Letter from Urantia Brotherhood
To Urantia Foundation
Requesting the Dismissal of Martin Myers
July 21, 1989
Trustees of Urantia Foundation
533 Diversey Parkway
Chicago IL 60614
Dear Trustees of Urantia Foundation:
For several years we have become increasingly concerned about the growing lack of confidence (among the readership generally, including members of the General Council) in the leadership of Urantia Foundation and the impact this has both on Urantia Brotherhood's relationship with the Foundation and on our ability to achieve our constitutional purposes in a manner consistent with the teachings of The Urantia Book. In our view, the recent resignation from the Foundation of three respected Trustees has so elevated our concern that the Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood met in Special Session on July 17, 1989 to evaluate the impact of this leadership problem on our organization and our work. This letter will apprise you of our concerns and conclusions.
In this special session the Executive Committee, after thoughtful deliberation, arrived at consensus on several points. We continue in our unwavering support of the principles and purposes for which Urantia Foundation was established. It is, furthermore, our earnest desire to work in a trusting and respectful relationship with Urantia Foundation in bringing the fifth epochal revelation to the world. Unfortunately, we are led by experience to conclude that the leadership style of Foundation President, Martin Myers, has so weakened the reputation of and confidence in Urantia Foundation that the efforts of the constituted representatives of Urantia Brotherhood to carry out this important task have been jeopardized.
Although we have no organizational right to interfere with the internal processes of Urantia Foundation, many of us have witnessed in Martin Myers the exhibition of certain behavior patterns which have a negative impact on Urantia Brotherhood's ability to carry out its tasks. Examples of identifiable behavior in Martin which we know from experience affects the work of both Urantia Brotherhood and Urantia Foundation include: isolation of and from individuals who voice disapproval of his views; mistrust of fellow workers; outbursts of anger; the use of character assassination as a management tool; the choice of lesser means to achieve worthwhile ends; his apparently exaggerated assessment of his role In the work associated with this revelation; the questionable use of "secret mandates" as a method to exert personal control over the actions of both organizations in contravention of the principles of group process self-evident In the organizational structure of both organizations ! (five equal trustees and the democratic process of Urantia Brotherhood).
The ramifications of this behavior on the work of Urantia Brotherhood are both severe and manifold:
1. Because of the integrated nature of the purposes of Urantia Brotherhood and Foundation, trusting, open, and respectful communication between the two organizations is vital. Martin's isolation of and from individuals who disagree with his point of view has the consequence of thwarting the basic cornerstone of group wisdom on which our organizational relationships and decision-making must be based. This isolation, when coupled with his stated mistrust of others' sincerity and motives, combined with outburst of anger, virtually precludes any possibility of achieving this trusting, open, honest, and mutually supportive relationship and is clearly inconsistent with both the letter and spirit of the teachings of The Urantia Book.
2. In the context of this pattern of isolation and mistrust of the motives and sincerity of others, Martin has often led the Foundation to resort to non-personal means such as intimidation and legal action to achieve its purposes. While the use of law as a last resort to resolve disputes involving challenges to the copyright and trademarks is not necessarily inappropriate, the use of these means before or in place of honest interpersonal dialogue has clearly contributed to a loss of respect for Urantia Foundation and seems to us to be not only less than ideal, but increasingly impractical as well.
3. Martin's assertion of his "chosen" position as the singular visionary of the work both organizations need to do is behavior which is not only inconsistent with the values of group wisdom taught by The Urantia Book and institutionalized in the design of our organizations, but also it has funkier contributed to the deep and growing lack of respect for and confidence in Urantia Foundation, thereby seriously weakening its ability to achieve its high purposes.
4. Martin's questionable and secretive use of the "instructions" or "mandates," supposedly given in confidence to our predecessors, as a way to maintain control over the direction of our organizations, has several negative consequences. It defeats the very group process which is designed to counter just such abuses. It has effectively crippled the ability of the group to use what it has most to offer, group wisdom. Finally, it has diminished the credibility of these "Instructions" thereby making it difficult for the leadership of both organizations to fairly evaluate their importance and to utilize them, if deemed appropriate, in the context of intelligent group wisdom and consistent with the teachings of The Urantia Book itself.
The resignation of three Trustees who it was felt generally might be successful in moderating the behavior noted above and in effecting a change in the leadership provided by Urantia Foundation, indicates the intractability of the problem. The upcoming selection of new Trustees will clearly signal the Intent on the part of Urantia Foundation either to deal responsively with this problem or avoid it. (Can there really be any doubt that the importance of Urantia Foundation's responsibilities requires the selection as trustees of those persons who exemplify the very best qualities of character, intelligence, and experience consistent with what we are taught in The Urantia Book?) Notwithstanding the importance of the selection process, and despite the fact that in our deliberations as an Executive Committee we recognized that many of the difficulties now facing Urantia Foundation are internal In nature, the severity of this leadership problem clearly impinges on Urantia Brotherhoo! d's ability to realize its goals and purposes. Thus, in unanimity, we have concluded the following:
1. In Urantia Brotherhood, the kind of behavior exhibited by Martin Myers would clearly represent grounds for the consideration of removal. Based upon Section 2.4 of the by-laws of Urantia Foundation, removal consideration would appear to be justified there as well: "When...any Trustee...has done or permitted any act or thing which is inconsistent with or in degradation of the teaching of The Urantia Book, or by his acts or omissions has brought disrepute upon himself or Urantia Foundation, then, the Trustees shall cast a ballot on the question of whether or not such Trustee should be removed." However, since this consideration is clearly not in our province, we must properly leave that evaluation to the remaining Trustee(s).
2. The resignation of Mr. Myers as Trustee would facilitate efforts by the Board of Trustees of Urantia Foundation, with the full cooperation and support of Urantia Brotherhood, to rebuild the credibility, reputation, and vitality of Urantia Foundation as the principled, moral, standard-bearer for the work of both organizations. However, this decision rests with the individual and the Trustees and is not an appropriate sphere of action for Urantia Brotherhood.
3. The Executive Committee will no longer tolerate or facilitate organizational behavior which we believe is inconsistent with the teachings of The Urantia Book. This includes behavior which brings disrepute upon our work, which inhibits or impairs sincere communication, which creates an atmosphere of distrust between organizations and individuals, which contravenes group process, which chooses inappropriate means in the pursuit of its ends, which is inconsistent with our standing as a separately constituted organization, or which interferes with our achievement of the purposes for which we have been founded. We do affirm that we will continue to support fully the principles for which Urantia Foundation was established and we will comply with and honor our organizational commitments to work with Urantia Foundation to the degree that these commitments reflect the principles stated. Further, we will continue to be responsive to reasonable requests made of us by Urantia Foundatio! n In areas where it has legitimate interest, with the understanding that these requests will be based upon proper group process.
4. The Executive Committee does emphatically require that Immediate and sincere verbal as well as written contact between the president of Urantia Foundation and the president of Urantia Brotherhood resume so that the orderly management of the business of the two organizations may once again be facilitated.
In summary, Urantia Brotherhood is as deeply committed as ever to the development of a trusting, open, and mutually-respectful relationship between Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood as partners with different responsibilities for the work we have been given to do on behalf of the fifth epochal revelation to our planet. In our view, a single Trustee, Martin Myers, has been allowed by all of us to disable the accomplishment of that worthwhile relationship, and, because that has placed our work In jeopardy, we no longer will support as valid any interactions based upon the style of behavior we have described in this statement.
We do not seek in any way to impugn the motives, underlying sincerity, deep commitment, or spiritual status of Martin Myers as a son of our heavenly Father. In fact, we are individually as committed as ever to the values of our personal relationships with him. However, our obligation to Urantia Brotherhood and its purposes requires that we make this statement in an effort to act responsibly. We will do our share to insure that the work of advancing the revelation continues in a proper manner, consistent with our highest comprehension of the teachings of The Urantia Book. Further, if there is anything we can do, either organizationally or personally, to help Martin and the other Trustees to work towards the resolution of this leadership difficulty and its consequences, we will do so in an honest and willing spirit.
We, the Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood, in a Special Meeting held July 17, 1989, In Rosemont, Illinois, hereby affirm our unanimous agreement to the purport of this statement sent to the Trustees of Urantia Foundation and to our peers on the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood.
Yours in the spirit of cooperation and mutual partnership,
The Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood:
John D. Hay L.
cc: Members of the General Council
Urantia Foundation Attorneys
Recently Resigned Trustees
Past Brotherhood Presidents
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship