THE BAHAI COMMITTEE
1917 – 1918
[online edition by Robert Stauffer, June 2000]
The following document was circulated privately to Baha'is in the United States in 1918. It should be noted that certain quotes provided in the document attributed to Abdu'l-Baha and Baha'u'llah may not be authoritative unless a specific Tablet is in existence containing the quote. Also, please note that the term "assembly" was most commonly a reference to the entire community of Baha'is in a particular city, and not necessarily an elected body. A few minor errors were corrected for clarity, though some spelling errors were left to allow for the color of those times.
Report of the Committee of Investigation appointed by visiting Bahais at the Centenary Celebration of Baha’o’llah in Chicago, November 12, 1917, to make an examination, and to report to the friends of America their findings relative to the alleged center of violation of the Covenant of Abha in Chicago.
Charles Mason Remey, of Washington, D.C., Chairman.
H. Emogene Hoagg, of San Francisco, Calif.
Geo. O. Latimer, of Portland, Oregon.
Louis G. Gregory, of Washington, D.C.
Extract from a Tablet to C. M. R.
With the utmost resolution and constancy call the souls to the Kingdom of ABHA, and invite them to the firmness and steadfastness in the Covenant and Testament. Read to them the translation of the TABLET OF THE BRANCH and speak with gentleness, moderation, and loving kindness, saying:
We have no other aim save the protection of the Fortified Fortress of the Cause of God.
We must guard this Fortified Fortress from the attack of the thoughtless ones.
Hence we must all turn our faces to the appointed Center in order that the Bahai Unity may be preserved; otherwise in one year the Bahais would be divided into a thousand sects.
We entertain no other object except the safety of the Cause of God.
(Signed) Abdul Baha Abbas.
Some of the friends in America have known for some time past of certain unhappy conditions existing in Chicago. These conditions have not been understood.
Certain friends have undertaken, quietly and with the utmost love and sincerity, to solve this problem, but their efforts proved unsuccessful, openly into the Bahai Convention in Boston last April. Two sets of delegates were sent from Chicago, one contingent representing the friends supporting the House of Spirituality of Bahais of Chicago, the other representing those people supporting the so-called "Bahai Reading Room," also located in Chicago. It was hoped at the time that the action of the Convention, in accepting delegates from both sides, would help to remove the difficulties and bring mutual understanding and harmony among all the friends in Chicago.
Upon their return from the Convention, the friends connected with the House of Spirituality rallied together and made a supreme effort to bring about this hoped-for harmony. They called together all the friends in Chicago at different times, for unity meetings, and meetings for consultation, in an endeavor to settle the difficulties, but their efforts proved futile.
At last when the friends had assembled in Chicago to celebrate the centenary of Baha’o’llah, a meeting was called on the evening of November 11, 1917, at Mrs. True’s home, to discuss this serious question, and if possible find a solution for action.
The necessity for a firm stand in order to protect the Cause of God and keep inviolate the oneness of the Covenant, according to the command of Abdul Baha, was brought to the notice of the friends present in connection with what was declared "violation" by some of those attending the Reading Room.
It appeared, through facts laid bare, that this danger was not alone a local one, but had spread its insidious influence throughout many Bahai Assemblies, and was a serious menace to the Cause of God in America.
Others who were present denied these statements, and in the presence of this contradiction the friends left that meeting in great confusion of mind.
As a result of this meeting at Mrs. True’s, November 11th, at the close of the afternoon session of the Congress on the day following (which was November 12th), the friends from the Assemblies outside of Chicago gathered to consider the situation, the gravity of which could not be questioned.
The Chicago friends were not called to attend this meeting. The condition was discussed, and those attending saw the necessity for taking immediate steps toward an investigation in order that all might know whether or not a center of violation existed in Chicago.
By unanimous vote a committee for investigation was appointed by the meeting to inquire into the matter and to report the findings to the Friends in America. This committee was composed of the afore-mentioned friends.
- THE MEETING OF DECEMBER 9, 1917. -
After a long and careful investigation into the whole situation in Chicago, the committee found such a serious state of violation existing there and extending its influence throughout the Cause in America, that they wished to submit the report of their findings to a large group of Bahais, so that in consultation firm and general action on the report would be taken.
A letter was issued urging as many Bahais as possible to be present in Chicago on December 9th.
In the course of their investigation the committee had found an antagonistic and hostile spirit among those who were violating the Covenant of God, and it was deemed necessary to protect this meeting from all such intrusion.
The believers of God in America are informed of the Holy Words of Abdul Baha when in Chicago. He made the following statement, and repeated it three times to Mr. Windust: "There are wolves in your midst."
And in a Tablet to Mr. Roy Wilhelm, referring especially to violators, Abdul Baha says: "The divine sheep must be constantly guarded against devouring wolves."
After earnest prayer and consultation, it became clear to the committee that now was the time to act with implicit obedience to this command, so that the friends gathered together on that day might be under the full rays of the Orb of the Covenant; that no shadow of violation might be cast in that meeting; and that his will and purpose might be revealed to their request.
The friends assembled at 5338 Kenmore Avenue at ten o’clock on the morning of December 9, 1917, but because of belated arrivals the report was not commenced until about two o’clock the same afternoon.
In the presence of about fifty friends, who had gathered from throughout the country, the detailed report, and various testimonies from friends present, were given. The Holy Utterances referring to violation and its different phases were read. In a wonderful and harmonious spirit, after lengthy consultation and prayer, a unanimous acceptance of these findings was voted.
That violation existed in Chicago was proved without doubt, according to the words of Abdul Baha.
From the blessed words it was also made clear that to protect the Cause of God is one of the direct commands. Furthermore, the action to be adopted is not left to human wisdom, but in divine terms we are
commanded, "As soon as they, (the Bahais), see the least trace of violation of the Covenant, they must hold aloof from the violators."
Facts were given which clearly proved the "House of Spirituality" of [or?] "Spiritual Assembly", to have been established by direct command of Abdul Baha when in America, and later confirmed by him in the cable, "Do not dissolve", in answer to one questioning the advisability of dissolving this body.
Thus was proved the lack of firmness of the part of the Reading Room friends to disregard these facts and call this Reading Room gathering the regular Chicago Bahai Assembly, thereby creating division and inharmony – acts of violation.
Previous to the investigation it had been generally supposed that the trouble in Chicago from two opposing factions, the House of Spirituality being on one side, and the Reading Room, or so-called Chicago Bahai Assembly, on the other; that the matter resolved itself largely to a clash of wills and personalities and the spirit of leadership, which has so retarded the progress of the Cause in many centers of America.
Therefore it is only just that this committee submit their findings to the impartial judgment of every Bahai in the following brief report.
THE STATEMENTS OF THE HOUSE OF SPIRITUALITY REGARDING
The accusations of the House of Spirituality regarding members of the reading Room are:-
It is charged that in accordance with the Holy Text, -- "Therefore, obedience and submission must be shown and the face turned completely to him, (the Center of the Covenant)" – this constitutes violation, being an act of disobedience to the Center of the Covenant who established the House of Spirituality, and also causing a division in the Cause of God in Chicago. Regarding this Abdul Baha says:
"However, if the people wish to have special meetings organized for the purpose of training souls and for guiding those who are astray, and for the good of all, that is sanctioned. It must be understood, however, that such a meeting is not in opposition to the public meeting, nor one branched off, for that would discourage the people and would cause inharmony."
2. That certain members of the Reading Room, and most prominent in its work since its establishment, have been circulating and spreading false
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teachings; that they have mingled the words of mortals with the creative Word of Almighty God, which, according to the irrefutable text of His Holiness Abdul Baha, constitutes an act of violation of the first magnitude.
Abdul Baha says:
"He (Baha’o’llah) appointed the one who should be looked upon as authority by all. He has shown the Interpreter of the Book, and has closed the door of outside interpretation."
Under the pretext of teaching the inner mysteries of the revelation of His Holiness Baha’o’llah, the teachings of Mr. W. W. Harmon have been and are being given and spread, under the very cloak and shadow of the blessed, holy, and sanctified Cause of God.
We know that "Every banner save that of the Covenant shall be reversed". Why, then, should we give any importance to the insignificant words and actions of people associating themselves with the Holy Cause?
It is possible that there is a phase of the Bahai Revelation, one which has a peculiar importance, during the lifetime of Abdul Baha, which we have ignored, and the overwhelming importance of which is only now being brought to our attention?
When the committee entered upon its investigation, it was with unprejudiced minds, humbly seeking the light of divine guidance, and the discovery of the absolute truth. It was soon confronted with new problems, because heretofore the Occidental Bahais have been protected in the cradle of infancy, relying upon the all protecting Abdul Baha to point each step, to reveal each danger, to solve each problem. Now, leaving his little flock to shoulder the responsibilities of the "Cause", and obey the commands in all the Creative Words, He closed the doors of communication, so that His children might become mature and prepared for the final separation on this earth.
Is it not the prerogative of any soul personally to judge another, to condemn, or even criticise. Such things are forbidden. It is by the standard of the Word of God all things are judged, for the Word judges, the Word condemns, the Word unites, and the Word separates. "By the Word We separated the servants and classified them. Verily, We are the Separators."
It is by the light of these Holy Tablets dealing with violation that the committee was guided in every step of its inquiry and subsequent action, and we earnestly and humbly submit this collection of Tablets to all, so that the sacred fire of the Covenant may burn away all veils.
Through investigation it was found that the charges made by the House of Spirituality were true.
It was even proven that letters had been sent out from some of the members of the Reading Room or those associating with them; -- letters that create ill-feeling and cause dissension among friends; -- letters of accusations regarding the honesty and sincerity of trusted souls.
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Abdul Baha writes: "Perhaps papers of doubt will come to you from souls who have emerged from the Kingdom of God. Care ye not therefor. Arise with a firm stand in the Covenant in order that the people of hypocrisy become hopeless, even if they should come with the greatest intrigue, evil suggestions, and discords." (Extract from Tablet to Muskegan Assembly. Revealed 1914.)
Tablet revealed by Abdul Baha for the founders of the Bahai inquirer’s room:
O ye birds of the Rose Garden of the Love of God!
According to what I hear, you have founded a library in which you have placed precious books, and have announced that those who are seekers after the knowledge of the Kingdom of God may enter therein freely, read those books, and become informed of their contents.
This matter is most acceptable and very reasonable. I hope that the founding of this library may yield universal results and become the cause of the illumination of that city.
This service of yours is most acceptable at the Divine Threshold. Upon ye be greeting and praise!
The founding of the Reading Room was thus a praiseworthy effort, but the people who were thus honored and commanded, impelled by declared opposition to the House of Spirituality, started a meeting at the Reading Room which they advertised and called "The Chicago Bahai Assembly".
This action called forth remonstrances from well-known and firm Bahais who were conducting the regular Bahai Assembly. They called attention to the fact that the Tablet commanding the establishment of the Reading Room in no wise authorized the establishment of another assembly, nor did the Tablet dissolve the House of Spirituality, a body organized by the command of Abdul Baha, and by him placed in charge of the work in Chicago, but the Reading Room group ignored and disobeyed the instructions of Abdul Baha, and boldly proclaimed their meeting "The Chicago Bahai Assembly".
This determined action and disobedience brought sorrow to the firm friends. That it was disobedience will appear from instructions of Abdul Baha creating the House of Spirituality.
"Nakaz" means "violator" – one in manifest loss – one who severs what God unites.
The following extracts from Tablets reveal how "disobedience" and "division" are termed "violation" by Abdul Baha when they affect the Cause of God:
"The purpose of the Blessed One is to create not any difference; notwithstanding all this there are certain souls here (Chicago) and a few in Acca who have violated this command."
"Firmness in the Covenant means obedience, so that no one may say ‘This is my opinion’ nay, rather he must obey that which proceeds from the pen and tongue of the Covenant."
"Our part is to act in accordance with the teachings of Baha’o’llah in humility and firm steadfastness." (Paris Talks)
All these explanations refer to the welfare of the Cause of God. Individual disobedience to the commands of Abdul Baha will affect the spiritual growth of that soul, which produces a sorrowful state, but this affects only the individual, and is therefore not a violation.
For instance: One may neglect to carry out a direct command from Abdul Baha to do some specific thing that might relate to his own welfare. This would be a great loss to that soul, but would not injure the body of believers or bring harm to the Cause.
The collective command given by Abdul Baha for the protection of the Cause of God, such as instructions referring to the interpretation of the Word, or deeds that would undermine the Cause of God in any way, no one can disobey, because such disobedience constitutes violation.
To repeat: One who creates a division in the Cause, willfully or negligently, disobeys the direct commands of Abdul Baha. We read as follows:
"In this Cause we have many principles to which we adhere, the most important is to avoid that which creates division." (Divine Philosophy)
"O Son of Existence! Keep my commands for love of me, and deny thyself thine own desires if thou wishest my pleasure". (H.W.)
In the Bible we find "obedience" one of the most explicit of commands – one necessary to the saving of the soul.
"Obey, I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord, which I speak unto thee; so that it will be well unto thee, and they soul live." (Jer. 28:23)
Again we find:
"Every one should thank God that in this blessed Cause He has tranquilized all and has left no place for hesitation. Therefore, ‘obedience’ and ‘submission’ must be shown, and the face turned completely to Him (the Center of the Covenant)."
A number of persons, who had at one time been connected with the Reading Room, testified – some with signed statements – that they had been asked by Mrs. Kirchner to attend her classes; that at these classes the Harmon teachings were given with the assurance that through the interpretation of Baha’o’llah’s Word by Mr. Harmon the Bahais would receive divine illumination.
It was found that this center in Chicago was directly connected with other centers in its propaganda work, especially in Boston.
It was found that while Mrs. Kirchner had repeatedly denied that she was "teaching" the Harmon philosophy, and asserted that she was studying it for the purpose of understanding it, so as to bring others into the Bahai Revelation, in reality she was and is holding weekly classes at her home for the study of these Harmon lessons. She denied this, and then at a second visit to the Reading Room by the Committee, when the findings were announced, she said "I will not give these up for anybody".
Following are quotations from the Holy Words upon this subject of "interpretation":
"One of the enemies to the Cause is he who endeavors to interpret the Words of Baha’o’llah and thereby colors the meaning according to his own capacity and collects around him a following, forming a different sect, promoting his own station, and makes division in the Cause."
Could there be clearer instructions regarding this specific phase of violation? There is no room for dispute. There is no midway concession.
Again Abdul Baha says:
Praise be to God that the believers of America are steadfast; but the firmer they are the better, that no one may be able to intrude and introduce disputes, for disputes destroy the foundation of God’s Institution.
"He has appointed most unmistakably the interpreter of the Book."
"In brief, one of the special favors of this dispensation of His Holiness Baha’o’llah which is not found in past Manifestations is this: That He has left no place for differences, for in His own Day, with the trace of His own Supreme Pen, He has taken a Covenant and Testament. He has appointed the One who should be looked upon as authority by all. He has shown the Interpreter of the Book. He has closed the doors of outside interpretations."
This interpretation of the Holy Words, as it relates to the Harmon teachings, applies to the Reading Room in Chicago directly, inasmuch as it is from there that the dissemination of these injurious teaching[s] is going on; injurious, because they are a human interpretation of the Creative Word of which Abdul Baha is the only divinely appointed interpreter; injurious, because the stations of Baha’o’llah and Abdul Baha are explained in terms that are not in accordance with the words and teachings of Baha’o’llah and Abdul Baha; and injurious because there are other vital points of difference that cloud the reality of the Bahai Teachings.
Concerning "injurious teachings" we read as follows:
"My purpose is to convey to you that it is your duty to guard the religion of God, so that no one shall be able to assail it, either outwardly or inwardly. If you see injurious teachings coming from an individual, no matter who that individual may be, even though he may be my own son, know ye, verily, I am quit of him."
"He, (Baha’o’llah), entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world, indicating the Person, or the Interpreter of His Teachings, so that no man should be able to say that he explains a certain teaching in this way, and thus create a sect revolving around his individual understanding of a part of the Teachings."
Any sincere believer will readily discern the danger to the oneness and singleness of the Cause of God if outside teachings are mingled with the Bahai Teachings, and such a practice would divide the believers into innumerable sects. Abdul Baha says:
"Were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God, there would arise among the Bahais, in one day, a thousand different sects as was the case in former ages."
"According to the clear texts of the Kitab-el-Akdas and other Tablets, the Center of the Covenant is the remover of all difficulties, for He is the interpreter of the Book. Not one soul has the right to say one word on his own account, or explain anything or to elucidate the Texts of the Book, whether in public or private."
"Whenever any soul explains any matter he must have authority from the Verses of God, and the Words of the Supreme, either from the Book of Akdas or other divine Tablets. If he is asked for the proof of his statement, he must show the text of the Book, -- that is his evidence."
"Briefly, every statement and word which is not based upon the divine Text is not Truth, and no one must listen to it."
For those who have not investigated the Harmon teachings that are being disseminated in Chicago, the following are quoted: Extract taken from
"Helps by Mr. W. W. Harmon in the Study of Reality.
First Lesson: June 5, 1916.
"God is Love, God is Law, Man is Love, Man is Law – God, Love, Law are One; Man is one, Man is God, know ye not that ye are all these? Do ye not understand that ye are all Angels, Archangels, Gods, Lords, and Rulers; all are the Great Universes and invisibles, all these great emanations of the Light with all their Glory; that ye are all, every man, of yourselves and in yourselves in turn, from one mass and one matter and one substance. Ye are all from one mixture and one Great Hierarchy of the Brotherhood of Love, Law, Man, and Universe, and by this Law ye are all come in existence and so ye are all one."
The aim of the Harmon "teachings" would appear to be the inflation of the ego to such an extent that the creatures believe themselves gods.
In the following quotation from "Some Answered Questions", page 197, we have Baha’o’llah’s words to prove the Singleness of God and the utter impossibility that his creatures could partake of his essence:
"It is said in the Holy verses: There is no associate for the dawning-place of command in the Supreme Singleness. In truth, He is the Manifestor of ‘He does what He wishes’ in the Kingdom of creation. Verily, God has reserved this station for Himself and has not left to anyone a share in this inviolable condition."
The following quotations are from Mr. Harmon’s lessons on "Masters":
"Among many questions to which the Bahai Revelation gives rise none, perhaps, awakens more interest and arouses more inquiry than that of Abdul Baha. What is indicated by the "Center of the Covenant"? Who and what is Abdul Baha? What is the significance of his coming just at this particular time and age?
"In answering these questions satisfactorily it seems almost necessary to first have a philosophical basis of understanding before we can define the term ‘Master’ and the ‘Center of the Covenant.’ Therefore, with this object in view we will quote a few lines from the most ancient book in the world, a book whose history antidates that of the Bible many thousands of years. The quotations serving as a basis for analysis."
"The exact definition of the word ‘Buddha’, briefly stated, sums up what we have already said; i.e., it signifies the highest degree of knowledge and enlightenment. To become a Buddha one has to break through the bondage of sense and personality; to acquire a complete perception of the real Divine Self and learn not to separate it from all other selves."
"An Avatara in reality is an appearance of the manifested Deity into an elusive appearance, or form. It is an illusion because the form is not physical, or of physical birth, and as it had neither previous incarnation, it can have no subsequent rebirths."
