On September 21, 1993 I wrote a letter to Martin Gardner outlining in detail the elements of Harold Sherman as the basis for describing the character of William Sadler, and for estimating the nature of events which unfolded in 1942. At that time Gardner was in the midst of his research and preparation of the manuscript for his book, Urantia. During this period we exchanged more than forty letters. My purpose was an attempt to inform him of facts. He was not impressed. He ignored my appeals.  I also used the letter to offer arguments against a conspiracy of individuals somehow writing The Urantia Papers. Knowledge of events, key personalities, and testimony by those who were personally present, deny such theory.

Following is that letter, except for removal of two minor paragraphs not pertinent to this discussion. The emphases are the same as in the original letter.

September 21, 1993

Martin Gardner
110 Glenbrook Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28739

Dear Martin:

In your letter of Sept 9 you ask, "Who was Sonsovocton?" You quote, "No condemnation of the Forum's action has come from the Angels of Progress and Sonsovocton, who have The Urantia Book in charge."

In order to arrive at sensible understanding of these mysterious references it is necessary that we build correct scenarios. To do that we must know certain essential facts of the environment at 533, and chronology.

But first, to continue a saga--



In your attempts to demonstrate a purely human origin to The Urantia Book you claim that Sadler continued to edit the Book well into the 1950's. You use two main supports for this theory:

A. You claim that parallel passages found in human authors from the 1940's show that Sadler plagiarized material.

B. You claim that a statement made by Christy to Sherman shows that a process of Book alterations took place between Sadler and members of the Forum, and that this process was continuing during the period of Sherman's sojourn in Chicago.

You asked for my explanation of "A." I stated that the celestial beings who participated in the revelation process were able to anticipate the work of human beings. They had time anticipation. As I recall I stated that we play with such ideas in our science fictions, but heaven forbid that such possibilities might actually exist. I implied that we all have this concept buried in our heads and give vent to it through fantasy mechanisms. Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein were men who raised my imagination to such cosmic possibilities. But I guess none of them really believed such nonsense.

I shall now offer a detailed discussion of "B," and how this might modify your views of "A." I style this presentation to show public reactions you probably will receive to your theories.

Consider the evidence you cite from Sherman:

"Christy said that since he knew so much about this topic, that he write a paper about it and they would check it through the 'instrument.(1)'"

You then state, "This confirmed Sherman's suspicion that the practice (of editing the Book) was common with Forum members." The tone of your Sept 9 letter suggests you felt this was a major new affirmation of your theory.

Now consider contradictory evidence.

Example No. 1: Robert Burton and the Urantia Foundation

You kindly shared with us a copy of a statement by Robert Burton which he published in 1975. In that statement he made the following remark:  

The complete revelation was completed in 1935 and contained 196 Papers and its Forward.

Robert Burton, like Clyde Bedell, was an old time member of the Forum. Also like Clyde Bedell, he was a fighter. As you can readily observe from his statement he loved the Revelation and detested the policies of the Foundation which were stifling it through the mechanisms of copyright and trademark law. In an attempt to bring this to a legal resolution he copied Paper 72 and sent the copies to national Representatives and Senators in Washington, DC. The Foundation obliged his desire by suing him for copyright violation. As stated by the court:

Sometime in the late 1960's or early 1970's the defendant became disenchanted with the way the Foundation was handling the dissemination of the ideas expressed in the Urantia Book. He first requested permission to copy and distribute certain sections of the book, but was turned down by the officers of the Foundation. He nevertheless undertook such copying and distribution and admits that he did so in order to test the validity of the plaintiff's copyright. The plaintiff obliged him by bringing this action for copyright infringement. (210 USPQ 217.)(2)

In papers filed in that suit the Foundation, with Tom Kendall as spokesman, under oath, publicly stated that The Urantia Book was not written by any human author. This statement was cited in the judgment published by the court and is now a major component in Kristen Maaherra's defense(3). The court summarized:  

Dr. Sadler claimed, and both parties to this action apparently believe, that the book was written down as the result of divine or spiritual inspiration. As a result, in both written and oral arguments, there has been some discussion as to whether Dr. Sadler's patient was the author of the book or was merely a conduit for some spiritual author. Legally, however, the source of the author's inspiration is irrelevant. No one contends that the Urantia Book was not original and therefore not copyrightable.

The suit was brought against him in the mid 1970's; the court did not rule until August, 1980; Burton died before the final ruling.

