Particularly striking has been the fact that the Bahá’í Cause has been able to maintain the unity thus achieved, unbroken and unimpaired, through the most vulnerable early stages of its existence. One will search in vain for another association of human beings in history—political, religious, or social—that has successfully survived the perennial blight of schism and faction. The Bahá’í community, in all its diversity, is a single body of people, one in its understanding of the intent of the revelation of God that gave it birth, one in its devotion to the Administrative Order that its Author created for the governance of its collective affairs, one in its commitment to the task of disseminating His message throughout the planet. Over the decades of its rise, several individuals, some of them highly placed and all of them driven by the spur of ambition, did their utmost to create separate followings loyal to themselves or to the personal interpretations they had imposed on Bahá’u’lláh’s writings. At earlier stages in the evolution of religion, similar attempts had proved successful in splitting the newborn faiths into competing sects. In the case of the Bahá’í Cause, however, such intrigues have failed, without exception, to produce more than transient outbursts of controversy whose net effect has been to deepen the community’s understanding of its Founder’s purpose and its commitment to it. “So powerful is the light of unity”, Bahá’u’lláh assures those who recognize Him, “that it can illuminate the whole earth.” Human nature being what it is, one can readily appreciate the Guardian’s anticipation that this purifying process will long continue—paradoxically but necessarily—to be an integral feature of the maturation of the Bahá’í community.