Joel B. Marangella


»Er ist der Ausleger des Wortes Gottes«, erklärt 'Abdu'l-Bahá zu den Aufgaben des Hüters des Glaubens, wobei Er in seinem Letzten Willen genau denselben Ausdruck anwendet, den Er bei der Zurückweisung der Anfechtungsbegründung durch die Bündnisbrecher wählte, die Sein Recht zur Auslegung der Äußerungen Bahá'u'lláhs bestritten hatten.“ (Shoghi Effendi, Die Weltordnung Baha'u'llahs) Seite 214


The question as to whether Shoghi Effendi had foreseen his early passing is asked by those Bahá’ís who, in their lack of faith in the indestructibility of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and the immutability of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have inexcusably never taken the time or made the effort to search for an affirmative answer, which, otherwise, they would have been certain they would find, if they were to undertake a thorough review of the actions taken by Shoghi Effendi and particularly of the historic messages he had dispatched to the Bahá’í World during the latter years of his ministry. Had they retained an unwavering faith in the Covenant and complete assurance that Shoghi Effendi would have remained faithful to every clause of the Wlll and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, their earnest search would have been rewarded and they would have not only unquestionably and conclusively found a clear and undeniable answer to this question but in the process have discovered, even more importantly, the identity of his successor and realized that he had chosen to obscure his identity at the time for the very reason that he had known that his passing was imminent and that it was essential that this frightful prospect be veiled from the believers (and so well, as it tragically turned out, that, upon his passing, the Bahá’í World, not only failed to recognize his successor but came to incredibly believe that the Guardianship of the Cause of God had come to a premature end).

On the other hand, their research need have gone no further than to read Shoghi Effendi’s message, dated 23 November 1951, issued some eleven months following the issuance of his one and only Proclamation of 9 January of the same year in which he had proclaimed in glowing and unprecedented terms his “historic decision marking the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order” in constituting “at long last” the International Bahá’í Council—“this first embryonic International Institution”— (an initial and provisional designation in his projected four-fold stage of evolution of this embryonic Universal House of Justice). He had then subsequently and significantly identified, in his message of 2 March 1951, the identity of the permanent President thereof, the eminently distinguished believer, Mason Remey, whose exemplary devotion to the Covenant, and outstanding and unique record of manifold and unsurpassed services to the Cause of God for more than half a century had been repeatedly eulogized by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His ministry (as recorded and published at the time in The Star of the West).

All Bahá’ís are certainly still familiar with the fact that Shoghi Effendi had initiated a Ten Year Global Crusade that took place between Ridván 1953 and Ridvan 1963 in implementation of the Tablets of the Divine Plan of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that involved establishment of the Faith throughout all virgin areas of the world and in which he had assigned specific goals for each of the existing National Spiritual Assemblies to achieve. Whereas the opening years of this Crusade would be carried out under the direction of Shoghi Effendi, himself, his message of 23 November 1951 cited above, significantly stated that this “Master Plan designed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will embrace all the continents of the earth, and will bring the Central body [i.e. the International Bahá’í Council] directing these widely ramified operations into direct contact with all the National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world . . . ” now, for the first time, an active role for this supreme body that had been previously retained, of necessity, in an inactively functioning status during the concluding years of Shoghi Effendi’s ministry, for the President of the Universal House of Justice, under the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, even in its initial embryonic form, could be none other than the second Guardian-to-be (for as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has affirmed: “the embryo possesses from the first all perfections . . . in one word, all the powers . . . ” (BWF p.313). With the International Bahá’í Council now performing this projected active role, Mason Remey would, as the President—“the sacred head”— of this embryonic Universal House of Justice appointed by Shoghi Effendi, automatically, unquestionably and rightfully inherit the Guardianship. Shoghi Effendi, therefore had clearly prophesied that his passing would take place during the period of the Ten Year Global Crusade which, in fact, it did at midpoint, on 4 November 1957.

The further fact that in Shoghi Effendi’s appointment of a believer who was almost a quarter of a century older than himself, and notwithstanding was destined to become his successor is further definite evidence that he knew that his passing was near at hand.