"The Buddha is quite different from the Avatara. An Avatara is, and the Buddha becomes. If the state of the two seems identical, the causes leading to it are not quite the same, for an Avatara is the temporary descent of a God into an illusive form. The Buddha passes through numberless incarnations and by merit generated by purity, is led and guided finally in the direction of His initiator, who links all the past, the present, and the future into one grand whole and complete enlightenment of the outer and interior works of His evolution and involution."
"Thus the Supreme Concourse is made up of such Great Ones, and many of even lesser degree, and were they each and every one at the time of initiation not so bountifully given to love – as exemplified in Abdul Baha, for instance -- poor humanity would be in a sorry state indeed."
"This then constitutes what is called the Divine Incarnation or manifestations of God on earth who appear at certain periods for the salvation of the good, the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of the law."
Extract from the Third Lesson, June 27, 1916.
"We, therefore, affirm that the stars constituting the mythological zodiacal belt, are centers of force, acting and reacting in the spiritual and physical evolution of humanity, for ages and cycles and of divisions of time as marked by human progress, and, furthermore, by study and analysis of the configuration of the signs themselves and the names assigned to those signs by the ancient Sanscript writers, and their esoteric and esoteric meanings, will shed a flood of light on the literal meaning of the zodiacal and heavenly bodies, as applied to the philosophy and ethics of all these aforesaid religious systems and nomenclature."
"It will also clear up a great deal which is now obscure in Baha’o’llah’s writings. Indeed Baha’o’llah’s writings are filled with the metaphors of the wonders of cosmic and supercosmic mysteries, the beauties of which stand out clear when the KEY is given, and the purely spiritual application is made to the region of the ‘upper circles’."
Extract from First Lesson, June 9, 1916:
"Hidden Words, page 94: Answer to question 5. The dot in the center of the upper circle of diagram is Krishna-God, the Father, the Supreme (Diagram here refers to one given by Mr. Harmon to Mrs. Kirchner.).
"The outer circles are His Son, the Beloved, Divine consciousness, root of all consciousness.
"The white ray from the upper center to the lower is ‘and through the Light witness himself’ (The lower consciousness when in attune).
Meditate thou on this."
We feel that the quotations given will speak for themselves, and it can be clearly seen that the ideas given are very foreign to the teachings of Abdul Baha upon these questions.
Quoted from Surat el Hykle, page 34:
"By the Word We separated the servants and classified them, verily We are the separators. Say, the Word of God is not likened unto the words of His creatures; verily, it is the Sultan of Words, as His Soul is the Sultan of souls, and His command is the Protector over that which was and is."
The history of violation in the Orient as well as in America shows that the Word of God has separated the violator from the body of the believers, that these violators have been cut off from the body of the believers by the sword of the Word of God.
Abdul Baha says of these souls:
"Such souls are nothing but pure harm to the Cause of God, and it is well that they go out, for the abominable deeds of such souls are like unto an axe at the root of the Cause."
The action of this committee in consultation with friends in Chicago, December 9, was in obedience to the commands of Abdul Baha’s words. He says: (Quoted from Ahmad’s Diary, April first and second)
"O Lord! I supplicate Thee by Thy Name, which is powerful over all things, to guard them from following the dictates of self and desire and gather them around that which Thou hast commanded in Thy Book. Then suffer them to become the hands of Thy Cause, thus through them Thy Verses may be diffused in the world, and the appearances of Thy Sanctity be spread amongst Thy creatures. Verily Thou art powerful to do that which Thou Willest. There is no GOD but Thee, the Omnipotent, the Self-subsistent."
Extract from a talk by Abdul Baha given April 2, 1914, at Acca.
"Friends, the time is coming when I shall no longer be with you. I have done all that could be done. I have labored night and day all the years of my life. I have served the Cause of Baha’o’llah to the utmost of my ability.
"Oh, how I long to see the believers shouldering the responsibilities of the Cause.
"The believers and the maid-servants of the Merciful must put forth an effort and be self-sacrificing, so that they may constitute themselves the protecting lamps of the Light of the Covenant, and guard it from the blowing of the contrary winds.
Today it is through the power of the Covenant that the world is being stirred into motion, but there are some heedless souls whose aim is to extinguish this Light."
And also His powerful command:
"My purpose is to convey to you that it is your duty to guard the religion of God so that none shall be able to assail it, either outwardly or inwardly…. Be greatly on your guard so that no one may infringe upon the oneness of Baha’o’llah’s Cause."
This is the division created by God, a separation of the wolves from the sheep, as a protection to His flocks and to His Cause, a division that cuts away inharmony, and permits the pure spirit of the Covenant of God to cement the hearts of the sincere.
The "division" caused by his creatures is not one created by following His words, but by disobedience to those words; that division caused by "intrigue", by "sowing seeds of sedition", thus creating inharmony and causing suspicion to be aroused in the minds of the friends one of the other.
This is pernicious self-will, is disheartening in influence, and weakens the souls in their faith in God and man, as well as in each other.
Abdul Baha says:
"A man may receive his own enemy into his home, and
show him the utmost respect and consideration, but it is not allowable to receive a thief into his house, nor a traitor into his home, nor a wolf into his flock. This would be injustice. Although the heart of the wolf is displeased at this, yet the sheep must be protected."
Even of the "ignorant" Abdul Baha says:
"In brief, be a vigilant guard for the impregnable fort of God, and protect it against the intrusion of the ignorant."
Of those who intrude and dispute, He says:
"Praise be to God that the believers in America are steadfast, but the firmer they are, the better, that no one may be able to intrude and introduce disputes, for disputes destroy the foundation of God’s Cause."
"In short, Tamadan Mulk brought discord amongst the disciples to such an extent that it almost caused the violent uprooting of the foundation of God’s Cause."
"Aside from all these considerations, some of the Nakazeen have come secretly among you, and are expressing their firmness in the Covenant, and with all kinds of intrigues and strategems are creating disorder and calamities, so that ye may be deprived of the light of the Divine Testament and subjected to the darkness of violation.
Is it worthy of you to be engaged with differences amongst you, and thereby enable the Nakazeen to spread a noose and chase such firm believers as you are?"
Another of the qualities that divides the believers and creates inharmony is hypocrisy, and Abdul Baha warns us most forcibly of this treacherous element as follows:
"Yes, we ought to have the utmost friendship for all the nations of the world, but it is not possible to associate with and be companions of hypocrites, because it will bring danger upon the Cause of God. Hypocrites make a hole in the Cause, and will totally uproot the foundation of the Cause of God. Should we mix with and show the utmost love and kindness to such a person, or should we protect the people from such men?"
ACCUSATIONS MADE BY THE PEOPLE OF THE READING ROOM
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1. It is claimed that the House of spirituality exists without authority, and that the cable presented by it which says, "Do not dissolve" is not evidence, and they disclaim authenticity.
2. They claim that they were not notified of the "ratification" meeting, and not invited to the Centenary Celebration of Baha'o'llah.
3. They claim "trickery", "injustice", and "lying", but give no special dates except that "the re-election of delegates was dishonest and the ratification fraudulent", and that more votes were cast than persons present.
4. They claim that their money is not accepted by Mrs. True for the Temple.
5. The Temple Unity was denounced as having too much power, and a statement made that the financial affairs are so handled that if Mrs. True were to die her family could inherit the money that has been collected for the Temple.
6. They claim that Mrs. True and Dr. Bagdadi want to run the affairs of the Assembly and demand obedience to their wishes, an attitude and "self-appointed stations" which they, of the Reading Room, refuse to sustain.
7. They claim that there was an interval when there was no activity on the part of those connected with the House of Spirituality, that a majority of them met at the Reading Room, and therefore, they (the Reading Room) are the regular Assembly, and the "House of Spirituality" is the "seceding body".
8. They also claim disobedience to Abdul Baha on the part of the House of Spirituality and that body of believers, because they do not receive Mrs. Kirchner.
ANSWERS TO THE ACCUSATIONS OF THE READING ROOM
1. Upon investigation the committee found that the House of spirituality was elected by command of Abdul Baha in 1912 when He was in America. He then sent Mr. MacNutt to Chicago for that purpose.
The statements following give evidence of the establishment of this committee - House of Spirituality - and its duties.
Concerning the integrity and firmness of those to be elected to the House of Spirituality, Abdul Baha was asked:
Q. What are the qualifications necessary for the House of Spirituality?
Abdul Baha replied:
"They must be souls well known as Bahais, firm and steadfast in the Covenant. The greatest requirement is to be firm and steadfast in the Covenant."
Q. If at the time of an election many are brought in who seldom attend meetings, in order to cast their votes, what shall we do?
Abdul Baha answered:
"The members of the spiritual assembly must be well known and firm Bahais. Those souls who come once in a while to the meetings are not Bahais."
Someone suggested getting up a circular letter to be signed by those present at the election, in which their beliefs are stated, especially regarding firmness in the Covenant. Abdul Baha answered:
"Someone may sign it falsely. These electors must be well known and qualified Bahais. I send Mr. MacNutt for a few days to Chicago to assist them in this work. Mr. MacNutt goes to Chicago.
Instructions to the Chicago House of Spirituality.
(Tablets of Abdul Baha, Vol. 1, page 7)
"O ye spiritual ones! The rules of election are those which are customary in that country. The period of election is five years."
FROM THE DIARY OF MIRZA MAHMOOD, November, 1912, AT
THE HOME OF MRS. TRUE.
The Spiritual Committee of Consultation (House of Spirituality) asked Abdul Baha as to the duties of the committee. He answered:
"The first duty of the members is to effect their own unity and harmony in order to obtain good results. If there be no unity, or, I take refuge in God, the committee becomes the cause of inharmony, undoubtedly it is better that it do not exist. If the Committee of Consultation, or the general assembly, becomes the cause of unhappiness, it must be abandoned. How I was pleased with the friends in California. They said: 'We do not want a committee of consultation, lest we fall into the thought of leadership and superiority, and become the cause of dissension; but now, praise be to God, we are serving according to our capacity, and have no thought or aim except the spreading of the fragrances of God.
