A Response from Finland to the
Urantia Foundation Report of April, 1990
Helsinki, June 1990
Dear Readers of The Urantia Book,
Some comments on the Finnish situation:
It is necessary to bear in mind that for the great majority of readers in Finland the translation of The Urantia Book into Finnish is of primary importance - having a Society always came second. As the approval of the translation and the decision on printing rests with the Foundation it is easy to understand that in the end we would adopt a constitution to the liking of the President of the Foundation and elect into office people he would like to communicate with; those of us not in agreement with Martin on all points withdrew.
It is somewhat regrettable, though, that Martin's actions came to shortcircuit the ongoing process of arriving at a constitution acceptable to all parties. Because of the Licensing Agreement to be signed the Foundation was party to this process, but the deal should in the first place have been between the former Brotherhood and a committee of three people - including myself - elected at the constituting meeting in 1988. This committee was empowered to make necessary changes in the constitution adopted at the June 1988 meeting, in order to make the rules acceptable both to the Chicago organizations and the Finnish authorities. The process was not an easy one, but it was well under way during the summer and early fall of 1988. I had the impression that David Elders, President of the former Brotherhood, had put in a lot of effort to ease out the differences between the Foundation and Brotherhood in relation to this matter, the Brotherhood being willing to accept the Finnish proposal to a greater extent.
When Martin came to Finland on a private visit in early October 1988 he repeatedly turned down discussions with me on the constitution, saying that it was a matter for the Brotherhood. It is my understanding, though, that during a special evening when Martin met some of the members of the temporary Governing Committee who were most anxious to see some immediate results, he decided to step into the Society-formation process. This outcome is quite understandable as on one hand some of our members of the temporary Governing Committee felt frustrated with the slow process, and Martin on the other hand apparently felt frustrated with me, as I had always advocated a rather independent line of action here. In this way the Brotherhood we were about to join was sidestepped as well as the special committee appointed by the constituting meeting [was]. Later on, in February 1989, there followed the election of a new temporary Governing Committee, consisting of members acceptable, or supposedly acceptable, to Martin - as the membership here did not risk loosing the favor of the Foundation.
In my opinion we are here in Finland at least as much to blame as Martin for the development of the situation. The constitution finally adopted must have cost a fortune in legal and travel expenses for the Foundation. And already has the Governing Committee set out to remake it, as it proved culturally too alien to be fully appreciated here. Less than a year from the installation also three of the eight members of the Governing Committee, including the President, have left because of mutual disagreement and strife. Bureaucracy, improper procedures, and haste all caused a temporary havoc.
[signed] J. R.