Distinguishing Personal Correspondence of Secretaries from Letters on Shoghi Effendi's Behalf
by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice2019-02-18
Dear Bahá’í Friend,
The Universal House of Justice has received your email letter of 9 October 2016 asking about instances where letters written by the Guardian’s secretaries may not have been written on his behalf. We have been directed to respond as follows. The long delay in our reply is very much regretted.
In most cases, the collections of letters written by and on behalf of the Guardian that have been published in the past were compiled under the direction of National Spiritual Assemblies, using the material contained in their Archives and other sources. The selection of items is generally left to the discretion of the National Assembly. However, as you have observed, in rare instances a personal letter written by a secretary has been inadvertently included in a published volume. Such a letter is not difficult to identify as it does not indicate that it was written on Shoghi Effendi’s behalf. If for any reason the status of a particular letter seems unclear, the friends should seek clarification from the House of Justice, as you have done.
You have inquired about two letters that appear in Messages to the Antipodes: Communications from Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’í Communities of Australasia (Mona Vale: Bahá’í Publications Australia, 1997). It is apparent that the 30 December 1925 letter written by Soheil Afnan is a personal letter from Soheil Afnan. The original or a copy of the 19 April 1925 letter is not held at the Baha’i World Centre, and therefore it cannot be authenticated. The National Spiritual Assembly of Australia is being asked to remove these letters from the book when it is reprinted.
With loving Bahá’í greetings,cc: National Assembly of Australia
Department of the Secretariat