Therefore, when the unity of the members of the committee is established, their second duty is to read the verses and communes, to be in a state of commemoration and mindfulness that they may see each other as if in the presence of God.
The third duty of the committee is consultation and meditation regarding the teaching of the Cause of God in all regions and climes. They must arise for this great purpose with all
their power; they must declare and hasten the necessary steps for teaching the Cause of God.
Their fourth duty is to meditate and consult for the helping of the poor and the weak and the protection of the sick.
Their fifth duty is to correct and manage the affairs of the friends, and attend to other matters pertaining to the Cause."
INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY ABDUL BAHA AT THE HOME OF MRS TRUE,
FRIDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 1, 1912, TO THE MEMBERS OF THE
Question: Would it be better to give up the present hall? (It was explained that at our Sunday evening meeting the Nakazeen seemed to have a corner and watch for all the people who came. For this reason we thought it might be better to give up the Sunday night session.)
Abdul Baha answered:
"Yes, all right. Do not allow the Nakazeen to come to meetings."
Q. How shall we ask them not to come? Shall we write a letter?
A. "You can write letters to them. Say: 'You are not with us. Why do you come? Do we come to your place? Do you see us coming to your houses? So, if you are not with us, why do you trouble yourselves and trouble us?'
"Give up the Sunday meetings. The Nakazeen become very courageous. If they come ten times and you are not cordial, they do not mind.
"For example, if the firm ones in the Covenant feel they are not welcome, they do not come again; but if you were to club the Nakazeen, they would come again. They are not ashamed. They do not mind anything like that."
An election was held in the Masonic Temple, August 12, 1912, and a telegram was sent to Abdul Baha naming the members of the elected.
Following is a copy of the telegram received from Abdul Baha confirming the election:
"Dublin, N. H., August 13, 1912
The new of the election of the members of the Spiritual Assembly gave much joy. Give loving greetings.
(Signed) Abdul Baha."
Because Abdul Baha dissolved the House of Spirituality and had a new one elected, some declared that the command: "The period of election is
five years" applied to the first House of Spirituality, and not to the present one; and that elections should take place every year. Therefore, the cablegram referred to by Ahmad Sohrab was sent, and the following reply received:
Extract from Ahmad Sohrab's Diary, August 21, 1913.
"A cable gram has been received from Chicago about the re-election of the House of Spirituality. Abdul Baha said:
'There is no need for re-election at present.'"
In the fall of 1913, Mr. Albert Windust received a Tablet from Abdul Baha replying to a letter that Mr. Windust had written to him asking about the Spiritual Assembly. The following is a portion of the Tablet referring to this:
"Regarding the Spiritual Assembly (Board of Consultation, Working Committee, House of Spirituality), this is not the House of Justice. It is a purely Spiritual Assembly, and belongs to spiritual matters, and that is, to teach the Cause of God, and diffuse the fragrances of God."
"If the believers arise in the accomplishment of this work, the existence of the Spiritual Assembly will not become absolutely necessary or obligatory. The aim is to teach the Cause of God and spread the fragrances of God. In California they have no Board, but the teaching of the Cause is being done."
After the receipt of this letter or Tablet Mrs. True cabled to Abdul Baha:
"Shall Committee dissolve."
On November 2, 1913, Mrs. True received from Abdul Baha a cable as follows:
"Do not dissolve Committee.
Investigation shows that the House of Spirituality is made up of firm and loyal souls. The meetings of this body and those directed by it are full of joy and Spiritual fragrance, only possible through divine confirmations. Their aim seems solely to obey the instruction of the Center of the Covenant. It is composed of the following members:
Mr. Greenleaf Mr. Windust
Mr. Scheffler Mr. Leach
Mr. Hanby Dr. Slater
Dr. Bagdadi Miss Mary Lesch
Mrs. Corinne True
2. It was found that the Secretary of the reading Room had been notified of the "Ratification Meeting" which took place in June, by her own confession, and that about twenty members attended that meeting.
At the time of the celebration of the centenary of Baha'o'llah, November 12, 1917, it is true that no invitations were sent to those of the Reading Room, because the friends realized that violation had existed there, and they arose to obey the commands of Abdul Baha:- "Do not associate with them."
3. It was found that the "Ratification Meeting" called by the House of Spirituality Sunday, June 12, 1917, had been announced to all the Chicago friends, including those in the Reading Room. Mr. Greenleaf presided.
Those from the Reading Room declared they were there to "protest", and they did not vote. Those voting outnumbered those who "protested".
The method of voting was that adopted in the Conventions. Each person present wrote the names of four persons on a slip of paper. There were no nominations. The four receiving the largest number of votes were elected.
There were proxies used which accounted for the votes outnumbering those represented in person.
4. It was found by careful inquiry of those connected with the Reading Room, that Mrs. True had not refused to accept money from them. Mrs. Kirchner had written to Mrs. True twice asking for a "set of triplicate receipt books" for the Mashrak-el-Askar fund, and Mrs. True had not answered the letters; therefore they had not sent her the money they had on hand.
These "triplicate receipt books", by order of the Unity Board, are given to but one person at the Bahai Center; therefore Mrs. True had no right to give Mrs. Kirchner a set of these books. Upon inquiry Mrs. True told us that she had written to the Secretary of the Board about this matter, after the delivery of the letters from the Reading Room, and had not received a response.
Thus is solved and proved false this accusation.
5. The fifth accusation is unjust and slanderous, for it is against the integrity of a tried maid-servant.
Mrs. True's relationship to the property and funds of the Bahai Temple Unity is as a Trustee and not as an individual. Under the provisions of the Constitution of the Bahai Temple Unity, Article 5, - "The two Secretaries and the Treasurer shall constitute the temple Treasury, in which name, by joint action, they shall receive, deposit, invest and disburse all funds of the Unity, under the direction of the Executive Board."
It is thus made clear that not any one person can disburse the temple funds, but that a voucher and check must be signed by all those constituting the "Temple Treasury" before the moneys can be paid out.
Such a charge could only emanate from the grossest ignorance of the legal status of the Board and the integrity of its members, or from a
spirit of enmity and malice toward a maid-servant who has faithfully discharged her trust for years.
6. As to the desire of Mrs. True and Dr. Bagdadi to "rule affairs" and demand obedience, this does not appear to be considered, accept by those of the Reading Room.
In the following words, quoted from Tablets and Instructions given by Abdul Baha, the friends can understand that these firm souls have been given certain responsibilities, and it is because of their firmness and obedience to these commands that these people have arisen to denounce them.
Chicago, Ill., Nov. 17, 1917.
Abdul Baha sent for Mrs. True to come to New York City to see him, and she was a guest in his home from July 17 to 22, 1912.
The morning after her arrival she was summoned into his presence very early by Ahmad Sohrab.
Abdul Baha asked her very sharply if she did not know that Dr. Nutt, of Chicago, was a violator.
She replied that she knew there was something wrong about him, but she had been trying to live the "Hidden Words": "Hear no evil, see no evil, think not the faults of others to be great that thine own may not seem great."
In a reprimanding voice he said she should have known that he was a violator, and worked actively against him, and that hereafter she must come to the front and take an active part against the violation.
Then she asked Abdul Baha if Mrs. Kirchner, of Chicago, was a violator, since she was standing with Dr. Nutt, and had gone into business with him, in a curio store.
He said: "Yes, she is a violator, and there are others in your Assembly in Chicago."
Mrs. True makes the following statement:
Chicago, November 17, 1917.
Early one morning in September, 1912, when Abdul Baha was leaving
Chicago for Minneapolis he summoned me to him at half-past five, at Hotel Astor. When I arrived he was sleeping in his chair, and the interpreters told me he had not slept any all night. Very soon he awoke and called me into His Holy Presence. Without me saying a word to him he said:
"I prayed all night for you, my child. I never leave your home."
Then he told me the violation in Chicago was a malignant cancer, and would poison the entire Cause in America if it were not cut out. He instructed me to say to the violators who came to our meetings that they must not come; that as we do not go to their meetings they must not come to ours; they were working against us, and we did not want them to injure themselves by being hypocritical.
The morning Abdul Baha left Chicago for Cincinnati, November 4, 1912, in the Michigan Central depot, he came to farther end of the waiting room with Dr. Bagdadi and met me as I came out of the telephone booth.
He called me to him, and in English said: "Dr. Bagdadi is my son. I trust him, Dr. Bagdadi, and I want you to trust him and work with him."
(Signed) Corinne True
Mrs. Annie L. Parmerton, of Cincinnati, testified that on May 12, 1912, at Chicago, Abdul Baha spoke to her as follows:
"Abdul Baha is very pleased with Mrs. True because she is very firm and has proven that woman has the capacity to cause most men to become firm. Abdul Baha is very pleased with her, for with utmost patience she has faced the great ordeal."
At Cincinnati, November 5, 1912, he gave Mrs. Parmerton the following instructions:
"Abdul Baha wants you to trust Dr. Bagdadi. All of your communications must come to me through him," and as Abdul Baha placed his hand on Dr. Bagdadi's shoulder he repeated: "You must trust him. He is my son."
Concerning Dr. Bagdadi, the following words in praise of him are a proof that Abdul Baha has placed him in Chicago as a "Conservator" of the people and a protector to the Cause against violation.
Words of Baha'o'llah, in regard to Zia Bagdadi, addressed to his father, M. Mustapha Bagdadi. (Revealed in 1891)
"We mention Zia, the one who was with me during the nights and the days. He heard My call, and testified what My Tongue has testified. He is grasping the rope of My Love,
holding fast to the Hem of My Garment, and looking at My Face. He is taken by the attraction of My Mention, so that he does not like to be separated from Me, neither in the morning nor in the evening. Upon him be My Greeting and My Glory."
"We mention Zia Mabsut, the happy one, in whose mention the heart rejoices; for verily, in his early days he has attained to that which the severed ones had attained. The command is in the hand of God, the Powerful, the Self-Subsistent. Blessed is Zia, who happily associated with me and was before My face. At this moment while this servant is writing these words he, Zia, is standing by My Side. Verily, in his early days he has inhaled the fragrance of My Garment, and attained to the meeting of the Oppressed One."
EXTRACTS FROM TABLETS REVEALED TO DR. ZIA BAGDADI
BY ABDUL BAHA. Paris, March 21, 1913.
"Verily, do not forget the services of thy glorious father, and thine efforts and exertations in the Cause of the bountiful Lord......
"Morning and evening, day and night, I pray for thy confirmation and success. Convey my greeting to all the friends and maid-servants of the Merciful, who are firm in the Covenant, have shunned the people of hypocrisy, have abandoned discord, and the fragrance of whose love have spread in all regions."
July 21, 1913.
"Verily, I read thy first letter. Be on your guard against that deceitful man, and do not elect him to the Spiritual Committee, because he fills the breasts with Satanic breaths.
O thou, my beloved: Trust in God. The example of the Nakazeen is just as God said: 'As to the foam it shall dry up, but that which benefits the people it shall remain in the earth.' Falsehood has attracting power, but the truth is the most powerful."
Sept. 2, 1915.
"As to _____________ there is no harm of thou shouldst tolerate him and meet him smilingly, in order that thou mayst see what he wants. Perchance he may become mindful and fear (God). But beware lest thou be deceived in anything.
Be thou the caretaker of all; merciful, gentle, and forgiving, because the perfect souls are rare .........
Be thou the conservator of the friends; merciful and compassionate to the believers."
It is well known in the Orient, and to a few in the Occident, that Mustapha Bagdadi, the father of Dr. Zia Bagdadi, served for his entire life at the Threshold of Abha.
He was known as a firm and loyal soul, and his special services in protecting the Cause against violation are well known. His zeal was untiring, his faithfulness unquestioned, and his devotion to the Center of the Covenant a glowing example to be followed by his sons.
Words of Baha'o'llah revealed in the first Tablet to M. Mustapha Bagdadi (the father of Dr. Zia Bagdadi).
To Mohammed Mustapha Bagdadi:
"O, Mohammed, rise in the service of the Cause of God. Be thou a flame (flame of hell) to the enemies of my beauty (Abha), and a white light (light of Paradise) to the Manifestations of My Name, the Exalted, the Supreme.
Hold thou fast to One Branch of this Tree, so that thou mayst not fall in the day of tests. Be thou mindful under all conditions. Thus we have ordained for theee a station that is exalted by God."
Words from Abdul Baha about M. Mustapha Bagdadi:
"He shunned the people of hypocrisy. He silenced their croaking and raving, he exhausted all means in the service of the Supreme Threshold. He never for one moment became lukewarm in Thy service at the illumined spot, until death reached him while he was in the city of Alexandretta."
7. Even though there may have been a certain inactivity of the House of Spirituality as a committee, during the summer months, the following meetings were held during the time claimed by the people of the Reading Room that they were inactive.
SCHEDULE OF THE BAHAI MEETINGS HELD DURING THE SUMMER OF 1916:
Monday, June 5th -- 19 Day Feast at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Lesch.
Friday, June 9th -- Mashrak-el-Azkar meeting at the home of Miss Mary Lesch.
Saturday, June 24th -- 19 Day Feast at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Keller.
Sunday, July 9th -- Mashrak-el-Azkar meeting on grounds of proposed Temple.
Thursday, July 13th -- 19 Day Feast at the home of Mrs. Nettie Tobin.
Tuesday, August 1st -- 19 Day Feast at the home of Miss Mary Lesch.
Wednesday, August 9th -- Mashrak-el-Azkar meeting at home of Mrs. Tobin.
Sunday, August 20th -- 19 Day Feast on grounds of proposed Temple.
That many of the Chicago believers did attend meetings at the Reading Room is true, and only proves that they endeavored to be united, and by the testimony given by one of the friends who attended there and later left we know that many efforts were made to have those at the Reading Room recognize the House of Spirituality as a Board elected by the command of Abdul Baha, to consult with them and work in harmony together, and not cause divisions in the Assembly.
When their efforts failed, and the inharmony there and rebellious spirit of those directing the Reading Room were impossible to endure, the friends dropped away one by one, as it was evident to them that those who protested against such actions were right.
So, when the time for re-election of the House of Spirituality came, in the summer of 1917, the new members, all old and tried, staunch and true, believers, awakened to their responsibility, united as one being to herald the Center of the Covenant, and stomp out this "cancerous growth" that Abdul Baha said had existed in Chicago for so long a time.
8. This claim has no foundation in the light of events that have transpired. Following is the Tablet received by Mrs. Kirchner from Abdul Baha:
"O thou maid servant of God:
The letter that thou hast written to his honor Mirza Ahmad, was received. I became exceedingly pleased with thee because thou has written such a letter to him, likewise on account of forwarding the letter enclosed in yours. I became very happy on account of thy sincerity and uprightness. Such affairs have no importance in our estimation. We are walking the path of the kingdom. With all the inhabitants of the earth we are in the utmost peace and beg for all the mercies of the Almighty.
Endeavor as much as thou canst, so that like unto the firm souls in the Covenant, thou mayst protect this light from the winds.
Convey infinite longings to thy respected husband.
Upon thee be El Baha el Abha!
(Signed) Abdul Baha
Egypt, Oct. 23, 1913.
Mrs. Kirchner's statements before the Chicago Assembly, November 23, 1913.
It is almost a year since I have been in your midst, and you all know that I took a stand then that I thought was proper. I did not mean to do it in disobedience to any command of our Lord. It is positive that I have had nothing to do with the party that I was told not to have anything to do with, since last March. I received a Tablet last Monday, and I would like to read it to the friends.
Dr. Zia Bagdadi:
Friends, I have one word to say in this regard. Her statement was very brief, but there are some, I think, who do not understand it.
Do we understand that Mrs. Kirchner was with the Nakaz until last March, and in the name of Baha'o'llah she is now quite of him entirely?
Mrs. Kirchner: Yes.
Do you mean that from the bottom of your heart you are a firm believer, and that you are quit of him, and that you have nothing to do with him any more?
That is what I mean.
Then you are welcome in our arms. Tomorrow a cable will be sent to carry these glad tidings to Abdul Baha.
(The statements and questions of Mrs. Kirchner and dR. Bagdadi were taken stenographically by Miss Gertrude Buikema)
On Wednesday, November 26, a cable was sent to the Holy Presence, and the answer came as follows:
Bacos, Egypt, November 3, 1913.
803 West Madison St.,
Friends accept Kirchner.
Mrs. Kirchner was received by all, and treated with the utmost love and consideration, and let it be known that all charges of violation
brought against Mrs. Kirchner now have been for deeds done after the revelation of the tablet by Abdul Baha, such as causing division among the friends, and diffusing the false teachings (Mr. Harmon's interpretations of the words of Baha'o'llah).
According to words that follow by Abdul Baha, these acts annulled her relation to the Cause.
Extract of a talk given by Abdul Baha to a number of Bahais who visited him in Haifa, February 18, 1914.
The friends in Yazd suffered great calamities. They saw severe tests. No greater tests could be possible. Notwithstanding this firmness and steadfastness of the friends, the people of violation and unstability thought to promulgate doubts among such upright souls. They believed that they could bring about corruption in the Cause; destroy the unity of the friends, and bring humiliation to the Covenant of God, with the excuse that 'the Blessed Beauty too had favored us'.
They do not see that these favors were for the relation of the souls to the Cause of God. When the relationship became severed, and they disobeyed the command, that relationship vanished.
What was the value and capacity of the Black Stone in Mecca? Because it was given a relation to the Cause. His Holiness Himself. Mohammad, bowed down to it. Why? Because it was relate to God; likewise the House to God.
But these relationships are figurative and metaphoric. God is sanctified from these relationships. God is wholly above these relationships. These are all favors, and not of merit. After they turn away from the good pleasure of the belss beauty, and strive to wreck the edifice of God, than what relationship remains? Undoubtedly every relationship becomes severed.
This group of people, and those connected with them, circulate Tablets received my Mrs. Kirchner and Mr. Harmon as proofs of their reliability and firmness.
The history of violation shows that many souls who have received Tablets and have had wonderful stations have afterwards fallen and become violators. It also shows that those who have once violated may violate again, and that even firm souls are in danger in the days of tests.
If the fact that one has been favored with a Tablet at some time, taken alone, makes a clear record, some of the worst violators can claim perfection. Mirza Assad'Ullah, Dr. Fareed, and Sprague, each and all received Tablets which are recorded. Sprague once received a Tablet commencing" "O, thou who art firm in the Covenant!" There can be no doubt of his firmness and sincerity at the time this Holy Word was revealed, but where is he today? Where are his associates? Where is Judas Iscariot,
once chief among the disciples? Where are the souls who acknowledged the Bab, but veiled by their pride did not see the Sun of Truth, Baha'o'llah?
Where are those who acknowledged Baha'o'llah, but today veiled by negligence and conceit are blind to the Glorious Orb of the Covenant of God, Abdul Baha? Those who see the Center of the Covenant are the people of light. Those who obey his voice and will are alive by the breaths of the Merciful.
We know this message that Baha'o'llah has brought to the world is for the unification of mankind: it is pure love, the "reality of love", eternal light.
In the words of Abdul Baha:
"Universal love is the magnet that render existence eternal, attracts realities, and diffuses light with infinite joy. If this love penetrates the heart of man, all the forces of the universe will be realized in him, for it is a divine power which transports him to a divine station, and he will make no progress until he is illumined thereby. Strive to increase the love power of reality, to make your hearts greater centers of attraction, to create new ideas and relationships."
