SOME THOUGHTS ON THE RECENT ALLEGED DESTINY RESERVIST “CONTACT” PHENOMENON IN THE URANTIA MOVEMENT
By: Joe Pope
It has been speculated by some of us in the Urantia movement that Christy’s eventual transit to mansonia could potentially set off a power struggle.
As the last living Contact Commissioner who could therefore authoritatively discourse on certain aspects of the contact between the seen and unseen worlds, her death left a vacuum. The way was open for any ego-dominated, self-assertive, self-deluded, or even sincere individual to attempt an end run at controlling thee Urantia movement: proclaim to be a destiny reservist contact personality (P 1257, last para), i.e. claim actual personal contact with divinity in the form of the Celestial Planetary Supervisors. By virtue of wrapping himself in this self-assumed cloak of divine authority and communications, he could presume as a non-mortally selected contact personality to lord it over his fellow students of the book, and by implication, present himself as the heavenly chosen “leader” of the Urantia movement. If the messages he presented seemed sound, he could pull it off.
Gone would be the one last voice that could authoritatively discount such a claim (Christy) and silent would be the supervisors who are extremely limited in their direct contacts with humanity because of the divine requirement for the natural outworking of evolution in a framework of human freewill.,
Well, it has happened: Alas, fate has made us agondonters, and within that “believing without seeing” status must we find a way out of this confusion. (P- 578 Sec 2)
what a dilemma: Someone who is extraordinarily spiritual and charismatic stands up and claims he’s in personal touch with, and speaking for, heaven and no one can authoritatively refute him except by resorting to logic and analysis bolstered by our faith in the Urantia Book itself, and guided only by the indwelling or impinging spirit influences, especially Michael’s Spirit of Truth. Making things worse: his cause seems noble -- warning the world of impending doom.
This event which has had a monumentally divisive effect on the Urantia movement will not succeed. Fear not. This is old stuff for we Urantians and with a little effort of mind and application of spirit -dominated thinking we can triumph over this confusion.
The Mormon Church and Seventh Day Adventism, relatively recent made-in-America religious movements were both founded by self-proclaimed “contact personalities” whose auto-revelations resulted in the formation of two new “isms.” (1207D)
The capacity of a strong-willed human being wrapped in self-proclaimed divine authority to effectively “rule” his brethren is well-documented in the insightful book: “No Man Knows My History,” by Fawn Brodie -- the story of Joseph Smith. And the process whereby our own Dr Sadler forsook Ellen G. White and her Seventh Day Adventism “messages’“ is disclosed in “Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. White,,- by Ronald L. Numbers. I mention these two books for anyone who may wish to do some in-depth reading on the religious manipulation of humans
by self-anointed “revelators.”
We must be on guard: This is not the first case of claimed contactee status in the Urantia movement, and if human nature is anything to go by, it won’t be the last. The fact that the alleged contactee in the case at hand was a highly visible, charming, popular, and charismatic leader, a long-time student of the papers, not to mention almost mandatory speaker at every major Urantia conference of any significance over the last ten years, has added another compelling factor of impact and import-- the “Luciferian effect” (606C), the idea that so bright a being could not err!
A number of leaders in the Urantia movement have offered their perceptive analyses of these events seeking to discount the individual’s claim to destiny reservist contact status. I refer to Jim Mills, Hoite Caston, Meredith Sprunger and Clyde Bedell. It is only because I thought they had left a base or two uncovered that I add herewith a few of my own perceptions for whatever assistance they might be for those of us who must needs agonize over these goings-on, trying to decide whether to believe and prepare, or to disbelieve, to follow, or to ignore.