The heart of Burton's defense was the proposition that the Book was a divine revelation, with no human authorship, and should have no copyright. He believed this completely and unreservedly. The court ruled against him; if the Book came through a human being that human mortal had rights to the legal protection of his statements, regardless of their inspiration, provided they were original,. If the human subject transferred those rights to Sadler through verbal agreement Sadler then acquired legal rights and could, in turn, legally transfer them to whomever he pleased.

We have three pieces of information: a), Burton's 1975 written statement about the creation of the Book, b), the court testimony of his memory of events associated with creation of the Book, and c), the court testimony by the Urantia Foundation about the creation of the Book. In order to reconcile this evidence with your theory of joint authorship of the Book I have two choices:

I. Burton did not correctly remember the events associated with the creation of the Book.

II. He knew differently but was trying to deceive everyone outside the closed group of the Forum and Contact Commission.

These same possibilities also apply to the Foundation, but I shall not provide redundant arguments, except where their corroboration becomes meaningful.

I do not believe you and I need spend time on the first alternative. The creation events surrounding the Revelation, regardless of which theory you subscribe to, were burned indelibly into the memory of members of the Forum. This is attested by Clyde Bedell's recall of events which took place with Sherman after a span of thirty years. Burton's memory is also attested by many other witnesses. No one would be so dim witted to not remember such crucial details associated with creation of the Revelation, even if recall were forty or fifty years later.

The second alternative requires detailed discussion. If we subscribe to this explanation of Burton's remark, and the court testimony, we encounter a major conspiracy problem. This explanation denotes a participation by Burton and the Foundation, opposing parties in the court action, in a scheme to deceive the general public and the court. We are forced to examine the nature of this conspiracy, its magnitude, and its purpose. When was this conspiracy created? Who originated the scheme? How was it formed? Who was party to it? How was it maintained? Why was it done?

The testimony of Burton and the Foundation via Tom Kendall did not include the possibility of human hands in the creation of The Urantia Book. If human hands added material, or edited the text, this would be an essential element in the arguments before, and final decision by, the court. Such contribution would create a legal condition of coauthorship. Copyright law specifically addresses coauthorship. Over the years United States courts have carefully defined the conditions of ownership and legal rights under coauthorship. This would have greatly strengthened the Foundation case, beyond a remote possibility of denial by the court. It would have been crucially important to Foundation copyright claims to assert coauthorship  

but the Foundation failed to do so. There is no hint of such claim in their statements to the Michigan court. The court was not aware of such possibility when it reached its judgment.

This shows unequivocally that the Foundation, as successor to claim of ownership of The Urantia Book, was not aware of any participation by members of the Forum in coauthorship of the Book, nor of the hand of Sadler in editorial contribution to the Book. They would not have neglected such a crucially important element in the presentation of their suit to the court.  

Such tradition did not exist among the successors of ownership of The Urantia Book nor among members of the Forum.

There is another equally important side to this consideration. Given that a heavy weight of law would be against Burton if Sadler made editorial contributions would he have dared test the copyright ownership in a court of law? Why would Burton seek to become embroiled in a major legal contest, with all of its psychological and financial burden, if such legal danger existed? Furthermore, if hidden coauthorship and editorial contribution by Sadler were the actual history of the Book, why would he expose this conspiracy to the probing of legal experts? Why would he and Tom Kendall both take oaths which would expose them to the threat of legal perjury merely to sustain this conspiracy?

It is also useful in this analysis to know that the Foundation brought a claim of human authorship by William Sadler, Jr. in its suit against Kristen Maaherra, but under probing by the Phoenix court admitted that his authorship was limited to the Table of Contents. The Foundation attorneys were attempting to show a prima facia claim for immediate Summary Judgment but the court felt a worthy claim of defense existed for Kristen in her statement that the Book was a divine revelation and granted her that opportunity. Again, given this opportunity to strengthen its legal position, the Foundation failed to include any claim of editorial contribution by Sadler. Again, this could not have been a mere oversight on such a crucially important legal right.

Before probing these problems surrounding your theory of a conspiracy in more detail I shall go on to other evidence.

Example No. 2: Emma Christensen

If I am to pursue your theory I must consider that Christy's letter to David Biggs(4) would be part of this conspiracy. (As were all other letters in which she gave similar responses to inquiries on the origin of the Book.) From this simple example you can see that all actions by members of the Contact Commission and the Forum must be weighed in light of this theory. They would have had to maintain a consistent line of approach and a standard policy on public statements over many decades to carry off this scheme.