This is the love that annihilates self into the Will of God, that manifests in humanity, selfishness, kindness, generosity, and in nowise holds any spirit of dissension. This is the love that makes firm the hearts, steadfast and trustworthy the souls. This love it is that causes one to die for the protection of the Cause of God, and in obedience to the will of the Center of the Covenant. He is the divine Physician, his prescription heals. The souls are in his care. But he has exhorted us to arise and guard the Cause of God!
The people of the Reading Room have summed up their own spirit by referring to themselves as the "dissenters", those who refuse to follow or belong to the group that recognizes the House of Spirituality as a body established by the center of the Covenant, and entrusted by him with the affairs of the Chicago Assembly; those who refuse to cease the dissemination of false teachings and human interpretation under the very cloak of the Cause of God.
It is exactly by such subtle means that the first breaches were made in the oneness and integrity of the Cause of Jesus Christ, and that the foundation of sectarianism was laid in the dawn and inception of Christianity.
Abdul Baha, in a very wonderful talk in Green acre, said, that very slight differences in the lifetime of the Manifestation becomes great scisms thereafter.
THE VIOLATION IN CHICAGO
There is no subject upon which the Center of the Covenant has given more explicit and detailed instructions than upon the Nakazeen (violators), and upon the treatment of these people by the people of the Cause of Firmness.
From these instructions given in many public interviews, Tablets, and cablegrams, Abdul Baha has established a standard of action for the Bahais to adhere to as soon as they detect a tract of violation in their midst, and it is clearly evident that he expects the friends to abide by his commands, and judge according to the explicit and evident standard of the Holy Words.
Chicago has for many years been tainted by the Nakazeen spirit. The Nakazeen movement emanating from Ibrahim Kheiralla, Dr. Nutt, and Mr. Thompson, with the various ramifications, for years has caused the disintegration of our beloved Cause in those regions.
The leader [Harmon] of the present movement of violation was for some time associated with Nutt and with Thompson, so those who know this history can trace the subtle spiritual disease of violation, as it connects these various phases of disintegration.
In the words of Abdul Baha we find the Chicago condition treated of as follows:
Portions of a Tablet by Abdul Baha, star of the West, Vol. 4, page 174:
"Convey the wonderful Abha greetings to the believers. Chicago, in comparison with the cities of America, was in advance and numerically contained more Bahais, but when the vile odor of the Nakazeen was spread in that city there was stagnation. The Cause in other cities of America is progressing day unto day, but Chicago is stationary. Therefore, strive that the sweet fragrance of the Testament and the Covenant may be diffused, the nostrils of the spiritual ones become perfumed, the banner of Ya Baha el Abha be unfurled, and the tent of the oneness of the world of humanity be pitched. then ye shall observe that Chicago has become the Paradise of Abha.
These few Nakazeen cannot accomplish anything worth while. The utmost is this, that they will be the means of the drooping of the believers of God in that city.
A person deprived of the spirit of the Covenant is sentenced as dead. The dead surely disintegrate. Therefore, breathe not the spirit of the Covenant and the Testament as much as you can in the hearts, so that the soul may progress day unto day, and obtain a new exhilaration."
We have read some of the Holy Words concerning specific phases of violation, so that no doubt can remain in our minds as to the signs of this disease. It is understood, too, from these utterances that the believers themselves are expected and commanded to "guard the Cause", to be firm so that no "Nakaz may spread a noose and chase such firm souls as you are"; and there are found many other references regarding the duty of the firm believers to judge according to the Holy Word and conform their actions thereto.
Turning the attention to the manner of meeting this difficulty, and to the commands given us to follow when this disease is encountered, so
that no mistake may be made, no personal opinion taken, we read the following:
"Awaken the believers of God to really keep aloof from wavering Nakazeen souls."
"Praise be to God that the believers in America are steadfast, but the firmer they are the better, that no one may be able to intrude and introduce disputes."
"My purpose is to convey to you that it is your duty to guard the religion of God so that no one shall be able to assail it either outwardly or inwardly."
And is not the following clear?
"Let them (the Bahais) be awake! Let them be mindful! As soon as they see a trace of violation of the Covenant, they must hold aloof from the violators."
"Such souls are nothing but pure harm to the Cause of God, and it is very well that they go out."
"Glance over the temple of man, its members, and its parts. Among them there are eye and ear, nose and mouth, hands and fingers. Notwithstanding these differences between these organs, all of them are useful in there proper spheres, but if one of them is out of order, there is need of a remedy, and if the medicine does not heal, then the amputation of that member becomes necessary."
In further explaining the absolute necessity of keeping aloof from a violator, Abdul Baha cited the following example:
"In an army containing 1,000 well men and one consumptive the one thousand well men could never cure the one sick man of consumption, but the one sick man could contaminate the whole army of 1,000 well men, and make every one of them sick."
From the Words of Baha'o'llah:
"Verily, shun those who are shaken in the Covenant. Verily God is the confirmer of the firm ones."
EXTRACT FROM INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY ABDUL BAHA TO HELEN
S. GOODALL, HARRIET WISE, AND ELLA G. COOPER, NEW YORK, JULY, 1912.
"I feel a zephyr blowing from the supreme kingdom toward America. It will continue to blow. I hope it brings the utmost strength in the Covenant. No matter how severe the storms, you must be firm. The Covenant is most important
- nothing is as important - because it is the magnet of confirmations. Baha'o'llah mentions it in many of his writings...... In one he says: "O, God, confirm him who is firm in the Covenant."
Firmness in the Covenant is not mere words. If a soul shall utter a word without the sanctions of the Covenant, he is not firm.
Baha'o'llah appointed a Covenant in order to ward off discussions, so that no one should give his own opinion, but that the Center should be referred to.
There were dissensions after the departure of Christ because there had been no Center appointed. Did Christ say to any one "you are the Center of my Covenant, you are the explainer of my book!"
This is the reality of the question. Whatever the Center of the Covenant says is correct. No one should utter a word of himself. Baha'o'llah has even called down the vengence of God upon any one who violates the Center of the Covenant.
Beware, beware, lest ye be shaken! Remain firm and steadfast even though the people of heaven try to shake you. The command is explicit!
Extract from Tablet, April 19, 1914.
"To the Friends of God, and the Maid-servants of the Merciful, United states of America:
O ye friends of GOD and the Maid-servants of the Merciful!
When the Sun of Reality shone forth from the horizon of Sanctity, It flooded the world with the rays of the oneness of TRUTH, so that mankind, as regards doctrines and articles of belief, might converge toward ONE COMMON CENTER; differences, contention and discord might be entirely effaced from the world of humanity, and the UNIQUE LIGHT which hath BRANCHED from the SUN of REALITY might illumine ALL the HEARTS.
For the realization of this complete unity and perfect good fellowship, the Blessed One suffered all manner of hardships, trials, and afflictions, to such an extent that the eyes are weeping and the hearts are burning now and forevermore.
Praise be to GOD that the believers of God in all countries of the Orient are holding fast to the oneness of opinion, the oneness of thought, and the oneness of reality.
Now, according to incoming reports, in some parts of the
from the believers only the sincere; and even those are in great danger, especially in such a time."
We have but one Interpreter, but one Center of the Covenant. He calls us to obedience and submission, a complete surrender of our wills to the Will of God.
Arising to this obedience, it follows that there remains no room for dissension among those who are firm in the Testament and Covenant, and are looking to the Manifest Center, Abdul Baha.
The findings of the Committee were approved by the following well-known friends, from various Assemblies, who gathered to hear the report at Chicago, Dec. 9, 1917:
List of friends present:
Walter Bohanan Kenosha, Wis.
Alfred E. Anderson Kenosha, Wis.
Claudia Stuart Coles Washington, D. C.
Kate C. Ives Eliot, Maine
Bernard H. Jacobsen Kenosha, Wis.
Ida B. Slater Chicago, Ill.
Marion N. Potter Cleveland, Ohio
Mrs. Julius Frazer Fruitport, Mich.
Z. M. Bagdadi Chicago, Ill.
Zeenat Bagdadi Chicago, Ill.
Mabel S. Rice-Wray Detroit, Mich.
Mrs. Nels Petersen Fruitport, Mich.
Annie L. Parmerton Cincinnati, Ohio
Mary Lesch Chicago, Ill.
Mary Revell Philadelphia, Pa.
David Goldner Pittsburgh, Pa.
H. Emogene Hoagg San Francisco, Calif.
Miss Julia Culver Tejunga, Calif.
Mrs. Corinne True Chicago, Ill.
Marie L. Hopper Dixon, Ill.
Helene Bagg Muskegon, Mich.
Geo. Lesch Chicago, Ill.
Clement Woolson St. Paul, Minn.
Arna True Perrin Chicago, Ill.
William Slater Chicago, Ill.
John R. Basset Schenectady, N. Y.
Albert R. Windust Chicago, Ill.
Gertrude Buikema Chicago, Ill.
Myrta Perkins Swingle Cleveland, Ohio
Ella T. Priday Cleveland, Ohio
Martha L. Root Pittsburgh, Pa.
Grace Ober Cambridge, Mass.
Harlan F. Ober Cambridge, Mass.
George O. Latimer Portland, Ore.
C. H. Greenleaf Chicago, Ill.
Carl Scheffler Chicago, Ill.
May Scheffler Chicago, Ill.
H. S. Fugita Chicago, Ill.
Jennie Johnson Chicago, Ill.
James Hanby Chicago, Ill.
Emma M. Appel Chicago, Ill.
Edna M. True Chicago, Ill.
Alfred E. Lunt Boston, Mass.
