It was impossible to take God out of Sufism without losses for the entire teaching. Something had to be given in exchange, and such that it would create positive motivation in people. Shah chose the Truth as the highest goal of the search, and the state of the Sufi as what each seeker should strive for. As a result, the Truth became a kind of self-perpetuating goal, and not an attribute of God, and each person could himself fill in the possible content of that Truth. You can serve God, but Truth cannot be served, because the first serving is interaction with the Highest Power, which can lead and direct you, but the second one, one way or another turns into service of an idea and nothing more. The Truth of God is one thing, and simply a certain abstract Truth is quite another.
The same thing occurred with the appearance of the Sufis. Without God, they began to acquire certain superhuman traits. Their powers are not the consequence of serving God and conducting higher energies toward our plane of Being, but in the most mysterious fashion, they are developed in the Sufis and become already their own attribute. Here, for example, is an excerpt from The Sufis: "Sufis believe that Sufic activity produces and concentrates what might be termed centrifugal or magnetic force. This force calls to similar force elsewhere. With the coming together of such forces, work continues. This is an explanation of the mysterious 'messages' which Sufi teachers get, telling them to repair to such and such a place, in order to respond to the call of the force there which has been derelict (in the sense of abandoned) or needs their reinforcing." In general, such messages were always viewed as signs of God’s Will, and following it was part of the Work of the Sufis. When God is removed from the context, a certain power emerges, the explanation of the appearance of which seems strange, and the messages received from it – even stranger. That is, the activity of the Sufis engenders a power which begins to direct them, and a kind of hand-made analogue of God emerges. To this is what the attempt to draw a new picture over the old leads, by using elements of the previous composition in doing so. Here either one has to draw from scratch, creating something entirely new, or throw everything overboard, which one way or another is connected with elements subject to removal.
Shah – to some extent forced – made of the Sufis superhumans, influencing practically everything in the world and incidentally, continuing to influence it. I cannot say that there is no Truth in such claims of his – there is. But it is one thing when the Sufis do something by following God’s Will, and another when they act out of their understanding of some sort of evolution known only to them. The Soviet government illustrated how the abolition of God leads to the deification of leaders. With Shah, something similar happens – the Sufis without God have themselves become half-gods. They possess telepathy, the ability to predict the future, mysterious might and who knows what else. The picture is quite attractive – for those who seek power and authority. But it is precisely such people who have no place in a spiritual search.
Any action has side effects and consequences which are far from always possible to predict. It is especially difficult to predict how people will behave who do not know your goal or interpret it as they please.