All Bahai Writings now on one page

 

Introduction to Reform Bahai Faith, A Talk Presented to the Troy Interfaith Group
YouTube, 26 minutes

 

Attend a Fireside

 

Forum

 

Contact

Site map

 

Ruth White placed Dr. C. (Charles) Ainsworth 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. Dr. Mitchell was the widely-recognized document expert at the British Museum who judged the purported will of Abdul-Baha to be a fraud:

"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.”

Scholarship worthy of the name on the Bahai Faith cannot be done without confronting the history to which Ruth White, Julie Chanler, Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, and Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell testify and represent.

Bibliography

Ruth White, Appendix "Is the Bahai Organization the Enemy of the Bahai Religion?"1929. (An Appendix to her early work Abdul-Baha and the Promised Age. J. J. Little and Ives Company, 1927. 224 pages.)

Ruth White Collection, Library of Congress, 1930

Ruth White, Bahai Leads Out of the Labyrinth. Universal Publishing Company, 1944. 259 pages. (pages 257, 258, 259 restored)

Ruth White. Abdul Baha's Questioned Will and Testament. Beverly Hills: White, 1946.  

Dr. C. (Charles) Ainsworth Mitchell - Certified Copy from the Library of Congress:
https://reformbahai.org/CAMitchell_Report.html
 


Immediately below are the documents Ruth White deposited with the Library of Congress, while extensive Excerpts from her books, and links to them, are near the bottom of this page.


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

[All documents in the PDF file, below, typed and reordered, mostly by date, for ease of comprehension. See Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell for his Report.]


Correspondence between the High Commissioner of Palestine and Ruth White, regarding the alleged Will of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas.
By Ruth White March, 1932.

In a previous pamphlet, "Abdul Baha's Alleged Will is Fraudulent" I published a letter that I had written to the High commisioner of Palestine on Dec. 31, 1928, asking him to investigate my charges that the alleged will of Abdul Baha is fraudulent. This request for an investigation seems to have troubled the minds of the adherents of Shoghi Effendi, since the following appeared in "The Baha'i News Letter," no. 31, for April 1929.

"Instructions concerning Attitude Towards Those Attacking Cause.

"A copy of the pamphlet publishe by Mrs. Ruth White was sent to Shoghi Effendi in January. This mater is taken up by the Guardian inhis letter to the National Spiritual Assembly recently reprinted (as recorded in summary of last Assembly meeting), but the following words written in a briefer letter on February 27, 1929 are instructive: 'I have in a letter addressed to the National Assembly set forth my views regarding the contents of Mrs. White's pamphlet, Ihave thus far received no intimation fromthe Palestine authorities, and have no reason to believe that they will consider it worthy of their consideration. The friends, however should avoid hurting her feelings and should abstain from provovation. Her case will suffer the fate which has met Dyar's opposition in 'Reality', and should be totally disregarded by the believers...' "

A sincere man in Shoghi's position should gladly have accepted my challenge for an investigation. Any man confident of the justice of his case would, in fact, have courted and insisted upon an impartial and judicial examination of the alleged will and of all the facts bearing on his claim to Guardianship. Shoghi Effendi however, it can be seen, was congratulating himself that there was no likelihood of the Palestine authorities considering the question. he shunned a test of the alleged will and of his claims. And I have every reason to believe that his advice to his followers not to hurt my feelings at that time was with a view to prevent me from pursuing the matter further.

In reply to my letter to the High Commissioner I received a letter fromHis Excellency written through his chief secretary and dated February 6, 1929 to the effect that any information I wished to obtain must be obtained privately and that I would be well advised to employ an advocate in Palestine. This letter was, of course, a great disappointment to me. Not until two years later did it occur to me that I could cite an instance which would prove indubitably that the fraud was one under the jurisdiciton of the Palestine authorities and that then the British Government would have to take notice. In other words, in my first letter Ihad cited only the fact that Shoghi Effendi was collecting money from the Bahais of America based on the authority granted in an alleged will of Abdul Baha. In my next letter to the High Commissioner, written 7, 1930, I brought the fraud forward as operating right in Palestine. And because of this fact, on account of the collection of money having taken place in Palestine I received a different response from the High commissioner. The following are the letters that have passed between us.

To His Excellency
The High Commissioner of Palestine
Jerusalem, Palestine.
October 7, 1930

Your Excellency:

As a victim of a fraud, which is being perpetrated under the Mandatory Power now governing Palestine, I wish to make a complaint against Shoghi Effendi, of the Persian Colony, at Haifa Palestine.

Shoghi Effendi is collecting money from the people of the various nations of the world under the powers granted him in an alleged will which he claims is the will of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas. I base my assertion that a fraud is being perpetrated by Shoghi Effendi on the following facts:

About three months after the death ofSir Abdul Baha Abbas, in November 1921, typewritten copies of an English translation of a document were sent to England, America, and other countries, which Shoghi Effendi alleged is the will of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas, appointing him his successor. This alleged will is undated, unwitnessed, unprobated, and unstamped by the Government. It also contradicts the intent that its alleged maker held during his lifetime. For the alleged will commands people to obey Shoghi Effendi as if he were God, and to pay a tax to him. This is the motive of the fraud—money and power.

I have submitted the photographs of the alleged will to Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell, the renowned English handwriting expert; and editor of The Analyst, at 85 Eccleston Square London, S.W.1. and his report shows that this document is fraudulent. No part of it was written by Abdul Baha, although Shoghi Effendi, and the family of Sir Abdul Baha assert that every word of its ten pages was written by Sir Abdul Baha. Shoghi Effendi ignored my request for permission to send a handwriting expert to Haifa to examine the original document.

Aside from my having contributed to various Bahai activities in America Ialso sent $200 to Palestine, in response to a solicitation from Shoghi Effendi, which he made through The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of the U.S. and Canada, urging them to send money to him to buy land on Mount Carmel, in order to protect the Tomb of the Bab. No financial statment was ever given to me regarding the purchase of this land, although I have requested an account of it. I enclose photostat copies of the appeal, and the receipt, for contributions to this fund, also two letters of acknowledgment of my contribution. I also enclose a photostat copy ofDr. Mitchell's report.

