Statement of a former Trustee of the Urantia Foundation
June 8, 1990
To Whom It May Concern:
After reading the Special Report from the URANTIA Foundation I decided that I had to put my thoughts and observations in writing. My interest is not to force anyone to take sides, but to merely restate my position, to clarify several of the distortions that are in the report, and to explain why I resigned as a Trustee of the URANTIA Foundation.
Contrary to what the current Trustees stated, in my opinion, there was a "crisis of a substantive nature." This is substantiated by the severed relationship between the two groups and the Foundation's attorneys. My decision was indeed-personal, but it was based specifically on my feelings about the current leadership of The Foundation. The decision was directly related to policy making, management styles, and ethical issues. It is puzzling to me why the Trustees are now questioning why I resigned since I had already stated my observations and feelings about these issues to Martin, Hoite, and Richard.
About a year ago, Martin approved an Ad Hoc Committee with the intent to resolve the problems in this crumbling relationship between the two organizations. The three of us, Hoite, Gloriann and I, developed a plan that was heartily approved by the president. The purpose of this plan was to open lines of communication, develop mutual goals, and form a true and meaningful partnership. As in most stable partnerships, faith and trust was necessary for this new relationship to evolve. Even though Martin originally endorsed this plan, in less than three weeks he destroyed the feasibility of it when he stated to two of us, "we can't trust the Brotherhood." Even though this comment was related to a different issue, the fact that Martin was incapable of trusting the Brotherhood meant that the president did not have the faith that was required to achieve the goals of the plan. Martin's statement not only made the Foundation's actions futile, but was deceitful as well. That was the exact moment I decided to resign. How could I support this duplicity?
The current Trustees asked why I did not stay and try to make changes. After a period of deliberation, I came to the conclusion that this situation was hopeless. Prior to writing my letter of resignation, I met with the other two Trustees who subsequently resigned. The purpose of this meeting was to determine if there was any way we could perform our duties as a board under Martins leadership. I believed that the only way to fulfill our duties was by removing Martin as president. It was believed by one Trustee that that act alone would not have been effective. She felt that the only way we could have performed our duties was not only by removing Martin as president but as a Trustee as well. It takes three members for presidential removal but four for a Trustee. Because Hoite, the fourth vote, would have never agreed to this course of action, we determined that removal as president was possible but not as a Trustee. Based on previous experience, she believed that if Martin remained on the board, he would have obstructed any attempts we would have made to execute our responsibilities as members of the board. Our relationship with the Brotherhood would have continued deteriorating, and our progress would have been minimal. We could not reach a consensus on the issue of Martins removal, yet I could not continue supporting and defending the Foundation in the direction it was heading; there was no other choice but to resign.
In their closing comments, the current Trustees stated, "the work of the Foundation was proceeding smoothly."' Since three of them were not involved with Foundation activity at that time, only those of us who were on the board can tell the true story. We who were there had a grasp on what was transpiring, yet these critics feel comfortable in making comments they are unable to substantiate. We had a president who had numerous temper tantrums, hung up on Trustees and Brotherhood members, and openly lied to Trustees. For example, during one conference call with our attorney, Martin became uncontrollable: his face became crimson as a fit of anger seized him. He stormed around the room and stammered, "I will not let them destroy my revelation.'' Since it was apparent to everyone that he was not capable of rationally discussing the issue, we had to discontinue the call and left him alone to contemplate his childish behavior. At our next encounter, he acted as if the tantrum never occurred. While this is just one of many examples I could cite, they are best left for another time.
It is my opinion that the deceit and manipulation of reality are still prevalent within the Foundation. For example, in the second paragraph on page thirteen of the report, they state that Martin was forced to resign a successful career at Northern Trust in order to come in and insure that the work of the Foundation would continue. The truth of the matter is that in early February of 1989, Hoite informed Gloriann and me that Martin was planning to resign by his own choice and work full time for the Foundation. This was many months prior to any Trustee resignations. It is apparent that if this report was written by all the Trustees, they were misinformed by Hoite and Martin. This is not unlike the deceit and manipulation I encountered when I was a Trustee. It is difficult for a person who believes in the teachings of The URANTIA Book to remain a trustee and maintain one's own ethical standards on a board where deceit is rampant.
While I have shown how deceit works within the organization, the fact that the Foundation is deceiving thousands of readers proves that there is a "crisis of a substantive nature." On page sixteen, the Trustee states "they have to use donated and invested funds to supplement the Perpetual Printing Fund." Since I was directly involved in establishing this fund, I can prove that there should be sufficient money in the fund for this to be an impossible occurrence. The way the fund works is quite simple: for every english URANTIA Book sold, $10.25 is placed in a separate fund for the next english printing of The URANTIA Book. The more than $200,000 that we raised was for 25,000 books for the 7th printing. Everytime the Foundation depletes an inventory, they replenish this fund based on the number of books sold (25,000 x 10.25 = $256,250). The current cost for printing The URANTIA Book is $8.33. They printed 30,000 books in the ninth printing, there should be sufficient funds to cover the cost (8.33 x 30,000 = $249,900). There should be approximately $307,000 for the tenth printing, from replacement of the ninth 30,000 x 10.25 = $307,500. If there is a shortfall, it could only occur if the Trustees failed to replenish this fund. The numbers do not lie, the Foundation does. There is absolutely no reason why they would have to spend any of their two million plus dollars in donated funds for this purpose. There was not a shortfall during the 8th and 9th printing therefore a problem should not exist now. According to the evidence, if their statement is correct, then they must be using these funds for other purposes. This misuse is in direct violation of their agreement. I request a complete accounting audit and recommend that it should be mailed to all readers that received that Special Report.
Perhaps this will give you some insight of some of the situations I encountered, and why I decided to resign.
If you would like to discuss the contents of this letter further, please feel free to contact me.