Response to Urantia Foundation's "Special Report"
Duane L. Faw
April 27, 1990
533 Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
Re: Special Report to Readers, April 1990
Dear Foundation Members,
Thank you for sending a copy of your slick publication entitled "Special Report to the Readers of The Urantia Book." Since the package enclosed a return envelope, you must desire a reply.
My first impression was reflected by Shakespeare in Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2, when Hamlet asked the Queen how she liked this play. The Queen replied, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
Upon further examination my first impression proved correct. The document is fraught with untruths, half-truths, distortions, exaggerations, and significant omissions. I sincerely pray that it does not accurately reflect the moral advancement of its authors.
It would take a document of equal size and equal time (over 5 months) to respond to its inaccuracies on a case by case basis, but there are a few which demand response.
First: the falsehood that the Brotherhood was organized by the "Foundation." It is true that the Brotherhood was "launched" by the persons who were Trustees, but acting as individuals (not as the Foundation) with help from other individuals. After formation of the Brotherhood the Foundation followed the plan of the planetary authorities by employing the membership arm of the movement to carry on outreach.
Second: the half-truth that the Brotherhood was "granted permission' by the Foundation to use the name ''Urantia" and the three concentric circles. Urantia Brotherhood was named that by the governing planetary authorities and did not require permission. See the second "instruction" on Enclosure (1) below. The history of this relationship is attached as Enclosure (2) below.
It should be noted that Urantia Brotherhood had been a viable organization for over 15 years before the first registration of the stylized word "Urantia" as a trademark, and about 20 years before it acknowledged any license. The instances cited in the report indicate the trust placed by the Brotherhood in the integrity of the Foundation to use the registered word and mark for the glory of God and not for self aggrandizement.
Third: the distortion of the adoption of the Removal Amendment into a violation of the principle of '"proper procedures." Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that in 1985 the General Council passed an amendment to the By-laws concerning the removal of a General Councilor over the impassioned opposition of Martin Myers. On the theory that what's bad for Martin is bad for the Foundation, he wasted months of Brotherhood time and squandered thousands of dollars in Foundation money on legal fees--all to no avail. No other amendment has ever been subject to such scrutiny with respect to substance or procedures. A history of the Removal Amendment is attached as Enclosure (3) below.
Fourth, the exaggeration in the section entitled "Foundation Support for Brotherhood Activities." It could better be headed "Brotherhood Support of Foundation Activities." The programs listed were joint activities. Foundations with the single purpose of publishing and distributing books are no longer entitled to tax exemption. They must also perform services. What better way to perform services than through the outreach arm of the movement?
Fifth, the significant omission of David Elder's letter to the Foundation dated February 1, 1989, complaining of its leadership style, and of the actions taken by the Foundation on the basis of it. It omits that an ad hoc committee of Trustees found merit to David's complaints and drew a reorganization plan covering new leadership policies which all Trustees adopted before Martin was reelected President.
The "Crisis of October, 1989" was admittedly precipitated by an effort of Martin Myers to block a truthful report to Brotherhood members only of their leader's actions. I commend the officers for not yielding to his blatant efforts to censor their report. Whether the actions taken were wise or unwise, they represented "actions" taken by the leaders of Urantia Brotherhood and its members had a right to know. In order to report promptly as it had promised, the Brotherhood was forced to hire an outside printer for $1,200. We know because the former Brotherhood accounts are open to inspection. We will never know how much money this recent report cost the Foundation to prepare and mail, certainly many tens of thousands. What money did it use in this attempt to improve its public image?
The October 4th report by the Brotherhood was distributed only to its members who were already committed to the teachings of the Urantia Book. The Foundation's letter of November 4, 1989, was addressed to "Dear Reader.. and sent to the entire mailing list. This one act did more damage to the image of The Urantia Book and to discourage new people from reading it than any other single incident in the history of the movement.
The technique of guilt by association may be effective to impress the unlearned, but rarely impresses an intelligent person. This technique is employed in your report. On page 7 under "The Removal Amendment" it attempts to discredit me by saying: "Mr. Faw was also a participant in the 1984 Grimsley affair" without indicating how or in what capacity.