I am not making this complaint merely because of the money I have contributed, as this is small compared to the expense that I have incurred in collecting evidence against Shoghi Effendi. But I am making this complaint in order to protect the public from a fraud, and a movement, which under Shoghi Effendi has become far more subversive than that of Bolshevism. For Shoghi Effendi aims to become world dictator, and he is establishing enemy states within each state, and collecting taxes from the people of these enemy states. All this is contrary to the teachings of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas whose successor he claims to be.

Will you please investigate these charges, and upon verifying Dr. Mitchell's report take such steps as lies within your jurisprudence to prohibit Shoghi Effendi from perpetrating the fraud that he is the successor of Sir Abdul Baha.

Yours very truly, (Signed) Ruth White.


[Letter No. 1, facsimile and quoted by White] [Reordered by date]

Tel. Add. "CHIEFSEC, JERUSALEM"
Any reply should be addressed to
THE CHIEF SECRETARY, GOVERNMENT OFFICES,
JERUSALEM. and should quote No. 1232/29

SECRETARIAT,
GOVERNMENT OFFICES,
JERUSALEM.

25TH November, 1930.

Madam,

I am directed to refer to your letter of the 7th October regarding the will of Sir abdul Baha Abbas and to ask that I may be furnished with the docment purporting to be the will, or a photograph of it, which you caused to be examined by Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell.

Steps will then be taken, if possible, to compare that with the original will which is in Palestine.

I am, Madam, Your obedient servant, CHIEF SECRETARY

(Signed) Max Norock

Mrs. H. Lawrence White, Butler Hall, 88 Morningside Drive, New York City, U.S.A.


To the Chief Secretary
Government Offices
Jerusalem
December 12, 1930

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your letter of November 25, 1930, 1232/29. It gives me great pleasure to send you the photographs of the alleged will of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas which I herewith enclose. These photographs are copies of a set of photographs which Mr. Horace Holley lent me. Mr. Holley is the secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha's of the United States and Canada, and this organization officially represents Shoghi Effendi, the alleged successor of Air Abdul Baha. I also enclose two samples of teh authentic writing Sir Abdul Baha. One sample is a photograph made from the Book of the Unitarian Church at Montclair, New Jersey, in which book he wrote directly after he delivered a sermon at the church on May 12th, 1912. The other sample is a photograph made from the Bible at the City Temple, London, in which book he also wrote directly after he had finished delivering a sermon there in 1911. One cannot be certain of any writings purporting to be those of Sir Abdul Baha except those secured from church records, and other public books in which he wrote. For almost all of his later letters were written by his secretaries, and many of these secretaries were related to him, hence they are interested parties, as all of Abdul Baha's family share in the tax that is derived from the powers granted in this alleged will.

If you will pardon me for digressing a little I would like to recount to you an incident that occurred while I was in London last May and June, having the alleged will of Sir Abdul Baha examined by Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell, which made me certain that a Higher Power was guiding this affair. Two years prior to this I had tried to get in touch with the British Analyst of Palestine (as I thought at that time that he was the proper official to address regarding the investigating of the alleged will of Sir Abdul Baha) and I was assured by one of the officials at the British Embassy, here in New York City, that there was no British analyst in Palestine. Then what was my astonishment one night in London, while at a meeting of distinguished scientists, to meet Mr. Gerald Baker, who I learned had been the Analyst there for Great Britian about nine years. I thereupon recounted to him the incident and asked him if he would go to Dr. Mitchell's office and see the enlarged photographs of teh alleged will, as well as the authentic samples of Sir Abdul Baha's writings. This he did. I am sure that he will be glad to tell you what he has heard personally from Dr. Mitchell.

Under separate cover I am sending you a copy of my book, "The Bahai Religion and Its Enemy the Bahai Organization." Between pages 165 and 200 you will find the printed reproduction of the alleged will of Sir Abdul Baha, and the English translation of its complete text. Also a sample of his authentic writing.

If I can do anything further to assist you, please call upon me as I shall be only too happy to help you in any way I can.

Yours very truly,
(Signed) Ruth White
P.S. Between pages 178 and 184 of my book you will find the appointment of Shoghi Effendi.


[Letter No. 2, facsimile and quoted by White]

Tel. Add. "CHIEFSEC, JERUSALEM"
Any reply should be addressed to
THE CHIEF SECRETARY, GOVERNMENT OFFICES,
JERUSALEM. and should quote No. 1232/29

SECRETARIAT,
GOVERNMENT OFFICES,
JERUSALEM.

7th January, 1931.

Madam,

I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 12th December, enclosing photographs of the alleged will of the late Sir Abdul Baha Abbas.
2. I have also to thank you for the copy of your book "The Bahai Religion, and its enemy the Bahai Organisation" which accompanied it.
3. I shall not fail to inform you of the result of the comparison of the alleged will with the original document.

I am, Madam, Your obedient servant, CHIEF SECRETARY.

(Signed) Max Norock

Mrs. H. Lawrence White, Butler Hall, 88 Morningside Drive, New York City, U.S.A.


[Letter No. 4, facsimile and quoted by White]

Government of Palestine

In case of reply please quote the date of this letter and the following
No. Y/58/31.

Chief Secretary's Office, Jerusalem, Palestine
Registered
19th May, 1931.

Madam,

In continuation of my letter No. 1232/29 of the 7th of January, 1931, on the subject of the will of the late Sir Abdel Baha Abbas, I am directed to inform you that Mr. Afnan Shoghi Effendi Rabbani permitted a comparison to be made between the document which is reported to be the original will of the deceased and the photographs which you have produced.

Such examination revealed that the photographs appeared to be authentic reproductions of the document produced as the will of the deceased.

I am, Madam, Your obedient Servant, for ACTING CHEIF SECRETARY.

(Signed) Ruhi Abdulhady

Mrs. H. Lawrence White, Butler Hall, 88 Morningside Drive, New York City, U.S.A.


