TO THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF THE WORLD
THE ANNUAL CONVENTION OF THE BAHÁ’ÍS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ASSEMBLED AT
THE SECOND GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ'Í FAITH
WASHINGTON, D. C.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
RIDVÁN 117 BAHÁ’Í ERA
THE SECOND GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH
ANNOUNCING HIS ADVENT
INTO THE BAHÁ’Í WORLD
TO ALL THE BELIEVERS OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH
TO BE READ BEFORE THE DELEGATES
ASSEMBLED AT THE APPROACHING NATIONAL BAHÁ’Í CONVENTION IN AMERICA
THIS CARBON COPY OF THE ORIGINAL IS NOW BEING
SENT TO THE HANDS OF THE FAITH IN THE HOLY LAND
IN STRICT CONFIDENCE IN ORDER THAT THIS PROCLAMATION BE KNOWN TO THEM IN ADVANCE OF ITS BEING SENT TO THE CONVENTION-THUS THESE HANDS OF THE FAITH WILL THEREFORE BE THE FIRST BELIEVERS TO HEAR THIS MESSAGE OF THE PROCLAMATION OF MASON R. GUARDIAN
OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH
(CHARLES MASON REMEY)
THIS PROCLAMATION was first sent to The Hands of the Faith in The Holy Land before it was sent through the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of The United States of America
To the Annual Convention of Bahá’ís assembled at Wilmette, Illinois RIDVÁN 117 (April 21, 1960) Bahá’í Era
The following letter to Charles Wolcott, Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly explains this matter.
April 8, 1960
Mr. Charles Wolcott,
Secretary National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States
356 Sheridan Road Wilmette, Illinois
Enclosed I send you my Proclamation of My Guardianship of the Bahá’í Faith. This declaration explains itself. I send this to you to be read before the Bahá’í Convention so shortly to convene at Wilmette.
I am pleased to have you letter of April 8, 1960 extending to me the invitation of your National Assembly to be present with you at your coming Annual National Convention.
I have been preparing a Proclamation communication addressed to the convention, a copy of which I enclose with this letter to you asking that this be read to the delegates seated in this convention. This document will explain itself.
If it be the wish of the convention that I go the Wilmette at this time to meet with the Bahá’ís of America and further proclaim, declare and explain my status for life as commander in chief of Bahá’í affairs of the world as I was appointed to do by our late Beloved Guardian as the Second Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith, I will be very pleased indeed to meet the convention.
Should the convention wish this, let them send three believers of their choice to Washington bringing me their invitation to come to them - these three representatives of the convention to usher me to the convention in waiting for me. The importance, solemnity and the dignity of the occasion in the Bahá’í Faith demands this formality.
I will be prepared to receive those three friends at the home of my sister, Miss Remey, at 2101 Connecticut Avenue, North West, Washington D.C. This delegation of three will let me know when and where I can get word to them on their arrival in Washington and they will make all arrangements for my traveling to Wilmette and for my stay while I am there as the guest of the National Assembly of the Bahá’ís of this country.
in El Abha
Mason R. Guardian
of the Bahá’í Faith
Washington, D. C.
United States of America
Ridván 117 BAHÁ’Í ERA
Believers have questioned me as to my status as President of the Bahá'í International Council, appointed by The Beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi, the First Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith. I take the means of this proclamation, to the coming annual national convention to tell all Bahá'ís exactly what my position and status is in the Faith.
The Bahá'í people the world around know that The Beloved Guardian singled me, Mason Remey, out from amongst all of the Believers upon earth to occupy the position of President of the Bahá'í International Council. This is the only position suggestive of authority that Shoghi Effendi ever bestowed upon anyone, the only special and specific appointment of authority to any man ever made by him.
The Beloved Guardian declared the Bahá'í International Council to be the forerunner of and the first step toward the establishment of The Universal House of Justice, and furthermore, that the Bahá'í International Council was the embryo of The Universal House of Justice which embryo would eventually develop into The Universal House of Justice.
Although all Bahá'ís know that I, Mason Remey, am the President of the Bahá'í International Council by the appointment of The Beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi, yet many of you may not know me personally. I have been living at Haifa much of the time during these past ten years. My visits to America being in the summers when I have done but little travelling among the Bahá'í communities so personally I may be a stranger to the many recently registered in the Faith. Therefore, I will tell you something about myself.
My forebearers were early American Colonials of New England in the north and Virginia in the south. I was brought up in the Christian Faith as taught by the Episcopal Church. The members of this church, as you know, although always orthodox may be anything from Catholic upon one hand to Protestant on the other. While this church is usually classed as Protestant, its Prayer Book proclaims it to be "The Holy Catholic Apostolic Church." My inheritance was from the Catholic interpretation of Christianity rather than from the Protestant attitude.