Almost every officer in the Urantia movement was involved in some capacity or another on one side or another or in the middle. I personally viewed Vern's "voices'' as his own personal experiences which neither the Brotherhood nor the Foundation had the authority or duty to "judge" as being valid or invalid. The Foundation ''excommunicated" Vern; the Brotherhood did not. Neither did the Brotherhood "act" upon his warnings. I actively supported the position of the Brotherhood: Don't judge, but don't act on someone else's unverified experience. Your report seeks to compare the former Urantia Brotherhood with the Family of God Foundation (which fell victim to Vern Grimsley's "voices") without being specific. Of course, there is no similarity between the two organization or incidents, but it gives Martin Myers and Hoite Caston another opportunity to take credit for "slaying the dragon" they created out of it.
I am delighted with your "programs" for the future. It is interesting to see on the list a number of programs which the Brotherhood proposed and the Foundation delayed. If the Foundation moves ahead on the programs, the split may be a blessing in disguise.
There are two battles which seem to be involved simultaneously: One is the human or social struggle, and the second is a spiritual or religious contest. We may be tempted to confuse the two. When the casual observer views the battle of quotations from the Urantia Book it appears to be a struggle to see which side is "holier than thou." Lest we forget that we are all mortals seeking truth with imperfect understanding, let us recall twelve Apostles struggling for personal recognition when the greatest of all ministers came in and washed their feet.
Duane L. Faw
FOUNDATION'S ARGUMENT: That Urantia BROTHERHOOD was organized by Urantia FOUNDATION (implicitly to carry out its principal object: outreach.)
1. EACH ORGANIZATION was created independently and for a different purpose "under the guidance and direction of the governing planetary authorities." In an intra-office memorandum dated April 1958, William S. Sadler, Jr., wrote:
"The sister organizations--Foundation and Brotherhood--started out conceptually as one organization. The original draft of the Constitution of the Brotherhood (circa 1937) did not differentiate between the two organizations. This combined organization proved to be unwieldy because it attempted to unite two then existing functions which did not mix well as a single unit. These two function were the following:
- 1. The custodial and other responsibilities of the contact commissioners.
- 2. The religio-social functions of the Forum.
"Essentially these two functions are wholly dissimilar. From the beginning it was apparent that the Forum must sooner or later become a self-governing body. Any other evolution would run counter to democratic-protestant mores. On the other hand, the contact commissioners were an appointive body and their custodial responsibilities imposed upon them; not by any elective process.
"It was not until these two functions (commissioners and Forum) were conceptually separated that it became possible to formulate workable constitutions for these two dissimilar bodies. This bifurcation of concept took place with the resultant first drafting of the Trust Agreement of the Foundation and the constitution of the Brotherhood (circa 1939)."
All communications from the governing planetary authorities came through the Contact Commission. Although we do not know the identity of this commission we are told it was not identical to the original Trustees of the Foundation. The Contact Commission was told:
"You must carefully safeguard the name Urantia. Make it very safe for one generation so that it cannot be preempted. In a common law trust you hold the name. You also do it in the copyright. You must also carefully register it with the division of government which controls trade relations, trademarks. In all ways you must safeguard the name. This is one of your most important duties."
Other instructions approved the dividing of responsibilities between two organizations: a small self-perpetuating group to protect the purity of the revelation, and a larger membership body known as Urantia Brotherhood for outreach. The Contact Commission obeyed the above instruction by forming the Foundation as a common law trust to succeed them in their custodial responsibilities of the "Urantia Papers." After the formation of the Foundation in 1950 the "Forum" and the "Seventy" continued to meet and study the papers only at 533 Diversey Parkway. There was no need for a membership organization at that time.
In 1951 the Contact Commission was advised:
"The launching of the Brotherhood shall be left to the decision of the Trustees of the Urantia Foundation. They shall act personally--unofficially--and no records of such action shall appear on the transactions of the Urantia Foundation. They shall assume all and full responsibility for the organization and inauguration of the Urantia Brotherhood. (Emphasis added.)"
The wording is significant to me. Trustees, not the Foundation, are directed to launch, organize, and inaugurate the Brotherhood. The injunctions to act "personally--unofficially"' and to have "no records of such action...appear on the transactions of the Urantia Foundation'' demonstrate a clear intention and instruction that the Foundation--as such--exercise NO OFFICIAL ACT in creating the Brotherhood. This procedure insured the anonymity of the Contact Commission. No mention of the Brotherhood is made in the Foundation's "Declaration of Trust," and no mention of the Foundation is made in the Brotherhood's Constitution.
