Was Urantia Foundation established by the Revelators
to Protect the Revelation?
An essay by David Kantor
The following question recently came into the website:
"Is it so far fetched to suggest the existence of a superhuman strategy to place the copyright in the hands of one institution--for a season--as a buffer to the evolutionary tension between the peculiar agondonter mix of convergence and divergence existing in our modern world?"
Response that was sent:
I believe that even a cursory examination of this question would lead to the conclusion that, yes, it is indeed very far-fetched to postulate such a scheme. Your suggestion implies that the same superhuman agencies which were responsible for Paper 99 and who stated that, "Religion can be kept free from unholy secular alliances only by . . . freedom from all social, economic, and political alliances," would then turn around and set up a human institution to "protect" a revelation. If one looks at this issue from the standpoint of what is known about the psychology of religion it becomes even more improbable. Would superhuman agencies be likely to set up a human institution, staff it with ramdonly selected individuals who serve for life, and instruct those individuals that they were to convince the readership that they have been divinely mandated to direct all reader dissemination efforts and social development? Your suggestion also implies superhuman sanction for what would inevitably evolve into a priesthood in a very few generations. No, from the standpoint of religious psychology it does not seem likely that superhumans would set up an agency such as Urantia Foundation.
If you spend time reviewing some of the history on this, I think that what you will find is the following. By the time the book was delivered in its final form, mid-1930s, the Forum and the contact commissioners appear to already be experiencing something of a crisis in their efforts to create an organization to manage book publication and social development. The issues constituting this crisis are fairly well laid out in a letter from Clyde Bedell to Wilfred Kellogg in 1933. A copy of this letter is on the website at http://urantia-book.org/archive/history/kellogg_letter1033.htm It appears, from the available correspondence and fragments of internal memos, that the more active and business-minded members of the Forum, acting as advisors to Dr. Sadler and the rest of the contact commissioners, put together several different plans for an organization and presented them to the revelators for comment. I understand that when the third such plan was presented for comment, the revelators told Dr. Sadler, "Well, if that's the best you can do, go ahead."
Over the past two decades, this story has been gradually enhanced by Foundation public relations releases and revisionist historians to become the story which they are propagating today, mainly, that the Foundation was established by the revelators. There is absolutely nothing to indicate that this claim is true -- quite the contrary. And the revisionist claims in this matter are significantly more than the "shadow of a hair's turning."
It is interesting to review the evolution of authority at 533. During the years when there were still former contact commissioners alive, there was no question about authority -- Dr. Sadler was the final authority in all matters. In the final days following his death, Christy had the final word on everything, including who was to win certain elections. By the time she died she had acquired a high degree of personal authority, much of which had been unconsciously transferred to her by the readership from Dr. Sadler. Immediatley upon her death, Martin Myers and Vern Grimsley entered into a deadly struggle, each attempting to transfer this personal authority to himself by various means. The revelation-service careers and psychological health of each of these individuals were severely damaged in the ensuing fiasco.
With the rubble still smoking, Vern living in the mountains talking to trees, and Martin holding the reins of a virtually bankrupt Urantia Foundation, Richard Keeler showed up and purchased the Foundation for himself by pumping in enough money to get the finances back in the black and conceal any sign of fiscal malfeasance. Richard's biggest contribution to the process was the hiring of Tonya Baney, a public relations professional, who was utilized to mount a campaign intended to transfer the personal authority which Dr. Sadler and Christy had enjoyed, to the organization itself. Tonya has been fairly successful, at least to the point where there is an increasing segment of the readership who believes this completely fabricated mythology. This mythology seems to be taking deeper root in non-English speaking cultures where access to information is extremely limited.
Now, apart from the matter of the dysfunctional religious psychology which would have a high probability of developing from a superhuman strategy to utilize a human institution, and apart from the historical facts, there are other and even greater factors to consider within the pages of the revelation itself.
Perhaps the most significant of these is the material related to the development of Supremacy. It appears to me that virtually all spiritual ministry, all revelation, has to do with the illumination of values. The domain of mortal free-will choice is off limits to manipulation. Mortals must choose, and that which they must choose are values. Human institutions -- legal, political, economic and social systems -- are expressions of the value choices. They provide important feedback to value choosers. And they evolve as value choosers learn from experience and alter them. There is no indication that I can find in The Urantia Book that epochal revelations ever involve the manipulation of these structures. It appears to me that even the more culturally-related activities of the Prince's staff and the Adamic regime are operated as models by the revelators. Mortal observers, value-choosers, must choose whether or not to incorporate what they have observed in their own cultures. Note that in these cases the Prince's staff and the Adamic regime both retain full control over the models, and can evolve them as necessary.
Now I have talked with Foundation supporters who have tried to tell me that this is exactly what is happening with Urantia Foundation -- Trustee Georges DuPont is one of them. In fact, in his 1998 Helsinki speech, trustee Georges DuPont compares the trustees to the 12 Apostles. A copy of his speech is on the website at: http://urantia-book.org/archive/readers/doc787.htm. If you are still not convinced, I would ask you to review what we know of the operation of epochal revelations and see how many times superhuman agencies have intervened in human affairs and specified one group of humans to rule over other groups (and not even bothered to tell those other groups that they were to submit to such rulership). Besides the fact that such a course of action would defy common sense, I think there is sufficient evidence to indicate that it is against the rules.
There is a great deal more, based on a study of the mechanism of Supremacy, which could be drawn on to show the extremely low statistical probability (and probabilities are really all we have to go on) that the revelators would act in the manner which Urantia Foundation is attempting to cause the readership to believe was the case.
But that's a subject for another time...