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Those who believe in continuation of Guardianship
The "Guardian-groups" have a very interesting history! Basically, there are three groups which each believe they have a Guardian, and one group that awaits a Guardian:
1. Orthodox Baha'is (followers of Joel B. Marangella)
Majority of these groups believe that Charles Mason Remy was the Second Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
Mason Remey claimed that he was the Second Guardian of the Baha'I Faith because:
At the death of Shoghi Effendi, while he was in London, his widow put out a telegraph stating that the Guardian was "very ill"; knowing he was in fact deceased.
When the Hands later met in Haifa to open the safe, they broke the seal, and they found no Will and Testament. Later that night, one of the Hands (a Persian) later told other Persian Hands that the Guardianship was "BADA" (i.e. God changed His mind on the matter), and that the Guardianship was over for all time. At first the American and British Baha'is were appauled by such a doctrine, but they later recanted, and all (including Remey) signed a document stateing that the Guardian left no successor, so the Hands would now be the HEAD of the Faith.
Years before, Remey claimed that he had been approached by a number ofthe Hands who said, "The Guardian wants you to succeed him should he die without a son!" Remey probably believed that these same Hands would come forward and nominate him as 2nd Guardian. This did not happen.
Instead, Ruhiyyih Khannum (widow of Shoghi Effendi) and the Persian Hand who came up with the new "BADA" doctrine of the Guardianship, and a few others, DISBANDED the International Baha'i Council, and formed a new institution called the "Custodians". These were be 9 Hands who would run the Faith. This included Ruhiyyih Khannum and some "hand picked" Hands who would support her and her decisions. For all practical purposes, Khannum "ruled" the Baha'i Faith from that point until her death.
Mason declared he was the 2nd Guardian, and was declared a Covenant-Breaker by the Custodians. The NSA of France and about 5,000 individual Baha'is followed Mason Remey. For the next few years the Hands went around "declaring" anyone who would not renounce Remey. The Remeyites started their own group called "Baha'is Under the Hereditary Guardianship". Rex King was nominated "Secretary General" in the United States; which at that time had perhaps 1500 to 2000 members.
Leland Jensen (a Knight of Baha'u'llah) was elected a Member of the NSA. King and Jensen were at each other all the time. Jensen eventually resigned because of King, and later became a follower of Donald Harvey (Mason's successor). King was excommunicated by Mason Remey for being "satan". What King did to deserve this I don't know. He apparently "pissed off" quite a few Baha'is because during his tenure as Secretary-General of the "Orthodox Baha'i NSA" half of the NSA resigned as MOST of the "Orthodox Baha'is" either resigned, returned to the "Haifan" organization, joined Leland Jensen's group,or went completely inactive.
Rex King then formed his own group called "Baha'i: Orthodox Community"in Las Vegas, New Mexico. They said that Remey was not "Guardian" but rather merely a "Regent", and that the IBC was a "Council of Regents"to rule the Faith until a true descendant of Baha'u'llah would come forward and become Guardian (the Regents would declare him such). King appointed himself the next Regent, and his own family members fellow "Regents". This group later named themselves "Baha'i: Tarbiyat Community".
The largest of the Guardian groups today are the "Orthodox Baha'is" who support Joel Bray Marangella.
Mason appointed Donald Harvey as his successor in 1967; a man not among the 9. Joel B. Marangella said that this appointment (of Harvey) was invalid since, by that time, Remey had "gone senile" and didn't know what he was doing. Marangella also said that since Remey"activated" the IBC (9 men) in 1965, Joel became the "Third Guardian"at that time; since Remey "abdicated" his Guardianship
Dr. Leland Jensen (founder of the Baha'is Under the Provisions of the Covenant) accepted Donald Harvey as Remey's successor until Harvey excommunicated him (for claiming to be Jesus returned and the "Establisher" of the Baha'i Faith...a position actually superior to Guardian). Then Jensen declared that Pepe Remey (Mason's adopted son) was the Guardian, but Pepe denied this; finally telling Jensen's followers that Jensen was false, corrupt, and a liar. Some of Jensen's followers discovered these letters from Pepe Remey and then left Jensen and followed Jacques Soghomonian. Neal Chase, a firm disciple of Jensen, was in communication with Pepe Remey, and Pepe Remey (being an old man by this time) once referred to Chase as "my son" (or on several occassions). This made Chase to claim that Pepe was his spiritual father; just as 'Abdu'l-Baha was the spiritual father of Charles Remey, calling him "my son". So, while Pepe Remey said "I am NOT the Guardian of the Faith, Jacques Soghomonian is the Guardian", Neal Chase said, "Oh, well, of course Pepe Remey was the Guardian, and he called me 'son' so I'm his successor and the third Guardian of the Baha'i Faith". The current Baha'is Under the Provisions of the Covenant have 5 "Communities"
Jacques Soghomonian was (like Joel B. Marangella) a member of the NSA of France when Mason Remey declared he was the 2nd Guardian. The NSA of France accepted Mason as the 2nd Guardian. The Custodians (the 9 Hands who ran the Faith after Shoghi Effendi died) declared the NSA of France to be "defunct" and changed the locks on the doors and confescated the H.Q.
The current group that follows Jacques Soghomonian (Baha'is Loyal to the Guardian) has about 50 members worldwide.
The paper "Charles Mason Remey and Those That Followed Him", written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, says that Donald Harvey died without appointing a successor. This is not accurate. Harvey appointed Jacques Soghomonian as his successor. This was known by all : Leland Jensen, Pepe Remey, etc.