We are taught in the papers that God’s government here is benign (P. 22C) but the evolution of the human phases of its reality often tends, through mortal power-seeking towards an authoritarian theology and rule by priests or other similar people (992 Sec 5, 1128A). Many mortals have an innate craving for power and authority over their brethren and will stop at nothing to consolidate it. The apostles themselves, even in the presence of the greatest man who ever lived, were constantly engaged in a struggle for preference. (P 1936 Sec 1)
All this is possible on Urantia because of our historic planetary dilemma: as of the moment we have no visible Son of Standing in residence on the planet, nor any associated visible staff with whom we could confer for insight into these matters. That puts us into agondonter status, which has its eternity rewards (579A) but also its very trying moments when we must attempt to evaluate such a claim of divine contact like the one presently at hand.
Making our task even harder is that we are told they program this human longing for help from outside and beyond into our natures (P 1008D. 2069B) as an anticipatory feature of the superhuman help we receive in the successive regimes of Planetary Prince, Adam and Eve, Magisterial, Bestowal, and Trinity Teacher Sons,
With Adam and Eve’s default, this 450,000 year old flawed but visible regime ended on Urantia some 30-odd thousand years ago, only to be briefly resurrected during Machiventa Melchizedek’s 94 year stay (101,4D) approximately 4000 years ago, and Jesus’ own life of 37 years, from 7 B.C. to 30 A.D. Since the moment of his ascension we have had no visible Son of Standing here, in residence. Invisible, yes (the resident Governor general).
The six Contact Commissioners of the Urantia Revelation, along with the Forum, were a vehicle for reception and dispatch of the fifth epochal revelation, The Urantia Book. But even their mission was limited to the task of receiving and presenting the revelation to this distracted world. No ecclesiastical sanction from heaven ever established a spiritual “authority” in humans in Chicago. The authority was vested IN A BOOK: “The word was made book,” they said. And the Foundation and Brotherhood have historically been very responsible in not presuming, for example, to discourse authoritatively on concepts in the Urantia Book as if they had a Continuing pipeline to God* And with the passing
of Christy went the last human on this planet who could dare to claim to be speaking for heaven, in and to the mortals of Urantia, even in a limited way.
It remains a fact that no heavenly appointed or selected group, or individual on the planet can even remotely claim a sort of miracle-associated commission of authority to discourse on behalf of divinity, specifically the rulings of the superhuman planetary government. As I understand it, the contact has been silent at 533, never to speak again, since 1955 or earlier, and to quote Dr Sadler’s initial reaction to this silence ( as shared with Julia Fenderson): “We were so alone:”
And let us not lose sight of the fact that they were a commission of SIX, buttressed by a much larger “Forum” of individuals who were all a part of the revelatory process. They could have simply presented the completed work, bound and published to Dr Sadler all by himself. It appears they preferred not to permit a single individual to manage the event by himself. And this is further confirmed by the efforts to conceal the identity of the human subject, and in financing the book for its first printing, to avoid the financial sponsorship of any single wealthy individual. They went to great lengths to prevent any single individual from paternally associating himself with this monumental revelation.
Would that not also lead us to reasonably speculate that some intended announcement to the Urantia movement from heaven to the effect that we were to prepare for this or that disaster would also have been made, say, to at least three humans, each being told the identity of the other for confirmation?
Now the vacuum of silence in which the spirit influences could possibly do their transforming work in the minds of the agondonters of Urantia has been disrupted by a claim of “contact.”
Let us rely on the best tool we have, the Urantia Book, to analyze this phenomenon and draw relevant conclusions. Let’s start with Jesus. He is, after all, the Planetary Prince of this world, we a special personal ward world in his universe and he continues to take a direct and personal interest in our evolution.
What can we conclude about his likely attitude toward the setting up of a human leader by apparent divine fiat, clairaudient “voices”?
Well, he personally selected Andrew as chief of the apostolic group (1549A), probably because he was the oldest and the ablest (1548D, ~ 1549A). But he also specifically relieved Andrew of this title and responsibility before he left Urantia (1959A) and forbade him from resuming this authority unless he was duly re-elected. (1959B).
