Open Letter to the Trustees from Larry Gwynn
November 18, 1999
I call for a summit meeting of a crossection of the Urantia congregation with the rustees soon after the turn of the century as an antidote to insularity and its potential errors.
Included on the agenda at this conclave I would like to broach two items for discussion:
1. A detailed updated redefinition of the trustees role in the pursuit of their requirements involving the mandates of the Declaration of Trust.
2. A serious discussion of expansion of trustees to number 24 persons, twelve men and twelve women and how they might be selected.
In your open letter to Harry McMullan, one sentence stands out in which you all make the claim that you have "no choice," re: bringing Mr. McMullan into a court of law around his publication of Part IV of the Urantia Papers. It has been my experience in working with individuals, that when anyone says they have "no choice," they have backed themselves into a no-choice corner and subsequently do not want to take responsibility for their choices, labeling some outside force as delimiting their choices.
"No choice" cannot be used as a justification of a choice. Why cannot you just state that you are making a choice to sue Mr. McMullan because you wish to protect your copyright of the Urantia Papers? Why cannot you take responsibility and explain to the congregation why you feel the copyright is necessary as part of your mandate in the Declaration of Trust? Could it be that these reasons are not as clear and obvious in the minds of the congregation as they are now forumlated in your minds? What part does the copyright play in your mandate to foster the common good in several specific areas as outlined in the Declaration of Trust?
The Foundation's ability to utilize the talents, resources and insights of the congregation (and being able to distinguish between those that would exploit and those who could help) will be the key to the Foundation's survival--survival in the sense of an ever-expanding vision of how to foster the mandates of the trustees. Any system that uses expulsion as a means of preserving unity has a built-in schism that will cause its failure.
Organizations need a degree of insularity in order to preserve themselves...but this becomes destructive when resources outside the organization are rejected due to protracted unresolved conflicts, especially as this reflects internal conflicts within the organization itself. Forever know and remember that what you do to one of us you do to all of us, including yourselves.
These issues are complex and compelling. I therefore petition the trustees to maintain a moritorium on lawsuits until such time as a conclave of a cross-section of the congregation can meet and openly share input as well as output. Let us all put light upon higher purposes and how we are going to strive to meet them in the first decade of the new millennium...how our individual spiritual strivings can mesh with our social strivings.
I remain your servant,