To His Excellency
The High Commissioner of Jerusalem
Palestine.
June 5th, 1931

Your Excellency:

Thank you for your letter of May 19th, Y/58/31, sent through your secretary.

I am glad that the first step has been accomplished, and that you have compared the photographs I sent yuo of the alleged will of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas with the original document purporting to be his will, and found that the photographs are reproductions of it. Thank you for taking this very necessary step. But you of course are aware that my request for an investigation was not in order to ascertain whether the photographs I sent you were copies of this purported document, for I never doubted that they were. My request was for you to ascertain whether the document is authentic or fraudulent. When Dr. Mitchell examined the enlarged photographs of the alleged will he said that he had done all he could with photographs, and that the next step should be for an expert to examine the original alleged will at Haifa in order to ascertain many points that can be ascertained only through an examination of an original document, as for instance--the chemical analysis of the ink, its age, and evidences of erasures, and also evidences of paper having been pieced together, and many other points familiar to a handwriting expert.

After Dr. Mitchell told me this I sent Shoghi Effendi Rabbani a registered letter asking him to grant me permission to send a handwriting expert to Haifa and have the original examined. But to this he did not reply, nor did I expect him to, inasmuch as he has done everything to prevent an investigation. Yet he has not hesitated to collect money from me and other Bahais under the powers granted in this alleged will.

I most respectully repeat my request to you that inasmuch as I am one of the victims of this fraud, and inasmuch as this fraud is continuing to be perpetrated internationally upon the public, and great sums of money colllected under the powers granted in this alleged will, that you have the original alleged will of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas examined by a handwriting expert and report your finding to me. Your report that the photographs examined by the handwriting expert to whom I submitted these (Dr. Mitchell) have been verified as accurate reproductions of the original document, in conjunction with the report of Dr. Mithcell make a prima facie case of fraud against those who have used this alleged will as a basis of soliciting money from the public, and you will hence recognize the necessity of further action on your part.

You already have Dr. Mitchell's report which shows that his examination of the photographs of this alleged will proves it to be fraudulent. You also have photostats of the receipts showing that I contributed to this Bahai Fund (from which Shoghi Effendi receives his tax). And at the time I contributed to this fund it was without knowledge that the alleged will had not been fully authenticated. Therefore as all indications are overwhelmingly in favour of the belief that this alleged will, which was undated, unwitnessed, unprobated and unstamped by the government, is fraudulent, and especially as this belief is backed up by the report of Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell showing it to be fraudulent, I am confident that you will take the final step and have the document examined and make a report so that these victims may no longer be defrauded by Shoghi Effendi Rabanni, who claims to be the successor of Sir Abdul Baha Abbas, and that restitution may be made tome, and to many others, from whom large sums have been obtained under the false pretences.

A report coming from the British Government would have an overwhelming effect in putting a stop to the fraud and thereby His Majesty's Representatives would live up to the wonderful reputation they have established all ove rthe world for rectifying injustices.
I have great hope in the British Government, as I have lived many years in England, and am conversant with the fact that they do not pegeon-hole such matters as is often done in the United States. My confidence in the British Government's sense of justice also made me selecte Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell as the handwriting expert to examine this alleged will.

Please let me know what actionyou take in the matter, and please send your report by registered mail.

With many thanks for your prompt attention to this matter, I am

Very truly yours,
(Signed) Ruth White


[Letter No. 3, facsimile and quoted by White]

Government of Palestine

In case of reply please quote the date of this letter and the following
No. Y/58/31.

Chief Secretary's Office, Jerusalem, Palestine
Registered
10th July, 1931.

Madam,

I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated the 5th June, on the subject of the will of the late Sir Abdel Baha Abbas, and to say that the Government do not feel disposed to take any further administrative actions in the matter.

I am, Madam, Your obedient Servant, for CHEIF SECRETARY

(Signed) Ruhi Abdulhady

Mrs. H. Lawrence White, Butler Hall, 88 Morningside Drive, New York City, U.S.A.


The reader will note that the High Commissioner, in his letter of November 25th asks for photographs of the alleged will in order to compare these photographs with the document from which they had been photographed! This letter astonished me as well as disappointed me as it so evidently evaded the thing I had asked for. I never doubted, nor did anyone else, that the photographs which I had received through Shoghi Effendi were photographs of the alleged will. There could have been no motive in his sending over photographs of something else and saying that they were photographs of this document.

What I had asked for, and what Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell, the expert in London, had said should be done, was for experts to go to Haifa and make a long and careful study of the original alleged will in order to ascertain many things that cannot be ascertained from a photograph such as, for instance, the chemical analysis of the ink and its age, water marks on the paper and the age of this paper, evidences of erasures, or of the piecing together of paper and many other things familiar to handwriting experts. This would have required weeks, and perhaps months of careful research by experts, and yet Ruhi confesses that so brief a time was consumed, in looking over thephotgraphs, that he waited in the office while this was being done. And now, in order to deceive the Bahais, Shoghi Effendi pretends that the comparison of the photographs of the alleged will with the document fromwhich they had been photographed is an authentification of the alleged will!

At first the statements emanating from Shoghi Effendi were worded very cautiously though clearly intended to mislead. Thus in a letter written through his secretary to Mr. E. E. Kluge of Chicago, dated July 10, 1931, he says:

"It might interest you to know, however, that the Will in its entirety has been closely examined by experts appointed by the Palestine government authorities. Note even the slightest objection or the faintest doubt has been expressed concerning its authenticity by them."

Here the implication is made that the alleged will was examined by the authorities with a view to ascertain whether or not it was authentic and that the result was that nothing could be discovered that impugned its authenticity. How far this is from the truth can be seen from the correspondence between the Palestine Secretariat and myself previously given here.