Joel Bray Marangella
December 2008






Following the passing of Shoghi Effendi on 4 November 1957, the twenty-seven Hands of the Cause, having failed to perceive that Shoghi Effendi had faithfully provided for the continuation of the Guardianship of the Cause of God, as enjoined by the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, appointed an illegitimate body of nine Hands, completely outside the provisions of that divinely-conceived, sacred and immutable Document. They named this body “Custodians of the Bahá’í World Faith” that then shamelessly and reprehensibly arrogated to itself the “functions rights and powers in succession to the Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith.” With its seat established at the World Administrative Center of the Faith in Haifa, the Custodian Hands reigned over the Faith for some six years until they then transferred their ill-gotten functions to an equally illegitimate and obviously misnamed Universal House of Justice that had been elected at Ridván 1963 which, without the Guardian of the Faith presiding as its essential and irreplaceable “sacred head,” as stipulated under the terms of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, was obviously nothing more than a humanly devised, illicitly formed, headless, deformed, ineffective substituted body in place of the divinely-conceived institution bequeathed to us by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in His Will and Testament.

The members of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith who, for the reasons outlined above, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of this so-called Universal House of Justice have been forced by this unfortunate and reprehensible chain of events to use the prefix “orthodox” to clearly indicate their steadfast adherence to a Faith that remains undefiled and unchanged since the passing of Shoghi Effendi, in which therefore its members continue to be faithful to the indestructible Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and adhere to every clause of the sacred and immortal provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá—the “Child of the Covenant”—wherein the Guardian of the Cause of God has been appointed the “Center of the Cause” and “the sacred head and distinguished member for life” of the Universal House of Justice. These faithful believers find it incomprehensible that twenty-six of the twenty-seven Hands of the Cause who had been appointed by Shoghi Effendi during the last seven years of his ministry should have so quickly loss their faith in the indestructibility of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and their assurance in Shoghi Effendi’s complete fidelity to the sacred provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that they incredibly and hastily concluded that Shoghi Effendi had passed on without appointing his successor after searching for and not finding a will and testament left by Shoghi Effendi, inexcusably unmindful in doing so, that the Guardian of the Faith is clearly enjoined by the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to appoint his successor “in his own life-time”, an unambiguous requirement to which he would have scrupulously and faithfully adhered to in the appointment that he would have certainly made and which they had obviously overlooked at the time. Had they, on the other hand, remembered the provisions of the Will and Testament pertaining to the matter of succession they would have known that they would not find such a will left by Shoghi Effendi and taken the time to reexamine his past actions and statements to discover the manner in which he had made and announced this vital appointment.

The Hands having unfortunately and tragically failed to discover the manner in which Shoghi Effendi had appointed his successor, and without any authority to do so, took control of the Faith instead of permitting the International Bahá’í Council, this “first embryonic International Institution,” whose formation “beneath the shadow of the World Spiritual Center of the Faith,” Shoghi Effendi had hailed in his Proclamation of 9 January 1951 as “the most significant milestone in the evolution of the Administrative Order,” and “the greatest event shedding luster upon the second epoch of the Formative Age of the Bahá’í Dispensation,” to assume the now active role that properly and rightfully belonged to that institution as the supreme administrative institution of the Faith under the Presidency of Hand of the Cause, Mason Remey. Had the Hands recognized the preeminent role of the International Council and permitted it to function as clearly intended by Shoghi Effendi they would have remained faithful to his plans for the future development of the institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order and, in doing so, have inevitably discovered and recognized the identity of his successor in their midst. For it would have been be perceived that the President of this Council—the embryonic Universal House of Justice—could be none other than the second Guardian of the Faith. And it would have been further understood that it had been for this very reason that Shoghi Effendi had necessarily retained this embryonic institution—a complete and perfect institution at its inception (BWF, p. 313)—in an inactive status during the remaining years of his ministry, which would only following his passing become an actively functioning Institution, at which time, as projected in his message of 23 November 1951, it would, as the “Central Body” of the Faith, assume the role Shoghi Effendi had planned for this supreme Council and become fully engaged in “directing,” the “widely ramified operations of . . . all the National Assemblies of the Bahá’í world” as they prosecuted their assigned goals during the Ten-year Global Crusade, (1953-1963).

