What World Unity? Bahais Should First Unite Their Own!
August 4, 2012 1 Comment
An undated press release serves as an advertizing of sorts for Joel B. Marangella who is“recognized by the Orthodox Baha’i Faith as the third guardian of the Baha’i Faith, the authorized interpreter of the Faith’s writings and, as guardian, according to ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament, to be the sacred head for life of the Universal House of Justice when it comes into being in its proper form.” From its very inception the Baha’ism has suffered from sects, denominations, isms, schisms and offshoots of various sorts. The Baha’i Faith developed as an offshoot of the Babi Faith, which developed as an offshoot of Shaykhism, which developed as an offshoot of Ithna-‘Ashariyyih , whichdeveloped as an offshoot of Sufism, which developed as an offshoot of Shi’ite , which developed as a denomination of Islam.
The death of the first Guardian Shoghi Effendi gave rise to the greatest number of these groups who all claim to be the one true Baha’i Faith since. This occurred because as opposed to Shoghi Effendi Baha’i tenets, Effendi left no last will and testament (he died suddenly of a heart attack).What is the issue here as all groups have subgroups of this sort? The issue is that the Baha’i Faith claims to be unique for various reasons one of which is that it has never suffered from sectarianism. When the obvious is pointed out—the fact that there are many subgroups each claiming authority—the response is very simply: if they are subgroups then they are not with the one true group (which one?) which makes them heretics and thus, not true Baha’is.
This is what the particular claims of the press release are:
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (MMD Newswire) August 16, 2010 — Commentary on the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: The Role of the Will and Testament in theCovenant of Bahá’u’lláh by Joel B. Marangella tells how the administrative order of the Bahá’í Faith was redesigned following the death of Shoghi Effendi in 1957, whowas the first guardian of the Bahá’í Faith. Marangella explains, “The restructuringof the administrative order was done by members in high positions who claim, ‘Godchanged His mind.’ Their changes eliminated the role of future guardians which Ibelieve helped destroy the safeguard of the religion from false leadership…”
The Baha’i Faith has an essential message of world peace and the brotherhood of man, which is especially timely in this war-torn world, feels Marangella. Marangellais the third guardian of the Faith for the Orthodox Baha’is, who are a separategroup with no affiliation to the World Baha’i group…“Since the leaders of the World Baha’i Faith forbid their followers to read any of the material that challenges their self-proclaimed authority,” Marangella states,“they are restricting one of the Faith’s most basic rights: the right to an unfettered,independent investigation of truth.”
Note the statement, “a separate group with no affiliation to the World Bahá’í group.”