by Jeffrey Goldberg
Dr. Susan Maneck, an internet mouthpiece for the sans-Guardian Baha'is now occupying Haifa/Wilmette, on talk.religion.bahai, had this to say to challenge Joel B. Marangella's claim to the Guardianship:
"I'm more interested in the fact that these [court] documents prove that Second International Baha'i Council was in fact never activated for Joel himself admits it was never convened and never met. Yet his claim to Guardianship rests upon the false pretense that it was activated. Somehow that point is being studiously ignored. I'm sure that the Soghomonians will pick up on it eventually. They probably already know this, but having a sworn deposition from Joel himself admitting this to be the case would probably prove valuable."
It is inexplicable why a sans-Guardian Bahai is defending Jacque Sohomonian's claim to the Guardianship. Nevertheless, I will respond to the allegations here.
On the third Guardian's web site is an article entitled MY ACCESSION TO THE GUARDIANSHIP, A SUMMARY OF THE TRUE FACTS, in which he states:
"Not only misinformation, but a deplorable lack of information has been posted on Bahá'í newsgroups, from time to time, questioning the validity of my accession to the Guardianship of the Bahá'í Faith. It has been obvious that those who have posted this information have either never read my Proclamation, under date of 12 November 1969, or have purposely chosen to ignore the facts presented therein for reasons of their own." http://www.bahai-guardian.com/accession.html
Clearly Dr. Maneck's charge is one of the misinformed postings on the newsgroup, but I am glad because it gives me the opportunity to again explain to the internet audience interested in these things about the truth of Joel B. Marangella's claim to the Guardianship of the Baha'i Faith.
The article [ at http://www.bahai-guardian.com/accession.html] goes on to explain how Mason Remey appointed Marangella in writing to be the third Guardian of the Faith, and confirmed that appointment by appointing him to be the President of the Second International Baha'i Council, which was the same manner that Shoghi Effendi had used to appoint Remey.
Marangella then explains his reaction when Remey told him to ACTIVATE the Council:
"In 1965 Mason Remey specifically instructed me, to my great surprise, to immediately activate the International Bahá'í Council under my Presidency. I felt certain that the believers who had accepted Mason Remey's Guardianship on the basis of his Presidency of the first International Bahá'í Council, appointed by Shoghi Effendi, would certainly realize that Mason Remey's instructions to activate the second International Bahá'í Council would have caused great consternation and incredulity on my part. For, it was obvious that if the instructions of Mason Remey to activate the Council were carried out implicitly according to his instructions, it would inevitably and automatically result in his abdication of the Guardianship and my accession to the Guardianship, coincident with that activation."
He then goes on to explain how he had attempted to "circumvent" the actual activation of the Council by saying that it would be convened in the future and that Marangella would only assign individual tasks. Marangella did this because he did not want to face the prospect that Remey had abdicated.
"However, there was a vital distinction, which I failed to perceive at the time, in my assigning such tasks to individual Council members, and the tasks that Shoghi Effendi had assigned, from time to time, to individual members of the Council that he had appointed, and one that I had been unable to avoid in my assignment of such tasks to members of an activated Council. This distinction lay in the fact that, in the case of the International Bahá'í Council appointed by Shoghi Effendi, it was he who had assigned tasks to individual members during the remaining years of his ministry, and not Mason Remey, who, although being the President of this supreme Council, had never been instructed by Shoghi Effendi during his ministry to convene it as an actively functioning body or had been authorized to assign any tasks to its members. Furthermore, when Shoghi Effendi had assigned individual tasks to Council members he would have undoubtedly transmitted his instructions through the intermediary of his "chosen liaison" with the Council, Rúhíyyih Khánum (as specified in his message of 8 March 1952)."
The Orthdodox Baha'is have never stated that the Second IBC ever convened as a body, or that convening physically as a body was necessary for activation. Indeed the Third IBC is now active, with the third Guardian as its head, even though the body has never physically gathered for a meeting.
An activated body is one that conducts business, with the Guardian as its head. In the case of both the 2nd IBC and the 3rd IBC, it was Marangella who directed the activities of the IBC. They both were activated, conducting business, with the Guardian as its head.