To be sure, the evidence of which I am aware shows that Christy employed a consistent policy for responses to questions or proposals dealing with the Revelation. Her technique was to put people off. She would not provide straight answers to satisfy their inquiries or suggestions; she would deflect queries. If we subscribe to the conspiracy theory this would have been a useful technique to avoid getting trapped.

On the other hand this technique was also a simple way to avoid controversy or debate. When she said to Sherman, "offer your proposal and we will check it against the 'instrument'" she was using the same technique she used in the Biggs' letter. She avoided resentment on the part of Sherman, she postponed decision, and she evaded exposure of the secrets surrounding the Book.

Sherman, bound to his psychic beliefs, and given this neutral response from Christy, could easily assume that the Book was subject to Sadler's editorial changes. This, then, explains why he became so upset with Sadler when Sadler would not incorporate his suggestions on psychic phenomena. Wasn't he as good as anyone else? In turn, that led to his attempt to bring rebellion among the troops. I can picture how he thought he could manipulate Forum members from his view that the Book was subject to change, and how he could use them to bring pressure upon Sadler.

Example No. 3: Clyde Bedell

Now consider Bedell's response to Sherman's accusations. I quote from his A Response to a Thinly Disguised Attack on the Urantia Book.

The Author says the Doctor's secretary suggested he write a paper on psychic phenomena and that the Doctor would submit it to the Revelators. If they accepted it for inclusion in the URANTIA Book, it would be included.

The Author says "this clearly revealed that humanly written insertions had been put in the manuscript."

It reveals nothing of the kind. It simply reveals that the Author's reasoning is faulty or he is willing to practice rhetorical sleight of hand to mislead you. The secretary, a highly intelligent woman, knowing the sacred inviolability of the URANTIA text knew this was a certain way to get rid of the Author's suggestion without argument.


Bedell's statement, Burton's 1975 statement, and the legal suits brought by the Foundation--all help to assess the conspiracy theory(5).

Point A:

Bedell made a public statement of his belief in the divine origin of The Urantia Book. Burton explicitly stated that the Book was fully complete in 1935. Neither man shied away from a public record of their respective views of the origins of Book and the consequent threat of exposure of a conspiracy in the creation of the Book. If both men conspired, as you propose,  

they were supremely, even egotistically, confident of their ability to maintain the conspiracy.

Point B:

Bedell expressed the same assessment of Christy's response to Sherman as I described above. She avoided a combative scene with Sherman. Bedell's explanation of Christy's behavior is frank and simple. His entire document is a heartfelt reaction to an episode he deeply regretted. If he were using this explanation as a subterfuge to further a conspiracy why pour his heart out in this manner? Such open expression could only invite danger of exposure.  

He does not display the scheming deception of a conspirator; his purpose is transparent.

Point C:

It is clear that Bedell had a contempt for Sherman; he regarded Sherman as a charlatan. Regardless of which account you subscribe to as the correct explanation of events, Sherman had obviously manipulated Forum members to try to drive a wedge between them and Sadler. Bedell could not forgive a man who had no contrition in his heart, and who, thirty years later, was intent on denigrating him and the Revelation.  

Bedell trusted Sherman's motives; Bedell did not act like a conspirator; Sherman betrayed him.

Point D:

If you evaluate Bedell's response as defense of a conspiracy you must question why he fell in with Sherman in the first place, as he openly admits in his document. His loyalties certainly would have been with the group of conspirators; this effort on the part of Sherman to drive a wedge between Sadler and members of the Forum should have been met at the onset with suspicion by Bedell and other members. But they trusted the expressed motives of Sherman.  

The Forum members all acted like innocent people; they did not behave as we would expect from a group of conspirators.

Point E:

The Bedell piece is useful in another way. He quoted Christy's attitude about the Book:  

The secretary, a highly intelligent woman, knowing the sacred inviolability of the URANTIA text . . .

This quotation reaffirms a belief held by all members of the Contact Commission and all members of the Forum: the sacred inviolability of the Urantia text. Invariably, time and again, they express this belief. If we subscribe to a conspiracy theory we must ask if this is the natural form of a public position on a conspiratorial work. Why would these people all insist that it came from divine sources? Why would they place this unbelievable deception upon something which had the potential of becoming subject to intense human scrutiny?  

They could not have chosen a better method to invite public scrutiny and consequent danger of exposure.

Point F:

Bedell continues with this public position:  

Either the Author had to find a way to modify the URANTIA text (an impossibility) in order to liberalize its views on matters psychic . . .

Bedell shows perception into the motive of Sherman. Sherman's intent was to find a way to insert his notions into The Urantia Book. But Bedell maintains consistently that such step was impossible. No one was permitted to violate the text of the Book.

Again, this assessment from Bedell is transparent; it is not devious.

Point G:

In my knowledge of Bedell I never perceived him as anything but a man of eloquent candor and impassioned moral stand. Bedell expressed his heartfelt respect for the papers in many ways.  

. . . in the expectation of religious and philosophical growth and for the gripping interest the papers held for us.

If Bedell and Burton, and countless other persons, had conspired to rewrite the text why would they hold this great awe for the papers?  

If I subscribe to the conspiracy theory I must rationalize why these people were carried away by their great brilliance to such megalomania extremes.

Point H:

Furthermore, do you truly believe Bedell would have clung to that amazing work if its roots lay in psychic phenomena?  

I am not a psychic and do not dredge up from my subconscious as TRUTH, IMAGININGS THAT REPRESENT MY DESIRES . . .

Is this not sufficient testimony of the contempt Bedell felt for psychic productions? Why is his testimony not valid for you? As I said, he was a man of eloquent candor and impassioned moral stand. Why would such a man engage in deceptive conspiracies?  

If I subscribe to the conspiracy theory I must rationalize Bedell's transparent contempt for psychic phenomena while conspiring to use text from such source as a basis for a work he claimed was a divine revelation.

Point I:

Bedell's views of psychic phenomena were equal to that of William Sadler. Sadler, throughout his life, was repelled by psychic productions. In his 1958 statement he exhaustively lists all of the many psychic methods by which The Urantia Book did not come. He was exhaustive because he wanted no one to mistake the phenomenon of the origin of the Book with psychic productions.  

If I subscribe to the conspiracy theory I must rationalize Sadler's adamant contempt for psychic productions while conspiring to use text from such source as a basis for a work he claimed was a divine revelation.

Harold Sherman's Motives

Point J:

Regardless of which theory of origin you subscribe to, or which account you accept about the Sherman affair, it is obvious that Sherman's motives were impure. If you believe all parties involved--Sadler, the Contact Commission and the Forum--were devious conspirators trying to foist upon the general public a purely human work under the guise of a divine revelation, the fact nevertheless exists that Sherman was attempting to get his foot into that conspiratorial door. He wanted to get a piece of the action. This leads to an unavoidable conclusion:  

Sherman did not mind being a co-conspirator! He did not mind lying about the truth of the creation of the text!

Point K:

But this is not what Sherman truly believed. He truly believed the text came from, what for him could only be, psychic sources. It was too impressive a work to come from ordinary human mind. He was willing to accept classification as a divine revelation, according to his understanding of the term. But he also had a driving desire to contribute to such an impressive work. He wanted to get in on the action because of the quality of the production, not because it was inferior. He had never seen anything like it in his associations in the psychic world. It held him. He thought Sadler and the Forum were altering it to suit their desires. When Christy offered her neutral response he jumped at the possibility, and eventually tried to exploit it. Again his motives were impure. Sherman did not respect this impressive work to preserve it intact; rather, he thought he could alter it to suit his notions.

He practiced his psychic trade on the principle that celestial revelations were subject to human alteration, and thus subject to deception of the general public according to the private criteria of the human agents entrusted with such productions.

Sherman did not mind altering perceptions of reality in order to further his psychic views.

Point L:

Sherman's behavior shows his psychology. Sherman could consider The Urantia Book only in the light of his understanding. For him, even though he espoused the idea of celestial beings, they were not divine and holy beings.  

Sherman perceived celestial beings as shadows in his disordered mind. His views of cosmic activities were sordid. His motives were equally sordid.

Point M:

Sherman's behavior shows his level of perception of other human beings. Sherman grossly underestimated the Chicago personalities. He did not understand what those personalities would do when it came down to the wire. He did not recognize their devotion to the integrity of the Revelation. He must have had a badly misshapen perception of reality. He thought he could manipulate people to achieve his personal ends. He trapped himself because of his disordered mind. He could not properly assess reality. Otherwise he would not have raised the ire of so many. And he would not have chosen the path of public statement he opted for. Later, he could not make an open and free statement of the facts; he had to hide it behind pseudonymity. Then he could bring free-wheeling accusations with relative impunity. That modus operandi is sufficient to estimate the quality of his character.  