Those who begin to deceive by the implication of their words are likely soon to proceed to plain prevarication, and it is hard to regard as anything else another letter from Shoghi Effendi dated December 1, 1931 to Mrs. Carroll Smith of Dallas, Texas. Mrs. Smith wrote to Shoghi and stated that it had been reported to her that an official comparison had been made of the will with documents known positively to be in the handwriting of Abdul Baha, and she ends the letter as follows:

"Please tell me if such an official comparison really has been made and let the believers know that as a result the Palestine Government certified that the Will was in the Master's handwriting and was genuine.."

To this Shoghi Effendi replied through his secretary, Ruhi Afnan, in a letter part of which is as follows:

"About five or six months ago Mrs. White—who is at the heart of this movement to set the Master's Will aside—wrote the High Commissioner in Palestine on the subject and asked him to find about the authenticity of the document. The High Commissioner wrote to the governor of Haifa & sent the government expert to verify the hand-writing. Shoghi Effendi was written on the subject. Asked to send the Will to the government, he sent me with the will & the expert studied it before me & the governor in the office of the latter. The expert compared the original Will with the handwriting of the Master which Mrs. White had sent him as authentic samples. He said that they are both written by the same person & that the person who had decided otherwise does not know what he is speaking about. The expert was an Englishman who knew nothing of the Cause or the Baha'is & was absolutely impartial. I think the High Commissioner sent to Mrs. White the result of his findings but she preferred to keep quiet about it."

This statement of Shoghi Effendi asserts that "The expert compared the original Will with the handwriting of Abdul Baha which Mrs. White had sent him as authentic samples." This absolutely conflicts with the statement of the High Commissioner in his letter dated May 19, 1931 that "the photographs appeared to be genuine reproductions of the document produced as the Will of the deceased." As Soghi [sic] Effendi's statement stands it means that the photographs of the two samples of teh authentic writings of Abdl Baha which I had procured from two Bibles, in two different churches one in America and one in England, were duplicates of a Will which had been written in the Orient and buried under ground years before! This as the reader can see is not only sheer nonsense but was written with intent to deceive.

I wish to call the attention of the reader to another point also. Shoghi Effendi wrote Mr. Kluge that experts examined the Will. Later he wrote to Mrs. Smith that only one expert examined the Will--an Englishman. The extracts from these two letters are as follows:

"...the Will in its entirety has been closely examined by experts appointed by the Palestine government authorities. Not even the slightest objection or the faintest doubt has been expressed concerning its authenticity by them.

Six months later he wrote to Mrs. Smith through his secretary as follows:

"The High Commissioner wrote to the governor of Haifa & sent the government expert to verify the hand-writing... the expert studied it before me & the governor in the office of the latter. The expert compared the original Will... with the handwriting of the Master which Mrs. White had sent him as authentic samples. He said that they are both written by the same person... The expert was an Englishman..."

After the final statement of the High Commissioner in his letter of May 19th, the reader willnote that I again urged him in my letter of June 5th tomake the examination Ihad asked for, and his last letter to me, dated July 10th shows that the Govenment would not take the actions Ihad asked for, as the following statement shows:

"I am directed... to say that the Government do not feel disposed to take any further administrative actions in the matter."

The "further administrative actions" I had asked for was an examination of the alleged will by experts which would have required weeks and perhaps months of careful work. If the Government really had had the alleged will examined by experts, and had made a definite report showing whether it was spurious or authentic, then as that was all I had asked for there would have been no sense in their replying that, "The government do not feel disposed to take any further administrative actions in the matter."

Furthermore if there had been any authentification of the document wouldn't Shoghi Effendi have been only too eager to have blazoned this to the Bahai World, considering that for four years I had publicly challenged him with the fact that this document was spurious? Wouldn't he have gloried in publishing such a report in all the Bahai publications thereby trying to prove me wrong? But this he did not do. He has kept silent on the subject, except where he could not do otherwise in the two letters already cited. For in these two letters of mr. Kluge and Mrs. Smith, he has asked point blank whether there had been an official authentification of the alleged Will, and he therefore was placed in the embarrassing position which necessitated a reply. His policy has been, and still is to keep quiet, and caution the Bahais to keep as quiet as possible about the matter, hoping that by so doing it will die. But it will not die. What will die is the papistry that Shoghi Effendi and his coterie have set up. For in this enlightened age it is impossible for the people to revert to this mediaeval institution, especially as it is wholly irreconcilable with the Bahai teachings. The reader may ascertain for himself the truth of the statement that the papist group is rapidly diminishing by looking in THE WORLD ALMANAC for 1931 on page 391. There he will find that in 1916 the number of Bahais in the United States and Canada was listed as 2,884. But since this group became papists under Shoghi Effendi their numbes have diminished to 1,247 under his "Guardianship" [1,637 left, over 56%]. On the other hand all the groups who have rejected Shoghi Effendi are rapidly increasing, with the result that the largest number of Baha'is are in the ranks of those who are no longer under this papist domination. [Note White indicates there were multiple Bahai groups who rejected Shoghi Effendi.]

There are three attitudes of mind among the Bahais today toward the alleged will of Abdul Baha. First there is the attitude of this papist group, known under the names of "Spiritual Assemblies", "Local Assemblies" and "National Spiritual Assemblies of Baha'is". The members of this group accept Shoghi Effendi as the "Guardian" whom they believe they are command to obey as if he were God, likewise feeling under the obligation to pay a tax to him, according to the directions given in the alleged will.

The second attitude of mind is that of certain dissident Bahais who although they have thrown off the authority of Shoghi Effendi still nominally accept as authentic the alleged will of Abdul Baha on which this authority is based. This attitude is not a very consistent one, for a Bahai who believes that Abdul Baha bequeathed the powers of "Guardian" to Shoghi and yet refuses to follow the latter is disobeying what he thinks are the commands of Abdul Baha. It is setting a harmful example to future generations to violate deliberately what one believes to be an important teaching of Abdul Baha. However I am confident that the Power which has guided these Bahais in breaking away from teh Papistry of Haifa will lead them further in the right path and that they will ultimately completely reject this so-called Will.