After contingent permission to publish The Urantia Book was received, the persons who were also the Trustees determined that it was time to launch Urantia Brotherhood as a membership organization designed for outreach. Following instructions these persons, acting individually and not as the Urantia Foundation, selected 36 members of the Forum to become the new Urantia Brotherhood.
The FACT is that the Trustees as individuals (not as the Urantia Foundation! decided the time to ''launch"' the Urantia Brotherhood and as individuals personally and unofficially ''organized and inaugurated" it. Their job was done.
The TRUTH is that by this process the Urantia Brotherhood became an independent legal entity, not subservient to the Foundation. By this division of responsibility the "governing planetary authorities" made each organization mutually supportive of the other: the Foundation having primary responsibility for safeguarding the text and the Brotherhood for spreading the teachings (outreach) and acting as a service organization for a growing readership.
2. In his 1958 report to the General Council covering its first three years the first President of Urantia Brotherhood, Bill Saddler, Jr., said:
"This report will attempt to review the accomplishments of the Brotherhood from its beginning, some three years and a few weeks ago, to date. This is a historic period of considerable moment in the evolution of religion on this planet. Never before has a group of human beings organized themselves by deliberate action into a social vehicle for the promotion of religious truth. Previous religio-social organizations--the churches--have come into being more or less gradually and unintentionally; they were not founded with conscious intent and purposeful design. The churches came into being through the slow evolution of customs, precedents, traditions, rituals, and observances. This type of growth is in sharp contrast to that of the Brotherhood which suddenly came into existence when its Constitution was signed by thirty-six founders. (Emphasis added.)"
Please note that the role of the Trustees is omitted in accordance with the expressed instructions of the planetary authorities.
3. To the first Triennial Assembly in 1964 our beloved Christy reported:
"In order that the Urantia Foundation could properly carry out its duty to disseminate the teachings and doctrines of the Urantia Book, it was inevitable that some sort of fraternal organization should come into existence. Accordingly, on January 2, 1955, a group of persons who believed in the teachings of the book and who were interested in their proclamation assembled in Chicago and completed the organization of the Urantia Brotherhood. This group of 36 composed the charter membership of the Urantia Brotherhood. These 36 founders constitute what we now know as the General Council of Urantia Brotherhood, which directs the affairs of the Brotherhood through the Executive Committee."
Again, the role of the Trustees is properly omitted.
4. In a letter to Julia Fenderson dated January 4, 1955, Marian Rowley wrote:
"Now for the real news. On Sunday, January 2nd, at 12 o'clock there was a meeting of 36 people in the Forum room for the purpose of organizing the Urantia Brotherhood. First, Doctor read a communication directing how it should be done. (Bill will refresh your memory on it, it's one we've heard before.) Then Bill Hales presided and called each one of the 36 up to the front to sign the constitution. Since that brought the thing into existence, he called for nominations for officers, who were then elected. They are: [here follows a list of five officers, none of whom were Trustees.]
"Bill Sadler then took over the meeting and called for nominations for the nine committee chairmen, who were elected as follows: [here follows a list of nine persons, only three of whom were trustees.]
"The meeting closed with the Lord's Prayer, and the deed was done. Believe me, it was the most thrilling thing! We were all very much impressed - some were crying and I was shaking like a leaf. We've waited so long, and it just hardly seems possible.
"Then, before we broke up, the 5 Trustees of the Urantia Foundation held a short meeting with all of us as an audience. ...Bill Hales read a provisional Declaration of Intention stating that since the decision was in their hands as of January 1, 1955, they intended to proceed with the publication of the book unless they were formally stopped before February 11, 1955. Then all five trustees signed this document. So the actual printing order will not be given until February 11...It was a most exciting day as you can imagine -- and I didn't sleep much that night."
Again, no mention of the organizational role of the Trustees.
5. Fifteen years later [to the third TDA (1970)] the Foundation first claimed that the Brotherhood was organized "by the Foundation (sic) under the direction and guidance of the governing planetary authorities." (This was almost two years after Martin Myers moved into "533" and one year before he became a trustee.) Does it not violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the celestial instructions?
