Lights of Guidance
A Bahá’í Reference File
Compiled by Helen Bassett Hornby
Reproduced with the kind permission of the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Ecuador
 

I.   ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
A.   Administrative Order
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1.   Established First in America—Not American Production
“The Administrative Order of the Cause, though first established in America, copied as a model by other national Bahá’í communities, is not an American production, but is a universal system based on the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. It is not simply by coincidence however that it was first initiated and perfected by the American believers.”
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 29, 1938: Dawn of a New Day, p. 202)
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2.   Cannot be Identified with Principles of Present-Day Democracies
“… The administrative order which lies embedded in the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, and which the American believers have championed and are now establishing, should, under no circumstances, be identified with the principles underlying present day democracies. Nor is it identical with any purely aristocratic or autocratic form of government. The objectionable features inherent in each of these political systems are entirely avoided. It blends, as no system of human polity has as yet achieved, those salutary truths and beneficial elements which constitute the valuable contributions which each of these forms of government have made to society in the past ….”
(Postscript written by the Guardian to a letter written on his behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, November 18, 1933: The National Spiritual Assembly, p. 26)