The third attitude toward the alleged will is the right one because it is following the course that Abdul Baha told us to take--to reject any document or letters, purporting to be his, which grants any authority to anyone unless it is proved beyond the question of a doubt that they are his. Therefore, as not only did this alleged will grant Shoghi Effendi more potential authority than a kind and pope combined but moreover the application of it nullifies the teaching of both Baha'o'llah and Abdul Baha, all those who remain true to the Bahai Teachings must reject it as it has never been proved authentic but on the contrary has already been shown to be spurious.

The papal group claimed that a successor or "Guardian" would keep the Bahais united. Far from this having proved true it has brought intense inharmony among the Bahais and chaos to the Cause. Their position is utterly unlogical. That is why we have the astounding spectacle of this group promulgating any number of conflicting principles, without being in the least aware that they are conflicting. For instance they purport to promulgate the principles of Baha'o'llah and of Abdul Baha, the foremost of which was to free all religions from sectarianism, and at the same time they promulgate Shoghi's ideas of a super-sectarian cult more dogmatic and narrower than any other in existence.

The attempt to pervert the Bahai Movement by subjecting it to Organization domination is a parallel to the corruption of primitive Christianity by ecclesiasticism. Recently in trying to ascertain on what authority Christianity was able to establish a papistry new light came to me on this matter. Christ said, after Peter had divined His station: "Blessed art thou, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee but my Father which is in Heaven...thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church." The meaning of this verse seems to have wholly escaped Christians. Christ meant that Peter's inner guidance had revealed to him the station of Christ, and on this spiritual principle of innate knowledge would the church of Christ be built. Not on an outer church or organization confined to bricks and stones but on an inner Church founded on the right of freedom of conscience of every individual. The necessity of freedom of conscience in religion was emphasized by Baha'o'llah and Abdul Baha and they laid great stress on inner guidance which is another aspect of it.

But there is this satisfaction about the whole matter. The officials of the British Government took these steps in order to secure all the information possible from me and to keep this information on file for use in the future should the emergency arise, and through the data I have put at their disposal they are in a position at any time to take decisive action against Shoghi and his organization should he and his adherents ever become powerful. But they will not become powerful, as already shown his organization is rapidly decreasing in numbers, for no movement founded on fraud can succeed.

(Photostat copies of the four letters of the High Commissioner of Palestine, and the two letters of Shoghi Effendi written through his secretary, have been placed on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)

If the reader would like a more detailed history of this subject, the following books by the author, published by The TUTTLE COMPANY, RUTLAND, VERMONT, are recommended:

The Bahai Religion and Its Enemy the Bahai Organization - $2.00

The Alleged Will of Abdul Baha is Fraudulent. (Pamphlet) - .25

Abdul Baha and The Promised Age. 2.00

Those who feel they cannot afford these books may obtain them at half price (except the pamphlet) by writing direct to the author:

Mrs. H. Lawrence White
102 White Building
Utica, New York.

[ See also below these two books and/or Excerpts from the books at bottom of this page:

Ruth White, Bahai Leads Out of the Labyrinth. Universal Publishing Company, 1944. 259 pages. (pages 257, 258, 259 restored)

Ruth White. Abdul Baha's Questioned Will and Testament. Beverly Hills: White, 1946.  ]


In the Documents Deposited by Ruth White at the Library of Congress, immediately following Dr. Mitchell's Report, the following two letters appear, signed by Shoghi Effendi:

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
MANUSCRIPT DIVISION
MISCELLANEOUS MANUSCRIPTS COLLECTION DATA SHEET
Gift, Mrs. H. Lawrence White, 1930 & 1932, [etc.]

Rabbani, H. 1931 Jl10 to E. E. Kluge photocopy
Shoghi Effendi note 4 pgs

Afnan, Ruhi 1931 Dec 1 to Mrs Carroll Smith photocopy
Shoghi note 4 pgs

[Letter No. 1]

Persian Colony,
Haifa, Palestine 1-12-1931

Dear Mrs. Smith:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated Nov. 5th 1931. Shoghi Effendi does not attribute much importance to those who deny the authenticity of the Will because their attitude is not due to a desire to seek the truth, but merely oppose and bring doubts to others. From the very start, he relegated that task to the spirit of the Master who is always vigilant to protect His Cause against the in-roads of its enemies. And thank God the Master has helped him and made their opposition a cause of success for His Faith, rather than a danger to its existence.

About five or six months ago Mrs. White—who is at the heart of this movement to set the Master's Will aside—wrote the High Commissioner in Palestine on the subject and asked him to find about the authenticity of the document. The High Commissioner wrote to the governor of Haifa & sent the government expert to verify the hand-writing. Shoghi Effendi was written on the subject. Asked to send the Will to the government, he sent me with the will & the expert studied it before me & the governor in the office of the latter. The expert compared the original Will with the handwriting of the Master which Mrs. White had sent him as authentic samples. He said that they are both written by the same person & that the person who had decided otherwise does not know what he is speaking about. The expert was an Englishman who knew nothing of the Cause or the Baha'is & was absolutely impartial. I think the High Commissioner sent to Mrs. White the result of his findings but she preferred to keep quiet about it.

The whole trouble is that Mrs. White & her sympathisers are animated with the wrong spirit, a spirit of hatred rather than impartial seeking.

No one could possibly write a will such as that of the Master so as to be able to make the forgery. The spirit of the Master runs through every word of it & clearly shows that its author was inspired by God.

In closing may I assure you of Shoghi Effendi's loving greetings & best wishes.

Yours ever sincerely,
Ruhi Afnan

With the assurance of my loving prayers for you at the holy shrines, your true brother, Shoghi

[Letter No. 2]

(To Mr E. E. Kluge)

July 10th, 1931

Dear Baha'i Brother,

I am directed by Shoghi Effendi to inform you of the receipt of your letter dated June 12th, 1931.

Your whole letter centers around the authenticity of 'Abdu'l-Baha's Will, a thing which no one in the Orient among the believers & the enemies of the Cause has thought to challenge.

Shoghi Effendi has felt it below his dignity to subject so sacred a document to a scientific expert examination so long as no serious doubt has been entertained by any considerable number of believers throughout the world.

