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How I Found the Urantia Book—DUANE FAW (1972) 


IN AUGUST OF 1965 I was flying from Portland to Dallas by way of Denver. As we neared Denver the woman sitting next to me asked me about the book I was reading. I told her it was about Edgar Cayce and reincarnation. She asked why I was reading it. I told her the study of religion was my hobby. We briefly discussed reincarnation and life after death.

She asked if I had ever heard of a planet called Urantia. I had not. She said she belonged to a group who believe we live on a planet called Urantia, and that when we die we simply go to another planet for a while, then another, and another, etc. She said she knew exactly where she was going when she died. She’d gotten her information from a book called the Urantia Book, and said I would never know all there was to know about religion until I’d found—and read—the Urantia Book.

In the Denver airport I was waiting in the boarding area for my connecting flight when I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the lady from the airplane. She had with her a man and two women whom she wanted me to meet. She said to them, “This is the man I told you about meeting on the airplane. He wants to read the Urantia Book.” The man said, in effect, that if I were seriously interested in discovering man’s role in the universe and his relationship to God I must read the Urantia Book.

I met up with my wife Lucile in Dallas and we stayed a few days with her sister before flying home to Arlington, Virginia. One day, left alone while they went shopping, I decided to find a copy of the Urantia Book. I looked in the Yellow Pages and telephoned every new and used book store in the Dallas directory. Each conversation went something like this:

“Do you have a copy of the Urantia Book?”

“The what?”

“The Urantia Book.”

“How do you spell it?”

“I don’t know—E-U-R? U-R?—phonetically it is Urantia.”

“Who wrote it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Who published it?”

“I don’t know.”

“Sorry, but we don’t have it and need more information to order it.”

Back home in Virginia I called all the bookstores in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area with the same results. I went to the Library of Congress and looked for it under Religion. (I missed it because, as I found out later, it was catalogued under Occult.) Finding the Urantia Book became an obsession with me. I asked for it every place I saw a bookstore.

In the fall of 1971 I retired from the military and we moved to California where I taught law. I kept up my quest for the book. One day in early 1972 I was looking for a particular part for an unusual lamp base. I had a list of six shops. I did not find it in the first five I visited, but as I left the fifth shop I saw a used book store. As was my custom, I asked if the store had a copy of the Urantia Book.

A man on a ladder said “Do I have a what?”

“Forget it,” I replied.

“Hey, wait a minute,” he said, “I did not say I didn’t have one. I’ve worked in this bookstore for many years and no one has ever asked for a Urantia Book. I’d never heard of the book until yesterday. I got in an estate of books, and last night I was sorting them. The only book of any interest to me was the Urantia Book. I put it on my desk to read, but if you want to buy it you may.”

I gave him $10 for the book.

When I got home and looked at the titles and authors of the papers I became very angry. I had been searching all that time for what turned out to be an occult book, and I was not into the occult! I threw the book, open and face down, into a trash can.

My background was Bible-centered Christianity. My grandfather was a circuit-riding Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, ultimately elected to the church’s highest office, moderator of the General Assembly. My father, ordained in the same denomination, organized churches. Everyone wanted me to become a preacher, but I did not feel the call. I did, however, love the Bible and everywhere we went with the service I organized Bible classes. I was not ready for an occult book. The next few days I forgot completely about the Urantia Book. My mind had been cleared of any thought of reading it—not even out of curiosity.

A week or so later, reaching for the Reader’s Digest on my nightstand to read myself to sleep, I discovered it was not there. Lucile said she had left it at the bowling alley. At that moment I received a very strong impression in my mind. I heard no voices, and saw no writing, but the intensity of the impression startled me. It was this: “If that book you found had been written by John Jones or Joe Smith you would have read it. Never judge a book by its authors.” On the off chance that the trash had not yet been emptied, I got out of bed, wandered down the hall to my office and felt in the basket. In the bottom—face down and dog-eared—I found the Urantia Book.

Returning to bed I opened the book at the front. It still looked bad with all those weird authors. I saw, however, that the last part of the book was about the life of Jesus. Now, I had read some crazy stuff about Jesus without it corrupting my thinking, so I decided to start reading there. What I found completely fascinated me. Instead of putting me to sleep, it kept me awake. About 2:30 a.m. Lucile said, “Turn out the light! I need my sleep.”

