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"In my opinion these differences are not consistent with the signatures upon the envelope being in the writing of the writer of the authenticated signature."

“That is to say, the writing does not agree with the hypothesis that it was all written by one person.”

“A minute comparison of the authenticated writing with the writing on every page of the alleged will . . . has failed to detect in any part of the will the characteristics of the writing of Abdul-Baha, as shown in the authenticated specimens.”
-- Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell, 1930.


The attempts to discredit Dr. Mitchell and Ruth White have relied on, for over 75 years, slander and ad hominem and are no more convincing now than they have ever been. Note the attempt to shift, from his conclusion and call for an examination of the original, to the man himself and his qualifications.

I ask the reader to reflect on the fact that Dr. Mitchell remains one of the most respected forensic researchers of the 20th century and is still quoted and cited by academics and legal experts. His professional integrity is beyond question as is and was his ability to assess the authenticity of the purported will itself. As the document curator for the British Museum, Dr. Mitchell used techniques and methods still widely used and recognized, whether or not one has a command of the language being scrutinized. Knowledge of a language in and of itself has never been the essential for handwriting experts, and informed people know that to be a fact. Those who seek to conceal the act of forgery hope to confuse the uninformed about what is involved. See the link below to one of his books available online.

Ruth White placed Dr. Mitchell's signed Report on the Writing Shown on the Photographs of the Alleged Will of Abdul-Baha with the Library of Congress in 1930. Certified copy below.

A bibliography of Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell's extensive published work is easily available from the Library of Congress or WorldCat. Or see professional genealogist Will Johnson's webpage on Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell

All Documents Deposited by Ruth White at the Library of Congress PDF

Dr. Mitchell was singularly qualified to judge the authenticity of the purported will of Abdul-Baha:

"In England, C. Ainsworth Mitchell was a public analyst interested primarily in questioned documents and the chemistry of inks during the early twentieth century" (25). FROM Introduction to Forensic Sciences. William G. Eckert. Published 1997 CRC Press. Legal Reference / Law Profession. 390 pages. ISBN: 0849381010. The authenticity of my quotation may be verified by Previewing the book and selecting page 25. On Amazon.com: ISBN: 0849381010

NOTE WELL: In 1997, decades after his Report on the Writing Shown on the Photographs of the Alleged Will of Abdul-Baha in 1930, Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell's reputation in the field of "questioned documents" continues to command the respect of colleagues, generations later, capable of evaluating his abilities and of educating new students of forensic science.

"Documents And Their Scientific Examiniation" (1920) Author: C. Ainsworth Mitchell, Date 1920. (can be downloaded in full) Note that Dr. Mitchell established his expertise in document analysis well before examining the purported will in 1930.

Professional genealogist Will Johnson to a fundamentalist Baha'i who dismissed Dr. Mitchell:
From: "wjhonson" wjhonson@aol.com
Newsgroups: alt.religion.bahai,talk.religion.bahai
Sent: Saturday, April 21, 2007 10:36 PM
Subject: Re: 4-20-07 - Ruth White. Abdul Baha's Questioned Will and Testament.
>
> That's a bit disengenuous to his memory. Charles Ainsworth Mitchell
> wrote several books in which he details pencil, ink, writing styles,
> etc. It wasn't a hobby, he was a professional in this type of
> analysis.




Dr. C. (Charles) Ainsworth Mitchell - Certified Copy from the Library of Congress Report on the Writing Shown on the Photographs of the Alleged Will of Abdul-Baha. 1930.


[Text copy of Dr. Mitchell's Report]

Presented to the Library of Congress by Ruth White
September 2, 1930

Gift Mrs. H. Lawrence White Sept 8, 1930

REPORT ON THE WRITING SHOWN ON THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ALLEGED WILL OF ABDUL BAHA BY DR C. AINSWORTH MITCHELL EDITOR OF "THE ANALYST" 85, ECCLESTON SQUARE, LONDON S.W.1 ENGLAND JUNE 3rd 1930 [Title page]

C. AINSWORTH MITCHELL, D.Sc., F.I.C. TEL: VICTORIA 6363.
85, ECCLESTON SQUARE, LONDON, S.W.1. [page 1]
June 3rd 1930

REPORT ON THE WRITING SHOWN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ALLEGED WILL OF ABDUL BAHA.

I have made a minute examination of the writing in the photographs and photographic enlargements of the alleged will of Abdul Baha, and have compared it with the authenticated writing of Abdul Baha in a series of photographs and photographic enlargements received from Mrs. H. Lawrence White.