2

It might interest you to know, however, that the Will in its entirety has been closely examined by experts appointed by the Palestine government authorities. Not even the slightest objection or the faintest doubt has been expressed concerning its authenticity by them.

'Abdu'l-Baha has even stated that the House of Justice would be the only [only underlined] body that would administer the affaires of the Cause after Him. The fact He has in a Tablet revealed to Persian believers who had questioned Him about this point stated plainly that this was "a hidden secret concealed within the shell of the Cause" & that its significance would surely be revealed in the future.

3

Shoghi Effendi never felt the need, nor does he feel it at present, in spite of your letter, to expatiate upon such matters. The very progress of the Cause, the extension of the Administration, will in themselves constitute the surest evidences of the authenticity of the Will as well as of the soundness of all its provisions.

He wishes you, therefore, not to indulge in premature & hasty considerations which can bring in their wake nothing but disillusionment & regret.

Even in Germany where a certain number of believers have fallen the dupe to Mrs. White's foolish assertions, a few among them have expressed themselves as having been misled in this matter. They have plainly stated that their objections have not been directed to either the Will or the institution of the Guardianship but to the personnel of the National Assembly & the manner it is functioning.

The future will surely reveal not only the truth but also will testify in a manner that none can question the wisdom of the verities enshrined in so priceless & momentous a document.

With the assurance of Shoghi Effendi's prayers for your spiritual advancement & the removal of every doubt that may still perplex your mind.

Yours sincerely,
H. Rabbani

read & approved
Shoghi


Partial Copy of Letter in Ac. Div.:

September 2, 1930.

A photostat copy of a "Report on the Writing shown on the photographs of the alleged will of Abdul Baha." The report is by Dr. C. Ainsworth Mitchell of 85, Eccleston Square, London, England, and who is the editor of "The Analyst."

This is an important historical document concerning the Bahai Religion. I therefore wish you to place it on file in your library. Please file it under "Bahai Religion" or "Bahai Literature," and also under "Abdul Baha," otherwise researchers of the Bahai Religion would not find it.

Signed Ruth White (Mrs. H. Lawrence White, Butler Hall, 88 Morningside Drive, New York City


These and further documents desposited by Ruth White at the Library of Congress in PDF at Ruth White Collection, Library of Congress, 1930


Ruth White on nsa lawsuit against Sohrab and Chanler

Ruth White. Bahai Leads Out of the Labyrinth, Universal Publishing Company, New York, 1944. 205-206.

The one hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Bahai Religion will take place on May 23rd, 1944. Yet here also the Power within it has been more or less entombed due to the fact that since the passing of Abdul Baha from this world the organized group of Bahais (The National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais) under the dictatorship of Shoghi Effendi, have brought Fascism or totalitarianism into it.

Unbelievable as it may seem, they tried to copy-right the Bahai Religion, and they instituted two law suits during 1941* against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab, and Mrs. Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler, to prohibit them, or anyone else, from calling themselves "Bahais", or from spreading the religion unless they did so through their organization. and according to their dictates.

Naturally the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais lost both suits, and they were severely reprimanded by the judge. He made it clear to them that in this day of religious freedom, no one can copyright a religion or claim the exclusive rights to it.

Mirza Sohrab and Mrs. Chanler who are the founders of The New History Society, established to spread the Bahai teachings, did a great service to mankind, by winning these two suits. They won religious freedom for the Bahai Movement and broke the strangle hold that the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais had over it which had impeded its progress. Abdul Baha said: "No one can bottle up the Bahai Spirit. The Bahai Spirit is the most illusive ether; it is here, it is there, it is everywhere. It is the origin and substance of the highest ideals of this and the coming ages. The Bahai Spirit is undogmatic, super-racial, inter-social and non-partisan."

"The Bahai Religion is not an exclusive society, but a Divine congregation, the dome of which is the Infinite Heaven, and the temple of which is the expanse of the earth."


Ruth White. Abdul Baha's Questioned Will and Testament. Beverly Hills: White, 1946:

"The scientific indications are that the will of Abdul-Baha is not genuine. Also, from the spiritual viewpoint, there are overwhelming indications that it is not genuine, as it contradicts the teachings of both Baha'u'llah and of Abdul-Baha" (11). But whether the alleged will of Abdul Baha is authentic or spurious, the results of the administration of Shoghi Effendi and the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is stand as an historical indictment against them. They no more represent the Bahai Religion than the bigots of the dark ages of Christianity.

"One of these actions is the trade marking of the name "Baha'i" in 1928. This is the same as if one sect within Christianity had tried to trade mark the name "Christian." In their application for the trade mark they described themselves as the" "National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is of the United States and Canada, a common-law corporation, organized and operated under declaration of trust and doing business at . . . " This trademark was later pronounced invalid by the court when the Assembly instituted two law-suits, during 1941, against two well-known Bahais, to prevent them, or anyone else, from spreading the Bahai teachings except through their organization. Of course the Assembly lost both suits and they were severely reprimanded by Judge Valente, who reminded them of the Bill of Rights, and pointed out that each one has a right to practice his religion unmolested by others.

"The Assembly of Baha'is use the assets that Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha built up by preaching some of their principles from the platform. But in private, after a person has joined the Assembly, that person is faced with the alternative of complying with the narrow, bigoted edicts of Shoghi Effendi and the Assembly, or of being excommunicated.

"This book is a challenge to them to prove, if they can, not only whether the will of Abdul-Baha is genuine, and the authority which they claim to derive from it is legitimate, but also whether their administration of their assumed authority is in the spirit of the teachings of Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha" (12-13).

DELETED from H-Bahai version [emphasizes true religion respects the individual and democracy.]

DELETED from H-Bahai version [emphasizes the spiritual impact of Abdul-Baha on White.]

"For in the hands of Shoghi Effendi, and The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and Canada, the great universal Bahai Cause has been changed into a narrow bigoted sect and many of the tactics of the dark ages have been revived. This is what has happened to the religion that many leading thinkers of the day believe is the remedy for this age" (26).

