National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France only recognized the authority of the living Guardian of the Faith
Alarmed by the decision taken by the NSA of France, a telegram was received from the Hands of the Faith in Haifa, announcing the visit of then Hand of the Cause 'Abu'l-Qasin Faizi. The President was informed of this by telephone and with his consent; the secretary convened an extraordinary meeting [of the NSA] for Saturday, the 7th of May 1960 at 1400 hours. At almost the same moment, each member of the NSA of France received a telegram from Mr. Barafroukhteh, who, on his own authority and for his own purpose, was convening a meeting at the same time (to receive Mr. Faizi).
At the appointed time, Mr. Faizi, accompanied by Mr. Navidi, an Auxikliary Board member, resident in Monte Carlo, presented themselves at the Haziratu'l-Quds. The President, Mr. Marangella, who had arrived at precisely 1400 hours apprised Mr. Faizi that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France would meet prior to their being received by the Assembly in order to administer certain matters. Mr. Faizi took no notice of this and showed him a letter of introduction.
Who isLegitimate Successors According to the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá?
The President (Joel B. Marangella) told Mr. Faizi that he was in no doubt, as to his mission on behalf of the Hands in Haifa, but that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France only recognized the authority of the living Guardian of the Faith and of a future Universal House of Justice that is inseparable from a living Guardian (presiding as its “sacred head”) and whose establishment will be announced at a date to be fixed by the present Guardian or one of his legitimate successors according to the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, but in any case, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of France needed to be convened prior to receiving him. In every way, Mr. Marangella was exercising his rights as President of the NSA of France and he tried to convene the NSA of France before receiving Mr. Faizi.
Mr. Faizi refused to allow the NSA to convene, insisting that they meet and place themselves at his disposal. This exchange lasted a fair while, but owing to the impossibility of obtaining from Mr. Faizi its right to convene, the NSA concluded: “We will receive you outside of any normal and legal session of the NSA, simply as a group of individual Bahá'ís.”
After the reading of a prayer, Mr. Barafroukhteh, prompted by Mr. Tamenne, made an disingenuous remark directed to Mr. Marangella and Mr. Fillon, because they had conferred together apart from the rest, regarding the illegality of the acceptance of the meeting, which was outside a normal legal session of the NSA and consequently out of order. The result of this remark was that Mr. Marangella and Mr. Fillon, who had been seated together, were separated by Mr. Tamenne, who, on his own authority, chose to sit between them.
This description of the atmosphere at the commencement of this meeting, whilst excessively negative, is described in order to show the complete absence of spiritual life, which characterized it, as well as the absolute illegality, and irregularity of the meeting according to proper Bahá'í Administration. During the meeting Mr. Faizi asked who were the members who had recognized Mason Remey as the Second Guardian. There was, initially, a protest among a certain number of them regarding this inquisitorial question, the vote being regarded as strictly confidential, secret and within the purview of the National Spiritual Assembly. Finally, in face of such a flagrant violation, Messrs. Joel B. Marangella, Monir Derakhchan, Jacques Soghomonian, Donald Harvey and Bernard Fillon raised their hands in unison, whereupon Mr. Faizi declared that he was dissolving the National Spiritual Assembly of France. This action on the part of Mr. Faizi left one speechless.
By what right was the NSA of France dissolved by a Hand of the Cause Mr. Faizi?
By what right was this [National Spiritual Assembly] dissolved [by a Hand of the Cause]? Can one find this authority within the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá? Although Mr. Faizi, as a Hand of the Cause, lacked any authority under the terms of the Will and Testament of`Abdu'l-Bahá to declare a National Spiritual Assembly dissolved, but because, after this meeting with the NSA he had then journeyed throughout France to meet with the several LSA’s for the purpose of denouncing Mason Remey, his pernicious influence over these Assemblies was such as to make it impossible for the National Spiritual Assembly to continue to effectively function the Assembly decided to terminate further activity.
Dr. A. Parikh
Hand of Cause and the Secretary of National Baha’i Council of India,