He was a man who did not deal honestly with others. Furthermore, he did not recognize this personal defect.

Point N:

Sherman's behavior shows his level of perception in other ways. Sadler had rejected his proposal for changes in the text of The Urantia Book. He ascribed to Sadler his own motives in social and moral conduct. Therefore,  

he ineptly assessed the moral nature and ethical strength of Sadler.

His many publications show that he had the intelligence to make involved assessments of information, but  

his vision was obscured by his psychic delusions.

Martin Gardner's Reliance On Harold Sherman


Point O:

Again, Sherman's behavior shows his motives. These motives must be contrasted with those of Burton, Bedell, Sadler and numerous other individuals associated with the creation and publication of The Urantia Book. In all of their statements available to us, public and private, they consistently maintained that divine revelations were inviolable. Sherman, as many people do, placed upon others his own views of moral conduct and ethical standards. Perhaps you do not consciously recognize this, but you sense the false motives and moral impurities of Sherman. Furthermore,  

You have placed upon Sadler, Christy, Burton, Bedell, and other members of the Contact Commission and the Forum the same motives and moral impurities you find in Sherman.

Point P:

You see Sherman as a person believing and chasing psychic phenomena. In your long career of detestation and debunking of such personalities you have acquired mental habits which inherently cause you to be repelled by such people. Because The Urantia Book is claimed to come from paranormal sources you have the same reaction to it. This has caused you to perceive Sadler, the other members of the Contact Commission, and the members of the Forum as psychics also. Therefore, you cannot assess them objectively; your vision is obscured by the mental habits of the many years of your life. It is this mental habit which causes you to classify them in the same category as Sherman.  

You see them only as persons chasing psychic phenomena.

Point Q:

However, there is sufficient contradictory evidence--in Sadler's lifetime of debunking of psychic phenomena, in Bedell's explicit rejection of such phenomena, in the conservative Midwestern origin of members of the Contact Commission and the Forum, and in other evidence--for you to become confused about where to pigeon-hole these people. Therefore, it becomes easy to rely on Sherman's assessments to help classify these people. But in so doing you create more personal dilemma.  

You use this man as a basis of reference and a source of assessment of other individuals in order to deal with these contradictions in your perceptions of reality.

Point R:

After I examine these many factors in Sherman's motives, his psychology, and his behavior, I arrive at an alarming view of your dependance upon him for your personal assessments. Why do you not recognize the nature of his character? I arrive at the conclusion that you have crept into bed with this fellow, this sordid perceiver of celestial realties, this man with an impure heart, because he offers you about the only evidence you can find that denies the solid wall of devotion from Sadler, the Contact Commission, and the Forum to the Revelation. I also arrive at the conclusion that this dependence can be used to estimate how much your research into the origin of The Urantia Book bothers you personally.  

This resort to Sherman is an indication of the frustration you feel with the Book.

You have serious difficulty establishing evidence which would support your assumptions about the human creation of the Book.

You are grabbing at straws.

Point S:

But my fears extend even further. There must be a personal psychology which prevents you from recognizing this dependence upon Sherman. You are seemingly unaware of the ultimate repercussions of this dependence. Sooner or later, a more rigorous and more objective assessment of your dependence upon this man will become evident to others. This implies that you are resorting to such extremes out of the depth of your own fears about the true nature of reality. I cannot help but come to another conclusion:  

This use of Sherman demonstrates a distortion of reality you will assume in order to retain your view of existence.

I am sorry if that conclusion sounds extreme. I am merely trying to get a handle on why you depend so much on this man. Perhaps, in making these assessments, we all can get a better handle on the personal elements which go into an evaluation of The Urantia Book. I emphatically believe that this unusual work must impact heavily upon any who have contact with it. It is not a superficial work. And this impact shows in the methodology you employ to support your views of existence.

It is natural for me to ask why you depend so much on this charlatan. Why do you not make more effort to talk with people who are more knowledgeable about the early formulation of policies surrounding the origin and publication of the Book. Did you assume an adversarial role from the beginning? Did you fear what you would learn from them? Did you condition your inquiries in a way that would prevent full, open, and honest accounts from them? Did you fashion your inquiries in a way that would bring evidence you wished to hear, but deny evidence you did not wish to hear? Perhaps you cannot collect valid and reliable information from them because those people recognize a basic dishonesty and unfairness in your approach. If you style your approach in a biased manner, and depend only upon evidence you wish to hear, you will pull yourself into a quagmire that will slowly but surely smother you. That is now happening to you.