"Neither [Abdul-Baha] nor Baha'u'llah had given the slightest intimation that they intended to appoint an hereditary guardianship. In fact everything that they had said or spoken indicated the opposite intention.
 
"I also did a great deal of recollecting of events that had happened during our two visits to the home of Abdul-Baha, where I had an opportunity to see him in relation to his family and his "in-laws." The deductions that I made confirmed what Abdul-Baha had so often said--that the spiritual relationship was the real kinship, and not the physical. For his family, with the exception of his wife and sister, were the average types with a strong bent toward organized religion, whereas Abdul-Baha was universal, "super-racial and undogmatic." The world was his family. His loving care for his universal family was evident throughout his life, but at no time was it more evident than during the first world war and directly after it. He personally supervised vast agricultural projects at Tiberias and Adassieh, and he rationed and distributed the products that he cultivated, thereby saving thousands from starvation" (28-29).

"It is important for those who are interested in the Bahai Religion to free themselves from the idea that the family of Abdul-Baha is a "Holy Family." In fact his family, and "in-laws," with the exception of his wife and sister, were somewhat materialistic, and viewed the religion more or less as a little family affair with a strong bent toward organization. For years they have indoctrinated, more or less, the pilgrims who visited the home of Abdul-Baha, myself included, with this conception of religion. This partly nullified the great universal teachings. The result was that when Abdul-Baha passed from this world in November, 1921, some of his family, who had laid the ground-work for organization through these pilgrims while he was alive, hastened to establish it more firmly when he died. All this resulted in making the Bahai Movement, under the dictatorship of Shoghi Effendi, an organization which for narrowness and bigotry has no parallel in history except in the dark ages" (31).

DELETED from H-Bahai version [ Abdul-Baha emphasizes that "Hands of the Cause" "is only a verbal expression" and that He definitely did not intend to "Appoint" anyone versus a theocracy.]

"Not until three years had elapsed after the alleged will had been read in 1922, were copies of it finally distributed, and then only to "old and recognized believers." I was among those who received a copy. But my stand continued to be one of "watchful waiting." This stand on my part caused me no embarrassment, inasmuch as I had never been a member of the Bahai organization, (Spiritual Assemblies of the Bahais). I knew that belonging to them meant conforming to the group repression and being shorn of the universal attitude which Abdul-Baha said is the essence of the Bahai Cause" (40).

"In May 1926 the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais incorporated the Bahai Cause, made the alleged will part of the by-laws, and proclaimed it an article of faith that Shoghi Effendi as the Guardian of the Bahai Cause must be obeyed in all things. The alleged will had never been examined by handwriting experts. by the powers granted in the alleged will, the Guardian collected large sums of money, and sent out various pleas for this purpose" (40).

"As Mr. Mountford Mills was one of the "well known Baha'is" who had gone to Palestine shortly after the passing of Abdul-Baha, I wrote to him asking him to give me what information he could concerning the alleged will. Mr. Mills, by the way, drew up the by-laws of the Bahai Cause, than which nothing could be more un-Bahai. although he is an exceptionally fine man, that did not interfere with his blindness. Just after he had drawn these by -laws, my husband and I had an interview with him, in which he said that the had recently finished reading 'Christianity Past and Present' by Charles Guignebert, and that if he had read it before drafting those by-laws the history of the Bahai Cause would have been different. In other words Mr. Mills deeply regretted his action" (45).

DELETED from H-Bahai version [Of these four excisions from the H-Bahai copy of White's book, this one is the most incriminating. In it she emphasizes that Abdul-Baha always maintained that Bahais should require his signature for verification of the authenticity of his Tablets and pronouncements, which would have applied all the more to something as important as a purported will and testament. She also quotes on the previous page Abdul-Baha applying this injunction even to Shoghi Effendi and his brother Ruhi] (50).

"Dr. Mitchell not only spent months examining the enlarged specimens submitted to him, but he examined minutely every line of the ten photographs of the alleged will, and his conclusion is that it is not written throughout by the same person. This fact, in addition to others, indicates that the will is spurious, especially if we bear in mind that Shoghi Effendi, and the Spiritual Assembly of Bahai's, assert that every word of it is written in the hand of Abdul-Baha. Also if we bear in mind that it is undated and unwitnessed, and that it contradicts the teachings that both Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha gave during their lifetimes--that the Bahai Cause is a spiritual democracy and not a theocracy. The appointment of an hereditary guardianship contradicts this" (69).

"Dr. Mitchell's report also shows that none of the handwriting of the alleged will is the same as the authentic specimens of Abdul-Baha's handwriting that were submitted to him" (69).

"Most persons are unaware of the fact that handwriting experts use modern inventions that measure the slants, the spaces, and the tremors of writing so accurately that it makes the difference between two specimens of different writing overwhelmingly apparent, when these are enlarged, even though one of the specimens may be so clever a forgery of the other as to appear identical to the naked eye" (69-70).

"Those Bahais who assert that they are familiar with the handwriting of Abdul-Baha, and have compared it with the writing of the will, and have found them identical, reveal the fact that they are either totally unaware of the science used by the best handwriting experts, or else fear has prompted them to assert their belief in the authenticity of the will--fear of being excommunicated if they so much as question the document. This science that the best handwriting experts use is so mathematically accurate that any number of experts using these modern inventions will arrive at the same results" (70).

"I have already referred to the extreme care that Abdul-Baha showed in regard to letters purporting to be from him, sent or brought to this country. The following instance shows that he was even more careful to make certain that any Tablet or document of his relating to important public matters was properly translated and authenticated before it was sent out. He wrote a Tablet to the Secretary of the Court for Durable Peace, at the Hague, on December 17, 1919, and he considered it necessary to have four men translate it. These four men were Shoghi Effendi (Rabbani), Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi, Mirza Lotfullah Hakim, and Dr. J. E. Esselmont. This Tablet was signed Abdul-Baha Abbas, and was published in the Star of the West (Bahai Magazine), August 1, 1920, with the four names of the translators and witnesses."