I found in the Jesus papers the most beautiful, loving, lovable Jesus I had ever met. Yet I needed to read the first three parts of the book to understand the words in Part IV. In so doing I learned who God is, who I am, what God wishes of me, my ultimate destination, and much, much more. In the process the Urantia Book did not displace the Bible in my view. I still love the Bible, now more than ever, since I know what it is—and is not.

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Duane Faw (b.1920) graduated to the mansion worlds on March 26, 2008. In 1975 Duane and Lucile joined The First Urantia Society of Los Angeles (FUSLA). Duane later served The Urantia Book Fellowship as Chair of the Judicial Committee, serving on the Executive Committee from 1979-1988 and again from1991-1994.

Duane had an active military career, retiring as Brigadier General  from the Marine Corps in 1971, where he served actively as a military pilot and in three wars, World War II, the Korean War, and the Viet Nam war. Later in his career, Duane, a practicing attorney, became a Law Professor and Professor Emeriti at Pepperdine University School of Law.

Duane is also known for his compiled work, The Paramony, a 588-page book which contains nearly 60,000 cross-references paralleling and harmonizing the Bible and the Urantia Book. It also contains over 10,000 cross-references internal to the Bible and several thousand internal to the Urantia Book. Duane and Lucile presented the rights to The Paramony to the Fellowship at the GC meeting in Santa Cruz in 2001.

Duane spent many hours publicly exhibiting the Urantia Book at book fairs and expos and invariably some interested person would ask him how the Urantia Book compares to the Bible, to which he would exuberantly exclaim, “The Urantia Book makes my Bible come alive!” Duane’s Paramony is an invaluable aid for people who study both the Bible and the Urantia Book. Duane also wrote another book based on Urantia Book teachings entitled, Religion Aught to Make Sense. He also had a remarkable sense of humor and always had a funny joke to tell, the best part of which was the sparkle he got in his eye when he told it.

The Fellowship officially honored Duane and Lucile Faw along with Meredith and Irene Sprunger at its 2002 International Conference in Estes Park CO.

* * *

A Tribute to Duane Faw (1920-2008)

PHIL GEIGER: Whoa... Duane was a good friend, and a business partner in the making until his house burned down in the Saddleback Malibu fire some years ago. I suspect that a lot of valuable Urantia Movement history went up in smoke then... I first met Duane in Santa Barbara in the mid '70s, where I found him in a discussion with a former nuclear industry apologist, the Rev. Jim K. It was then that I recognized what a diverse group of people TUB brought together--Duane, the Methodist bible scholar and former military lawyer charged by the Marine Corp Commandant, General Green, to develop the Corps position paper on Vietnam for President Lyndon Johnson; and the right Rev. Jim, who had moved to Hawaii and had become an archetypal anti-establishment figure. Dedicated UB readers and believers both. No doubt Duane is enjoying his "free time" on the Mansion Worlds, and looking forward with anticipation to the next stage of his universe career. God bless you, Duane.

MEREDITH SPRUNGER: I had a long relationship with Duane Faw. He was a wonderful person to work with and we often worked on things together.

ERIC COSH: Duane is such a dear friend and will be missed during the interim. I'm thankful for the quality times that I've spent in the past with both him and Lucile. "Duane, well done good and  faithful servant". See you soon.

JULIANNE CLERGET: Oh, Duane. You were such a light! 

SUSAN WRIGHT: I met Duane and Lucile in the 1980s at Berkeley Elliot's house in Oklahoma City. I have used The Paramony many times. He will be missed.

DOROTHY ELDER: I remember Duane and Lucille well from the 70s and 80s, and I was moved in my heart to learn that Duane has graduated.

PHYLLIS FISHER: At these times, I am reminded of heroine and poet Hanna Senesh who poignantly captured the loss of our loved ones: " There are stars whose light reaches the earth only after they themselves have disintegrated and are no more. And there are men (and women) whose scintillating memory lights the world after they passed from it. These lights which shine in the darkest night are those which illuminate for us the path." I never met Duane, you know, but all stars are made of the same light. 

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Duane and Lucile Faw, 1978

Duane Faw (b.1920) graduated to the mansion worlds
on March 26, 2008. Lucile Faw followed him on February 12, 2009.


Click on image to order Duane Faw's Paramony