One of the biggest controversies in Bahai history was rapidly fading out of the memory of the mainstream Bahai community. But thanks to the internet and its vast repository of free-flowing information and the court case done by the Haifa-based Bahai Faith on two of its denomination, the Haifa-based Bahai Faith will never be able to cover up what happened in 1957, despite their best efforts to ignore it and minimize its importance. In that year, The Bahai Faith lost what was supposed to be its unending chain of infallible spiritual authority when the first Guardian of the faith died without clearly designating any successor.

Bahaullah had appointed his son Abdul-Baha to succeed him as leader of the religion and inspired interpreter of Bahai scriptures and teachings. Abdul-Baha continued this successorship by establishing a position called the Guardian of the Cause of God, to which he appointed his grandson Shoghi Effendi Rabbani in his will and commanded him to appoint his own successor during his lifetime. Shoghi Effendi developed complex theories of a "world order of Bahaullah" and appointed two main institutions of Bahai leadership, the International Bahai Council and the Hands of the Cause.

When Shoghi Effendi suddenly died, childless and without leaving any known will, a power struggle ensued. The Hands of the Cause, led by Shoghi Effendis widow Ruhiyyih Khanum, asserted a claim to be some form of temporary collective Guardianship. The Council President, Charles Mason Remey, claimed to be the second Guardian using arguments from the first Guardians writings on Bahai religious administration to support his case. The Hands used other arguments from Bahai sacred texts to repudiate him, and they ended up convincing a majority of Bahais in the world to follow their own claim of authority rather than Remeys.

In 1963 they established their Universal House of Justice (UHJ) as the international ruling body at the "Bahai World Center" in Haifa, despite questions about whether this institution could be legitimately constituted without a Guardian as the head member.

The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahais of France, Pakistan, India and a couple of more countries followed the claim of Mason Remey to be the second Guardian. All its members were summarily excommunicated by UHJ. In Reaction Mason Remy ex communicated all the Hands of Cause calling the Wife of Shoghi Effendi as ARCH COVENANT BREAKER

A lot of Bahais simply left the faith in disappointment, realizing that a major leadership dispute ruins the credibility of a religion that prides itself on unity and seeks to rule the world. Among those Bahais who remained committed to their faith, a schism developed, and the minority of Bahais who followed Remey and rejected the "Haifan" UHJ persist to this day. They have had limited success attracting new converts, though the advent of the internet has helped their efforts somewhat in recent years. They are commonly known as Guardianists, emphasizing their belief in the continuation of the living Guardianship as an essential part of Bahai Faith. " Most of them currently follow Joel Bray Marangella, who claims to be the third Guardian. Some others follow Guardian-claimant Jacques Soghomonian instead.

The Haifan Bahai Faith stigmatizes the Guardianist Bahais as "Covenant-breakers" and demands that all members of their organization should shun them, Then there is a pain of shunning if they refuse to shun. Haifan Bahais can be severely punished just for reading Guardianist literature. Both the Haifans and the Guardianists believe that membership in their group is the only way to be a true Bahai; both assert that their leaders are infallible, despite the lack of solid evidence from Bahai scripture to support their claim; and both teach that one day the whole world should be governed by a Bahai theocracy led by their particular organization, even though their own religion is not unified under one authority.

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