CHAPTER 23

PIPELINE TO GOD -- Part I

(With Commentary)

For the sake of accurate reporting I include here the complete text of Harold Sherman's chapter he called Pipeline To God in his book How To Know What To Believe. This was his account of events which took place in Forum meetings in Chicago in 1942. I skip the section which I reproduced verbatim in Chapter 14. I note that missing section. Because Sherman's statements are so clearly biased and emotional I felt it necessary to offer comment. Sherman's title, Pipeline To God, is used in derogation, implying that Sadler felt he had a direct line to God.  Also, the reader should know the actual identity of the individuals mentioned by Sherman through alias. The use of alias betrays his objectivity. An honest man would not have felt a need to use such guises. Where known to me I show the true identities.  To simplify presentation I show Sherman's text in the first column, and notes or comments in the parallel column. Green background shows Sherman's remarks; yellow background shows my remarks.


 

While every incident and experience in this chapter is true, as reported, we have decided to give fictitious names to those directly concerned and to let the story speak for itself, illustrating as it does the fallacy of accepting so-called "revelation," however received or supported by sincere believers, as the "infallible word of God."

The evidence of written documents and other eyewitness report shows that this statement is untrue. Sherman's account is not accurate. It demonstrates a clear bias toward his concerns. To spend so much effort on this chapter shows how strongly he felt about The Urantia Papers. He had to write about his experience; he could not relegate it to oblivion. While giving Sadler and the Papers this attention on one hand, and casting aspersions on the other, he shows the personal feelings he never resolved. We do not know what portion of his concern was motivated by his desire that the contents of the Papers include material on psychic phenomena, and what portion was his regret that he did not have a personal contributing hand in the content. His phrases about the "fallacy of accepting so-called 'revelations'" "as the infallible word of God" clearly demonstrate his profound confusion. He personally promoted psychic 'revelations' and certainly must have thought them to be genuine; otherwise he would not have placed his reputation upon them. On the other hand, we must assume that he did not believe them to be 'infallible'.

 

Today there are many "spiritual" leaders who have attracted large followings and who profess to be inspired by God or Jesus or other Celestial Beings, even representing themselves as new messiahs.

This is an aspersion on the character of Sadler who, in his efforts to disassociate his name from the Papers, left the historical record in considerable confusion. Sadler would have considered it a fraud to pretend to a personal hand in the actual revelation of the Papers.

 

This chapter, describing our personal experiences, is characteristic of many, demonstrating as it does the opportunity that always exists for human error, and sometimes deliberate falsification.

Again he casts ambiguous and unspecified aspersions on Sadler's character. He implies and wants his audience to believe that Sadler deliberately altered and falsified the text of The Urantia Papers. As I shall show, Sadler did alter the Papers after they were "competed and certified" in 1935, but he did so under the belief that he had instructions from celestial authority to do so.

 

Martha and Harold Sherman


I have received scores of manuscripts (and continue to receive the same) from people who felt they had been chosen as special agents of God to be channels for the reception of spiritual knowledge. Many had aroused great anticipation in us but had only ended, upon examination, in disappointment.

Here Sherman clearly describes the considerable time and energies of his life he invested in his pursuit of psychic phenomena -- as a believer, not as an objective observer.  And he sets himself up as an expert judge.


 

Somehow Martha and I felt that this project in Chicago was different -- that it was, at last, what had been claimed for it. A true revelation, presented by a Corps of Higher Intelligence, designed to "serve humanity's needs for the next thousand years."

Sherman's familiarity with phrases from The Urantia Papers is demonstrated. The importance of the 'next thousand years' is mentioned several places. 


 

Undoubtedly, it was Harry's feeling for it that had conditioned us. Our close association with him and our confidence in his own demonstrated higher powers of consciousness had caused us to accept the New Revelation manuscript sight unseen, as something really super.

The influence of Harry Loose upon Sherman is openly described. This influence not only was in the original fervor for the Revelation, but also in the detracting course which followed. 


 

Through Harry's former connection as detective at Hull House, we had made arrangements with the attorneys in charge of the estate to permit me to dramatize the life of Jane Addams, world renowned Social Settlement woman, which gave us the excuse to come to Chicago in May of 1942 after having written the screenplay on the life of Mark Twain for Warner Brothers.

At a time in my writing career when practicality dictated that I should have taken advantage of the recognition and opportunity that had come to me on the coast, we might have stayed on in Hollywood and continued to write for pictures. Certainly it would have been much more lucrative than the gamble of this new creative assignment, but we were willing to put everything else aside.

Not only that, but to free our minds as much as possible for concentration on this massive New Revelation manuscript, we sent our younger daughter, Marcia, to stay with relatives in Traverse City, Michigan, for the summer, and our older daughter, Mary, to a position as a receptionist at Hull House. We had been told it would require a number of months to thoughtfully go through the manuscript once, and as a consequence, we mapped out a schedule of four to five hours of reading a day.

How much Harry knew about what we were to encounter, we perhaps will never know. He had been careful not to "color" in advance any impressions we might have of the Great Book and the people behind it by any comments he might make while in our presence.