"The quadruple witnessing of this Tablet, written two years before Abdul-Baha passed from this world, make it evident that he did not consider Shoghi Effendi careful enough, or efficient enough, to translate the Table to the Court of Durable Peace without the help of three other men. Is it likely, then, that at this very time and authentic will of Abdul-Baha's, of infinitely greater importance than this Tablet to the Hague, should lay hidden in the earth, undated and unwitnessed, in which this same Shoghi Effendi was appointed sole guardian of the Bahai Cause, with more potential power and wealth than asking and pope combined? And that later this same will was translated by the one person only, the beneficiary himself--Shogi Effendi. Is this in accordance with Abdul-Baha's super-carefulness?" (70-71).

"Abdul Baha said that if an angel from heaven comes down and tries to change the teachings of Baha'u'llah, do not believe him. Shoghi Effendi has changed them by pronouncements and actions which are in direct contradiction to Bahai teachings--above all he has changed the very character and fundamental principle of the Cause by putting a theocracy, which the founders said it was not [boldface in original], in place of the spiritual democracy which they said, over and over again, it is. The following instances show what acceptance of the alleged will has done to the blind followers of its rules."

"Mr. Horace Holley, as spokesman for Shoghi Effendi, made this statement in 1925: 'The individual conscience must be subordinated to the decisions of the elected Spiritual Assembly.'" [boldface in original]

"This statement strikes at the very foundation of the Bahai Cause, as one of its cardinal teachings is that man must have freedom of conscience. Among dozens of instances that could be given of Abdul-Baha's statements on this subject is the following: '... the conscience of man is sacred and to be respected . . . '" (73-74).

"We can see from the foregoing that Abdul-Baha emphasized the necessity of man's being able to exercise freedom of conscience, as Baha'u'llah did" (75).

"During the lifetime of Abdu'l Baha the attempts of the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is to organize the Bahai Religion were held in abeyance, but after he passed from this world, under the dictates of Shoghi Effendi, they swung it into an organization the like of which has not been seen since the dark ages. They tried to exercise the power over the Bahai world that Baha'u'llah said would be vested in the SUPREME TRIBUNAL of the future world governments. In order to enforce this power they excommunicated those who would not accept their pronouncements, and twice the members of the National Assembly sued at law in order to try and prevent other Bahaies from promulgating the religion which they held in common; but, fortunately, they lost both these suits. Judge Valente, reprimanding them, reminded them of the Bill of Rights, which grants freedom to every man to practice his religion unmolested. All of this the reader can learn in the ensuing pages" (76).

[Ruth White quotes Abdul-Baha]: "The worst enemies of the Cause are in the Cause and mention the Name of God. We need not fear the enemies on the outside for such can be easily dealt with. But the enemies who call themselves Friends and who persistently violate every fundamental law of Love and Unity are difficult to deal with in this Day. . . ."

"This last paragraph applies overwhelmingly to the activities of Shoghi Effendi, and the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is. They have violated the principles of brotherhood and unity because of their inversions of the Bahai teachings. These inversions are all the more tragic of this particular time when the world has been made receptive, through much suffering, to the great universal principles of the Bahai Religion. Two prophecies of Baha'u'llah have been so accurately fulfilled--the discovery of Atomic Power, and the embryonic Supreme Tribunal as manifested in the United Nations Organization that we would do well to consider the third--the possible destruction of our planet unless we circumvent this threatened fate by a balanced spiritual civilization" (84-85).

"This matter of freedom of conscience is the most important part of the Bahai Teachings. God has given man free-will, and no earthly priestcraft nor dictatorship must interfere with man's using that free-will in matters of faith and the inner relationship between the soul and God. This is the meaning of the spiritual democracy of which Abdul-Baha so often speaks--religion percolating through all the affairs of our daily life, and an ideal political government coming into existence as the result of the change of man's nature and belief."

"This is just the twist that the present leaders of the Bahai organization have tried to give to the Universal Message of Baha'u'llah."

"There are many other wholly un-Bahai edicts that Shoghi Effendi and the National Spiritual Assembly of Bahais have issued beside these two that follow: ". . . the individual conscience must be subordinated to the decisions of the Spiritual Assembly, ... and: '. . . individual Bahai effort without due consultation is foredoomed to failure" (87-88).

"Everyone of these edicts are inversions of the Bahai Teachings, as given to the world by the Founders of the Cause."

"In saying that recognized Bahais must not vote in any election based on a party system Shoghi Effendi and his hierarchy have set up what might be considered a government within each government in every country where there are enough of his followers. Over that government he is supreme dictator. His subjects must pay taxes to him (tithes) and he forbids his followers to vote on national and civic affairs. All his edicts no matter how un-patriotic, or how much in violation of the universal principles of the Bahai Religion, must be obeyed under threat of excommunication."

"This revival of excommunication is a horrible inversion of the Bahai teachings--the Revelation for which Baha'u'llah suffered imprisonment for twenty-five years, and Adbu'l-Baha for forty years--the Cause for which twenty thousand martyrs sacrificed their lives to establish freedom of conscience and to unite all mankind regardless of religion, race or country. The idea of excommunication is impossible in the world envisaged by Baha'u'llah" (89-90). 

"Whether the alleged will of Abdul Baha is authentic or spurious, the results of the administration of Shoghi Effendi and the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is stand as an historical indictment against them. [Boldface in original] They no more represent the Bahai Religion than the bigots of the dark ages of Christianity.

"We had the dark ages because the bigots of that era got control of Christ's teachings and tortured all those who did not comply with their interpretation. Shoghi Effendi, and the National Spiritual Assembly of Baha'is, cannot in this day resort to physical torture to enforce their will, but they have resorted to mental torture by blackmailing with excommunication all those who do not comply with their inverted teachings" (100).


See also Hermann Zimmer, A FRAUDULENT TESTAMENT Devalues the Bahai Religion Into Political Shoghism. 1973. Pdf


Abdul-Baha's 1912 Authentic Covenant