Consider the following persons.

I have come to know Meredith Sprunger quite well. We have exchanged considerable materials and letters, have had detailed conversations, and have probed one another's limits. He served as President of the Urantia Brotherhood, was familiar with the files at 533, and spent countless hours with Sadler. The man has absorbed a gamut of tradition and knowledge about the origin of the Book. In none of his contact with Sadler or the organizations, and with their historic materials, was there ever a whisper of human origin to the Book. Sprunger believes the Book came through a mysterious miraculous process which he refuses to call miraculous; he feels there are no miracles in creation.

John Hales is the son of William Hales, one of those original persons who conspired to deprive Robert Burton of his vote in the management of the Book. He is the grandson of G. Willard Hales, a person who once was a member of the Contact Commission. The history of the Hales family goes back to the beginning of the phenomenon of the Sleeping Subject. John probably knows more about the historic files and the origin of the Book than any other living person. There has never been a hint from John about a conspiracy to defraud the public about such origin. He has not had a slip of the tongue, not a misstatement, not a mysterious remark. John believes in the miraculous origin of the Book as much as does Meredith.

Carolyn Kendall served as receptionist for Sadler during the period of Sherman's sojourn in Chicago(6). Never has Carolyn made an allusion, suggestion, or insinuation of a conspiracy in the creation of the Book. She believes in its origin as wholeheartedly as do Sprunger and Hales.

These persons are all honest, upright individuals. They may display human weakness; they may not exercise sound judgments; but they are not devious personalities. If I am to accept your theory I must deny the testimony of these people. And I must deny the testimony of forthright and honest men like Burton and Bedell. I cannot do that. I must see your theory as an attempt to avoid the implications of a divine revelation. And that strictly because you cannot accept that there may be a real, living God in action in his universe.

Then I must come to grips with the high level of technical expertise demonstrated within the Book. Although you may claim that the science is that of earlier periods someone had to have sufficient knowledge to write intelligently about it. Who was that person or persons? Can you identify him or them?

In earlier letters I demonstrated that the authors of the Book had a wide gamut of knowledge, far beyond that known by even the most erudite modern scholar. In exploring its many presentations I found myself discovering information which is not found in our modern scholarly productions. And I have other information of which you are not yet aware. If I am to accept a conspiracy theory I must find an explanation of how these materials were incorporated into the Book by a group of lay people from the Midwest who had limited education in such fields.

I could go on and on. All persons associated directly or indirectly with the origin and history of the Book will deny any such theory from you.

In order to pull off such a conspiracy it would have had to involve the most elaborate and the most cohesive agreement among the largest group of disparate personalities ever to occur on this planet. It would have been a conspiracy of unbelievable proportions.

And then we must consider motives. Why would these people, ordinary conservative Midwesterners, have gone to such extremes to defraud the rest of mankind? What could they possibly gain from it except extreme social condemnation if their conspiracy should be exposed? There was no gain from such work, except pride that could not be disclosed to anyone. Even a proposal of monetary gain falls flat on its face; for many years the Foundation has adamantly refused to give wide distribution to the Book. The policies of slow distribution were supported by everyone until Martin Myers began his deceptions.

A belief in conspiracy escapes all bounds of reason. This divine revelation, this amazing production, is causing you to lose your ability to properly estimate reality. You are entering areas of self delusion.

Please do not misunderstand my motives. This fact is of great concern to me, because I consider you to be a brother.


In my many letters to you I have occasionally introduced theological issues. You have consistently not responded to those points. Perhaps you do not want to become embroiled in waste of time and energy in areas where resolution is impossible. But they do offer a serious area of investigation for evaluation of the origin of the Book. You cannot provide competent evaluation without theological illustration. The heart of the Book is its religious inspiration; to accomplish your task expertly you must draw some form of estimate. I have not seen the chapter which compares The Urantia Book with the Oahspe Book. Perhaps you do some theological discussion there. But I surmise that you limit yourself to superficialities. It is essential to your purpose that you illustrate the sensational aspects of the Revelation.