A. B. McDaniel Schnectady, N. Y.
Chas. Mason Remey Washington, D. C.
Louis G. Gregory Washington, D. C.
Saffa Kinney Boston, Mass.
Katherine K. True Chicago, Ill.
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A COMPILATION OF UTTERANCES FROM THE TABLETS AND WORDS
OF THE CENTER OF THE COVENANT OF GOD
"The Orb of the Covenant"
HE IS GOD!
O thou whom my heart addresses!
Know thou verily, the Covenant is an Orb which shines and gleams forth unto the universe.
Verily Its Light will dispel darkness, Its Sea will cast out the thick froth of suspicions upon the shore of perdition.
Verily, naught in the world can ever resist the Power of the Kingdom. Should all mankind assemble, could they prevent the sun from its light, the winds from their blowing, the clouds from their showers, the mountains from their firmness, or the stars from their beaming? No! By the Lord, the Clement! Everything (in the world) is subject to corruption; but the Covenant of thy Lord shall continue to pervade all regions.
Address thou the waverers and say:
Have ye forgotten that which transpired in the time of Christ?
Are ye not informed of the events which took place in His Blessed Day?
Did not the Pharisees rise against Him?
Did they not give verdict to the shedding of His Blood, to the murder of His friends, and to oppressing of His chosen ones?
Have ye heard concerning the heretics, the violators of His Covenant, (who appeared) after Him?
Are ye not informed of those kings, princes, learned and prominent men who persecuted Him?
Did ye not see what had been the end of the persecutors?
And do thou advise them and illumine their inmost part, and say unto them:
By GOD, the True One! Verily, ABDUL BAHA is assisted by the Beauty of EL ABHA who helps Him with a Power whereunto all the heads are made humble.
You shall surely find the banner of hypocrisy reversed, the foundations of discord demolished, and the Standards of Peace and Harmony waving throughout all regions!
O my friend! Verily, Baha hath commanded me to be forthbearing and patient, to conceal (their doings), to forgive and pardon. Otherwise, I would have rent their covering, disclosed their sins, divulged their deeds, depicted their character, and unveiled their manners. Verily, thou art already informed of some of their deeds and it is sufficient for you.
Consequently, turn thy face unto the Covenant, thy heart beating with the love of God, they soul attracted to the fragrances of God, thy tongue speaking of the appearance of the Kingdom of God, thine insight rending the veils asunder and disclosing the realities of things, and with a power which can move the heart of all the world.
This is a confirmation from the Lord of the Effulgence, while all else save this shall never profit thee! This is that by reason of which thy face shall gleam, thy heart shall de dilated with joy, thy soul become pure, thy back strengthened, thy spirit rejoiced, and thine identity quickened.
Leave the people of suspicion behind thy back and adhere to the manifest signs!
By God, the True One! Verily the people are drunken and asleep, confused and heedless, and this will drag them to the lowest of the low. This is no other than manifest loss.
Upon thee be greeting and praise!
(Signed) ABDUL BAHA ABBAS.
The purpose of this compilation on the phase of the Teachings heretofore neglected is to bring to notice the many commands regarding this most important question of violation.
In the endeavor to comply with the commands in the Hidden Words:
"Hear no evil and see no evil" "Think not the faults of others to be great that thine own may not seem great," we have given attention only to one phase of the all-encompassing Abha Teachings. We have not realized that while there must be naught but love in the heart, we cannot associate with "disease" without being infected to some extent, and to prevent this infection we must "withdraw both mind and hand."
Hidden Words, page 24.
"O, Friend. In the garden of the heart plant only flowers of love, and withdraw not from clinging to the nightingale of love and yearning.
"Esteem the friendship of the just and withdraw both mind and hand from the company of the wicked."
Hidden Words, page 48.
"Beware! O Son of Dust! Walk not with the wicked and confederate not with him, for the companionship of the wicked changeth the light of Life into the fire of remorse."
Our attention is called by ABDUL BAHA to a great distinction between the "personal enemy" the "enemy to the Cause" and merely one who opposes the Cause.
Of the personal enemy ABDUL BAHA says:
"If a person does some injury to me, myself, not to the Cause of GOD, even if he cuts off one of my limbs I will forgive him at once, and will show him the utmost kindness. In such case I call my enemy my friend; but if a person brings danger upon the Cause of GOD I do not count him as a friend; and if he brings weakness to the Cause of GOD, of course I will not given him authority."
Extract from Tablet to M. Lotfullah, received Aug. 1, 1914.
"A man may receive his own enemy into his house and show him the utmost respect and consideration, but it is not allowable to receive a thief into his house, nor a traitor into his home, not a wolf into the flock. This would be injustice. Although the heart of the wolf is displeased at this, yet the sheep of GOD must be protected. Show ye the utmost kindness toward enemies, that is, ignorant enemies, but not toward traitorous and treacherous enemies.
Star of the West, Vol. 6, p. 95.
Extract from a Tablet to Mrs. Woodward
"Every flock of the sheep of GOD which is protected under the shadow of the Divine Shepherd will not be scattered, but when the sheep are dispersed from the flock they will necessarily be caught and torn by the wolf.
Therefore it is incumbent upon you to flock together! It is incumbent upon you to be untied! It is incumbent upon you to expose yourselves to the fragrances of God at every time and moment!
Verily, I am with you when you turn unto God and are attracted to the fragrances of God, and I pray for confirmation, union, harmony and love in your behalf.
(Signed) Abdul Baha Abbas.
Of those who are opposers from outside the Cause, those not yet awakened, unbelievers, ABDUL BAHA has clearly stated that we are to pay no attention to them. They are harmless.
The following is an extract from Star of the West, Vol. 3, p. 8:
"If at any time an unimportant and ignorant soul arises in opposition, do not heed him nor consider his objection of any importance. We have had in the past opposers who have been among the world's celebrities. We had had enemies like Nasser-ed-Din and Abdul Hamid, two powerful kings, but all these people through the power of the Kingdom of Abha have vanished and disappeared from the face of the earth, and today the banner of the Covenant is unfurled and waving over all the races. One of the enemies to the Cause is he who endeavors to interpret the Words of BAHA'O'LLAH and thereby colors the meaning according to his capacity, and collects around him a following, forming a different sect, promoting his own station, and making a division in the Cause."
In a Tablet to Miss Alma Knobloch, Stuttgart, dated April 2, 1910, ABDUL BAHA says:
"All that is contrary to the Teachings of BAHA'O'LLAH is wrong, and you must never accept it. What has taken place is a test. The friends of GOD must be firm and steadfast in the midst of tests. If an angel should manifestly come down from heaven and if a word contrary to the Teaching of Baha'o'llah would proceed from his lips, it would be wrong and you should not heed it."
In the case of the "enemy to the Cause" ABDUL BAHA plainly states that we must not consider relative or friend.
He says in a Tablet to Mr. Roy Wilhelm, dated October 14, 1914, that we must associate with the righteous:
"With regard to the violator, (Nakaz), thou hast treated him most appropriately. It is necessary for the believing souls to associate with the righteous that they may inhale Holy Breaths. when He, (BAHA'O'LLAH), says: "Associate with all religions with joy and fragrance," by this is meant the humankind, not the wicked. It is becoming that lambs should associate with wolves or to give the thief access to the house with joy and fragrance? If you refer to the Hidden Words you will find that this is clearly prohibited in many different places. It is possible to seek association and to familiarize oneself with a scorpion? Read over the Bible, for this question is clearly explained in many different places.
To recapitulate: Awaken the believers of GOD to really keep aloof from wavering Nakazeen souls."
Also in a Tablet to Mr. Wilhelm, dated Aug. 12, 1914, ABDUL BAHA says:
"Though hast had the intention of going out into the woods and the country for change of weather. When thou dost return, organize assemblies, give the Gospel of the bounties of the HOLY SPIRIT to different souls, and create in them the hope to receive Heavenly Outpourings.
In brief, be a vigilant guard for the impregnable fort of GOD, and protect it against the intrusion of the ignorant. Judas Iscariot must not be forgotten. The divine sheep must constantly be guarded against devouring wolves. The light of the Cause of God must be protected from contrary winds by means of a shield. The oppressed fowl must be shielded against the birds of prey. The blooming roses should be saved from the outstretched hands of injustice, and the lambs of God must be fortified against the fierceness of ravenous animals.
Were is not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of GOD, there would arise among the Bahais, in a day, a thousand different sects, as was the case in former ages, but in this Blessed Dispensation, for the sake of the permanency of the Cause of GOD, and the avoidance of dissension amongst the people of GOD, the Blessed Perfection (May my soul be a sacrifice to HIM) has through the Supreme Pen written the Covenant and Testament. He appointed a Center, the Exponent of the Book, and the Annuller of disputes. Whatever is written or said by Him is conformable to the Truth and under the protection of the Blessed Beauty. He is infallible.
The express purpose of the Last Will and Testament is to set aside disputes from the world. Praise be to God that the believers in America are steadfast, but the firmer they are the better, that no one may be able to intrude and introduce disputes, for disputes destroy the foundation of God's Institution."
When the fact is made clear that we "must protect the Cause" we naturally search the Words to know what constitutes "violation" and what is our duty in the matter. We have found that violation of the Covenant is not only denial of Abdul Baha as the center of the Covenant but that there are many phases of violation.
Denial of the Center of the Covenant is a clear and easy matter to handle. This is open violation, but the subtle working of the enemies is harder to locate and more insidious in its effects. This latter kind of a violator does not openly declare himself as opposed to ABDUL BAHA. On the contrary, he proclaims his belief in the Center of the Covenant, his unfailing allegiance to the Cause, while in an underhanded way he goes about to destroy the love of the friends for each other, and to undermine and bring division in the Cause of God in every way possible.
One of the most dangerous ways of these enemies is the insinuating of other teachings into the Bahai Teachings, disseminating false teachings, and interpreting the Words of Baha'o'llah, which power is vested in the Center of the Covenant alone.
Extract of Tablet to Mrs. Brittingham:
"Whenever any soul explains any matter, he must have authority from the Verses of God, and the Words of the Supreme, either from the Book of Akdas or other divine Tablets. If he is asked for the proof of his statements, he must show the text of the Book. That is his evidence. Briefly, every statement and word which is not based upon the divine Texts is not truth. No one must listen to it. No one must interfere with it. This is the irrefutable Command. Expatiete in detail upon this subject in every meeting."
Excerpt from an Address to the Assembly San Francisco, during 1912:
HE IS GOD!
"For this Divine Covenant is an Institution of the Lord. The Blessed Perfection in all the Tablets, Books, Epistles, and supplications has begged confirmation for, and praised and commended those who are firm in this Covenant and Testament, and has asked the wrath of God and woe and desolation unto the violators, for firmness in this Covenant will preserve the unity of the Religion of God, and the foundation of the religion of God will not be shaken. according to the clear texts of the Kitab-el-Akdas and other Tablets, the Center of the Covenant is the remover of all difficulties, for He is the Interpreter of the Book. Not one soul has the right to say one word on his own account, or to explain anything or elucidate the Texts of the Book, whether in public or private."
Extracts from an address by ABDUL BAHA, from the Star of the West, Vol. 14, No. 15, p. 255, New York City, Dec. 2, 1912:
"As to the Most Great Characteristic - and it is a specific teaching of the Revelation of Baha'o'llah, and not given by any of the prophets of the past - it is the teaching concerning the Center of the Covenant. By giving the teaching concerning the Center of the Covenant He made provision against all kinds of differences, so that no man would be able to create new sect.
To guard against that state of things, he entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world, indicating the Person, or the Interpreter of His Teachings, so that no man would be able to say that he explains a certain teaching in this way, and thus create a sect revolving around his individual understanding of a part of the teachings.
Thus "The Rock of the Covenant and the Testament" of Baha'o'llah is the means of preventing such a possibility, for whoever shall say a word from his own self shall be degraded. Be ye cognizant of this! Beware lest anyone shall secretly say anything to you against this!
There are some people of self-will and self-desire who do not communicate their selfish intentions to you in a clear language. They secretly and by insinuation do this. They praise a certain individual, saying such an individual is so and so, is wise, is learned, is perfect, he was glorified in the presence of Baha'o'llah - or in an insidious way they make this statement - or they may take you one by one into a dark corner of a room and convey to you these things by certain innuendoes.
Be ye aware! For His Holiness Christ has said that no one hides the lamp under a bushel! The purpose is that some people shall come before you in order to secure something in their own favor. Be ye greatly on your guard, so that no one may infringe upon the Oneness of Baha'o'llah's Cause. Praise be to God! Baha'o'llah left nothing unsaid! He explained everything. He left no room for anything further to be said.
Yet there are some souls, some persons, who, for the sake of personal profit and interest, will attempt to sow seeds of sedition. Whoever may say a thing, whoever praises an individual, ask him to give you a written proof, concerning the praise he offers of that individual. Let him show you a trace from the Pen of the Center of the Covenant substantiating his praise of that certain individual; otherwise, say to him that you are not allowed to give heed to the words of everyone. Say, "You may love a person to-day and praise him, to-morrow another, and the next day still another. We cannot afford to listen to this or that individual. where is your authority from the pen of the Center of the Covenant?"
My purpose is to convey to you that it is your duty to guard the religion of God, so that no one shall be able to assail it, either outwardly or inwardly. If you see injurious teachings coming from an individual, no matter who that individual may be, even though he may be my own son, know ye, verily, I am quit of him.
If you see anyone speaking against the Covenant, even though he be my own son, know ye that I am averse to him. If a person speaks falsehoods, know ye that I am quit of him. He who covets things worldly and seeks after his own desire to accumulate the riches of this world, and is looking at the hand of the people to give him something, know ye that I am quit of such an one, but, when ye see a person living up to the teachings of Baha'o'llah, living up to the teachings in the Hidden Words, know ye that verily I proclaim that he is of me - know ye that he belongs to Baha'o'llah. If you see anyone whose deeds and conduct are contrary to, and not in conformity with the requirements in the Hidden Words, let that be the criterion, your standard by which to judge that person. If you find anyone opposed to the Spirit of these Teachings, know ye that I am quite of him no matter who he may be. This is the Truth!"
Of hypocrites we are specially warned in a Tablet from Abdul Baha to M. Lotfullah, dated Aug. 1, 1914, as follows:
"Convey on my behalf to all the Bahais the utmost greetings of ABHA. A certain person has made an objection against me, saying: "Why is Tamadon Mulk banished, while we ought to love all the nations of the world?" But that one has not even considered that the Blessed One, Himself, His Holiness Baha'o'llah, banished certain persons, and in the Blessed Words He warns us from association with hypocrites. Yes, we ought to have the utmost friendship for all the nations of the world, but it is not possible to associate with and be companions of hypocrites, because it will bring danger upon the Cause of God. Hypocrites make a hole in the Cause, and will totally uproot the foundation of the Cause of God. Friendship with hypocrites is as if a man were to nourish a serpent in his bosom (lit, shirt) or as if he gave place to a scorpion within his sleeve. All the disciples of Christ shunned Judas Iscariot. Likewise peruse the Epistles of Paul; how much he has prohibited association with hypocrites. Also consider: After His Holiness Moses (Upon Him be Peace) had taught the people the hypocrites of Israel worshipped a calf.
Now, if a like event happen shall we associate with extreme love with these people and follow them? What a mistaken idea! What iniquity was wrought by the hypocrite Jeroboam in the time of Rehoboam amongst the children of Israel! What a cause of corruption and bloodshed he became, and at last he made most of the tribes of Israel worship Baal. Should we mix with and show the utmost love and
kindness to such a person, or should we protect the people from such men? Indeed we ought to show the utmost love and kindness to all the nations; that is, those who are ignorant, but not to the hypocrites. A hypocrite becomes the cause of great disturbance amongst the friends. We have no dispute with anyone.
In short, Tamadan Mulk brought discord amongst the disciples to such an extent that it almost caused the violent uprooting of the foundation of God’s Cause. Many times he (Tamadan Mulk) repented, after the repentance he wrought fresh discord. At last a telegram was sent about him:
"Tamadon Mulk is a waverer. Association with him is not permitted." If this had not been done the foundation of the Cause would have been totally destroyed in Teheran!
This servant has no aim save (to promote) the goodness of all the people of the world of humanity, but if a serpent like Tamadon Mulk attacks the Cause I am obliged to awaken the Bahais, and if I do not do so, I am responsible to both to God and to the people."
Extract from a Tablet to Charles Mason Remey
"Nevertheless, the creatures have different degrees in existence, in so far as creation goes, for capacities are different, but all of them are good and pure, (in their essence) then afterwards they are polluted and defiled. Although there are different states of creation, yet all of them are beneficial. Glance over the temple of man, its members, and its parts. Among them there are eye and ear, nose and mouth, hands and fingers. Notwithstanding these differences between these organs, all of them are useful in there proper spheres, but if one of them is out of order, there is need of a remedy, and if the medicine does not heal, then the amputation of that member becomes necessary."
ABDUL BAHA enjoins us to be awake and mindful, and also to act - says:
"Let them (the Bahais) be awake! Let them be mindful! As soon as they see a trace of violation of the Covenant they must hold aloof from the violators."
"Such souls are nothing but pure harm to the Cause of God, and it is very well that they go out, for the abominable deeds of such souls are like unto an axe at the root of the Cause."
Extract from a Tablet to the American Friends from ABDUL BAHA, translated April 28, 1911:
"O ye friends and maid-servants of the Merciful! If ye
are yearning for my meeting, and if in reality ye are seeking my visit, ye must close the doors of difference and open the gate of affection, love, and friendship. Ye must pulsate as one heart, and throb as one spirit. You must be like the waves, though they are innumerable they constitute the all-encircling sea.
O ye friends and maid-servants of the Merciful! Praise be to God ye are the fish of one ocean, the birds of one rose-garden, the trees of one orchard, and the flowers of one paradise. Then why this difference? Why this lack of harmony? Wherefore, this condition?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, were it not for this difference amongst you, the inhabitants of America in all those regions would have, by now, been attracted to the Kingdom of GOD and would have constituted themselves your helpers and assisters. It is meet that you sacrifice this most glorious bounty for worthless imaginations?
No, by GOD! Should you reflect for one moment, you would become able to destroy instantly the foundation of this difference by absolutely refraining from backbiting and fault-finding amongst yourselves.
Adorn with infinite love and concord the assemblage of beatitude, bring about the meeting of happiness, establish the banquet of oneness of the realm of humanity, loosen your tongue in praising each other, and then anticipate the presence of ABDUL BAHA in your midst.
Aside from all these considerations some of the Nakazeen have come secretly among you, and are expressing their firmness in the Covenant and with all kinds of intrigues and strategies are creating disorder and calamities, so that ye might be deprived of the Light of the Divine Testament and subjected to the darkness of violation.
Is it worthy of you to be engaged with differences amongst you, and thereby enabling the Nakazeen to spread a noose and chase out such firm believers as you are?
I beg God to confirm you in harmony, union, and concord, that you may become the cause of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity. Live and act in accord with the Divine Teachings, be abstracted from all the attachments of the human world, characterized with merciful characteristics. Release yourselves from the nether world, become heavenly souls, spiritual beings, and the angels of Paradise."
As a guide and protection ABDUL BAHA calls us to OBEDIENCE, as follows:
"Firmness in the Covenant means obedience, so that no one may say, 'this is my opinion' nay, rather, he must obey that which proceeds from the pen and tongue of the Covenant."