EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE LETTER
TO: General Councilors., Society Presidents, and Field Representatives
During this time there have been several items of business that have taken time to find resolution. Some are still under discussion.
Publicity Policy. There has been an increase in proposals to publicize The Urantia Book. It has generated interesting and vigorous discussion concerning the pros and cons of advertising. It led to the following motion which reaffirms a long standing policy:
For many years Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood have adopted and supported a policy of not publicizing The Urantia Book in any of their various outreach efforts. This policy has not only been followed by both organizations with respect to their own efforts, but it has been urged upon those who, while not an integral part of either organization -- and hence not bound by their policies -- were supportive of the spread of the teachings in accordance with the plan of patient evolutionary development.
There are actions being proposed to be taken by the Brotherhood and by friends in the Urantia movement which require a prompt policy decision on the publicity issue. After lengthy, spirited discussion and careful consideration, the Executive Committee concludes once again that the time has not come to publicize The Urantia Book. The potential for immediate harm from publicizing the book far outweighs any temporary gain that might accrue from even a limited program of publicity at this time.
Although this decision is sufficient to guide the Executive Committee in its immediate deliberations, it was recognized that the Brotherhood and those who look to it for leadership deserve an explanation of the considerations which led to that conclusion.
The Executive Committee will therefore undertake, on a priority basis, to develop a statement of its rationale for not publicizing The Urantia Book, together with an indication of the types of constructive activities-which are appropriate at this time.
In the coming months we plan to meet with those who specifically wish to publicize The Urantia Book in order to share our concerns about this activity. The Committee is working on a statement as referred to in the motion.
Distribution of The Urantia Book -- New Sales Policies Established by Urantia Foundation. Due to the detailed nature of the new sales policies and the reasons therefore, I am enclosing a copy of the letter from Tom Kendall, President, Urantia Foundation, covering this matter. Please read it carefully. The new policy adopts almost every recommendation made by the Brotherhood. Conceptually, the Foundation based their decision on:
"1) at this time and for the foreseeable future, the book industry should remain the primary outlet for the distribution of The Urantia Book; 2) the sale of the book is a primary source of financial maintenance for the Foundation until other avenues of support such as contributions show a significant increase; 3) current conditions require that Urantia Foundation must maintain its status under the law as a "public" foundation and avoid the financial and legal consequences of being determined a "private" foundation. As a result of the above considerations, the Trustees do not wish to undertake any policy changes which would endanger our support fraction, drastically lessen our base of financial support, or challenge the role of bookstores and distributors as outlets for The Urantia Book."
In effect the new policies increase discounts to bookstores, distributors, societies, and individuals; offer credit to those in the book business who qualify; allow returns for refund to retailers and wholesalers.
A compromise was reached concerning the discount to individuals and societies. See pages 3 and 4 of Tom's letter. There is an increase to a 25% discount to individuals when ordering five or more books sent to the same address. There is a newly instituted 40% discount to Urantia Societies on ten or more books, in order to provide a greater opportunity for service.
The Foundation has established policies that come a long way in trying to harmonize the various desires of individuals while still maintaining a sound relationship with the book industry distribution system which is already in place -- an evolutionary tool for distributing The Urantia Book on a world-wide basis.
Notice of these policy changes was sent to some 3,500 bookstores (including distributors). Approximately 700 letters were returned indicating the addressee was no longer in business. The last use of this list was the end of 1979.
In order to ascertain the impact of the policy changes on book sales, the Special Projects Committee is working closely with Foundation personnel in developing an instrument to track these changes. Time is needed to allow a true picture to evolve.
Houston Situation. We received good news that a decision was finally reached in the case involving a group in Houston calling themselves "First Urantia Society of Houston, Inc." Since this group would not abide by the Judicial Committee findings, Urantia Foundation was obligated to continue its civil suit for the unauthorized use of their registered marks. After many many months, Judge Gabrielle K. McDonald found in favor of the Foundation on all points of the Foundation's re-request for summary judgment. Since I feel the results of this court action will have long-term positive effects on the social and fraternal activities of the Brotherhood, you will find a copy of the judge's ruling enclosed. None of us wish to decide our differences by civil court action. However, when all efforts of persuasion and constitutional procedures are exhausted, it becomes the action of last resort. I have thanked all those in the Houston society who participated in the process of reaching a final determination.
1984 General Conference. The conference site will be Green Lake Assembly, Green Lake, W1, for the week of August 12-17. Vice-President Carolyn Kendall is the General Chairman.
1987 General Conference. Special Projects Committee Chairman, Chuck Burton, has been asked to find a suitable site for the 1987 General Conference. He has contacted society presidents and various study group leaders for their suggestions.
Agency Agreement. Urantia Brotherhood Corporation has signed an agency agreement with Amadon Corporation to act as their sales agent in the distribution of Le Livre d'Urantia. This agreement took effect October 1, 1982. Approximately 3,500 copies of the French translation have been sold. Most of these sales have been in the Province of Quebec, Canada.
Fraternal Relations Committee. Enclosed is a copy of the "Purpose and Program of the Fraternal Relations Committee." Meredith Sprunger and his Committee members developed this paper dealing with their activities. Meredith encourages response to planned out-reach activities by having you contact either one or both of the sub-committees, headed by Vern Grimsley and Meredith Sprunger. This paper is also going to all study groups that signed up for the Study Group Fellowship of Urantia Brotherhood.
Financial Matters. A copy of the 1983 budget is enclosed. With increased conference activity, there is greater need for financing some travel expense of committee members. Also there will be times when it is desirable to help finance over-seas readers to attend Brotherhood events. Until now, it has been the custom that all committee members pay their own way. The Finance Committee developed a proposal which was approved to allow committee chairmen to plan for such expense through the budgetary process.
The Audit Committee completed its task of receiving bids from various accounting firms. They recommended that we retain Arthur Andersen as our auditors. Although some firms would do the work at less cost, it was felt that since they did not have extensive experience with not-forprofit organizations, the Brotherhood would be forced to seek outside legal counsel. Arthur Andersen provides this as in-house service.
"Organizing Conferences and Workshops.11 A paper has been completed which reflects several years of conference experience. Copies are being sent to society presidents and any wishing their own copy or additional copies, please notify the office.
The Boulder School for Students of The Urantia Book. We have watched with interest as The Boulder 6chool evolves its academic purpose and establishes its goals. In its preliminary discussion of the school, the Executive Committee expressed some concerns about the relationship of the school to Urantia Brotherhood as a whole. We have encouraged individuals and groups to develop effective ways to study the teachings and help share them on a person-to-person basis while maintaining no official tie with such activities. The school presents a new situation in which an activity sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Urantia Society of Denver will have impact on all other societies. In order to establish a dialogue to share our concerns, Lynne Kulieke, Chairman of the Education Committee, Carolyn Kendall, Vice-President, and I traveled to Boulder at the end of April to meet with the society officers and school directors. This personal meeting provided the time to explore these concerns. There will be further discussion at the meeting of the General Council. For us as visitors, it could not have been a more friendly visit with several different social gatherings providing the time to meet society members and friends.
Spanish Translation. The International Fellowship Committee in cooperation with Urantia Foundation has moved ahead to seek qualified professional translators for a Spanish version of The Urantia Book. This is exciting news since it is a step forward to bringing the teachings to many additional cultures throughout the non-English-speaking populations of our world.
Study Group Fellowship of Urantia Brotherhood. Over 80 study groups have responded to the general mailing inviting participation in this program of the Domestic Extension Committee. A directory will be compiled, listing all the participants with the phone number of the person to contact to learn about the time of study meetings. At the coming summer seminar session, Harry McMullan and Berkeley Elliott will be talking with our international friends to work toward solving any problems of such a program on an international level.
Brotherhood Bulletin. Plans are progressing to produce a four language international issue of the Bulletin -- English, French, Spanish, and Finnish.
Members-at-Large- We welcome the following individuals as members of Urantia Brotherhood: Mr. Peter Toy, Sidney, Australia; Dr. Thomas C. Burns, Savannah, GA; Mr. Thern Blackburn, Woods Cross, UT; Mr. Donald L. Deam, Topeka, KS; Dr. Dana Poole, Griffin, GA; Mr. Yvon Gagne, Stoneham, P.Q., Canada; Guy Hevey, Ville LaSalle, P.Q., Canada; Mrs. Carol Chambers, Joelton, TN; Mr. Martti Vanninen, Finland.
July 29-31 Dallas Fellowship Conference Fountainhead Lodge, Lake Eufala, OK Contact: The Dallas Fellowship, Inc. P.O. Box 12727, Fort Worth, TX 76116
August 19-21 Santa Barbara Area Conference University of California, Santa Barbara, CA Contact: Barrie Bedell P.O. Box 30571, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Idaho Conference for Readers of The Urantia Book Camp Towakani, Sawtooth National Forest, ID Contact: Mountain Messenger Route #2, Jerome, ID 83338
Celebration of Michael's Birthday Montreal Area, P.Q., Canada Contact: Mrs. Roxane Proulx 5057 4e Avenue, Rosemont, P.Q., Canada, HlY 2V2
Tennessee Conference for Readers of The Urantia Book Fall Creek Falls State Park, TN Contact: 1983 Tennessee Conference 794 Myhr Drive, Nashville, TN 37221
Sept. 16-18 The Fifth Central Atlantic Conference of Urantia Book Readers National 4-H Center, Chevy Chase, MD Contact: Buddy Roogow 4216 Pulitzer Circle, Ellicott City, MD 21043
The General Council of Urantia Brotherhood meets July 2, 1983. With increased reader activity has come an increase in the number and complexity of the issues in need of resolution. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers to help us exercise our best wisdom in the tasks before us.
May you and your families benefit from the recreation of summer activities.
John W. Hales, President Urantia Brotherhood JWH/rjm Enclosures
A Service of
The Fellowship for Readers of The Urantia Book