Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Station of Rex King

      Rex King was a Baha’i of long standing, having been active in committee work and teaching under the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States prior to the passing of Shoghi Effendi. He had also been a Baha’i pioneer and teacher in Alaska and elsewhere. Rex had had personal correspondence with Shoghi Effendi, and following the Guardian’s death, Rex felt strongly that the Hands were in error in their action terminating the Guardianship as an institution and in their attempts to stamp out independent investigation of truth with respect to Mason Remey and others. Hence Rex was moved to support Mason’s claim to the Guardianship. 

As Mason Remey grew older, however, it became evident to many people, including Rex, that his utterances were becoming incompatible with the office of Guardian. He made several untenable “interpretations” of the sacred writings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha. Such interpretations are the prerogative of the Guardian, but in no event can he contradict a statement from the Holy Writings, as Mason did. Therefore Rex King, accompanied by two other believers, traveled to Florence, Italy, in 1969, to visit Mason Remey. He wanted to ascertain the state of Mr. Remey’s physical health and to discuss the meaning of his apparently conflicting interpretations. 

As a result of that visitation, Rex King concluded that Mason Remey was no longer the Guardian. Mason had created a Second International Baha’i Council, named Joel B. Marengella as its president, and then without warning dissolved that body. This appointment follows essentially the same pattern by which Mason himself had assumed the station of Guardian, hence Rex acknowledged Joel as Third Guardian, as did other members of the Guardianship community at the time. Within the space of a few years history began to repeat itself. Joel Marengella proceeded to make a number of inadmissable “interpretations” of the Writings. 

These events, and other additional factors that need not be recounted here, convinced Rex and others that Joel, too, had ceased to fulfill the requirements of the office of Guardian. As a result of these occurrences, and supported by several dreams that Rex interpreted as constituting mystical contact with the Master, Rex King was led to announce on January 15, 1973 that he was rightfully assuming the station of Regent of the Cause of Baha’u’llah. It is interesting that in his announcement he refers to Mason Remey and to Joel Marengella as the Second and Third Guardians, respectively. 

He claimed the regency with the understanding that he, as Regent, was not endowed with infallibility, as is a Guardian, and that he was not qualified to interpret the Writings. However, he claimed to be given clarity of sight to recognize the next true Guardian, when that individual should make himself known. A considerable number, but not all, of the Baha’is who had formerly acknowledged Joel Marengella as Guardian, expressed their support of Rex King as Regent. Subsequently, after much further though and prayer, Rex became convinced that neither Mason Remey nor Joel Marengella had in truth ever been Guardians. This was largely because of the lack of lineal descendancy from the Holy Family. In the case of Joel, clearly if Mason had not been a Guardian, Joel never could have been. (The same logic applies to the claim of Donald Harvey to the Guardianship.) Furthermore, the International Baha’i Council could be considered to be an interim organization, intended to exist only until the Universal House of Justice should be activated. Hence Mason, as president, was actually fulfilling the function of a regent, not a Guardian. 

As a result of all these factors, Rex King came to the realization that he was in actuality the Second Regent, Mason Remey having been unknowingly the First Regent of the Cause of Baha’u’llah since the death of Shoghi Effendi. Rex King made due provision in his Will for the continuance of the regency. He passed from this life, the victim of an apparent heart attack, April 1, 1977, near Baltimore, Maryland. By the terms of his Will, the office passed to a Council of Regents, consisting of his sons Theodore, Eugene, and Thomas, and his daughter-in-law, Ruth Lopez-King. They are, as of this writing, continuing the governance of the Faith along the lines established by the Second Regent.

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