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Baha’i Studies Bulletin Vol 2 #1 June 1983 pp73-4

Persian Colony



Dear Mr. Lunt:

Shoghi Effendi wishes me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated May 12th 1930 as well as the enclosed minutes of the N.S.A. He hopes that the changes made in the secretarial work will be for the good, for generally dividing the work between heads brings confusion. After a few years of labour the secretarial work became systematic, and organized. Shoghi Effendi hopes that the present form it has taken will be a step forward. Anyhow you have his earnest prayers and best-wishes.

Concerning the New History Society which seems to have aroused great admiration among some—-& great indignation among others, it has really become a problem very difficult to solve. Even though both the Assembly and individuals have written to Shoghi Effendi & asked his opinion none seems daring enough to take a stand. As long as Ahmad does not want to accept the administration, Shoghi Effendi cannot conscientiously trust him. To accept the Cause without the administration is like to accept the teachings without acknowledging the divine station of Baha’u’llah. To be a Baha'i is to accept the Cause in its entirety.To take exception to one basic principle is to deny the authority & sovereignty of Baha’u’llah, & therefore is to deny the Cause. The administration is the social order of Baha’u’llah. Without it all the principles of the Cause will remain abortive. To take exception to this, therefore, is to take exception to the fabric that Baha’u’llah has prescribed, it is to disobey His law.

In his letters to the Assembly as well as to the individual friends, Shoghi Effendi has made it clear that the friends should in no way associate themselves with the New History Society if these fail to obey the Assemblies. What the friends have been doing is to win over the Assemblies to the New history Society rather than by showing a firm stand make the History Society come to the Assemblies. And this has greatly displeased Shoghi Effendi.

In the May Number of the 'Psychology' a copy of which the History Society sent one there is an article on the Baha'i movement. It definitely states that there are “two sister organizations; one meetting at 110 West 57th Street; the other the New History Society." It is strange that old and experienced Baha'is should acquiesce with such articles that strike at the unity of the Cause, that the Master tried to secure.

It may be that the New History Society has succeeded to attract many souls into the Cause. No one denies that. But there is no reason why such work should not be achieved by the Baha'is. The teachings are Baha'i teachings only poluted. The only thing they have is that they possess on their staff a person who refuces to accept the social order of Baha'u'llah & whose main object -s personal ascendancy. That they succeed only shows that the Baha'is are failing to do their duty and nothing more.

Excuse me for writing so strongly but it is a candid expression of Shoghi Effendi’s attitude. Notwithstanding this, however, it all rests with the National Assembly to see what is advisable. It is a local problem that they have to solve. Shoghi Effendi only hopes that the members of that spiritual body will be guided in their work and will follow what is to the best interest of the Cause.

Shoghi Effendi hopes that this newly elected assembly will succeed to accomplish a great deal in the field of teaching. We have to add to our numbers & get in new blood if we desire to live and inaugurate the social status that Baha'u'llah has brought to the world. With best wishes and loving greetings,

Yours ever sincerely,

Ruhi Afnan

My dear co-workers

The newly established Secretariat as well as the character of the proceedings of this year's memorable convention have filled my heart with joy and hopefulness. I strongly feel that the teaching work should be regarded henceforth as the paramount issue facing the American believers. Ahmad Sohrab's activities should be watched carefully, lest a weak handling of this extremely delicate situation may confuse the minds of the friends & cause a split in the Cause. The Cause has already triumphed over such cases which flare up for a tine & then recede into the shadows of oblivion & are thought of no more. The case of Khayrullah, Fareed, Dyar, Mrs,Whyte and others testify to this truth. May the Beloved guide your steps, inspire your hearts & bless your efforts.


1930-05-30 to Alfred Lund re New History Society & Sohrab

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