To the average American, The Catholic Church usually means Roman Catholic, but there are other Catholic communions. In The Holy Land, that is now my home and has been for these past ten years, the Ministry of Religions of Israel lists eleven different Catholic communions in that country—Roman, Anglican, Russian, Armenian, Greek, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, etc. The Anglican Catholic Persuasion corresponding to the so called High Episcopal Church in America.
With this Catholic background it was the most logical and natural thing in the world for me to accept the Bahá'í message without question as I did when I heard it in 1899-1900 from May Ellis Bolles (later Mrs. Sutherland Maxwell), because the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church teaches the Second Coming of Christ—The Christ to come manifesting as the Lord of Creation—the Prince of Peace—coming to establish "His Kingdom upon Earth as it is in Heaven."
From New England on the north and Virginia on the south, my forebears came into the middlewest where I was born in 1874 at a town on the Mississippi River, two hundred and ten miles from Chicago, not far distant from the geographic center of the United States, this land that our Beloved Guardian has called "The Cradle of the Administration of the Bahá'í Faith." Thus do I introduce myself to those of you who may know me but by name only.
As I travel about through the Bahá'í world, the friends ask me many questions about the life of the believers in Israel, and in particular about the Hands of the Faith in The Holy Land? The Bahá'í people are just curious to know about things transpiring there and of how the problems of the Faith are being handled?
There is some general information that I can give them that is in no way confidential but I am not mentioning anything of a confidential nature to any Bahá'í because as is well known in Bahá'í circles from the first of the conclaves of the Hands the majority of the Hands of the Faith were united in the opinion that absolutely nothing said or done in these conclaves be divulged, disclosed or revealed to any of the Bahá'ís outside of the body of the twenty seven Hands. However, each Hand of the Faith is not only allowed but urged to express herself or himself with perfect freedom within the four walls of the chamber in which the Hands are gathered. It is the duty enjoined upon each of the Hands to express her or his own convictions to the Hands when seated in conclave. (Conclave, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is "Any meeting for secret consultation.").
I, as the President of the International Council was one of those things that every Bahá'í knows but that just never happened to be talked about nor even mentioned in any of the conclaves or in the conferences of the Hands of the Faith; therefore, as this subject was never mentioned, I, having promised the Hands never to divulge any of their discussions, proceedings or decisions, am not breaking faith with them now by explaining to the believers about this subject of my Presidentship of the International Council a subject that was never even mentioned nor brought up for discussion by the Hands of the Faith in any conference that I ever attended or know anything about.
Before going into the subject of my Presidency of the International Council and the stand that I take in the cause and explain in this letter, I would preface my statement by giving in a few words a picture of the setup of things in Haifa under the regime of The Beloved Guardian when all the members of the International Council including the resident Hands lived there and served the Guardian daily. Each of us council members were given instructions by Shoghi Effendi of what he wanted us to do and we reported to him as these various services were underway and completed. The sole authority of all these operations rested in the instructions given to each direct from the Guardian himself, thus as a council, a functioning body, we never undertook any services of any nature whatsoever.
After the appointment of the International Council, many times one of the members would come to me saying, "Mason, you are the President of the Council, get yourself busy, call a meeting, you are the President of the Council, you should take the initiative to organize this body and do something." To which my response was always, "The Guardian of the Faith appointed the Baha'i International Council and He will tell me what I should do and when I should call the Council into action."
The First Guardian of the Faith left this world without giving me any orders or instructions whatsoever regarding the International Council. The Beloved Guardian gave me no authority to do anything about the Universal Council during his lifetime for while He was living He was the Guardian of the Faith and as infallibility then was vested in him and in him only, my position was then only that of I myself holding a potential responsibility. But with the death of Shoghi Effendi, He no longer being the center upon earth of infallibility, I became the acting President of the International Council in my own right as President of this body, thus I came into active command of the council. Therefore I am now but assuming the powers that came to me automatically upon the death of Shoghi Effendi and that have been mine exclusively of all others upon earth since the death of the First Guardian of the Faith.
This is the authority I am now exercising when I refuse to recognize any interference from anyone in the affairs of the International Council. This means from any one at all, person or persons.
The Hands of the Faith can only function as protectors of the Faith when they are serving under the direction following the commands of the infallible Guardian of the Faith. They have no authority vested in themselves as Hands of the Faith to act in their own capacity nor in any other capacity, save under the direction of the living Guardian of the Faith.
The Beloved Guardian chose me to be the President of the Bahá'í International Council that is according to his explanation the President of the Embrionic Universal House of Justice. Therefore I am the President of the Embrionic Universal House of Justice. When this August body becomes the Universal House of Justice, if such being during my lifetime, I will then be the President of the First Universal House of Justice of the Bahá'í Dispensation.
Therefore, inasmuch as The Beloved Guardian in His Infallibility has thus placed me in command of the Faith to protect and to guard the Faith, I can do nothing but assume my place that he has given me with all of the responsibilities, the perquisites and emoluments that go with this position, therefore by his infallible orders I now alone after him command the cause and guard its integrity.
The delay until now of my calling the attention of the believers to the provisions for the protection and the guarding of the cause, made some years ago by our Beloved Guardian when He appointed me to be the President of the Bahá'í International Council, has given the Hands of the Faith and the believers of the Faith ample time to discover for themselves, had that been possible for them to have discovered my unique position in the Faith. But until now no one, other than I has discovered that such authority was vested in me by Our Beloved Guardian. To the moment of my sending out into the Bahá'í world of this proclamation, I have taken no one into this confidence — I have stood single and alone in all the world guarding the Faith. That I was to occupy this August position in The Bahá'í Faith that The Beloved Guardian has chosen me to occupy, I have definitely known for the past twelve years more or less, without ever mentioning it to anyone until very recently when privately and in secret, I made this declaration to the Hands of the Faith in the Holy Land. In this proclamation statement to you I am now declaring my position of command in the cause to the Believers here in America, "The Cradle of the Administration of The Bahá'í Faith," and through this convention to all the Bahá'í World.
In this time of confusion of thought and purpose that so threatens the Bahá'í world, now is the propitious moment for me to make the announcement that I do in this writ. I cannot delay any longer. All these plans of the Hands of the Faith for 1963 that are so absorbing and confusing to the people of the Faith must be dropped and stopped immediately. I am the only one who can command this situation so I havePage 5 arisen to do so for I alone in all this world have been given the authority and the power to accomplish this.
Be it understood. I of myself make no claims for myself. I am but telling and reminding the Hands of the Faith and the Bahá'ís of all the world of the responsibilities that The Beloved Guardian placed upon me as President of the Bahá'í International Council.
It is well known throughout the Bahá'í world and accepted by all Bahá'ís that the protection of the Faith and the propagation of the Faith are special and particular functions of the Hands of the Faith, they working and serving under the direction of the Guardian of the Faith. It is from and through the Guardianship that infallibility is vested and that the Hands of the Faith receive their orders.
The Program for 1960 as announced by the Hands of the Faith in their message to the Bahá'í world of November 4, 1959 signed by twenty two of the Hands, as well as the same program announced in their former messages, so flagrantly violate and puts to naught the Will and Testament, the Guardianship, and the Administration of the Faith that the Beloved Guardian so laboriously and painstakingly built up during his long ministry, that I can no longer condone such actions upon the part of the Hands of the Faith.. I have remained silent now for over two years hoping that they would give up this destructive propagandizing but all to no effect so now it is necessary that I call a halt upon their activities.
I now command the Hands of the Faith to stop all of their preparations for 1963 and furthermore I command all believers both as individual Bahá'ís and as assemblies of Bahá'ís to immediately cease cooperating with and giving support to this fallacious program for 1963.
I have delayed as long as I dare delay before issuing this command to the Bahá'í world—I, hoping that the Hands of the Faith would see for themselves that the will and testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was being violated and that they would of themselves abandon their stand. I, standing single and alone against the entire Bahá'í world but confirmed and steadfast in my assurance of ultimately saving the cause from this calamity. My assurance is based upon the authority that The Beloved Guardian gave me as President of the Council, the authority enabling me to act and assume command of the Bahá'ís that came to me at His death.
It is meet right and timely that I should make this announcement in this convention of Bahá'ís of America which land the Beloved Guardian called the "Cradle of the Administration." I make this call here and now standing single and alone before you but fully confident of your support and cooperation in all Bahá'í matters for you understand the Administration of the Faith and that I guard it from all violation and harm. Because the Beloved Guardian called America the Cradle of the Bahá'í Administration, the American Bahá'ís have a very special and particular responsibility to which I am calling them now at this particular time.
I expect the friends in this convention to consider with prayer and with thought this declaration addressed to them, that is a declaration to the entire Bahá'í world. I expect them to accept me without question as their Commander-in-Chief in all Bahá'í matters and to follow me so long as I live for I am the Guardian of the Faith—the Infallible Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
The line of the Guardianship of the Bahá'í Faith is unbroken for I have been the Guardian of the Faith since the death of the Beloved Guardian Shoghi Effendi.
At their earliest convenience the National Assembly of the United States should communicate with me so that I can arrange to receive them. Since they are the first amongst the National Assemblies to be called into spiritual action by me their responsibilities are very great for I am calling this American National Assembly first from all other National Assemblies of the world to support me in my command of the Bahá'í Cause.
Dearly Beloved Friends, seated in convention in the land of the Cradle of the Administration of the Faith, this is all that I have to tell you now at this time.
With much love to you.
Faithfully In El Abhá,
GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH