes without letterhead.
  9. The stamp [seal] of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France has remained inside the safe.
  10. The Centre has been left cleaned and in good and proper order as well as the kitchen.

----------------------

All correspondence can be addressed to:

Donald Harvey, Post Box, Le Vesinet - S & O.

 

ANNEX 7.

Paris, the 8th of May 1960

To all the Friends and Local Assemblies of France:

Following the instructions of the Hands of the Faith in Haifa, I, the undersigned, Faizi, Hand of the Faith and delegate of the Hands residing in the Holy Land, have arrived in Paris. I have had an interview with the members of the N.S.A. of the Baha'is of France.

I have discovered by their own admission that the following five members who form the majority of the N.S.A., in opposition with their pact of faithfulness with regard to the divinely ordained institutions, are disobedient to the institution of the Hands of the Faith.

By virtue of my instructions and in virtue of the authorisation of the Hands of the Faith, I announce:

    1. -The dissolution of the N.S.A.
    2. -Should one of the five members arrive in a community under your jurisdiction, I ask that you not accept them among you and not to arrange reunions to meet with friends.
    3. -Communicate this message to all the friends of your community.
    4. -The Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land will give you definite instructions concerning the disobedience of the infidels.
    5. -These five are: Monir Derakhchan, Joel Marangella, Bernard Fillon, Jacques Soghomonian and Donald Harvey.
    6. -The necessary instructions for the new election of the N.S.A. will be given to you in the course of my visits in your community.

The Hands of the Faith and all the Baha'is of the entire world anxiously await for the friends of France to prove their faithfulness and their firmness toward our beloved Guardian (Shoghi Effendi) and the divinely-ordained institution of the Hands of the Faith.

Always in the service of our Faith and our Shoghi Effendi, the beloved Guardian.

HAND OF THE CAUSE

(signed) A. Q.Faizi

 

ANNEX 8.

NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF THE UNITED STATES

 

Office of the Secretary, 536 Sheridan Road, WILMETTE,

Illinois 6th of May 1960

To All of the National and Regional Spiritual Assemblies,

Dear Friends,

This letter will simply inform you, dear friends and pioneers throughout the entire world of the reaction of the United States of America to the absurd Proclamation signed by Mason Remey, a claim which reflected the evidence of his old age and deteriorating faculties.

On the 26th of April, after the receipt of the initial information of Mr. Remey of his own Proclamation, our National Spiritual Assembly sent a cable to the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land assuring them of our prayers and our sympathies of this unfolding tragedy.

From the 28th of April, we have received the following telegram from the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land:

"Profoundly shaken, inform the Baha'i World: the Hand of the Cause Mason Remey claims to be the Guardian of the Cause. Stop. This absurd claim is clearly contrary to the Sacred Holy Texts and is uniquely the result of obvious mental troubles. Inform all the believers throughout the world to join with the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land in the complete repudiation of this absurd action. Communicate the message to the Friends.
HANDS OF THE CAUSE in the Holy Land    Haifa the 28-4-60.

The 27th of April we had already telegraphed the following, to all of our Local Spiritual Assemblies:

"Remey Proclamation un-authorised by the Hands in Haifa and repudiated by the National Spiritual Assembly. This sad situation shall be resolved by the leaders."

The first day of the annual Convention, the 28th of April, the delegates had sent the following telegram to the Hands of the Cause residing in the Holy Land.

"The delegates assembled during the 52nd Annual Congress assure once again of their unchanging loyalty to the Institution of the Hands of the Faith and especially those Hands working in the Holy Land. Stop. The Convention has unanimously rejected the Proclamation of Mason Remey. Stop. We join our prayers to yours for divine aid."

At the end of this, the following reply was received on the 30th of April:

"Warmly appreciate your last testimony of unshaken loyalty which draws the attention of the standard-bearers of the Covenant to the divinely-ordained Institutions. Stop. We pray at the Holy sites for divine grace for this historic convention which has not been shaken." We are assured that each Baha'i community in the world has already sworn its firm loyalty to the Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land, and an even greater dedication to the achievement of the objectives of the beloved Guardian divinely inspired for the World-wide Crusade.

Sincerely,

NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY
Charles Wolcott, Secretary

 

ANNEX 9.

BAHA'I FRANCE PARIS

(The) following message has been sent on instruction of the Hands.

"In his glorious epistle: God Passes By, the beloved Guardian demonstrates clearly (that the) Sacred Cause is constantly subjected (to) crises(which) give birth (to) very great victories. History (of the) downfall (of) distinguished believes after the passing (of the) Manifestation Precursor of the Faith, (the Báb), after the passing (of the) Supreme Manifestation (Bahá'u'lláh), after the ascension (of the) Centre (of the) Covenant ('Abdu'l-Bahá), has repeated itself after the passing (of) Shoghi Effendi, by the completely unfounded claim (of) Mason Remey. (The) claim (of) believers against (the) activities of those who have gone astray, and who have been given every opportunity to repent; order actually, (the) expulsion from the Faith (of the) partisans (of )Remey.

John Carré, Bernard Fillon, Monir Derakhchan, Joel Marangella, Jacques Soghomonian, Donald Harvey, John Byers in France and Marie Wilkin in the United States.

Henceforth, all those (who) associate with (these) persons or who support (the) claim (of) Remey, are considered Covenant-Breakers as well.

We feel certain (that) the devoted body (of ) believers, remembering (the) infinite Bounties and Blessings spread abroad (by) the beloved Guardian, will, by (their) united action, show an unshakeable solidarity (and) will rise up to accomplish (the) glorious goals of (the) divinely-inspired Crusade.

 

Signed WOLCOTT - Secretary of

the N.S.A. of the U.S.A.

 

ANNEX 10.

(Text of the telegram addressed by Mr. Faizi to the French believes who have accepted the Second Guardian and who have so advised the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of France of this acceptance.

"The NSA's of the world have rejected the unfounded claim of Mason Remey and have reported to the Hands in the Holy Land (stop). In the archives of the dissolved NSA, I found your letter accepting his claim (stop). I give you twenty-four hours to send your supplications to the Holy Land. (stop). Pray (for) forgiveness (for) your unfortunate and grave error (stop). Advise me of your decision if you are not remaining loyal (stop). Instructions emanating from the Institution divinely ordained of the Hands of the Cause, result is grave for your spiritual life (stop). I am the Hand of the Cause designated by the Well-Beloved.

FAIZI.

Paris, 9th of May 1960