This now actively functioning International Council, under the Presidency of Mason Remey, would certainly have retained this designation until at least six National Bahá’í Courts had been established in “the chief cities of the Islamic East” as projected by Shoghi Effendi in his message of 8 October 1952, at which time, in the continuing Formative Age of the Faith, it would be appropriately renamed the International Bahá’í Court and exercise such limited judicial authority over the believers residing in the six countries concerned as would be granted by national governments; a status in the evolution of the Council that Shoghi Effendi had stated was an “essential prelude to the institution of the Universal House of Justice.” Only at such time in the future, as considered propitious by a future Guardian of the Faith, would this institution, following a third stage in its development, ultimately achieve its final stage of efflorescence in the Golden Age of the Faith and at that time finally be appropriately renamed and fully function as The Universal House of Justice. This institution would then, in addition to being the supreme legislative Organ of the Faith, become the supreme judicial authority of the Faith and, in this capacity, exercise supreme authority, as well, with respect to legal matters in its relationship with subordinate National and Local Houses of Justice as they applied the laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, without exception, to the believers residing in the future World Commonwealth of Bahá’u’lláh

As the Bab has assured us that “God in truth keepeth watch over all things” and as Shoghi Effendi has stated that “the bedrock on which this Administrative Order is founded is God’s immutable Purpose for mankind in this day,” how much longer will the members of the illegitimate and headless so-called Universal House of Justice continue to delude themselves into believing that they can continue to defy God’s immutable Purpose with impunity and that the man-made corrupted administrative system that that they have nefariously substituted for the divinely-conceived System delineated in the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will continue to survive as a substitute for the divine Order delineated in the sacred and immortal provisions of that Will, emphasized by Shoghi Effendi to be nothing less than an expression, as well, of Bahá’u’lláh’s Will, and therefore actually “their Will?”

The adherents of the Orthodox Bahá’í Faith have retained a steadfast and unwavering faith in the indestructible Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and know with absolute certainty that the divinely-conceived System bequeathed to us by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will ultimately be restored in the Bahá’í world in all of its divine perfection and glory, for as Bahá’u’lláh has assured us, the Will of God will prevail, in affirming: “Naught can resist Thy Will nor frustrate what Thou hast Purposed by Thy Power” and the Báb, as well, in these Words: “Whatever God hath willed hath been and that which He hath not willed shall never be.”

Joel Bray Marangella

Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

October 2008


"O ye that are bereft of understanding! A severe trial pursueth you, and will suddenly overtake you. Bestir yourselves, that haply it may pass and inflict no harm upon you." — BAHÁ’U’LLÁH (p.169, Gleanings )

The above quotation differs in its language from other warnings of Bahá’u’lláh in which He has prophesied a dire catastrophe that is destined to befall the world.
Is there any doubt that He would have foreseen the crisis that was destined to afflict the Bahá’í World with the sudden and unexpected passing of the first Guardian of His Cause and prove to be a supreme test of the believers in their faith in the Covenant He had bequeathed to them and in the immutability and immortality of the divinely-conceived Will and Testament of the Center of the Covenant and the sacred "Child" of that Covenant? For such was the "severe trial" that would suddenly overtake them and which the vast majority of believers including the former Hands of the Cause (with a single notable exception) would tragically and miserably fail to survive.
What greater trial would have been foreseen by Bahá’u’lláh than one in which the fidelity of the believers to the continued Guardianship of the Cause of God and to the Administrative Order of which both He and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had actually been Co-authors would be put to the proof and fail so completely that that they would abandon the divinely-conceived Administrative Order fashioned by "the master-hand of its perfect Architect" and shamelessly substitute, in its place, an obviously deformed, seriously flawed, and corrupted organization of their own making.
Would not Bahá’u’lláh have also foreseen that there would remain a small faithful and intrepid band of supporters of His Covenant who would retain a continuing unshakeable belief and faith in the immortality of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and in the Institution of the Guardianship, as embodied in that Will and whose permanency, throughout the entire duration of His Dispensation, Bahá’u’lláh had Himself promised in the Kitáb-i-Íqán and indirectly in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner and an Institution whose essentiality, indispensability and immortality would be subsequently confirmed and repeatedly emphasized in the writings and in many of the historic and epoch-making messages of Shoghi Effendi?
And would not Bahá’u’lláh have also foreseen the fate that ultimately awaited the illegitimate, headless, man-made body established outside of the provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá which its members, in their obvious self-delusion would still falsely claim to be the infallible Institution delineated in that sacred Document and, in spite of being a headless body, further incredibly pretend that this body had become the Head of the Faith? Thus, this illegitimate body, in its transparent and spiritual blindness, would flagrantly violate the indestructible, resistless and enduring Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, as He had foretold they would in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner and would, in turn, ignominiously lead the vast majority of the believers throughout the world far astray from that glorious Covenant.
And, finally Bahá’u’lláh would have known that His invincible Covenant would ultimately obtain a lasting victory over this Great Violation and that the divinely-appointed institutions of His Most Great Order would be re-established as delineated by the Center of His Covenant in His Divine Charter and flourish in all of their promised perfection and glory as they achieved maturity in His future World Commonwealth – the Kingdom of God "on earth as it is in Heaven."

Joel Bray Marangella
Third Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith
Australia, January 2004


Ridvan Message 2008

To the faithful and steadfast champions of the Covenant of Bahá’ulláh and the valiant defenders of its sacred and immortal “Child” throughout the Bahá’í World,

Dearly beloved friends,
You will recall that with the appointment of the third International Bahá’í Council I had asked Hand of the Cause, Frank Schlatter, Secretary-General of the Council, to henceforth, on the occasion of Ridván, to assume responsibility for recounting our accomplishments during the past Bahá’í year. Without, in any way, detracting from his report, I do however wish to send loving greetings to all of the faithful and devoted friends on the occasion of this “Most Great Festival” and express, yet again, my undying appreciation of and thankfulness for their steadfast fidelity to the indestructible Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh and its sacred and immortal “Child” which they have continued to manifest in many ways.
Also, I must again particularly express my gratitude for, and admiration of, the outstanding labors of those dear and faithful friends who have participated in the defense of the interests of the true Faith in the highly reprehensible lawsuit initiated by the violating NSA of the United States in their diabolical effort to proscribe our rights as Bahá’ís, a despicable effort, which is certainly ultimately doomed to ignominious failure, and for which the faithful friends, as this juncture and, as this is written, are eagerly awaiting the present verdict of the court.
I wish to take this opportunity, as well, to pay tribute to those dear friends, Hands of the Cause Marilyn Meyer and Frank Schlatter together with James Meyer who were obliged to journey to Chicago to testify in the trial before Judge Amy J. St.Eve on 7-8 January 2008, and who, in preparing for the submission of their testimony, had been expertly tutored by Hand of the Cause, Jeffrey Goldberg, our legal counsel, who also testified, all of whom acquitted themselves magnificently during this trial and who shall certainly be forever remembered and praised in the future annals of the Faith for their efforts. I have previously highly commended Jeffrey and wish to pay homage to him, once again, and express my heartfelt and profound gratitude for his tireless and outstanding labors in preparing and presenting a brilliant legal defense against the spurious claims made by the violating National Spiritual Assembly of the United States in their reprehensible lawsuit against us.
I feel that the time has now come on this auspicious occasion to call attention to a significant letter that Shoghi Effendi wrote to Mrs. George R. True on July 22, 1943, that was published in the November 1944 issue of United States Bahá’í News, No. 171. She had apparently asked him about the twenty-four elders mentioned in the Book of Revelation, only nineteen of whom, as you know, have been identified to date, as the Bab and the eighteen Letters of the Living. The following is quoted from his letter to her:
“Regarding the four and twenty elders: The Master in a Tablet, stated that they were the Báb, the eighteen Letters of the Living, and five others who would be known in the future. So far, we do not know who these five others are.”
Who in the future would be qualified to identify the remaining five elders, other than a Guardian of the Faith? It will be obvious in my identification of them below, that neither Shoghi Effendi nor Mason Remey had been in a position to name these five remaining elders during their respective ministries and for this reason, it has now become, at long last, my inestimable privilege to do so.
We find the following wonderful prediction in the Book of Revelation: “There in heaven stood a throne, and on the throne sat One [the Lord of the Covenant] whose appearance was like the gleam of jasper and cornelian; and round the throne was a rainbow, bright as an emerald. In a circle about this throne were twenty-four other thrones, and on them sat twenty-four elders, robed in white and wearing crowns of gold.” (The New English Bible)
The remaining five elders are:
‘Abdu’l-Bahá–Center of the Covenant.
Bahiyyih Khanum-The Greatest Holy Leaf.
Shoghi Effendi–First Guardian of the Cause of God.
Charles Mason Remey–Second Guardian of the Cause of God.
Martha Root–Preeminent teacher.
With loving Ridván greetings,

Faithfully your brother in El Abha,

Joel Bray Marangella
Third Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

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