OPEN RESPONSE TO MO AND GARD ON THE RUSH TO UNITY:
Excerpts from the Fellowship's recent mailing:
GARD, 2/21/98: "It is my prayer that this conference ('99) will be a real celebration of unity within our movement, that it will be a time for all to gather to celebrate the incredible panorama of VALUES we share in common." (My caps).
MO, 2/21/98: "I need to hear from you . . . If you are worried, please call or E-mail. Let's keep our strong lines of communication and friendship open."
URANTIA FOUNDATION, 2/3/98: ". . .Urantia Foundation supports those who want to disseminate the teachings, as long as the PRINCIPLES follow those within The Urantia Book, and are not distorted, nor represent a negative view of the Urantia Papers." (My caps.)
MO & GARD: It is reasonable to assert that you must have time to affect changes in Urantia Foundation policies. But, you are our Urantian brothers. Nothing prevents you, as new trustees, from proclaiming the core values & beliefs that are going to drive your actions. Gard, yours is the only mention of shared values in the entire mailing of several pages, and I would like to explore this with you. As we know, an organization built on a euphoric appeal to unity alone, without shared values and principles, is a house built on sand. Mo refers to his hunger for communication, so I am sure he will be delighted to receive and answer this note. Urantia Foundation declares in the key paragraph of its first "public stated policy on (unity)" that it is staunchly opposed to the denigration of the Urantia Papers. This is wonderful news, so the new team of trustees will no doubt be pleased to move to re-establish Urantia Foundation integrity (between word and deed) by taking action on number one and number six of the following seven actions we have suggested.
Mo and Gard: In love and sincerity, we now ask for a clear statement of your core beliefs on the tough issues up front. Is this not reasonable? Seven specific value-driven immediate actions were urged in a recent post that we would appreciate knowing your position on. The original order of these actions has been changed, because although all these issues are important, some are more time-sensitive than others.
PLEASE TELL US YOUR STAND ON THESE VALUE-DRIVEN ACTIONS THAT WE URGE URANTIA FOUNDATION TO TAKE IMMEDIATELY:
. Refute the statements by Judge Schroeder which denied the authenticity of the Revelation and declared it to be a product of human creativity. (In fact, refute all of the legal positions that denigrate the Urantia Papers. Including the infamous sophistry that "it is not a religious book." This, along with number six, will show Urantians that Urantian Foundation is sincere about not supporting actions that "distort" or "represent a negative view of the Papers." What could be more negative than to declare them a "product of human creativity?")
. Acknowledge that the 5th Epochal Revelation belongs to the people, and that Urantia Foundation is mandated to be serving the people, not persecuting them.
. Refute the claim that the Foundation owns, or 'holds in trust' the banner of Michael.
. Pledge no more wanton lawsuits against believer/evangelists.
. Pledge faith and allegiance to Jesus, over and above the Foundation. (Please don't be offended by this, Mo and Gard. You are joining Urantia Foundation, which has declared itself in court to be a secular organization. You will likely join IUA, which declares itself to be non-religious in its charter. Think of it as a pledge that you will insist these organizations will uphold the religious values of the Revelation over and above any secular considerations.)
. Re-establish the integrity of the text by designating editorial changes with footnotes. (There is nothing so degrading to the written creative work of another than to alter it editorially without the universal academic courtesy of explanatory footnotes.)
. Refute the repugnant 'thousand word limit.' (This is a particular affront to creative people attempting to disseminate their Revelation with study aids.)
Gard, once we can read yours and Mo's positions, we can know to what degree we share common values or not. You say we do, so you will surely want to demonstrate this in a tangible way by responding to this open note.
Urantia Foundation also has long held several core beliefs that drive its actions. For example, it has become clear that Urantia Foundation has a prevailing cardinal core belief (first established by Martin Myers) that the Revelation is not intended for this day and generation and therefore must be rigidly controlled by five mortals in perpetuity. This belief has overridden all other considerations, and explains many of Urantia Foundation's actions and positions relative to the points above.
Mo and Gard, in the current legal situation, you must know that Urantia Foundation is not home free. A motion by Kristen is still on the table. Urantia Foundation has only temporarily won their claim that the Urantia Papers are a human compilation of works by other "authors" - not a Revelation that was totally crafted and designed by celestial revelators. This disastrous sophistry is equivalent to describing the Fourth Epochal Revelation, Jesus of Nazareth, as a "good man." In other words, Jesus was not God incarnate at his core, but rather a fortunate configuration of human qualities.