From the beginning, the Foundation and Brotherhood have been INDEPENDENT of each other, although working closely together. They are different types of organizations, with different but synergistic duties. The Foundation has the additional object and primary duty to '"perpetually preserve inviolate the text of The Urantia BOOK." The Brotherhood has the primary duties of outreach and service. They have different officers selected by different means. For over 30 years at least three of the Trustees served on the 36 member General Council of the Brotherhood. The Foundation has been satisfied from 1956 to 1989 (over 33 years) to distribute its products through the Urantia Brotherhood Corporation, a subsidiary of Urantia Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, on the other hand, with a more expansive "purpose," has been increasingly concerned with outreach and service to both old and new readers. The Brotherhood has been faithful to support the object and primary duty of the Foundation by cooperating with it at the expense of it own growth.
THE ACTIONS OF THE FOUNDATION IN SEVERING THE LONG-STANDING RELATIONSHIP OF COEQUALS WITH THE BROTHERHOOD IS IN DIRECT CONTRAVENTION OF SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS OF THE GOVERNING PLANETARY AUTHORITIES.
Our unseen friends knew what they were doing. Let us help them to succeed in their plans by remaining loyal to both organizations they directed to be created, the former Urantia Brotherhood and Urantia Foundation.
IT IS POSSIBLE T0 REMAIN LOYAL TO THE MISSIONS OF BOTH ORGANIZATIONS BY REFUSING TO ACCEPT THE ARTIFICIAL POLARIZATION OF THE MOVEMENT DEMANDED BY THE PRESENT LEADERSHIP OF THE FOUNDATION.
FOUNDATION'S ARGUMENT: That Urantia Brotherhood was GRANTED PERMISSION by the Foundation to use the name Urantia and the three concentric circles.
1. Please read the instructions by the governing planetary authorities on pages one and two of Enclosure (1). They also relate to this issue. Notice that the first instruction says absolutely nothing about the three concentric circles.
2. Shortly after its organization, the Foundation attempted to register the word "Urantia" as a trademark or service mark and was advised that it could not be registered in the manner they proposed. Their attorney said that a registerable mark should consist of a distinctive symbol or other special device. Since "Urantia" seemed unregisterable, they registered the circles symbol as a US Service Mark in 1952.
3. After the formation of the Brotherhood in 1955 both organizations used the circles symbol freely without a license. The idea of a license never occurred to them. Before 1970 a lapel pin bearing the three-ring symbol was sold to anyone known to be a reader of the book. Both organizations used the word "Urantia" freely: it had not been registered as a trade mark, service mark, collective membership mark--nor would it be for over 16 years.
4. Not until September 29, 1970, did the Foundation apply to register the stylized word "Urantia" as a trademark. The supporting affidavit read "to the best of his knowledge and belief, no other person, firm, corporation, or association has the right to use said mark in commerce.." (Note: at that time Urantia Brotherhood was "in commerce" only as a sales agent for publications by Urantia Foundation, and the affidavit was technically true.) The mark was registered on June 29, 1971, as a trademark "for Books." (Reg. # 915734) This, with the copyright, complied with celestial instructions.
5. On July 22, 1971, the Foundation applied to register the stylized word "Urantia" as a service mark for ''religious educational services." The supporting affidavit stated: "to the best of his knowledge and belief, no other person, firm, corporation or association has the right to use said "mark in commerce.." This was patently false since affiant well knew that an association at the same address also provided .'religious educational services" under the word "Urantia" both stylized and unstylized. Although originally denied for purposes requested, registration was granted on November 28, 1972, for "Educational Services--namely Religious Teachings." (Reg. # 948104)
6. On September 3, 1974, the President of Urantia Brotherhood signed a document entitled "Confirmatory Licensing Agreement." It "confirmed" as a fact that the Brotherhood had operated as a licensee of the Foundation's newly registered mark since its inception--a falsehood. Urantia Brotherhood been named by the governing planetary authorities and needed no license. Also, it is illogical to "license" a trade mark (Urantia) which both parties believed could not be registered. The relationship of licensor and licensee simply did not exist. The Brotherhood was advised that it would assist the Foundation to register the marks if it confirmed the existence of such relationship. In full support of any measure which would help the Foundation fulfill its mission to keep the text of The Urantia Book inviolate, and in full faith that the Foundation would never use the registered marks against the Brotherhood, the President signed the statement.
