I. From 'Abdu'l-Bahá
"As to Khayru'llah's book: The blessing of God will be cut off from the
house in which a copy of it is found, inasmuch as it is sheer slander.
Should one compare his first book with his second, one would readily
discover to what extent their texts are contradictory and how much he has
lied. In fact the motive behind his second book was but to deceive and
mislead the people. Hence God uprooted him, humbled him to dust and
reduced him to utter perdition."
(From a letter dated 2 October 1906 to an individual believer)
II. From Shoghi Effendi
"It is better not to read books by Covenant Breakers because they are
haters of the Light, sufferers from a spiritual leprosy, so to speak. But
books by well meaning yet unenlightened enemies of the Cause can be read
so as to refute their charges."
(From a letter dated 19 March 1945 written on behalf of the Guardian to
an individual believer)
"Regarding the pamphlets of the Covenant-breakers received in Tihran the
Guardian stated that these papers which are not worthy of any attention
whatsoever were received in the Holy Land. Any further material sent in
the future should be ignored, and no refutation or reply be given, because
the material is regarded as baseless distortion of truth."
(From a letter dated 16 November 1947 written on behalf of the Guardian
to the National Spiritual Assembly of Persia - translated from the Persian)
III. From the Universal House of Justice
"To read the writings of Covenant-breakers is not forbidden to the
believers and does not constitute in itself an act of Covenant-breaking.
Indeed, some of the Bahá'ís have the unpleasant duty to read such
literature as part of their responsibilities for protecting the Cause of
Bahá'u'lláh. However, the friends are warned in the strongest terms
against reading such literature because Covenant-breaking is a
spiritual poison and the calumnies and distortions of the truth which the
Covenant-breakers give out are such that they can undermine the faith of
the believer and plant the seeds of doubt unless he is forearmed with an
unshakable belief in Bahá'u'lláh and His Covenant and a knowledge of the
(From a letter dated 29 October 1974 to the National Spiritual Assembly of
"In reply to your letter of 16 March 1976 (regarding books by William
Miller) the Universal House of Justice instructs us to say that it is to
be expected that books will be written against the Faith attempting to
distort its teachings, to denigrate its accomplishments, to vilify its
Founders and leaders and to destroy its very foundations. The friends
should not be unduly exercised when these books appear and certainly no
issue should be made of them. There should be no attempt made to destroy
or remove such books from libraries. On the other hand there is no need at
all for the friends to acquire them, and indeed, the best plan is to
ignore them entirely."
(From a letter dated 30 March 1976 to the National Spiritual Assembly of
"It is true that should a believer read the writings of Covenant-breakers
or enemies of the Cause and permit these words to instill doubts about the
truth of Bahá'u'lláh's Cause such a believer would then be considered as
having been infected by the poison of Covenant-breaking. However, since
you returned the book to your local library upon being informed of the true
nature of its contents and told your District Teaching Committee and your
National Spiritual Assembly about the matter, it is clear that you took
the correct steps and should therefore, with complete confidence, turn to
Bahá'u'lláh for protection and guidance, fully assured that His promise to
assist those who turn to Him will be fulfilled."
(From a letter dated 29 March 1977 to an individual believer)
"The House of Justice has instructed us to say that, as you are no doubt
aware, it is not prohibited for Bahá'ís to read the writings of
Covenant-breakers, but they are warned strongly of the dangers of doing
so, as the misrepresentations and calumnies in such writings can erode
Excerpts from other letters
"The picture on page 83 of William Miller's book is a portrait of
Bahá'u'lláh, but different from the one displayed in the International
Universal House of Justice to an individual 30 March 1980
"We would like to point out to you that the National Spiritual Assembly
has no documentation verifying the authenticity of the illustrations in Mr.
William McElwee Miller's book, and as such they cannot be regarded as
being of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab."
Letter from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United
States to an individual 6 February 1981
[note: The Universal House of Justice has above and elsewhere confirmed the authenticity of the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh contained in this book. However, the illustration of the Bab is believed to be inauthentic. -J.W., 2001]