On May 27, 1997, my wife and I were declared to be covenant-breakers and all of my friends in the Faith were instructed to shun me entirely and never to have any contact with me or face the same expulsion themselves. A true and correct copy of the NSA's letter of May 27, 1997, and the front page of The American Bahá'í for June 24, 1997, are attached as Exhibit 5).
My wife did not join the OBF at that time but she was also expelled and shunned because she refused to take my children and divorce me as they had insisted she must.
The NSA organization claims that shunning us as covenant-breakers is required to maintain the unity of the Faith. The OBF believe, on the other hand, that unity in the Faith is achieved and maintained by obedience to the Center of the Cause, the living Guardian, and that a covenant-breaker is one who rejects the authority of the Guardian.
Only one member of my former community, the Bahá'ís of Barrington, Illinois, was willing to speak with me (Janice Franco). At first, I was reluctant to tell Ms. Franco what I had learned because I did not want her to face the same dilemma that I now faced. She insisted, however, that I explain to her what I discovered. I then carefully explained the situation using only materials officially accepted by the NSA to show her my belief that the Hands wrongfully usurped authority and that their Universal House of Justice should have the Guardian as its head. Ms. Franco was declared to be a covenant-breaker and shunned after she dared to share these arguments with the rest of the community. The other community members rejected these arguments after they were threatened by a representative of the NSA's organization that they too would be shunned and cut off forever from many of their friends and family unless they rejected these ideas and shunned my family and I, and Ms. Franco.
Just before I had declared my acceptance of the Guardianship, my brother, who was not a Baha’i at all, coincidentally became engaged to marry a believer under the NSA's organization.
I was not permitted to attend my brother's wedding, and my family thereafter had to hold separate family functions so that I would not be present at the same time as brother's wife who literally held the belief that I was satanic and my breath was poisonous so that mere contact with me would be dangerous.
After the birth of my nephew, I was not allowed to see him at all, nor does he even know of the existence of his uncle and the rest of my family.
My story is by no means unique. Many of my fellow believers within the OBF report similar experiences. Juan Cole, a professor of modern Middle East and Southeastern Asian history for the History department of the University of Michigan has written about the fanatical shunning behavior exhibited by the NSA and its organization, characterizing it as "cult-like." Attached as Exhibit 6 are emails written by Dr. Cole. Attached as Exhibit 7 is an article by Dr Cole detailing the shunning practices."