7. Identical '"Confirmatory Agreements" were sent out to all eight Urantia Societies by Urantia Foundation in November, 1974. Three societies signed and returned them, three raised questions about them, and two flatly refused to sign because they contained false statements about their operating under a license from the Foundation. It was not until the Foundation drafted and circulated a "Licensing Agreement" which operated prospectively, only, and the Brotherhood threatened to remove the charter of any society not formally signing it that the matter was settled--by a Federal Court in Houston, Texas, on September 23, 1982. As a condition to being chartered as a Urantia Society the Brotherhood (up until now) has required the signing of the Licensing Agreement.
8. On November 23, 1976, the Foundation filed to register the stylized word "Urantia"' as a collective membership mark "to indicate membership in Urantia Brotherhood." Since Urantia Foundation was not a membership organization it could not file on its own behalf, therefore it had to ride piggy-back on the Brotherhood. It bought for $1.00 whatever interest the Brotherhood had developed in a membership organization and applied as "successors-in-title." It alleged Urantia Brotherhood was "a related company" which was partly true but inadequate to justify registration, therefore the application was amended to read "a social and fraternal organization" and "members of a related association, namely Urantia Brotherhood."' (True.) It also swore "..and the use of the mark to indicate membership in said related company (association) is supervised and controlled by Applicant..." which was patently false and may come as a shock to many past and present General Councilors. There is nothing in the Declaration of Trust or the Brotherhood Constitution authorizing such a relationship. On 18 April, 1978, the registration was granted as a collective membership mark "Indicating membership in a Social and Fraternal Organization."' (Reg. # 1089942)
9. To complete the picture, on February 1, 1978, an application was made to expand the original trademark to include "Printed Publications--namely, books, booklets, brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, bulletins, and leaflets concerning educational, religious, or philosophical subjects." The application was granted and registered February 6, 1979. (Reg, # 1112713)
10. The Urantia Brotherhood has always been faithful to preserve the copyright (not here involved) and to help develop a property interest in the registered marks. It stylized the word "Urantia" whenever possible and capitalized it the rest of the time. It has insisted that its component organizations do the same in all of their various outreach programs.
11. The above circumstances were allowed to develop because Urantia Brotherhood was (and its successor still is) fully supportive of the Foundation in ALL of its duties. It was conceived by the governing planetary authorities that the Foundation should have priority in the areas of preserving inviolate the text of The Urantia Book in all languages. They wisely barred any official or formal relationship with the Brotherhood to insure that an independent Brotherhood would have priority in the areas of outreach. The Foundation owns the copyright which will expire within time. The Foundation reasoned, and the Brotherhood agreed, that it should also trademark the word Urantia in order that--after the copyright expires--there is some human organization to authenticate the text. m is organization should be the Foundation. A stylized rendition of "Urantia" is adequate for this purpose. This is why the Brotherhood invested so much time and energy in perfecting the stylized trade mark in the Foundation. It never dreamed that the Foundation, in its misguided zeal to "control" the movement, would use the very marks that they helped the Foundation to perfect in an effort to cut off the social/outreach arm of the movement.
12. It is interesting to note that, while "Urantia Brotherhood" was given its name by the "governing planetary authorities," "Urantia Brotherhood Association" is named by human beings.
13. The Urantia Book clearly teaches that in spiritual matters the rule of the Father as revealed by His subordinates must be obeyed; but in social matters the decisions of those in positions of responsibility must prevail. The planetary government decreed that the Brotherhood be independent: even at the expense of human error. To disobey this instruction inadvertently is "error." To be aware of this instructions and violate it is ...(you finish it.)
FOUNDATION'S ARGUMENT: That the REMOVAL AMENDMENT violated the Principle of "Proper Procedures."'
I. The Origin of the Issue: The removal amendment arose out of my interest in proper procedures. In August or September, 1983, at the height of the "Vern Grimsley affair,' during a break in a meeting of the Executive Committee (of which I was a member by virtue of being Chairman of the Judicial Committee) I was asked by a member of the Executive Committee to outline the procedures involved in removing a General Councilor. When the meeting was over I reviewed the procedures prescribed in the Constitution and By-laws of Urantia Brotherhood. Being a lawyer with wide experience with several types of associations, and having taught in the field of administrative law, I was amazed at the procedures the By-laws (not the Constitution) required.