The Shermans appeared at 533 for the second time in the spring of 1942. How much Loose may have biased them through  their meetings in California is unknown. Certainly, his chicanery in "astral projections" thoroughly converted Sherman to his "psychic abilities." Surviving letters in the Sherman files in Arkansas show the evident bias of Loose and his setting of the tone for Sherman's view of Sadler.


 

In retrospect, he must have been aware of things that were happening to the manuscript in its preparation which was not going "according to plan" or as originally intended. What he may have thought that we or anyone could do about certain practices, which, if discovered, would need correction for protection of the integrity of the material, is likewise an open question.

Upon his joining the Forum in 1942, Sherman soon came to see that a process in alteration of the Revelation was taking place.  Although he had great respect for the Papers, this led him to believe that the "celestials" were in close contact with Sadler, as indeed they were, and that changes were underway, but from a source no one suspected.


 

With this build-up we had received, we were totally unprepared for our entrance upon one of the most challenging periods of our lives -- a period that would test our mental and physical endurance to the utmost, as well as our faith in human nature.

 

It should be stated here that Martha and I had stopped off in Chicago in July of 1941, en route to Hollywood, to meet Dr. Henry Norton, noted psychiatrist, at which time we were accepted as Forum members upon signing a pledge of secrecy. This permitted us to return to Chicago, when possible, to read the New Revelation papers on the premises, but we were not allowed to mention or discuss them with anyone outside the Forum members until the New Revelation Book itself were published.

Dr. Henry Norton was Sherman's alias for William Sadler. 


 

The contact with Dr. Norton and the New Revelation paper had been arranged by phone by his cousin, Mrs. Susan Sanders of Marion, Indiana -- who, with her doctor husband, Herbert, had engaged in psychic research with us during the time we had lived in Marion in the early 1920's.

Either Sherman's memory was faulty, or he was trying to hide the actual details of the contact. Herbert and Susan Sanders were Merril and Josephine Davis. In Martha Sherman's 1992 account she denotes the relationship as "uncle," not cousin. The introduction was through a letter, not a phone call. Clyde Bedell confirmed the latter fact. See following chapters. 


 

Later, when we arrived on the coast and told Harry we had joined up in Chicago with those in charge of the Great Book manuscript, which he had written us about, Harry was delighted. It was perhaps because of my profession as a writer, the recent Mark Twain work, and the reputation that had come to me through the experiments in long distance telepathy with the Arctic Explorer, Sir Hubert Wilkins, that the presence of Martha and myself in Chicago to study the New Revelation papers caused quite a stir among the Forum members.

This gave us an immediate personal contact with the doctor and his secretary, Miss Cynthia Frederick (Cindy) and the members of the doctor's family: his son, Henry Junior, and his son's wife, Loretta; a brother-in-law and wife, Alfred and Lucy Buxton. There was also the financier Raymond Stafford, with his wife, his son, Ray Junior, and wife, Marjory. It was somewhat embarrassing for us to be placed in such a favored position at the outset against so many old time members, especially at social occasions when we were invited to sit at the great man's table. However, all members seemed to accept any mandate of the doctor without question or complaint.

Cynthia Frederick (Cindy) was Emma L. Christensen, (Christy). Henry Junior was William Sadler, Jr. Loretta was Leona Sadler. Alfred and Lucy Buxton were Wilfred and Anna Kellogg. Raymond Stafford was G. Willard Hales, and Ray Junior was William Hales, first President of the Urantia Foundation. 


 

As new members, Martha and I had to do a vast amount of "catch-up" reading, which necessitated our spending some hours in the library of the three-story brick building each day. The papers were brought to us from the vault in typewritten form by Cindy, in chronological order -- ninety two in all -- and it required almost three months for the entire New Revelation manuscript to be completed, with Martha and I reading it together. We were told that the original script had been burned after typed copies had been made to preserve the anonymity as well as the identity of the human instrument through whom the "revelation" had come.

Ninety two papers could not be a correct number. The ninety-second paper falls in the middle of Part III on The History of Urantia. Either the Shermans were not given all Papers, or Sherman's memory was faulty. The Papers were identified by number; Sherman would certainly have noted missing Papers. 
 
The preliminary materials, containing the hand writing of SS, were burned. The actual revelation disappeared miraculously. Refer to preceding chapters. 


 

{This section of text was reproduced in Chapter 15}

 

Sherman now proceeds to quote Sadler, in that important interview.
 

"One night, when we were called to his new address, as we sat by the bedside, Dr. Ruth noticed that he was moistening his lips as though he were preparing to speak. She said, 'Perhaps he wants to talk to us. Maybe if we ask him a question, we will get an answer.'

"New address" confirms that SS had now moved to be near the Sadler's in their home at 56 South 6th Avenue in La Grange. "Dr. Ruth" is Lena Sadler.


 

"She did so, and to our great astonishment he did reply; but it was not his voice. It was that of what we afterward learned to be a student visitor on an observation trip here from a far distant planet! This being apparently conversed with us through this sleeping subject and expressed ideas and philosophies which struck us as entirely new.

A change in voice tone and timbre is noted in many psychic oral communications, when Caligastia takes over the mind of his subjects and pretends to be a different personality. This item is another reason many persons believed SS was channeling. However the process in the first case is through spirit entry into, and control of, the human mind. In this case it was through mechanical manipulation of his throat and lungs, while he was asleep, without using his mind. 


 

"I had been led to believe, through previous study and research, that all such manifestations, however phenomenal, were the work of the subconscious. I therefore got this man in my office several days later, since other entities were apparently coming through him, and secured his permission to submit to hypnotism that I might explore his subconscious. It was difficult to get him under, but when I finally did so, I was amazed to find no consciousness whatsoever of the subjects discussed by these purported beings, which we had all, by this time, started to record in longhand and later combined.

Sadler makes an important comment. His inability to locate any remnant of the material in the subconscious mind of SS shows that material was not present in the man's mind. It did not come through his mind, and did not originate in his mind. It also appears that the persons in the room were trying to take hand notes of the pronouncements coming out of the man's mouth, which they later combined into a more coherent form. 


 

"I now felt that I needed help in solving the causes behind this mysterious phenomenon, and I called in other doctors and scientists, friends of mine, as well as Houdini and Thurston. They were equally unable to furnish any explanation. Finding by now that we could communicate by direct voice with different student visitors and other beings, we began to look forward to each 'contact,' as we came to call them, and enjoy the opportunity of asking questions, which always brought the most stimulating and unexpected answers.

Sadler recognized that he had a phenomenon on his hands which went beyond his experience as a medical doctor and psychiatrist. He could not isolate the behavior of SS to the subconscious or marginal consciousness of the man. This inability continued for more than twenty years, long after his study under Freud, and after his greatly varied experience with other patients. To convince himself that it went beyond any natural explanation he consulted magicians and other individuals expert in various forms of psychic performances or in public deception. 
 
It can be seen that Sadler was becoming attracted by the quality and cosmic content of the material. 


 

"We took to writing questions in advance about the universe and asking them verbally whenever given the chance. Finally, as a test, I worked out fifty-two questions privately and had them in my own mind. (The doctor was noted for his photographic memory), deciding to wait and see whether those so-called student visitors might be able to divine what was in my own consciousness.
 

"One night, a particularly electrifying personality seemed to be present from a distant planet and had greatly excited us by his comments. As he was about to go, I addressed him, saying, 'How can you prove that you are who you say you are?' He replied, 'I cannot prove it -- but you can not prove that I am not.' He then stunned me by continuing, 'However, I have just received permission to answer forty-six of the fifty-two questions you have been holding in your mind.'

If this record is accurate it would demonstrate the remarkable ability of Sadler to hold a large number of questions, in catalog order, in his mind. It would also demonstrate the ability of spirit beings to read our minds, and to know our thoughts. We traditionally place such powers in the hands of God, but this suggests that such powers exist at all levels of spirit operations. 
 

Sadler truly must have been stunned. He would have immediately recognized that no human mortal could have read his mind in such detail. SS, asleep, certainly could not have done it. Only invisible spirit personalities would have possessed such power. Quite likely, this was the first of Sadler's introductions to the "miraculous" nature of the phenomena unfolding before him. Our visitors were taking initial steps to convince him of their authenticity.


 

"Dr. Ruth spoke up and said, 'Why Henry, you haven't any such questions, have you?' And I had to admit, 'Yes, Ruth, the exact number.'
 

"This personality then proceeded to give me the answer to the forty-six as promised. When he had finished, he said, 'If you people really knew what you had here, you wouldn't take up our time asking silly, trivial questions like this. You would ask something really significant and important.'
 

"We got home around one-thirty that night, but there was no sleep in the Norton household. We stayed up the rest of the night discussing and formulating questions so that we might be prepared for the next contact.

Sherman's account of the sequence of events, either through Sadler's confusion, or Sherman's, contradicts other anecdotal evidence. The circumstance of the remark about asking important questions to elicit elevated information, the episode of more than 400 pages of written material appearing in the apartment of SS, and associated details -- all vary from one anecdote to another. If this episode actually took place, as described, then another, similar, episode took place after the Forum members began asking questions. This seems hardly possible, but the circumstances may have been repeated. 
 

The heavy impact of the episode upon the Sadler's is plainly evident

.
 

"At this point I must go back and tell you that a few months previously I had made a lecture trip to the University of Kansas; and while there, I wrote a letter to my son, Henry, suggesting that since we seldom went to church, though I often talked in churches, I thought it would be a good idea if he and his mother would consider inviting others in regularly for Sunday afternoon tea, about twenty or thirty friends with whom we might discuss religion or any other subject of mutual interest, and perhaps I would give them a little talk to stimulate these discussions. When I returned home the following Sunday noon, I found Dr. Ruth and Henry had already acted upon my suggestion and were having about thirty people in that afternoon. This was about the first of October, 1923, as I recall.

The first of October, 1923 fell on a Monday. Therefore, Sadler is off by one day; the first meeting would have been on a Sunday. 


 

"It was in November that I was asked by some members of this little social group, which we had come to call the Forum, if I wouldn't tell of some of my experiences in abnormal psychology. And since we had not been prohibited from talking about the phenomena we had been witnessing, I related to them my encounter with this sleeping subject and the strange communications we were receiving through him, and told of our being challenged to ask real questions. It suddenly occurred to me as I got to this point -- why not enlist the service of this group in the asking of such questions, and I called upon them to help me. I said, 'Come back next Sunday with all the profound questions you can think of, having to do with God and the universe, and we'll see if these intelligences can answer them.'

If the Sherman record is accurate, the members of the Sunday afternoon meeting did not get around to serious psychic discussions until a month later. 
 

This was an example Sadler's usual habit of making use of circumstances to further his work, getting other people involved, and broadening his base of research. 
 

The sudden occurrence in Sadler's mind may not have been accidental, but may have been influenced by the spiritual forces which surround us, and which, if we are listening, may lead us on to deeper insights into God and his operations. 


 

"The following Sunday the group arrived with over four thousand questions! Dr. Ruth and I spent several days sorting and classifying them. Then we held them in readiness, hoping for the opportunity of 'calling the bluff' of the higher intelligences. We were, as we thought, 'loaded for bear.'

"Some weeks went by and nothing happened. We thought we had them stumped, and then one morning at 6:00 A.M., the phone rang. It was the man's wife calling, 'Come over, quick!' she said. 'What happened?' I asked. 'Is he still asleep?' 'Yes, but that's not it,' she replied. 'Please get over here -- hurry!'

"We dressed like volunteer fireman and arrived out of breath. She led us to the desk in his study and picked up a voluminous manuscript of 472 pages, written in his own hand. I said, 'Where did this come from?' She said, 'I don't know. He made some strange noises in his sleep and woke me up, and I saw it here on the desk.' I asked, 'Has he been out of bed?' She said, 'Not to my knowledge. I don't see how he could have gotten out without waking me -- and he's not awake yet.' I said, 'Is this his handwriting?' She said, 'It's his handwriting all right -- but I don't see how he could have done it.'

A strong possibility exists that Sadler here confused the earlier episode of massive manuscript transmission.  Or it may be that Sherman confused the several episodes described by Sadler. 


 

"I took a look at the manuscript and saw to my great astonishment that it was in answer to all of the questions that had been formulated by ourselves in our Forum group!

As I indicated in the previous comment, this episode may have been confused with the first "miraculous" event for the Forum, and also the "start" of the material of the Revelation.


 

"I couldn't wait any longer. I took this bulky manuscript into the bedroom and wakened the subject. I said, 'Do you know what you have been doing in your sleep?' He said, 'I haven't been doing anything.' I said, 'Oh, yes, you have -- look at this! Isn't this your handwriting?' He stared at the manuscript. 'Yes, it's my handwriting,' he identified, 'but I didn't do it.'

"I estimated that it would take a normal individual seven to eight hours, writing at top speed, and the subject matter was so profound and yet so intelligently set down that I knew it was beyond human capacity to achieve. I phoned Cindy and told her to bring over at once a 'grip device' for testing muscular fatigue. I reasoned, if he had physically written all this, his right arm would give evidence of it -- but the device registered no fatigue what-so-ever.

"We took the papers home and had them typed. They concerned the Universal Father, the Supreme Being, The Central and Super Universes, and the Isle of Paradise. It was an unforgettable occasion when I appeared before the Forum group and announced, 'Well, we got the answers to our questions all right, and they sat awestruck and speechless as we read the papers to them. This was all we needed. Reading of these papers led to hundreds and thousands more questions, and more papers commenced coming through.

The details of this transmission tends to confirm my suggestion that the event with the Forum involved the preliminary versions of the revelation, and not merely the 472 pages of material presented more than ten years earlier in La Grange.


 

"We found there seemed to be an organized group of high intelligences on 'the other side,' prepared to present to us the whole astounding story of the universe, leading from God, the Universal Father, down to the origin of the human creature, man, and his ultimate glorious destiny beyond the reaches of time and space.
 

"This continued for perhaps seven or eight years when what we considered the first edition of the papers was finished. At that time, the Forum received its first direct message, and its members were advised that now, since their knowledge had been expanded, they should be able to ask more intelligent questions and that if they would do so, as they commenced a rereading of each paper, these intelligences would completely revise the entire, tremendous manuscript.

One of the difficulties Sadler and the group faced was lack of adequate vocabulary to express their experiences, or to describe their relationship with celestial beings. "On the other side" is a phrase commonly associated with physic phenomena and channeling. This phrase was used for lack of anything better. 
 
 

Seven or eight years would take the activity into 1930 or 1931. At this point Sadler felt they had the "complete" revelation, but it was limited to the first three parts, without the Jesus Papers. Also, we see that the celestial agents proceed through reiteration of activity to bring the Forum members into closer intellectual, emotional, and spiritual attachment to the Revelation. They apparently now received a "revised" edition of the preliminary Papers to further develop this bond.


 

"This job was finished about two to two and a half years ago, and again we all thought the manuscript was finally complete; but we were told, at this time, that the world events for which this revelation was designed were rapidly culminating (this was in 1939 before Hitler started his assault on the countries of Europe), and we would begin to see that those who had this revelation in charge did not intend to make it public until after the Second World War.

By "this job" Sadler does not mean the process of revelation. He means the total task, including typing, making copies, and proof reading, in preparation for publication. "Two years ago" would take the completion of that task to 1939 or 1940.  The schedules given by Sherman do not fit within the context of other information we now have available from Carolyn Kendall.
 
The phrase "world events for which this revelation was designed were rapidly culminating" carries heavy portent. Sadler, living in the context of events of the first part of this century, would naturally believe that World War II was just those events.  After all, that episode in world history left a strong impression on all who lived through it. Little did he, or anyone else at 533, recognize the true meaning of "world events." Nuclear power had yet to appear, with its danger to total world destruction.
 
There could be no greater error. This world has been, for more than a century, experiencing events leading to the culmination of age, and the actual purpose for which the revelation was intended. 

Furthermore, the phrase "those who had this revelation in charge," is strongly suggestive of forces beginning to appear in Sadler's life which would have destroyed the revelation.   This phrase comes from messages channeled by Christy.
 
I shall discuss these several elements in later chapters.


 

"It was finally decided by those controlling transmission of The New Revelation Book to permit seventy-five papers giving a detailed and comprehensive account of Jesus's life on earth, from His birth to His death, to be added. The book is eventually to be published without any human personalities to be identified with it in any way and no authorship ascribed to it. These higher beings have refused to use their own names and have only specified their type of being in the universe.

Again there is a mistake on numbers. The Jesus Papers number 77, not 75. Whether Sadler made this mistake, or if Sherman is not clear on his recall, cannot be determined. 


 

"There are only a few of us still living who were in touch with this phenomenon in the beginning, and when we die, the knowledge of it will die with us. Then the book will exist as a great spiritual mystery, and no human will know the manner in which it came about.

As much as Sadler would have preferred to keep all details from the public eye, The Urantia Papers loom much to large in the future of our world, and are far too important to not attract research and examination of their history. Sadler himself left too many important clues and statements to inhibit rigorous pursuit. On the contrary, those clues and statements merely excite attention. Of course, the actual mystery of the transmission of the revelation will forever be closed. We can only speculate, but we can engage in intelligent and informed speculation, not in mythical fancy.

 

Sherman now returns to his personal comment.
 

Different Forum members had heard different versions concerning the origin of the papers. One of them was to the effect that a young stockbroker, name withheld, was found by his wife sitting at his writing table in his bedroom one night in a trance state, simultaneously writing two different papers of deep philosophic content, one with each hand. The wife, unable to rouse him phoned their friend, a psychiatrist, who arrived in time to witness the psychic phenomenon, and who read the stack of type-writer sized pages that had been pushed off onto the floor, sheet by sheet.

This remark by Sherman shows how myth, lack of first-hand knowledge, and folk story all contribute to the uncertainty of the origins of the Revelation. It would have been far better if Sadler had provided a more complete written history, but he was under instruction not to do so. 


 

Impressed as well as mystified, the doctor expressed the opinion that some passing psychic influence had taken possession of the sleeping subject, and it would probably never happen again -- but if it did, he was to be called. A few nights latter, this phenomenon reoccurred, and the amazed doctor was told that he was to be the custodian of this incoming material, which was beyond the knowledge of the human instrument; and that a book, which would startle the world, was to be dictated by higher intelligences.

This began a strange and dramatic human saga which started in 1911 and continued for almost half a century, with paper after paper of this voluminous manuscript appearing, each containing a chapter describing the nature of creation and the unthinkably great God behind it; the Seven Super Universes in which were countless inhabited planets; various classification of beings, including guardian angles and ending up with a new life of Jesus, one of numberless Creator Sons who had the power to create worlds and all life thereon.

As I showed in a pervious chapter, the date of 1911 is wrong. Sherman was probably borrowing this date from The Mind At Mischief. A little thought on his part should have alerted him to the contradiction of dates within his account. 
 

We also see how folk stories twist events and facts to the pleasure of human imagination. Here Sherman is repeating a version recounted by Forum members.


 

Some one to two hundred fascinated Forum members, exposed to these papers, one by one each week, were purportedly observed in the Invisible by the higher intelligences who had dictated the material, their reactions studied, and papers edited accordingly if some sections were not apparently understood. In any event, papers were corrected from time to time, and sometimes magically appeared, they were told, even typed, on the desk in the doctor's office.

We observed that the Forum members accepted these stories without question. This blind acceptance of everything associated with the New Revelation made it difficult for Martha and me to properly evaluate the New Revelation material. As we became acquainted with more and more Forum members, they confided that after the death of the doctor's wife, Dr. Ruth, they had noticed a growing tendency for the doctor to be irascible and adamant, whenever anyone associated with him showed indications of not conforming to his thoughts and ideas. They said he could be agreeable and even charming at times, until he felt himself to be crossed in any way or questioned about his conduct of the New Revelation affairs. We were to have ample evidence of this developing side of his nature as time when on.

Sherman is not giving credit to the fact that when he appeared on the scene nearly two decades had passed from the beginning of the Forum. By that time there would be few permanent members who would be in serious doubt. 
 
This is one of Sherman's overt attempts to influence the thinking of his audience against Sadler. He portrays Forum members as mindless individuals, but then later describes Clyde Bedell as an individual with a strong independent mind, who would not accept any story without question. See following chapters. 
 

The "notion" that "higher intelligences" had to study human reaction to help them design the papers is far short of recognition of their superior abilities. Interplay with the Forum was to condition the human members, not to teach those superior intelligences.


 

One of our basic observations that really disturbed us, after finishing the first reading of the papers, was the fact that The New Revelation Book purported to give a specific description of the appearances and nature of the physical universe but presented no program for individual spiritual development.

This is pure balderdash. It reflects Sherman's attempt to deny the value of a work in which he could not place his own interpretation of psychic reality. He could not have known the Papers in any depth to make such remark. From the very first Paper on the Heavenly Father, to the last on the Faith of Jesus, the Papers are filled with religious exhortations, admonitions, and advice on more noble spiritual living.


 

We wondered what service to humanity a book could be -- however profound and expansive with its precise mathematical statements of numbers of planets and universes and various classifications of intelligent beings -- if it did not deal with the mind qualities of human creatures and how they could be employed to advance their soul development on earth.
 

True, an entire section was devoted to a description of a neutral entity called a "Thought Controller," which the Creator supposedly assigned to dwell in each human consciousness, and whose duty it was to sort out the thoughts and deeds of the individual and help him develop "survival values." If this happened, the "TC," as it was abbreviated, took on personality and survived along with it's "host." If the entity had not lived a sufficiently "good" life, the "TC" was then free to dwell in some other human consciousness at birth, carrying over the now nonexistent entity's experiences for use by the new "host" -- to give him a running start on possible survival. On this basis, the individual could not accomplish survival on his own and was dependent on this in-dwelling influence.

This is an inaccurate description of the Thought Adjusters, the spirit fragments of the Father. See Papers 107 through 112. 


 

Martha and I could not accept this. We could accept the concept, which we had long believed, that a part of God, the Great Intelligence, does dwell in each human soul, and that man can become aware of this Higher Power within him through right thinking and meditation -- and secure guidance and protection by adherence to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual laws of his being.

 

The more we thought about The New Revelation Book, the more we came up with more questions than answers. Since we had social access to the Nortons, father and son, we took our questions to them, sometimes in written form. Henry Junior, like his father, had a photographic memory and could discourse on different chapters of the book, quoting them at length.

 

Some of the questions raised were:

(1) Why, with the detailed descriptions of super beings and lines of communications existing between planets, was there no chapter in the book which explained the psychic phenomena taking place on earth?

Here Sherman touches on a crucial element in the policy conditioning the presentation of The Urantia Papers. It was critically important in unfolding planetary mortal decisions that this area be left open for each person to decide.


 

(2) How did it happen that the Jesus Papers "came through" after the book itself was announced as completed -- a book which had no mention of Jesus as such?

As Sadler admitted, the Jesus Papers came as a surprise. He was already making plans for publication before the actual revelation was complete, and before the Jesus Papers. I earlier indicted some possible reasons. But Sherman is badly in error about the mention of Jesus in the first three parts. The Papers were available to the public for some twenty years when he wrote this; he had to know of the many references to Jesus in the first three Parts.  Why make a fool of himself with such bald falsehood? Again we can see his emotional state, a condition from which he never recovered.


 

(3) Why, since the knowledge was supposed to be universal, applicable to all humanity, did it limit its scope and appeal and interpretations by adding a "new life of Jesus," tying it in with the Christian religion, after The New Revelation Book was declared "finished" as of 1934?

The reason for the presentation of The Urantia Papers in the United States, and in the continuum of Christianity, is conditioned by God's plans for this planet. His program has unfolded through the "Western" white nations because of genetic endowments, and because of a spiritual heritage not found in the other mortal races. 

Psychic productions are universally derogatory of Jesus, in one subtle form or another. Sherman is here reflecting that influence in his own thinking.

The "declaration" of the finish to the Papers was strictly in the mind of Sadler. The Jesus Papers were a complete surprise to him also.

Or Sherman may have been confusing 1934 and 1935.


 

Martha and I received no satisfactory answer to these questions. Instead, Dr. Norton characteristically showed a flare of temper, to which we now had become accustomed, when any member asked him a question he considered impertinent or uncalled for.

Once again Sherman attempts to cast aspersions on Sadler's character. No medical doctor and psychiatrist, with Sadler's extensive experience and background, would be subject to "flares of temper." On the other hand Sadler may have become impatient with impertinent or thoughtless questions.

The loss of Lena may have set him on edge.  He no longer had her wise council.

But far more probable to the cause of his irritation was the sudden appearance of another "celestial regime" when Christy started channeling.  At that point Sadler began to have misgivings, but he never formulated them into a concrete or discerning analysis.


 

Had it not been for our great and almost overwhelming interest in the New Revelation papers at the time, we would not have persisted. The interest of all Forum members had been heightened by the doctor's telling us in recent Forum sessions that we should be thinking and preparing for a time in the fall when he had been instructed to surrender his custodianship of the New Revelation project to the Forum. When this happened, we must assume the responsibility for financing, publication and distributions of The New Revelation Book.

This statement adds a mysterious note to Sadler's expectation of the custody and publication of the Papers. I shall show from other evidence that this could not be an accurate description of Sadler's plans. It is altogether possible that Sadler made remarks which Sherman did not fully understand, or which were confused by the several elements in Sadler's concerns. The surprise of the Jesus Papers certainly would have made Sadler more cautious about his personal notions of publication.


 

One night we invited Cindy to our apartment as a dinner guest. During the evening we quite naturally discussed The New Revelation Book. I pointed out to her that when it would be published, people would wonder why no mention was made of telepathy or other psychic phenomena as a preparations for the existence of such powers in higher realms. Then came the "shocker." Cindy said she agreed with my contention, and since Sir Hubert Wilkins and I, as a result of our thought transference tests, had perhaps as much knowledge as anyone, why didn't we write a chapter explaining them. The doctor could submit our paper for consideration of the "higher ups," and if they okayed it, it could be inserted in the New Revelation Book!

Those of us who had contact with Christy, and who had an opportunity to experience her methods of response to questions, recognize this reaction as part of her personality and her policy. She never argued with anyone, nor did she ever outright reject various proposals and schemes. Invariably, she would deflect all such propositions with neutral and innocuous replies. Since Sherman carried more weight by his social reputation than most other persons, Christy was even more careful in her response. Personally, I am sure Sherman's description of her response is fairly accurate; however, his deduction of the reason is grossly false. Christy was putting him off, but his intense emotional concerns prevented him from recognizing her method.


 

"Why, I wouldn't pretend to have the authoritative knowledge the intelligences behind this book have," I replied, trying to conceal my astonishment. "Why don't you call this significant absence of needed connective material to their attention and let them supply the information?"
 

Cindy indicated that they would think about it, and the subject was dropped. But for Cindy to have made this suggestion clearly revealed humanly written insertions had been put in the manuscript, and later evidence came to light when member Floyd Winters one of Chicago's prominent businessmen, confronted the doctor with extensive almost word-for-word quotes from author Emery Reeves' well-known book, A Democratic Manifesto, which were contained in a New Revelation chapter. The explanation: Occasionally, when the intelligences dictating the New Revelation papers came across something expressed on a subject by a human, as well as they could express it, they authorized its inclusion."

Floyd Winters was Sherman's alias for Clyde Bedell. Indeed, Clyde had opened this issue with Sadler, and it left an unsettling concern in the minds of many members of the Forum, within Sadler, and many students of the Papers since that time. The Authors openly stated that they use this method in the formatting of the Revelation but no one to date fully understood the reasons. This was one of Martin Gardner's main bones of contention with the integrity of the Revelation. He could not understand it except to accuse Sadler of outright plagiarism, although careful study of the passages reveals that the material is never used verbatim, is paraphrased, and is modified to elevate and ennoble concepts. Matthew Block has catalogued many sources used by the Revelators, but to date has not offered a more fundamental explanation of the reasons for this policy. Refer to later discussions.


 

As a result of this disillusioning experience with Cindy, I felt I should make one last attempt to impress Dr. Norton with the seriousness of the matter, so I sent him a registered letter, hoping to command his personal attention. It read as follows:


 

Dear Dr. Norton,

 

Some several months after we came here and had carefully read the New Revelation papers, I questioned you concerning the glaring absences of any paper on "psychic phenomena" -- such as humans have veritably experienced on earth in times past and are experiencing now. And yet the book deals authoritatively with many phrases of spiritual phenomena beyond the grasp, sensing, and actual understanding of average man.

 

Eventual readers of this great document in public form are going to be expected to accept the existence of all these higher phenomena on faith. But, since man is an experiential being, and we must consider him on the basis of his present development and enlightenment, he is going to be sorely perplexed at finding no mention or explanation of "psychic experiences" which he KNOWS he has had - which give him evidence that TELEPATHY, under certain conditions, is a fact; that there are such things as ASTRAL visitations on occasion; and that the so-called dead are permitted to return on certain missions and under certain circumstances. I am not talking spiritualism when I make this latter statement.

 

You decided, personally, long years ago on your own admission to me, that there were no genuine phenomena except that of the nature you had encountered with the "instrument" and the other "sleeping contacts" reported to you.

 

Millions of humans now living and still to be born will challenge this attitude as reflected in the pages of The New Revelation Book, for too many "psychic experiences" are occurring right along to which they can testify. And no scientist can laugh these experiences off or explain them away.

 

It is a great error and will arouse great controversy, confusion, and dissension for The New Revelation Book to indicate positively that no one can communicate with the dead and that the dead, under no circumstances, can or do

return to this earth. This is a deliberate wrong statement -- and untruth -- and cannot have been made by higher intelligence, for they KNOW better. With The New Revelation Book containing such false inferences, many humans who have had genuine experiences are not going to know what sections of the book to believe or disbelieve, and they are apt to end up by doubting it all.

 

I submitted a series of questions covering the entire subject of "psychic phenomena" months ago. Were they carefully gone over by you and the other "contact commissioners" and presented for consideration and possible answering in the former regular manner, or were they pigeon-holed arbitrarily by you because you have a set human conviction that none of the "psychic phenomena" are actually existent?

 

Have you, by your attitude, altered or excluded any material or truth which should be in this New Revelation Book?

 

You know, in your own mind and heart, the steps you have taken which have not been authorized by higher intelligences. You will have to answer for each one of these steps . . . but there is still time for you to clear up much.

 

It should hardly be necessary for me to remind you that, if any material intended for The New Revelation Book has been withheld or wrongly interpreted or purposely misunderstood or altered for personal or biased reasons, or because of a "closed mind" attitude -- you will be held responsible as trusted custodian for centuries yet to come.

 

My only interest, as always, is in the purity, unadulterated genuineness, and complete authenticity of The New Revelation Book. I shall know, and others will know, if when it is published, any of the papers have been tampered with for any human reason whatsoever.

 

Sincerely

 

(signed)

 

Harold Sherman


 

COMMENTARY ON SHERMAN'S LETTER

It is obvious that Sherman was accusing Sadler of the very thing he himself wanted to do -- place into The Urantia Papers material dear to his heart. Hence, he failed utterly to recognize the nature of the phenomenon with which Sadler was dealing. Sadler had no control over the contents. Questions could be asked, points raised, but the final content was determined solely by celestial agencies.  Unfortunately, it was evil "celestial agencies" which got their hands into the Revelation, and led Sherman into his confusion.
 

If the true Revelators chose to not place explicit descriptions or explanations of psychic phenomena they would not, and did not, include it. Sadler could not alter that fact. But Sherman believed that somehow Sadler could determine the content. The ultimate, of course, is that Sadler was writing the Papers. But Sherman, by his own admission, realized that the material was far above what he would expect from a human mortal.
 

Sherman thus worked from a confused and unclear mind,  as someone deep into psychic channeling. Because of the confusion in the mind of everyone, including both Sherman and Sadler, how rebel spirit personalities could use human mind for evil purposes was unclear. In numerous ways Sherman betrayed the cloudiness of his mind.
 

"TELEPATHY, under certain conditions, is a fact..."
 

Telepathy is not a fact, and objective experimentations demonstrate the uselessness of such imaginary hope.
 

"...the so-called dead are permitted to return on certain missions and under certain circumstances. I am not talking spiritualism when I make this latter statement."
 

The dead do not return. Only evil spirit personalities, impersonating dead human mortals, enter mortal minds for malicious purposes and to defraud the human race of spiritual promise.
 

"...for too many "psychic experiences" are occurring right along to which they can testify. And no scientist can laugh these experiences off or explain them away."

Sherman is absolutely correct. The phenomena do exist, and no objective scientist worthy of investigation, can laugh it away. His deadly fault was that he did not recognize the origins.
 

"...to indicate positively that no one can communicate with the dead and that the dead, under no circumstances, can or do return to this earth. This is a deliberate wrong statement -- and untruth -- and cannot have been made by higher intelligence, for they KNOW better."
 

Again Sherman fails to see the deep contradiction of his remarks. The only beings dictating The Urantia Papers were celestial beings, and therefore he brings this accusation against them. If the Papers, originating from celestial beings, say outright that the dead do not come back to communicate with the living, then the absence of such teaching lies on their shoulders, not on Sadler. Again he assumes that Sadler must, somehow, be able to influence the content of the Papers.
 

"I submitted a series of questions covering the entire subject of "psychic phenomena" months ago. Were they carefully gone over by you and the other "contact commissioners" and presented for consideration and possible answering in the former regular manner, or were they pigeon-holed arbitrarily by you because you have a set human conviction that none of the "psychic phenomena" are actually existent?" "...by your attitude, altered or excluded any material or truth..."
 

Sherman just simply could not get it into his head that Sadler did not control the content of the Revelation. If the Revelators wished to reveal materials Sadler need not ask them to do so, and that if they did not want to reveal materials, Sadler's request would be refused.
 

"You know, in your own mind and heart, the steps you have taken which have not been authorized by higher intelligences. You will have to answer for each...
 

Why could Sherman not realize that Sadler was acutely aware of the source of his contact, and that Sadler would not enter into a relationship of deception when he had a vivid experience of their ability to read his mind and his heart?

Continued in Part II