In the absence of an opportunity to examine the original document, any conclusions to be drawn from an examination of the photographic enlargements must necessarily beof a provisional character contingent upon the accuracy of the photographic records. Moreover, some of the facts which are taken into consideration in the scientific examination of an original document cannot be perfectly studied in a photographic reproduction, such as, for example, the ink, paper, penstrokes, and so on.

Assuming that the authenticated speciments of writing are of approximately the same period as that at which the disputed will is alleged to have been written and signed, the points which can be accurately compared in the photographic enlargements are the mode of formation of the writing, the changes in pressure, the form of individual letters, and the relationship in the size of parts of the letter to the whole.

C. AINSWORTH MITCHELL, D.Sc., F.I.C. TEL: VICTORIA 6363.
85, ECCLESTON SQUARE, LONDON, S.W.1. [page] -2-

A fact requiring explanation is the presence of apparent erasures on some of the pages of the will, namely in lines 12 and 13 of page 2, and line 13 of page 4. Without a microscopical examination of the original document it is not possible to state whether a chemical agent has been used, but assuming there have been erasures at these points I think it probable that they were done mechanically, not chemically. The apparent erasure on page 5, line 11, may possibly be the result of an imprint from othe written matter while the ink was wet.

The photographic reproductions of authenticated specimens of the writing of Abdul Baha were the following:--

1. Writing from the Book of the Unitarian Church, Montclair, New Jersey.
2. Writing from the Guest Bible for 1912, City Temple, London.
3. Authenticated signatures on two letters to Mrs. Stannard on a photograph, and a possible authentic signature in the possession of Mrs. Devine. There is not reason to doubt the authenticity of the signature from Mrs. Devine, since it agrees closely with the other signatures.

The Signatures on the Envelope:— A comparison of the four signatures on the envelope of the alleged will with the four authenticated signatures reveals many striking differences in the mode of formation of the characters, as for example:—

In the authentic signatures the width of these characters, compared with their height, is much greater than in the signatures on the envelope. The strokes are also much firmer

C. AINSWORTH MITCHELL, D.Sc., F.I.C. TEL: VICTORIA 6363.
85, ECCLESTON SQUARE, LONDON, S.W.1. [page] -3-

in the envelope signatures than in the authenticated signatures.

In the authenticated signature the entire character is roughtly 2 1/4 times the width of the open space between the uprights; in the disputed signatures the corresponding figure is twice as great. In the authentic signatures the cusp is rounded; in the disputed signatures it is pointed. In the authenticated signatures the relationship between the depth of the gap and its breadth is as 1 : 1.4 to 1.6, whereas in the disputed signatures it is a 1 : 2.3 to 2.6. Thus the ratio is totally different. In my opinion these differences are not consistent with the signatures upon the envelope being in the writing of the writer of the authenticated signature.

The Body of the Will:— A comparison of the formation of the writing on the envelope with that on pages 9 and 10 of the will shows so many points of resemblance that there is no reason to doubt that they were written by the same person.

I have also studied minutely the photographic enlargements of the writing on the other pages of the will, and have formed the following conclusions:—

Page 2, with the exception of the last two lines, agrees with Page 3.

C. AINSWORTH MITCHELL, D.Sc., F.I.C. TEL: VICTORIA 6363.
85, ECCLESTON SQUARE, LONDON, S.W.1. [page] -4-

The last two lines of Page 2 agree with Page 4.

The other pages, namely 5, 6, 7 and 8, agree in the characteristics of writing with the writing on Page 4. That is to say, the writing does not agree with the hypothesis that it was all written by one person.

The writing of Abdul Baha has certain distinctive features, among which are a sudden change of pressure in some of the strokes, wavering formation of some of the curves, and the formation of sharp angles in some of the characters. These characteristics are sharply indicated in the enlarged photographs of the writing in the City Temple, London, and in the Montclair writing.

A minute comparison of the authenticated writing with the writing on every page of the alleged will, and in particular with the lines 10, 11 and 12 on page 5, has failed to detect in any part of the will the characteristics of the writing of Abdul-Baha, as shown in the authenticated specimens.

In addition to these differences in writing habits, there are also differences in the shapes of many of the parallel characters in the body of the document compared with the authenticated writing, as in the case of the signatures mentioned above.

[Signed] C. Ainsworth Mitchell


Dr. C. (Charles) Ainsworth Mitchell - Certified Copy from the Library of Congress Report on the Writing Shown on the Photographs of the Alleged Will of Abdul-Baha. 1930.

All Documents Deposited by Ruth White at the Library of Congress PDF

Ruth White, including Excerpts from her books

Abdul-Baha's Authentic 1912 Covenant