A. Constitutional Provisions: (Section 8.4)
1. Grounds for Removal:
(a) incapacitation to the point of physical disability to perform duties, and
(b) "for conduct rendering the continuation of his membership on the General Council prejudicial to the best interests of Urantia Brotherhood."
2. Procedures Required:
(a) a "resolution adopted by an ''affirmative vote of at least...3/4 of the members of the Executive Committee recommending the removal" and "stating the reasons therefor."' [Note 3/4 of 14 is 10.5, requiring 11 votes]
(b) notice to the challenged Councilor of the resolution at least 30 days before it is considered by the General Council.
(c) a secret ballot requiring that "an affirmative vote of at least...3/4 of the duly elected and qualified Councilors shall be case in favor of removal, the challenged Councilor not voting. [Note 3/4 of 36 is 27]
PLEASE NOTE THAT NONE OF THE ABOVE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS HAVE BEEN CHANGED!
B. Old By-laws Provisions: (Chapter IV)
1. The old By-laws incorporated each of the above Constitutional Provisions (as do the present By-laws) but added:
(a) the "resolution" by the Exec. Committee "shall call a special meeting of the Gen. Council for the purpose of voting for or against" such removal "not less than...(45) nor more than...(90) days from-the date of adoption of such resolution."
(b) a "trial" before the entire Gen. Council [35 person "jury"] in which one or more jurors from the Exec. Committee shall "present the case for the Exec. Committee" and the challenged Councilor "may present his defense in person or by counsel."
(c) after all evidence and arguments are presented the "meeting shall be adjourned to a time certain" on the next "business" day (not a holiday). The "adjourned meeting" shall be '"closed" with the tried Councilor excluded.
2. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE OLD BY-LAWS:
(a) Size of trial "jury": The requirement for a trial jury of 35 persons is virtually unheard of. A 12-person jury is sufficient for a capital case. A vast majority of organizations remove executives by virtue of a hearing before a committee, standing or special, which makes findings of fact, opinions and recommendations to the governing body or assembly (as appropriate) to approve or disapprove. (See Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (1970), Sec. 60)
(b) Due Process: "Due process" is a legal term meaning the "rights" of an accused with respect to procedures used before administrative or disciplinary action may be legally taken. The old By-laws were silent as to the "due process" required before the Executive Committee could recommend removal. No notice of pending removal action and no semblance of a "hearing" were required before the matter had been "decided" by the Executive Committee adversely to the Councilor, 11 members recommending removal, and the matter referred to the General Council for "trial." This encouraged "star chamber" proceedings. Upon what information was the Executive Committee to Act?
(c) Impracticality: When all of the General Council lived within two hours driving time of 533 Diversey Parkway, the requirement for a "special" meeting was reasonable--even if the "trial" lasted several days--and a requirement to "sleep on it" was commendable. But at the time of the request (1983) one General Councilor lived in Holland, two on the West Coast, at least one in Texas, etc. It required a major financial investment to attend a General Council meeting, and not all could schedule the time off--even with 90 days notice. The length of any trial is unpredictable. It was impractical to expect enough attendance at any special meeting to oust a General Councilor under most circumstances. The Constitution required 27 "affirmative votes" to remove, therefore every absentee equated to a vote to retain. Any combination of absentees, vacancies, and "no" votes which totaled 9 resulted in retention.
II. The Actions Taken:
A. At the very next meeting of the Executive Committee in 1983 I passed on the above information as part of my "committee report," and volunteered to draft a proposed amendment to the By-laws to correct the situation. This proposal met with unanimous approval of the Executive Committee.
B. I drafted and circulated a proposed amendment to the By-laws to members of the Judicial Committee with requests for comment. After their comments I revised the draft into two forms: a short form and a long form, and recirculated them among the committee members. There was almost unanimous support of the short form, after which the features recommended to get unanimous consent were incorporated into the short form. I personally talked by telephone with every committee member about their reservations, same several times. All members of the committee but one signed an identical copy of the proposed amendment indicating concurrence. One member returned his copy attaching a signed memo questioning the wording of the grounds for removal, but otherwise concurring. After it was pointed out to him by telephone that the grounds for removal were exactly as worded in the Constitution and it would take a Constitutional amendment to change them, he withdrew his question. This fully compl! ied with the applicable requirements of Executive Committee Rule 3.3. (See below) This process took a year and a half: from the fall or 1983 to the spring of 1985.