He explained: “I would liberate you from all administrative responsibility which had its inception and authority in my presence as one among you. Henceforth I shall exercise only spiritual authority over you and among you” (1959B) Read that last sentence again, and again. Remember it.
Peter later took over as leader by common consent but our midwayer cousins make a special point of telling us that Jesus never personally gave him any such authority (2045B).
It is also interesting to note that Jesus, while he refused to leave a “designated” successor in place upon his departure, did, speculatively leave with Andrew some guidance for such an individual, should that elected individual chance to be Andrew: (1959C)
A. Work to encourage peace and harmony among the different groups of believers here and there;
B. Be practical about promoting brotherly love, and;
C. Be impartial in your devotions and dealings with the various groups of Jesus’ followers.
Then we note, (1762D, 1763A, B) that Jesus empowered no “individual” per se, but rather the congregation or group to collectively maintain social order in the new cult or brotherhood of Christians. And also note (1764B) that he meant “the group” to condition the exercise of authority so that it was NOT personal, i.e. exercised virtually solely by the group’s elected leader.
Further, Jesus refused to get involved in discussions between the followers of John the Baptist and his own apostles concerning their day to day relations and administration, saying these were matters of no spiritual import. He explained: “But when you enter upon the coordination of divergent human interpretations of religious questions and upon the socialization of religion, you are destined to solve all such problems by your own decisions.” (1624D.)
Finally, in order, I presume, to prevent the development of a familial dynasty upon his departure, with the attendant dangers of authoritarianism which that connotes, he destroyed all his writings at home (1514B) (potential ‘relies”) and systematically avoided including any of his own brothers in the apostolic corps, a fact which contributed in no small way to the bitterness that sprang up within the family. (1538B).
Thus, we can see that Jesus took note of the danger of setting up leaders to be revered over their teachings (P 1008, 1009) and noted the principle that religious leaders receive their rewards in the next life (P 804A) and not in vested spiritual power over men on earth. He absolutely refused to leave in place a divinely appointed hierarchy to rule in his stead into-the future.
Perhaps Jesus confidently assumed that the human tendency toward assertions of spiritual infallibility and moral superiority (2085D) would be effectively offset by the governor effect of his bestowed Spirit of Truth which tends to lessen self-assertiveness (2065D).
Unfortunately, as we know, the early leaders did NOT depend solely upon his teachings (2082D) but supplanted them with a powerful and authoritarian church that all but forgot Jesus’ emphasis on the individual (2063D, 2065B, 2069D, 2074D, and 2083D) until a process of reformational rehabilitation (2075A, B) that led eventually to the climate in which the Urantia Book could be given to the world.
No case can be made therefore, in an analysis of Jesus’ own earthly ministry and attitude, that he, today, might have favorably entertained a petition from the Governor General of Urantia, supposedly concurred in by the Four and Twenty Counselors, and transmitted to Salvington through his Brilliant
Evening Star liaison here (1251D) praying that permission be granted to authorize a Urantia mortal to publicly identify himself as a contact member of the mortal reserve corps of destiny, to the end that everybody be warned that World War III was imminent and that we should all await future messages. It doesn’t compute!
And if, to so authorize all by themselves, the supervisors would have had to transcend the obvious spirit of Jesus own teachings, philosophy, policies, and practices, I submit they wouldn’t dare have commissioned such a “contact” without Jesus or Gabriel’s personal permission:
Anybody want to be a reservist? How do the celestial planetary supervisors choose the mortals for these very responsible duties? What are the rules or requirements of the organization? Read Sec 7 of Paper 114 (P 1257).
In the third paragraph they tell us the requirements for selection. But wait. Sub-paragraph No. 2 includes the words “..coupled with willingness to serve without human recognition and rewards.”
We see this humility requirement echoed again on the next page, 1258, end of the first paragraph: “On Urantia these reservists of destiny have seldom been emblazoned on the pages of human history.”
From these requirements of self-ego-suppression, we may reasonably speculate that if one IS a member of the Reserve Corps of Destiny, AND one of the only two percent that are actually consciously contacted (1257D) one of the first conditions they would surely compel is that the individual take a solemn oath of secrecy, promising NEVER to disclose to anyone, other than someone pre-identified as another reservist, one’s factual planetary status as such.
Furthermore, every assignment that they gave such a contact personality would HAVE to be carried out at the dead level of reckoning, i.e. depending solely upon one’s own powers of moral suasion or intellectual communication, and NOT by announcing that one spoke with pseudo divine authority as one of those lucky humans picked by heaven to speak to the earth and get things done.’
Finally, I submit that the element of self-interest would never be present in the “messages.” Spiritual leaders are rewarded in heaven (804A).
For example, a message that says: “Move your headquarters to my new center,” just doesn’t have the ring of truth. And a forewarning that says: “Tell them you don’t know when the war will occur because we don’t know when,” is absurd and sophomoric. It fails to take into account the midwayer intelligence system (425B) wherewith the resident Governor General instantly can know every nuance of discussion in both the oval office and the most private reaches of the Kremlin, or elsewhere. Nothing of any significance escapes their scrutiny. Furthermore, we are not told much about it, but the Melchizedeks seem to possess some very accurate future-reading or prognosticative ability, as when Machiventa lured Abraham into his covenant with the future depiction of the Exodus (1020D) and Abraham’s future child, Isaac (1021A).
Another element of this “contact reservist” business which does not compute would be the likely answer to this postulated Supervisors’ question: “If we permit one reservist to publicly identify himself, what effect will that have on the planet?”
The awe and superstitious reverence commanded by our evolutionary concepts of God naturally results in a reaction of tremendous shock, wide-eyed amazement, and even fear, further resulting in the worshipful regard of any of our human associates who are regarded as being “directly in touch with heaven.”
Our unseen friends are full well aware of this tendency and, I submit, would NEVER counsel the public announcement by a reservist of his extraordinary planetary status. This is born out by a number of incidents related in the Urantia Book:
A. The awe, reverence and worshipfulness accorded a newly arriving Planetary Prince (590D);
B. The unprepared minds that contributed to the Adam and Eve “worship” incident (832, See 4);
C. The Transfiguration which shocked and frightened the apostles chosen to witness it (1753D, 1754A);
D. Jesus whole philosophy of avoiding the supernormal as a recruitment technique for followers (1520, Sec 8)
E. The wise refusal by the Chief of Seraphim to identify by name the current resident Governor General of Urantia “..because mortal man is so prone to venerate, even to deify, his extraordinary compatriots and superhuman superiors.” (1252D);
F. The remark by the guardian seraphim of the contact subject through whom the papers were transmitted that it w-as most fortuitous that the subject had a “..passive reaction to, and inactive concern toward, the phenomena...” (1209A); and,
G. The alarm over-the inability of very many Urantians to function safely with self-acting Thought Adjusters (1207D).
Finally, and in light of the above, it doesn’t take a lot of reasoning to deduce WHY 98% of destiny reservists are kept UNCONSCIOUS of their involvement or employment in the corps (1257D) -- it’s probably because they can be more effectively utilized without the likely attendant ego encumbrances.
Additionally, the mental mischief that can manifest itself when a strong ego, imbalanced by the stresses of life, and dominated by conscious or even unconscious longings to be “used” by heaven is portrayed on P 1207 See 4, and in the section on Conversion and Mysticism P 1098 - 1100 inclusive. Sec 2 of Paper 103 is also relevant (P 1130 - 1132) especially the top of P 1131.
Finally, a note on the alleged immanence of World War III.
Since September 1981 1 have returned for a season to my old trade of soldier and have been more or less steadily employed as an officer with the Canadian Forces. I have some currency with international strategic thinking and planning. Before I offer some thoughts readers would do well to review Secs 1 and 2 of Paper 70 (P 783 - 786) and Jesus, Urmia lectures (1485 1491).
