President John Hales' Letter to Urantia Brotherhood regarding
Grimsley War Messages
December 15th, 1983
I am writing on behalf of the Executive Committee of Urantia Brotherhood concerning recent events. Information has been circulated about the possibility of a world war by an individual who has enjoyed long association with the activities of Urantia Brotherhood. Such information is neither new nor remarkable in itself. What is new is the claim that the message is of spirit origin. We have received many telephone inquiries questioning the position of the Brotherhood concerning these matters and the individuals directly involved with spreading this information.
It is probable that many of you had not heard about these events until you received a letter from Urantia Foundation stating some details of this matter.
The first opportunity for the fourteen member Executive Committee on the Brotherhood to discuss these events was at its regular meeting November 19th. Through the group discussion process we reached certain conclusions. I wish to share the results of our deliberations with you.
It should be clear that as an organization the Brotherhood does not support the claims being made nor are we to be in any way linked to them. This statement of group policy is not a judgment of the personal experience of any individual.
Let me review some background information. Urantia Brotherhood is described in its Constitution as a social and fraternal organization with a religious purpose. Being associated with the Brotherhood either through membership or as a friend does not limit one’s involvement with any other organization. The Brotherhood is not an ecclesiastical organization nor does it claim any ecclesiastical authority. It exercises no authority to sit in judgment on the personal religious experiences of anyone. To make an exception to this principle would set a bad precedent, as it would change the nature of the Brotherhood. It is not our mission to assess any individual’s sometimes-dramatic experiences for validity, accuracy, or spiritual content.
However, while the Brotherhood does not pass judgment on the claims of individuals or groups, it does have the duty to make response to actions taken by individuals or groups that may create misunderstanding or confusion among members and friends of the Brotherhood. This is especially true if such confusion diverts efforts from our primary mission – encouraging the study and dissemination of The Urantia Book and its teachings. We believe the current situation requires our comment.
Over the years the Brotherhood office has received phone calls and letters from individuals claiming to have received, or to be receiving, special messages from supernatural sources. We have never disputed their personal claims. Neither have we accepted or encouraged them. Rather, we have sincerely wished them well in their truth-seeking efforts. Urantia Brotherhood must conduct its affairs through the insights acquired from evolutionary experiential wisdom, epochal revelation, and the personal guidance of its members as all of these resources find group expression in the democratic process. Our democratic organization was established to allow group wisdom to function.
This situation is different in degree from those of the past since the individual bringing the message has had a long history of public ministry in promoting the Gospel of Jesus. In addition he has been a speaker at many conferences and gatherings of Urantia Book readers. His public stature coupled with the sincerity of his claim has created a perplexing situation for many who find it difficult to separate their love and caring the individual from the disbelief in the claims he has made.
Let us not divide ourselves over whether one believes the validity of the “message” or not. Let us not make belief in the “message” a test of faith and friendship. Human argument about the claims being made have shown that what is reasonable to one can be unreasonable to another.
Urantia Brotherhood is an organization established to promote and encourage teamwork among al believers in the fifth epochal revelation and their wise efforts to disseminate the supernal truths it contains. Do not let the thorns of human differences divert us from our task. Recall that Jesus tells us that we are not created to think alike. He tells his apostles to demonstrate spirit unity in the face of great diversity.
During this traditional season which celebrates the birth of Jesus let us pause to pray for greater understanding of each other and rededicate ourselves to the Father’s will.
John W. Hales, President