C. In every oral report to the Executive Committee during the entire time I reported the developments and progress on the Removal Amendment. On no occasion was there any objection to the concept or procedures. Upon completion of the proposed draft it was mailed to every member of the Executive Committee before the committee considered it. On the day of consideration there were several very appropriate questions asked as we discussed the substance of the amendment at length. There was no question raised about the procedures used by the Judicial Committee. The resolution recommending its adoption passed unanimously.
D. The proposed amendment to the By-laws was mailed to each General Councilor about a month before the 1985 meeting. Not one of them (including Martin Myers) raised any question about it before the amendment was presented to the General Council for approval in accordance with its agenda.
III. The Provisions of The New By-laws: (Paragraph 4.5)
A. Any recommendation to remove a General Councilor must be in writing and state the reasons for it.
B. Upon receiving written recommendations from three General Councilors that a Councilor should be removed for cause, the Executive Committed en bane shall consider whether or not the allegations, if true, "might" warrant such removal..
[Rationale: A & B collectively assure Councilors that the issue of removal will not be considered lightly. They provide a basis for challenged Councilors to identify and confront their antagonists. They also add the safeguard that the allegations, if true, must amount to Constitutional grounds for removal.]
C. If a majority of the Executive Committee agrees that the allegations, if true, would warrant removal, they shall treat the issue as "formally rais(ed)" and refer it to the Judicial Committee for "a full and fair hearing."
1. The Judicial Committee is the "supreme arbitrating body of Urantia Brotherhood," therefore it is the logical "standing committee" to hold the hearing. The amendment could just as well have called for referring the matter to a special or ad hoc committee, but for the Judicial Committee to have made such a recommendation would have appeared to be an effort to avoid a thankless and onerous obligation placed on it by the Constitution.
2. The "hearing'' occurs before the Executive Committee must consider its "resolution" recommending removal. This allows it to act upon the basis of information instead of speculation.
D. Upon receiving such referral from the Executive Committee, the Judicial Committee shall "forthwith hold a full and fair hearing to inquire into the facts and circumstances recited in the recommendations." At this hearing the challenged Councilor has the rights: to be notified of the recommendations and the names of his accusers; to be present in person and by counsel at all evidence-receiving sessions; to present evidence; and to make arguments.
(Rationale: The essence of fairness is a timely hearing--when it counts. Also, the rights of an accused Councilor are spelled out, not left to whim.)
E. Detailed provisions for notice to the challenged Councilor of the time and place of the hearing and of his rights before it.
F. The Judicial Committed shall keep a summarized record of the proceedings. Upon completion of the hearing, the Judicial Committee "shall make findings of fact," may express opinions, and "shall recommend an appropriate disposition of the matter." Its findings, opinions, and recommendations are required to be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee.
(Rationale: Both E and F are consistent with the highest values in administrative proceedings (due process). They are "fair" to both sides.)
G. The Executive Committee may act on the basis of the written report or may hold additional hearings. Procedures are spelled out for complying with the obligations of the committee required by Section 8.4. of the Constitution.
H. The General Council at its next meeting (regular or special) after the resolution is passed shall consider the removal "as early in its agenda as practical." Orderly procedures are prescribed. A representative of the Judicial Committee shall report on the hearing and summarize the findings, opinions, and recommendation--a copy of which shall be provided each General Councilor. "The challenged...Councilor may submit a statement and argument in person or by counsel" and "the...Council may request and receive...additional evidence..."
(Rationale: To remove the requirements for a special meeting, a trial, before 35 jurors, and a night off before voting. It spells out the procedures to be followed.)
I. The challenged Councilor can avoid expulsion at any time by resigning.
PLEASE READ THE OLD AND NEW PROVISIONS AND DETERMINE WHICH YOU FEEL PROVIDE THE MOST "RESPONSIBLE PROCEDURES."
IV. The Hassle:
A. When the proposed amendment to the By-laws was placed before the 1985 General Counsel for consideration, Martin Myers made an impassioned plea to defeat it. He gave two "reasons": "double jeopardy" and "no need shown." After being assured that there was no double jeopardy and reviewing the "need" outlined above, the General Council passed the amendment to the By-laws. Both Martin and his Lawyer (see below) have since abandoned the claim of double jeopardy. His lawyer has admitted before the Judicial Committee that there was a need, and that the amendment was better than the old By-laws.
B. To reverse this action which he incorrectly took as a personal affront, Martin has repeatedly and tenaciously raised the issue. He originally requested that the Executive Committee withdraw its recommendation and ask the General Council to rescind the amendment, but this remedy was barred by Section 56, Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (1970)
C. Apparently obsessed with this issue, Martin wrote long rambling briefs. The Trustee's report is correct that the first request was referred to the Judicial Committee "for recommendation" but it conveniently overlooked that it was never considered by the committee but returned by the Chairman to the Executive Committee without recommendation for the stated reason it was inappropriate for any committee to mediate a dispute in which it was involved. Matters were left in the hands of the five officers of the Brotherhood. No later briefs were referred to the Judicial Committee for action, but rather to ad hoc committees. I did, however, see and personally respond to each brief.
D. When the Brotherhood refused to grant his requests, Martin had the Foundation hire the firm of Gardner, Carton & Douglas, represented by Quin R. Frazer and Irwin Saltz prepare two long documents purporting to be 1G(a1 "opinions" that both the substance and the procedures used to pass the Removal Amendment were flawed. They were, in reality, advocate's briefs. These were provided to each General Councilor. At a special meeting of the General Council in January, 1988, largely devoted to this issue there appeared both Quin and Irwin who orally presented their arguments for about an hour. Upon concluding, they were questioned from the floor and thoroughly discredited. There was no sentiment on the floor to take any action.
E. In an effort to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of the Foundation Quin Frazer wrote two self-serving letters to the Brotherhood which were never mailed. Drafts appear as enclosures 5A and 5B in the Foundation's report. Contrary to Quin's peacemaking claims in 5A there was no such tone in either the briefs nor the oral presentations. Both letters abandon the concept of illegality except in the single context of a violation of Executive Committee Rules. Although the facts are that no rule was violated (see below); even Quin is aware that the body that makes the rules can waive them. To take no action when a committee is known to have violated an Executive Committed Rule is to waive the irregularity.
(Note: The only case cited in 5B is not in point. The case has to do with an "act on behalf of the corporation" by the "board of directors" which affects the duties and liabilities between the corporation and third parties. There is no question but that both the Executive Committee and the General Council "met and acted" in formal session on this amendment.)
F. The only "Executive Committee Rules" reasonably applicable to this situation are Rules 3.3 and 5.1.
1. The applicable provision of Rule 3.3 is:
Action by Written Consensus: A written document or identical written documents, signed by each member of a Departmental Committee constitutes the action of such committee on any matter properly before it. Actions by written consensus must be unanimous.
The facts pertinent to this rule are related in Paragraph II.B., above. Although I maintain there was no violation of it (contrary to the position of Quin Frazer), any court in the land would hold the "violation" to be technical and de minimis under these circumstances. It cannot possibly affect the legality of the subsequent amendment.
2. Rule 5.1 reads:
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS: Any proposed modification of the Constitution or By-laws of Urantia Brotherhood shall be submitted to the Judicial Committee for study and recommendation prior to formal action by the Executive Committee.
It requires a tortuous interpretation to read the phrase "shall be submitted" as a prohibition against originating such amendments by the Committee. The sense of this requirement is to insure that all amendments go through the committee. It is an implied duty of the Judicial Committee to constantly review all legal requirements and to prepare documents to correct any deficiencies noted. If the Executive Committee did not actually "submit" this matter "to the Judicial Committee for study and recommendation" when it was first raised in 1983, certainly it "constructively" did so by approving the progress reports.
G. What possible motive could the Judicial Committee (or its Chairman) have in proposing such an amendment unless it was to establish "proper procedures?" Why would any committee take on the thankless task of "hearing" a removal recommendation unless it felt obligated to do so under the Constitution?
IT IS IRONIC THAT THIS SINCERE EFFORT TO ESTABLISH "PROPER PROCEDURES" BY THE BROTHERHOOD SHOULD BE TWISTED INTO AN EXCUSE FOR THE DRASTIC ACTION TAKEN.
p.s. There has never in the history of the movement been a General Councilor formally subjected to a removal procedure. Is this not a tempest-in a teapot?
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