While tensions between the superpowers have increased in recent years echoing the Cold War of the fifties, and while the media has recently been trafficking in doom and gloom nuclear holocaust entertainment, there is absolutely no strategic evidence of an impending-major conflict between the superpowers.
The mutually assured destruction (MAD) principle of over-armament which currently characterizes the balance of power between the great powers is a mighty effective deterrent to bold or precipitous moves by either side. No reasonable speculative scenario of world conflict can have any basis of believability or possibility unless it takes into account the fact that the Soviet Union has three nuclear powers to contend with in the west, and one at its rear (China).
Further, wars are not generally entered into in a precipitate fashion, there is an obvious pre-conflict period of the escalation of tensions and incidents, although it could be argued that the pre-emptive destruction of the U.S. fleet at Pearl Harbor in World War II was an exception to that principle.
A war is entered into by the nation that starts it as a WIN - NO LOSE situation. Thus, a reasonable scenario would have to entail something like the Soviets entering into a non-interference axis relationship with China (very unlikely -- they are historical enemies with 45 divisions each still facing each other across the Yalu River), in order to deal with the west. A pre-emptive nuclear strike on the U.S., Britain and France could pave the way for the easy invasion of Europe.
There’s only one problem: that’s NOT WIN-NO-LOSE unless the Soviets had an absolutely perfect anti-ballistic missile system (impenetrable) of their own, simultaneously with possessing a perfect penetration capacity into western systems. And this technology simply does not yet exist, to the best of my knowledge.
Furthermore NATO’s current thinking is that World War III will commence as conventional war and escalate to nuclear war when one of the major powers has lost too much.
Anyway, if it happens, will WE be warned? After all, Jesus warned his apostles of precisely when to forsake Jerusalem. (1913 C, D) But then he almost stoically turned around and lectured Thomas on the irrelevance of concern over material things here .”..even the end of the world.” (1916 Sec 3)
It’s interesting to note that apocalypticism is panned in the Urantia Book (1915D) but the book itself is ominously, almost threateningly apocalyptic in ways. Witness the sentence on 764A: “And it is only because of the enhancement of survival value in association that man’s many blunders have thus far failed to stop or destroy human civilization.” And the phrase on 1003C: “..as long as this planet remains an inhabited sphere.” and on 1025A: “..as long as Urantia remains an inhabited planet..,” Jesus phrase on 1916A: “..even the end of the world...” and finally on 582C they tell us how they can evacuate the planet if necessary. Are they trying to tell us something here?
Will we be warned?
If the answer is yes, what about other religious movements, mainline Christianity? Are they to perish without warning? Aren’t we being a little arrogant? A little spiritually pretentious?
I doubt very much that we will receive special warning for our own protection -- that is already a natural fear-self-protective warning function that is well handled by the Adjutant Mind Spirit called Intuition (402B).
Never forget: the Fifth Epochal Revelation is a BOOK! Sufficient copies already exist on the planet to reasonably insure its preservation and continuing ministry of spiritual truth to this unfortunate world.
Anyone who thinks the Urantia Movement, above all other religionists, will be granted some special divine providential warning of the immanence of World War III had better read again Jesus’ admonition to Thomas on Page 1916, and reflect on Jesus eloquent simplicity in finding spiritual meaning in the Sidon bridge. (1735D)
In conclusion, we Urantians must be ever wary of those from within or without our movement who attempt the aggrandizement of self with the claim of extraordinary powers, to be a chosen person selected by heaven to help govern earth. For the implication always is: “You had better cooperate or you’ll be in trouble with THEM, boy!”
1516 Charles St Apt 209 Vancouver, B.C. 604-254-9997
Dec 13, 1983
All quotations are from, and page references refer to “The URANTIA Book” (UF edition).
[Apologies for any remaining scan/ocr errors. –Norm]