Judge Schroeder glibly left the text of the Urantia Papers in limbo, probably essentially still in the public domain, and then tossed it back for Judge Urbom to untangle. According to the ruling, only the configuration of the Foundation's publication is copyrightable. Surely you have read Judge Schroeder's "opinion," and this portion of it is reasonably clear. You both are aware that Judge Urbom is now pondering the bizarre reversal of his decision by the Ninth Circuit Court. We know that you pray, as we do, that Judge Urbom is guided and inspired to do God's will.
For those of us who oppose Urantia Foundation policies of controlling and suppressing religious expression by means of secular laws and invasive litigation, the overriding issue is one of religious freedom. The normalcy of life that we Americans have a right to expect under our constitution has been destroyed for Eric and Kristen and their family, because of Urantia Foundation's secular persecution of them and their religious beliefs.
Eric and Kristen's religious freedom is STILL under constant threat. And now, Mo and Gard, in your first weeks as trustees, you have called Kristen and Eric and urged them to "Settle, settle, settle." Are you not attempting to get Kristen to sign-off on an agreement that would usurp the possible freeing of the Revelation (once more) by Judge Urbom? If Kristen did the expedient thing and signed off, she would be free of Foundation persecution through litigation. But all of us who want to do creative things using the text of the Urantia Papers will be saddled with a thousand word limit and other secular control threats and devices into the next millennium. And all Urantians would have lost what Kristen and Eric have long championed in our behalf: ownership of the Revelation.
I am concerned because it is difficult to believe, Mo and Gard, that we share common values, and you are going to "change things," when one of you says to Kristen on the phone: "If Judge Urbom puts this back into the public domain we will appeal it and you will be tied up in litigation for ten more years." Is this said seriously? If not, why was it repeated? Do my old General Council brothers buy into this? Do the ends justify the means, now? Gard and Mo: even if you print two billion books and make one hundred more translations, will that outweigh a brutal threat made to a Urantian sister? Even if we all unite in a glorious International Conference of Urantians, will that justify the continued litigation-abuse of an innocent family that happens to believe that they have a right to evangelize OUR revelation? A family that by chance got in the way of the mighty Foundation bulldozer of secular control and power? And a family, like a few others, that had the audacity to fight back? Is your goal to put the tracks back on that rusty and discredited old "bulldozer," or transform it into a vehicle to serve the people?
Above all, is this activity against Kristen an aberration? Or does it portend to things to come, business as usual at 533?
Mo, Gard, Richard et all: Relieve our concerns by simply telling us what you think of the seven integrity-principles. A great number of Urantians will fall on their sword for these truths. As much as we would love unity, we will not sacrifice these principles and values for it. Enlighten us with your own version of these seven points. Tell us what the Foundation stands for at its core, what YOU will fall on your swords for. Your principles may be vastly more enlightened than ours. Be up front with us and tell us what those values and principles are.
This "rush to unity" rocket you are flying on will fizzle out beneath you unless we truly share core values and beliefs about the Fifth Revelation.
Kristen and Eric have long carried the burden for all of us who share their Urantian religious beliefs and values. They believe this Revelation belongs to them, as well as to all of their fellow bits of divinity who are struggling for spiritual truth upon this planet. They don't want special "licenses" and "permissions." They do not believe five mere mortals, however enlightened, have the right to dole their own Revelation out to them (and all the rest of us) in 1000 word increments, and to pass judgment on their use of the beloved banner of Michael.
Many people believe as Kristen and Eric, and yet they also have faith in you, Mo and Gard. Mo, some of these Urantians even believe you have supported Kristen and Eric, and are going into the lion's den to fight in their behalf. Mo, we both know you never contributed a nickel to help them. Would it not clear the air if you openly state you have always supported the Foundation against them on both the copyright case and the circles case? These people, loyal and trusting, have a right to know where your core values and principles lie on the most urgent issues of this day and this generation.
Mo, Gard, et all: Please speak clearly and openly to us, if you would be our leaders, if you would serve us, and if you would presume to unite us.
"The kingdom of heaven which we proclaim is a spiritual brotherhood, and no man rules over it seated on a material throne."