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harold & martha sherman
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pdfForum Data and Apocrypha
Appendix of The Sherman Diaries, Vol. 2
 
The Forumites
compiled by Saskia Praamsma
pdfHow the Papers Came Through
Chapter 8 of Sherman Diaries, Vol. 2
 
The 1942 Petition
Presented to Dr. Sadler by 48 Forumites
pdfForum Days
from How I Found the Urantia Book
 
533 Diversey Parkway
compiled by Saskia Praamsma
pdfChildhood at the Forum
by Mark Kulieke (SGH, August 1993)
 
pdf"I Remember the Forum"
Early HIFTUB stories with pictures
 
pdf"Until We Meet Again"
Compiled by Saskia Praamsma
 
pdfPlan for the Urantia Book Revelation
by Carolyn B. Kendall 
 
Major Growth Steps in the Urantia Movement by Meredith Sprunger
How I Found the Urantia Book
Compiled by Saskia Praamsma
My Own HIFTUB Story
by Saskia Praamsma
The Split - A Blessing in Disguise
by Saskia Praamsma
What is the IUA?
Descriptions from two official sources
No Urantia Church - Not Yet!
by Saskia Praamsma
onlineA History of the Urantia Papers
by Larry Mullins
 
Open Letter to Larry Mullins
from Niann Emerson Chase (2003)

 

Three Histories
by Matthew Rapaport
pdfSeparate Publishing of Part IV
Is Harry McMullan breaking copyright laws?
 
pdfThe Jesus-A New Revelation Debate
Readers' pro and con viewpoints
 
A Box of Chocolates
by Phil Geiger
The Value of an Accurate History
by Saskia Praamsma
HAROLD SHERMAN
Harry J. Loose
Mysterious Forumite and Sherman mentor
 
Harold and Martha Sherman
and their relation to the Urantia work
 
Part One: Book Publishing
Sherman's 1942 suggestions for Dr. Sadler
GO
Part Two: Organizations
Sherman's 1942 suggestions for Dr. Sadler
The ARA Messages (1941-42)
Sherman's TA communications
"Pipeline to God"—Chapter V of How To Know What to Believe by Harold Sherman
onlineRebuttal to "Pipeline to God"
Clyde Bedell's lengthy response
 
onlineResponse, "Pipeline"/HTKWTB
Meredith Sprunger's comments 
 
Editor's Note for Sherman Diaries
Saskia Praamsma
The Sherman Diaries
Editors, Saskia Praamsma, Matthew Block
pdf Letter from Ingo Swann
Friend of the Shermans shows appreciation
 
pdf Editorial, The Sherman Diaries
Review by Larry Mullins
 
Postscript to Urantia, The Great Cult Mystery Martin Gardner, 2008
Translation histories  
[English] The Italian Translation Project
[Italian] La Storia de Il Libro di Urantia
pdfJ.J. Benitez: J.J. The Baptist?
by Rosey Lieske and Olga Lopez
 
pdf Translations 2010
Urantia Foundation News
 
Coming soon  
SIR HUBERT WILKINS
HISTORICAL IMAGES
 

Part One - Harold Sherman's Suggestions to Dr. Sadler
Forumite Harold Sherman's first letter to Dr. Sadler concerning publication of the Urantia Book.


Click on image for PDF of original document

July 29, 1942
Dear Dr. Sadler,

Since you asked me some weeks ago, during one of our discussions about the future of the Forum and the publication of the Book of Urantia, to put such thoughts and ideas as I had in writing for consideration, I am now doing so following my completed reading of the book itself and my greater acquaintance with the Forum as a body.

I have given great deliberation to all possible angles of the approaching problems which I foresee arising as you near the time when you feel the Foundation and Brotherhood should be established and when you are finally instructed that the book itself should be published.

In what I am now to present so frankly, please know that all is said with the greatest of affection and with no intent of personal criticism. But, in the absence of any further specific instruction from higher sources with respect to Foundation, Brotherhood, Forum, Book or general procedure, I feel that these points I am about to submit should be given the most sober and considered reflection by you and your associates before any further steps are taken, that no unwitting great mistake may be made in the presentation of this Revelation to the world.

First, let me say, that I accept wholeheartedly and without any reservation whatsoever the Book of Urantia and the Revelation it contains. And, if what I set down here should ever be "countermanded" by instructions from higher sources, then would I be the first to withdraw any objections or suggestions and "go along" with these instructions, so received, in full spirit.

If, however, we are to be left, as humans, with the problems of organization and publication to solve, then perhaps my own personal experience and background—coming into this group with a new and different perspective—may have a definite value. Please know also that I have no personal ambitions with respect to the Book of Urantia or its contents. I suggested some months ago, by letter, without having had opportunity to read the book, that channels of radio, stage and screen should and could probably be utilized at the proper time for dissemination of the truths it contained, under the "guise of entertainment." I see even greater possibilities in this now—but all of these developments will eventually come whether I, or any of us, have anything personally to do with these channels or not. The Truth and its right presentation to the world is all that matters, and if it is better for none of us to have any public identification with this book at any time, then this [illegible].

I cannot conceive how any finer human selection could have been made by higher intelligences for the faithful fulfillment of a long and arduous task than that conferred upon you and your wife, whom I shall always regret not having known in this life. What you and the small group of devoted "contact commissioners" have accomplished through these long years will live throughout the whole universe of Nebadon. Not to have faltered or swerved from your high purposes during this long time is to have gained a spiritual reward beyond price, for the human is so subject to err and to "grow faint." It is not necessary for your name or the names of any of us associated with this Forum to go "ringing down the corridors of earth time." Your name, and the name of your dear wife, is established in the realms beyond, wherein is true glory. And service is our glory here, which is an inner experience that does not require the plaudits of the multitude.

I say the above because I see, so clearly, the most serious of complications ahead which, from your own position and viewpoint, may not yet have become apparent to you.

You have told me that you intend to get out a pamphlet, describing in part the phenomena attendant upon the origin of the Book of Urantia. Obviously, either the Urantia Foundation or yourself, as an identity, or both, must stand behind this statement. You have explained that such a statement is absolutely necessary to avert all manner of perhaps well-intentioned but distorted versions of the book’s origin which might be told by different Forum members. It is your intention that this pamphlet give the "official version" and that the explanation begin and end there.

From a totally outside viewpoint, knowing the opposition this book is bound to arouse in certain quarters and the pressure that will be brought to bear through newspapers and even special investigators to "get to the bottom of this" and "discredit it and those associated with it," if possible, I foresee great, humiliating and devastating results from the issuance of such a pamphlet.

First, the very nature of your work and practice, which has been such an asset to you in developing and protecting this Revelation through all these years, now becomes your greatest liability! You were able to quietly assemble, through the years, men and women who you knew, through personal contact, could render a vital service. Some of these people were your patients. You have even referred to the possible presence of some "paranoiacs" in the group, as you have mentioned certain anonymous letters that have been written in. I’d like to say that, in my association with your Forum members, I have found them to be an exceedingly devoted and well-balanced group. But consider how this group, with your own name and background associated, will be regarded by the outside world!

Newspaper reporters and investigators are certainly going to follow up on this pamphlet; they are going to request a fuller explanation, an introduction to the subject himself, a demonstration. The people of Christ’s day wanted "proof," the performance of "miracles." You will experience such a demand in intensified force today.

You may think now that you can "stand pat" and end it all by saying, "Gentlemen, this is all that can be said or will ever be said. You have the whole story, all that will be told. You must test the truth of the Book of Urantia by its contents."

But your interrogators are not going to be satisfied. Not securing further information from you, with your Urantia Brotherhood then existent and open to the public, they will invade it. They will contact original Forum members and question them, perhaps purposely insult them and their belief in the book—an old reportorial trick to get people to talk. Then "unofficial explanations" will be offered which will not jibe with statements made in the pamphlet; then new clues will be developed, perhaps in ways you do not now anticipate; the identity of the "human instrument" will be disclosed and his life turned into a hell on earth.

And then, cruelest of all, will appear a newspaper headline something like this:

SPIRITUAL REVELATION
PRODUCED BY DERANGED MINDS:
PATIENTS OF FAMOUS PSYCHIATRIST
USED TO CONTACT SPIRIT REALMS.

New Life of Christ Reported
Written by "Angels"; Scientists
Studying Unusual Document

Dr. William S. Sadler Declares
Revelations to be Genuine

And now picture the unfortunate and harassed position you and all original Forum members find themselves in. You are thrown entirely on the defensive, your protestations against such an interpretation being placed upon your group, and the origin of the paper will only then be destined to make matters worse—since you can offer no further explanations. The whole Book of Urantia has now been dragged down to a human basis, associated in the public consciousness with people of neurotic and mentally unstable tendencies. It is quite possible that one or more of these Forumites may crack under this emotional strain and "commit suicide" or "do something" which will add to the unfavorable publicity. And those interested in discrediting the Book of Urantia will leap upon such happenings and make the most of them in an attempt to damn by scorn and ridicule and depreciation this great and true Revelation.

I see the potentiality of all this happening and more, as though it were revealed to me, as it has been! This whole picture, as I am unreeling it, has passed before my inner vision. Not once but many times, with ever increased clarity.

There is no human way—absolutely none—that you can employ to overcome this liability. The instant you and your institution are linked with the Book of Urantia, directly or indirectly, the "heat is on." A terrific weapon is given all enemies of the Book at the very start which will discourage literally millions of truth-seeking humans from ever reading it. To permit yourself to be placed in this vulnerable position is to assume a responsibility beyond your human capacity to withstand. Knowing you to be so completely sincere and devoted to this mission as you are, I am sure it would actually kill you to feel that you had, in any way, wittingly or unwittingly, taken any action which had impaired the reception of this Truth by the world at large.

The same holds true for Bill, who has a magnificent mind and a great capacity for service. But, unless great care is taken, his own ability to serve will be completely jeopardized and discounted by wrong public reaction.

This Truth is obviously for all the world, not one little group or a number of groups. Anything that is done in the presenting of this book to the public which in any way tends to alienate, directly or indirectly, the interest of any person of any faith or no faith at all, is therefore wrong.

The fact that no religion, in past history, has persisted without an organization, is no indication whatsoever that this revelation will not so persist.

A study of this very Book of Urantia clearly and unequivocally states that Christ did not found a religion. He exhorted his followers to "preach the gospel to all the people," but the instant they organized for this purpose they confined and segregated the Truth and created great groups of people outside the fold as against little groups of people inside the fold, and the true spirit of Christ was stifled in the body of a church. From the time of that great mistake, the great value of the life of Christ has largely been lost upon humanity.

Such a mistake must not be made again. This Book of Urantia must not have barriers placed between it and its reception by peoples of all faiths. Unless we are to be self-appointed missionaries of the Book of Urantia and the truths it contains, we do not have to concern ourselves with its adaptation to the various orders of religious faith in the world. This adaptation is the problem of each truth seeker. The adjustment must voluntarily be made by different church leaders and members of their congregation who are impressed by the Spirit of Truth within them and their own Spirit Monitors that they are in the presence of a new and greater revelation. Anything we can say, as members of the Urantia Brotherhood setting ourselves up as "authorities," can only constitute a barrier, in the nature of "priests" who would attempt to interpret for the multitude outside the church. In other words, without so intending we will have made the same mistake as the followers of Christ in his time—our Urantia Brotherhood, no matter how brilliantly conceived or managed, will be regarded by those of different church orders as a new kind of church—and unnecessary prejudices and complications will instantly arise.

We do not need to protect the truth. It has a living quality if we do not kill it by wrong human presentation.

In making the truth available to all, we must anticipate and remove all possible hazards before we start. The truth is transcendently greater than any of us. As the last communication from higher intelligences stated, "We are in a testing period." And we each must question our own personal feelings and aspirations with relation to this project.

The Forum has completed its dispensation. It is natural and human that all would wish to continue this inspired association. It is natural and human that a bigger and finer organization would have been visualized in the form of a Urantia Brotherhood, perhaps later a Urantia Society. It is understandable how higher intelligences, those in charge of this revelation, would have kindly commented upon the plans of organization at present, although the Angels of Progress demurred. It would have been most unkind, at the end of this long dispensation, for any severe criticism or suggestions to have been offered. From my little knowledge of higher intelligences, their leadership is always kindly; they are conscious of our human frailties and proneness to err, even with every good intention.

But—we are rapidly approaching a crossroads at which point the direction we take can influence the entire world reception of the Book of Urantia. Should this approach not be examined with great and impersonal consideration from every possible human angle?

If it is unwise for the public ever to have your name associated with this Book of Urantia because of the vulnerable background your profession now represents—is it also wise for this book to be published by the Urantia Foundation and to be supported by a Urantia Brotherhood?

This query may come as a shock to you. But let’s proceed further along the line of human probability. If you had this Book of Urantia placed in your hands—an entire stranger to this revelation—would you be more disposed to evaluate its contents if you saw it bore the imprint of an established publishing house than you would if you saw on the title page: "Published by the Urantia Foundation"? Would you not think, at once, there was some new cult or ism or religion behind this the moment you saw "Urantia Foundation"?

You have stated that it took you a long time to be convinced of the truth and source of these revelations, even so. How much more difficult then will the position of the thinking person be who comes in contact with this Book of Urantia for the first time, with no background appreciation whatsoever, and particularly if he has anything prejudicial presented to him at such a time!

"Urantia Foundation" implies a group behind it. "Urantia Brotherhood" definitely implies a body of people who had a "priority claim" on the knowledge contained in the book, which sets them up as authorities. If such a group, in its meetings, is singing "church hymns passed upon by them" as being Urantian in spirit, this authority is thus demonstrated; and those on the outside, members of other organizations and church bodies, are made to feel that they cannot get as close to this truth as those so especially favored. At the very start then, a schism is created; a barrier is erected; and prejudicial consideration of the Book of Urantia begins!

I have not read the incorporation papers of either the Urantia Foundation or Brotherhood but have been told about them by Bill and yourself and several members of the Forum who recall certain features from a previous reading. I understand, with respect to the Brotherhood, that provision has been made for the issuance of charters to other groups of people who may wish to form themselves into such a body. Also, that these charters may be cancelled or withdrawn if the conduct or interpretation of the members of any chapter is such as to be judged foreign to the spirit and purposes of the Urantia movement by the parent organization.

Such a procedure is highly dangerous since it sets up "human authorities" and "human interpreters" of the truth and develops organized divisions of opinion when the Truth should be free to all. This it can never be, when it is organized!

It is clear to me that no one human or group of humans has been appointed by higher intelligences or will be appointed to interpret the Book of Urantia and the revelation it contains. This interpretation was definitely intended to be left to the individual, and for us to so intercede ourselves, with every good intention, is in direct violation of the mandate that we are only custodians and not possessors or owners of this truth.

The truth of the Book of Urantia cannot be distorted so long as it is contained within the confines of the book itself. But the instant human organizations are set up to promote and interpret this truth, rather than permitting humans to seek out the truth from the one unimpeachable and unchanging source—the book—all manner of human prejudice, distrust and disunity will result.

The truth content of the Book of Urantia is so mighty and unassailable in itself that it needs no supporting statement pertaining to its metaphysical origin. Any attempt to explain it undignifies it, and pulls it down to an already generally discredited "psychic phenomena level." And the fact that the origin can never be fully explained or tested or verified makes the dilemma even worse.

If the pamphlet reveals your own identity to the world as an endorser of the phenomena and this subjects you to embarrassment and humiliation, and the Urantia Book to possible wide discrediting because of the psychiatric and neurotic angle, then the Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood opens up similar sources of great vulnerability. The moment these incorporation papers are filed, the names of the officers of both organizations are public knowledge to all who wish to so ascertain them. Once the Foundation and Brotherhood become operative, anyone may contact the persons in charge. And the same unhappy result will occur. This is a human inevitability by the very nature of your past activity and present setup, highly honorable in itself, but highly damaging in the light of the world’s concept of psychiatric practice as associated with consideration of the Urantia Papers.

You may feel that other organizations may spring up for study of the Book of Urantia if you do not enter the field with the Urantia Brotherhood, and that since this is apt to happen, it is a lesser evil or hazard for your organization to be established.

Actually, however, the Urantia Brotherhood, however well designed, if set up before or at the time of the book’s publication, is like creating a body before the spirit is born. The Spirit of Truth, awakened in the consciousness of humanity, must create its own body. And it cannot do this if a body has already been formed before this spirit has come alive in the evolving souls of all who may read this book. What you do have, under such circumstances, is a stillbirth. The true spirit can never enter the body of the Urantia Brotherhood because the minds of those affiliated with other organizations and churches feel themselves apart from the Urantia Brotherhood, never able to equally share with those who have been original charter members, associated directly with the Revelation itself, and thus self-constituted authorities and "personal possessors," through the Urantia Brotherhood, of this Truth!

The Truth must not and cannot be contained in an organization. The minute this happens it becomes exclusive, segregated and perverted. The Truth must come alive and exist in the minds and hearts of all peoples regardless of their present religious connections or non-religious tendencies. They must not feel that any "official interpreters" or organizations stand between them and the Truth. If such a development is permitted, it will deny the Truth to untold millions in this present world crisis and postpone its otherwise wide acceptance for centuries yet to come! If no organization exists, and no identities are established in association with the Book of Urantia, then the Forum members cannot be contacted or easily known and a complication of difficulties arise.

With the Book being published by a recognized publisher, instead of with the imprint of the Urantia Foundation, everyone can have access to the book at the same time, including past Forum members. All persons are thus privileged to organize little study groups for themselves, unofficially, whether they are contacting the book for the first time in their communities, or have had a previous knowledge of it. And the Truth is thus enabled to find its way naturally and spontaneously into the hearts and minds of people everywhere.

Think of what personal and human hazards are eliminated if no pamphlet, with its necessary identifying sponsorship, is issued; if no Foundation bearing the name of Urantia is associated with the printing of the book, and if no Urantia Brotherhood is permitted to exist!

On the surface, it appears as though the Book of Urantia, in this modern world, has no chance for proper introduction or survival, unless the above steps are taken. But consider that the present day and age affords entirely different means of conveying Truth to the minds and hearts of humanity than was possible in Jesus’ time.

We have the printed page, the newspapers, magazines, radio, stage, screen—all mediums for reaching human consciousness quickly, independently and individually! These mediums have no "motives" or "axes to grind" such as all organizations must have. Every organization’s excuse for being is to be "for" or "against" something.

But these mediums of communication exist to be used by Man to transmit knowledge, in various humanized and dramatic forms, to his fellow man. And these mediums can readily and mightily serve as the apostles of the Book of Urantia. In this manner the Truth can be called to the attention of every human who, unprejudiced by any organization setups which might cause him to reject the Book of Urantia sight unseen, now makes direct, undiluted and undistorted contact with the Truth in book form. Once impressed by the Truth, he is free to do what he wishes about it at once—in "spreading the gospel, according to his own light and in his own way, among his own friends and acquaintances."

Such an individual, receiving the truth in this way, has nothing to question but the truth as presented in the book. He does not have to question the character and possible motives of any human individuals or organizations behind the book. He is in direct touch with the Spirit of Christ. He does not have to go anywhere or join anything to have this Spirit revealed. It is in him and of him and no earthly person or organization can add anything that he does not now possess. The Life of Christ is having an unrestricted opportunity to influence him without the interjection of any well-intentioned Brotherhood with its different, equally well-intentioned "human ministers or interpreters."

The Book of Urantia, in addition to its being a true revelation, will be the spiritual source book for truth seekers for ages to come. But, while we feel assured of this, we must not lose sight of the problems confronting its proper publication and presentation to the peoples of this present era.

I, as you know, have had over fifty books published which have sold into the millions of copies. You also have had a wide publishing experience. You can appreciate it, then, when I tell you that I made the mistake of trying to publish one book—an adult novel—on my own. I thought my own name and the market I had builded would be sufficient to enable me to have the book printed at my expense and distributed through the Union News Company to booksellers everywhere, and that I could make a large profit by so doing.

I should have known better. I did not actually learn until then that book publishing and selling is a tremendously intricate business. Without a recognized and established publishing house behind you, without a well-trained and aggressive sales force, without a thoroughly tested and operating means of distribution, and without competent publicity experts who know how to exploit your special type of book in a manner to impress both public and reviewers, the chances of any book, however good, becoming a best seller today (the production and selling costs being what they are) are negligible.

This difficulty is almost infinitely increased when your product is that of a book which appears destined eventually to replace our present Bible!

It is wise and absolutely necessary and right procedure for this book to be under your complete editorial control during preparation, and to be set up in type in such a manner as is now being done. With a manuscript of this unusual origin and nature, this could not successfully and with proper protective measures have been accomplished otherwise. But, as I look into the future, I see great hazards attendant upon the attempted publishing, exploiting and distributing of the Book of Urantia under sponsorship of a Urantia Foundation and a Urantia Brotherhood.

In the first place, you need the co-operative aid and publishing experience of a going publishing concern to avoid the many pitfalls which any new publishing house would be bound to encounter. The Book of Urantia cannot and must not get off to a false start. Your new publishing firm would have no rating with publishers, booksellers, reviewers or public, and, in addition, would have to combat the instantly created prejudice of being considered the possible front of a new religious order—not to mention the other complications as hereinbefore outlined.

You are in a particularly advantageous position when the right time comes, should you and your associates decide to follow this procedure, to call in an established publisher and conclude a most favorable arrangement. The Book of Urantia will then have been plated, ready for printing. You have paid the typesetting and plating costs which gives you a major interest in the publishing venture.

The publisher, if interested, agrees to publish, placing his imprint on the title page in place of the "Urantia Foundation," which is deleted. To all intents and purposes, this Book of Urantia then goes on the publisher’s list as one of his releases for spring or fall. It, of course, is the featured book on the list and is so represented by the sales force. The book is distributed by the publishers through the usual channels and everything is handled in a most regular and businesslike manner. The fact that this established publisher has had this unusual manuscript brought to him and has recognized its extraordinary merit by publishing it, gives to the Book of Urantia an immediate prestige value in the trade it never could have acquired had it been introduced by an unheard-of Urantia Foundation and Brotherhood.

Then, too, did you attempt to publish on what must inevitably start out as a comparatively small-scale venture, with the Urantia Foundation and Brotherhood sponsoring the book, you run the great risk not only of widespread discrediting, but of organized efforts to force the book off the market. Certain religious organizations are immensely strong, as you know, and if your publishing house is not able to weather a mighty storm, the Book of Urantia—priced as it would have to be priced, unless you had great capital—could not stay long in print.

Therefore, unless the plan of publication anticipates the hazards and is so organized as to rise above them, you are apt to meet with a crushing and devastating defeat from the forces of evil still active on this earth.

As I see it, the risk is too great to consider bringing this Revelation out in a limited, high-priced edition alone, depending largely on word-of-mouth selling and organization support. It can be too easily stopped by opposing forces before it really gets started, under such circumstances.

The only way to make sure that the Book of Urantia is extensively and firmly launched in human consciousness is to undertake a publicity and advertising campaign such as no book hitherto has ever received! Such a campaign requires the donation of large sums of money by individuals spiritually interested—but such individuals can be found, and will gladly give of their substances to bring spiritual advancement to this planet.

Given an established publisher, and the power and right to have your representatives sit quietly in with him on all developments, yet remaining always behind the scenes, you can then arrange for the opening announcement of this book. This announcement should come in the form of beautifully written, full-page newspaper advertisements, appearing in every daily paper in the country on the same day! These ads would be seen by uncounted millions, and copies of the book would be available, on assignment if not on order, in every book store or place where books are sold!

Since the Truth must be within the reach of all peoples, the book must be published in several priced editions at the same time, with a paperbacked edition selling for $1.00!

It should remain to be determined whether the Book of Urantia ad should contain the endorsement of men and women scientists, educators and others of prominence in all lines of endeavor who have read and reviewed the book prior to its publication date. Endorsements, if any, should be in the scientific field but under no circumstances from the religious field, for any endorsement by the clergy of any sect or sects, at the start, would make it seem as though the Book of Urantia specially favored these particular religious orders.

But this advertisement should be as attractive and inviting as some of the ads prepared for Compton’s Encyclopedia, which show background scenes of heavenly space, the formation of the earth, lower forms of life, and evolving man. It is possible, too, that announcements of this new revelation—the Book of Urantia—could be made over the radio networks at the same time.

That I might check the feasibility of my own vision with respect to the way it seemed this book should be handled, I talked confidentially with a book publisher friend when I was in New York. Without revealing the exact nature of the book, except to say that I knew of the existence of a manuscript of such spiritual power that, when properly published in book form, it should revolutionize world thinking, I asked this publisher’s opinion of my ideas.

The publisher said: "Not only do I think your ideas are feasible, but some such spectacular and distinctive method of simultaneously calling public attention to such a book must be utilized, as any quiet publication of it will be squelched by different religious groups who feel it opposed to their interpretation and the commercial existence of their order. But once the book is so announced, and its importance so established, it cannot be squelched. It has developed too many centers of support and interest throughout the country. It may still be opposed in certain quarters but it is bound to make a place for itself!"

Knowing that such an advertising campaign would require a large sum of money which the book itself could not hope to earn back in a long time, if ever, I asked the publisher if he thought such money could be raised.

To my astonishment, this publisher said: "Sherman, I have confidence in your judgment. If this book is what you say it is and I could be permitted to read the manuscript and decide for myself, I feel reasonably sure I can get a close personal friend, worth fifty millions, who is interested in helping humanity, to donate a million dollars toward the exploitation of such a volume!"

This publisher will be free in September to visit me here and, if you have by that time decided to consider this entirely different method of procedure, you could then confer along the lines indicated.

As you can see, something is developing here of tremendous possible magnitude!

This would mean that your proposed Urantia Foundation should never be incorporated under the easily recognizable "Urantia" title, and your name should not be identified with it. "Progress Foundation" might be better, and this organization—actually a holding company for receiving and dispensing funds in relation to the Urantia Book—would be kept quiet anyway.

The Book of Urantia, if an established publisher handled it, should be copyrighted in the name of the publisher so this imprint may appear on the title page and wherever else it has to be used.

Then, the publishing house assigns the copyright and all rights vested therein to your Foundation. Any individuals or organizations desiring to gain access to any of these rights are then compelled to approach the publishing house as the apparent copyright holder, with their propositions. They cannot get at you personally and your identity never needs to be disclosed unless some Forum member talks; and, even so, you are so far removed from any personal connection that you can, under such circumstances, easily defend yourself and avoid being drawn into any controversies, which would happen constantly were you "out front" and on the "firing line."

Representatives, of your choosing, could meet as required to pass upon proposals made through the publishing house for different adaptations or uses of the contents of the Urantia Book. The Book of Urantia is thus strictly "on its own," unencumbered by any human influence or interpretation—a true revelation—direct from God, the Universal Father—to each and all of his earth children, regardless of race, color or creed.

Your "Urantia Brotherhood" incorporation would not be filed. Your Forum group would be disbanded months before the book is published so that no connection with it could be established. Members could meet about, as friends do, in their individual homes, if they so desired, but with the understanding that they were to hold as secret and inviolate their years of devotion to this work. Their interest in the book, when published, must be expressed as though it were on a par with those who have never belonged to the Forum and are seeing the book for the first time.

Later—it may be pointed out to the Forumites—the public reaction to the Book of Urantia may become so pronounced and vitalized that a Urantia Brotherhood may be formed without prejudicing any religion, and with chapters possibly affiliated with all churches, so that greater unity rather than disharmony is created.

But, until and if that time arrives, it is thought best not to attempt to promote the Book of Urantia and its revealed truth through another organization which is bound to be regarded and opposed by all other denominations and groups of people as a new religious sect.

Perhaps, if you would care to submit this letter to the Angels of Progress, they might be disposed to pass upon it, and we all might be granted that guidance we so direly need for the important work ahead.

This has been written in the most loving consideration and with the deepest of respect and regard.

* * *

Read Part Two: Organization. Sherman's suggestions regarding the future Urantia Foundation, Corporation, Brotherhood and subsequent Societies.

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