C.U.B.S. Plea to Urantia Foundation to discuss issues
CENTER FOR Urantia BOOK SYNERGY, INC.
(An independent organization not affiliated with Urantia Foundation)
Santa Barbara, CA 93130-3915
June 13th, 1988
Mr. Martin Myers
533 Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
As you surely know by now, Urantia Foundation has filed a lawsuit against Center for Urantia Book Synergy requiring a response and, on advice of counsel, counterclaims against Urantia Foundation. Copies of the documents are enclosed in case you have not yet seen them.
From our group’s inception we have sincerely wish to serve the family of God’s children with you in spiritual unity and cooperation. We thus feel compelled to reach out to you in this personal manner, outside of the rigid confines of the legal arena. Our lawyers have assured us that nothing prohibits us from talking with one another. Please call. We desire to discuss this matter personally, privately, and in the context of settlement discussions. In that way, as your own lawyers can verify, neither party can use any comments made in any legal proceedings, so you need have no fear of speaking with us (each Trustee is receiving this letter.)
We do not wish to see an escalation of the division within the Urantia movement, which this present course is causing, or the harmful scenarios, which may well occur as a result of court proceedings. Nor do we wish to see huge sums of money diverted n payment of lawyer’s fees and court costs which might much better be spent in the dissemination and propagation of the Fifth Epochal Revelation to our planet. There is no “winning” in this issue within the legal arena. No matter who should prevail in a court of law, both organizations risk loss of respect and credibility which, we now enjoy and which is so necessary for effective service.
Another consideration in favor of peaceful discussions is that of avoiding unfavorable publicity. As recently as June 6th, 1988, a segment of the McNeil-Lehr Report on PBS was devoted to under-reporting of religion by news media, despite the recent extensive coverage by national and international media of the unseemly conduct by religious organizations professing to lead people to God. Publicity about religious matters, particularly when first amendment rights are at issue, is of wide interest. Who can guarantee that a trial involving an epochal revelation might not attract tremendous attention? We feel it is ironic that the Urantia papers, about which you have assiduously sought to avoid publicity for over 30 years, might first be brought into tomorrow’s headlines as a direct result of Urantia Foundation’s lawsuit against brothers and sisters.
We do not understand why your new lawyers thought you should initiate this action against C.U.B.S. Our use of Urantia has always been in reference to The Urantia Book and thus constitutes fair use of that religious book title. Moreover, as you know, we have modified our literature at the request of Urantia Foundation by including a disclaimer that we are an independent organization not connected with Urantia Foundation. We are also perplexed with your request for us to change our name since it complies with your guidelines and we have used it with your knowledge and apparent approval for over five years. After we modified, in good faith, the brochures promoting our conference in 1983, Urantia Foundation wrote, “We now have a fully acceptable brochure” and subsequently advised us on how to graphically arrange the name you are now suing us to relinquish.
Even more disturbing is Urantia Foundation’s attempt to permanently restrict or inhibit C.U.B.S. and/or its members individually from disseminating The Urantia Book and its teachings by being “in a any way connected with plaintiff or its services and products”, The Urantia Book being your principal “product”. Such a restriction is a serious assault on the exercise of our spiritual freedom and must also be a concern to you as an individual and to every person who is, or may become, committed to the Urantia revelation. Is this really your intent? Is it necessary to “protect” an epochal revelation by attempting to control its disciples? In the case of C.U.B.S. this is especially bizarre since we are actively facilitating the oft-stated preference of Urantia Foundation for person-to-person dissemination and the fostering of “thousands of study groups.” In so doing C.U.B.S. has substantially benefited Urantia Foundation financially by selling over 10% of all Urantia book sold in the past two years. These books have been sold within the Urantia movement – not to the public at large – to readers who desire to share the revelation which their friends in person-to-person ministry.
Are there other, unspoken, concerns about C.U.B.S., which weigh in your decision to sue us?
No individual among us, nor C.U.B.S. as a whole, is engaged in “deception” or has any interest in preempting any of the legitimate prerogatives of the Urantia Foundation. We do not in any way wish to inhibit or dilute Urantia Foundation’s effectiveness in serving this revelation, nor have we; on the contrary, we desire to work together cooperatively and the record shows that we have long served the revelation loyally and well. We are as committed as Urantia Foundation to maintaining inviolate the text of The Urantia Book. Though you now risk cancellation of the registered Urantia and CONCENTRIC CIRCLE DESIGN MARKS, it is not our intent or desire to jeopardize the integrity of the text of The Urantia Book.
While confronting Urantia Foundation in court is the last thing we would have asked for or imagined possible, each of us is committed to the purposes, services, and activities in which the Center for Urantia Book Synergy has long been engaged. These we will continue to defend vigorously if we must.
In all our activities C.U.B.S. has continually sought and relied upon inner spiritual guidance, group wisdom, consensus decision-making, and the counsel of readers throughout the movement. We most sincerely wish for that which is best for this revelation, as we feel you do also, and seek only to serve our Father in ways clearly stated in our often published “Purposes.” However, we sense ramifications and impact in this matter transcending the concerns of Urantia Foundation and C.U.B.S.
We recognize the serious responsibility you carry and assure you of our continued good will, believing that you are acting honestly according to your best information. However, we feel deeply that through earnest, spiritual one-on-one dialogue all pertinent considerations on both sides of this matter can be uncovered and resolved. We will then begin to find the spiritual unity, which underlies our diversity of expression. Let’s work together to eliminate any possible conflict in the service of our Father. As brothers and sisters in the heavenly Father’s kingdom, we are all blessed to know that in His love He will in some way weave from present circumstances a pattern in which all things work together for good. Let us help Him by settling our differences through harmonious personal contact. We have ever been ready to speak and/or meet with you individually or as a group. We are still eager to do so.
Please phone or arrange to meet with us. Talk to us: our telephone numbers are below. Is this not a reasonable request?
Your brothers and sisters,
We encourage communication from all who receive a copy of this letter. Please write to us:
Center for Urantia Book Synergy
Santa Barbara, CA 93130-3915