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Trial News, June 15, 2001

Hello Friends;

My apologies for not getting this out sooner.  Many reasons for it's delay.  
I have read with interest the many posts on UBRON and must say that all of us
(including most of all me) need to refrain from extending the facts or saying
more than what was actually said.  The transcripts will be public and those
are the facts.  People are stating what Harry said or Tonia or whoever and it
is indeed out of context.  This includes this post.  I have my bias,
therefore I see it through those "rose colored glasses." Here are my thoughts
(bias included) from what I saw:

Harry and the lawyers are very pleased with Friday's outcome.  It is my
opinion, and MINE only, that the Foundation feels they are on shaky ground
and in a weak position.  From my perspective, the Foundation is hammering
away at what a viscous megalomanic Harry is and how he is bent on controlling
the revelation.  Those that really know Harry know he wants the revelation
freed from autocratic control.  It is interesting to me that the Foundation
has "bashed" Harry and/or the Fellowship with almost every witness and we
have not.  

First up on the 4th day was Dr. Francis Rushing for the Foundation as an
expert witness, who "flew in from Cairo" to be at this trail.  He is a
professor of Economics at George State. His significant role it appears is to
qualify an economic impact that JNR has on the sales of TUB.  With lots of
blah blah he claims it is a "competitive goods" (matches and lighters), not
"complimentary goods" (matches and cigarettes), therefore JNR would hurt the
sales of TUB.  While he said he did much research, it comes out that a fair
amount of his information came from Rob Davis, who testified yesterday, and
he did not analyze or know the difference between devoted readers or new
readers and if that would have an impact on sales.

Second on the stand was Kathryn Harries, a Forum member whose parents and
grandmother were part of the Forum also.  She was a participant since 1936.  
She gave a wonderful history of the movement from her recollections.  A real
shame it was not on video, as it was precious.  The main point she was to
make is that her father wrote out many questions that were submitted to the
Contact committee and that they read Papers each Sunday. She said this went
on during the late 30's and even later.

Third was Mary Lou Hales who is 92.  Another video opportunity lost and a
shame.  I just have to say you fall in love with them up there, they are so
precious.  When asked if she remembers the day she was born (meaning "what is
your date of birth") she answers "I don't really remember anything about that
day."  The courtroom was in an uproar, even the Judge taking a moment to
laugh.  She said much the same as Kathryn, the point being that questions
were written by the Forum for the Contact Commission in the 30's.

Forth was Helen Carlson, by a reading of her deposition, who makes the point
that certain titles were different when read than the final product and the
order was different.  The point was the Forum had influenced the book.  She
also states that the questioning period continued for about 10 years after
1939, which is strange in that "The history of The Urantia Book" by Dr.
Saddler states it was complete by 1934 and Part IV was complete by 1935.

Fifth on the stand was Carolyn Kendal whose father was in the Forum and wrote
in a diary for years about what was read in the Forum and the titles.  One of
the points being that his diary showed similar "facts" that Helen had stated,
titles were different when read in the Forum, questions were submitted and
the later publication showed different titles and even some papers that were
eliminated.  That the original typed papers were 3,000+ pages.  What the
purpose here is I don't know.  Hand written pages take more space than type
written and type written take more space the typeset pages, but I am sure
they had a point they were making.

Sixth up was Les Tibbals who drives home the point that Harry is bent on
destroying the Foundation and pointed out as proof that Harry told him he
would come to Study Group in which Tonia and Richard were going to be at and
he did not show up. I repeat,(Robert here) Harry did not show up.  Now that
is strong and damaging testimony!  He also points out he is a friend of
Harry's and that Harry is an angry man.  He mixed up his facts on several
matters, confusing actions of Harry's, the Fellowship etc.  Murray Abowitz
reminded Les that he sent Harry an email saying how much he (Les Tibbals)
loved the edition of JNR and apologized to Harry for harsh things he said.  
Les conveniently forgot this email and could not remember until Murray showed
him the email.  Seems Les remembered it after that saying " I guess I must
have sent it".

Tonia Baney was up last.  We heard stories of her in court over a reader, pot
and religious rights.  Uninteresting story that lead nowhere in my opinion.  
Heard an endless diatribe on what she does at the Foundation, basically a
superwoman that does the impossible.  That the Foundation has a broad
spectrum of support, 10-11 employees, 60% of revenue from donations and 40%
from book sales, IUA is the sister organization and the real original
Brotherhood and is soon to be a democratic organization instead of autocratic
directed by the Trustees, much more about the IUA (jury looked bored, I was
bored), all the offices around the world, the seminars, the study group
support etc.  When asked the first time she met Harry she said she wasn't
sure as she mixes up Harry with Marvin especially when they were younger,
that she beseeched Harry to do other projects than JNR, like a joint effort
on a video, that the Foundation reached out many times to Harry.  Then she
goes on another diatribe against the Fellowship when we published the book
and Harry involvement there.  Seems she forgets to mention that Mo and Gard
were on the Executive committee then and to the best of my knowledge, did not
oppose it, even contributed $ to it.  Mo was most excited about it. But we
heard about Harry's plan for control through the Fellowship.  She then
continues on showing how the contact commission relates to copyright (I
missed the point here), that in 1955 Urantia Foundation acquires copyright
signed by Bill Saddler, Jr. and an additional renewal claim signed in 1983 by
Tom Kendal and therefore are the rightful owners.  

Some of my thoughts on this: There was an upside to what Tonia had to say,
that there was a huge increase in book sales for the year 2000.  It's been
averaging about 22,000-27,000 and last year went to I believe 36,000.  That
is great news!  I wonder if the 50+ websites for and about The Urantia Book  
that out there including South America have anything to do with this
increase.  Or if the Fellowship helped in these sales with all our outreach
efforts and website presence or if JJ Benitez had anything to do with it with
his books directing readers to El Libro De Urantia?  Tonia makes it sound
like the Foundation alone is accomplishing this (and I believe many
Foundation supporters believe the same) forgetting that most readers do not
belong to any organization and the majority of readers that do belong to an
organization do not belong to the Foundation or the IUA.  Enough of my
thoughts, but I do not think it has anything to do with copyright or the
issues at hand, just PR about the Foundation and IUA, badmouthing the
Fellowship and ignoring all the other wonderful organization out there
helping this revelation.

Now Harry's attorney, Murray Abowitz, who you have to see to appreciate with
his imposing stature, looms up.  Murray is courteous, even polite, well as
polite as a large hungry  bear waking up from a long hibernation can be, gets
a reluctant Tonia to admit she has no proof or even knowledge of any
assignment by anyone including  Dr. Saddler, Bill Saddler, Jr. etc.; that she
did not have proof that the 2,600 books sold or given away actually did harm
(other than in 1999 book sales went down to 22,000 and the JNR came out but
no other relationship) and that the Foundation is an Autocratic organization,
the same Autocratic organization when Martin Myers was in charge and the same
Autocratic organization that was in effect when the organization was started.
 Murray seemed to infer or made it obvious as to why someone might have
difficulty with the Foundation and have some antagonism toward the
Foundation.  The session ended, to be picked up at 10:00 am in Oklahoma City.

Tonia will resume with Murray cross-examining.  It should be something to
see.  Sorry I have to be back at work and will miss it and the closing
arguments.  Others will have to keep me posted.  Hope they do not leave me
hanging as I left you all hanging for that last few days.  By the way, I had
the most precious time with Harry and Stacey.  More gracious hosts one will
not find.

Onward all, in our Eternal Father's Will, the grace to know His Will and
courage to follow it,

Robert Burns