In a superficial reading you may be disturbed by celestial beings of multitudinous and varied orders flitting around through space. Or you may detest the possibility that they are invisible to us. Or you may refuse the possibility that the worlds of space are occupied by such orders of being. Like many before you, you can be trapped by those trappings.

But there are numerous other areas where you could maturely contribute to your estimate of the value of the Revelation. I raised one of those in my letter of Sept 6(7). That was a curious little study. It was also a study with tremendous significance to any theory of the origin of The Urantia Book. I am happy that you gave me a ten-word sentence in acknowledgement. What you apparently did not recognize is the potential of that study for evaluation of the origin of the Book without getting embroiled in theological arguments.

I have since talked with several individuals. They were as impressed as you. And they recognized its significance to any estimate of the Revelation. All unanimously admitted that they were unaware of that unique and singular design of the Book. I attach a copy of one letter where this sentiment is expressed. This is further testimony that--

Point Q:  

No human being associated either with the origin or with use of the Book recognized this unique and singular design.

That fact has potent ramifications, but you gave me a ten-word sentence in response! Do you not recognize how I cannot assess your psychology as anything but one of fear of deeper investigation?

I do not want to overburden this letter to consider other false assertions by Sherman but the responsibility must be faced. For example, he claimed that the Jesus Papers were an afterthought; there was no indication of their inclusion as part of the original revelation. Again, that is patent nonsense.

The name Jesus is used in 2800 paragraphs in The Urantia Book. 114 of those occur prior to the Jesus Papers. Whoever designed the Book consistently avoided assigning the name Christ to the human Jesus from front cover to back cover. I clearly and amply demonstrated that this could not have been the work of Sadler; he did not know the rules for use of the names. I also demonstrated why this could not have come out of conscious intent by any member of the Forum. If any human being had incorporated that design into the Book they certainly would have told others about it; it carries tremendous theological implications. It could not have been an idle design. This conclusion is easily deduced from the nature of those implications, as I briefly illustrated. Therefore, neither Sadler nor any Forum member could have had a hand in the creation of the Jesus Papers, either as part of the original design, or as an afterthought, nor could they have had a hand in their editing. Since the rules of use of the names are consistent throughout the Book, and since nearly 2700 instances of the name Jesus are in Part IV, the authors of that Part had to continue to observe those rules an average of 3.5 times per page without a single error. This means that the same hand was at work throughout the Book.

I shall not cite passages (it seems rather useless to do so) but it is clear that anticipation of the Jesus Papers was known in the design of the Book before any of it was revealed. Numerous technical elements support such assertion. Sherman was not aware of that design. He was so bogged down in psychic desires he could not objectively examine the Book, nor did he have the talent for such technical analysis. It was easy for him to believe the Book derived from psychic sources. It was easy for him to bring false accusations; he had no conscience to suppress his hatred for Sadler. And this psychic, this paranormalist, this weak and false individual, this deluded man, is the sole, the only, the solitary source of support for your theories of conspiracy. And even that is the most flimsy evidence, based strictly on an imaginary hurt from a paranormalist whom you should despise.

You can come to grips with reality. You can become more objective and more scientific in your evaluation. You have a copy of the Book; you can verify the conclusions of my study. With a one-page questionnaire you could obtain solid evidence on the knowledge of the Urantia community, both from those who were associated with the origin of the Book, and from those who believe in it. And you can arrive at your own estimates of the possibility or probability that Sadler and members of the Forum conspired to incorporate this design. It is a fruitful but simple area for further research without becoming embroiled in theological arguments. I offered it to you because it is so easy.



Other evidence contributes to rejection of your theories of the human creation of The Urantia Book.

I clearly demonstrated that Bedell and Burton could not have been involved in a conspiracy to edit the Book. Such theory violates sense and reason, to the extent that it is delusional. Therefore, if changes were made in the Book they had to be limited to the actions of Sadler. But there are several potent arguments why this other theory is also delusional. The one thing Sadler would not do was permit anyone, including himself, to fool around with the text of the Book. It was inviolate.

If you maintain such theory you must explain why Bedell and Burton did not bring accusation of Book changes against Sadler. You now have a better estimate of their vociferous defense of the Revelation and any human attempt to modify it, to suppress it, or to destroy it. Any action to modify the text would have been met with extreme objection by those two men. Since they were both intimately familiar with the text from the first stages of creation of the Book, they would have known of any changes taking place after 1935 and would have strenuously made it known. They never did!

But they surely did bring accusations of an altogether different kind. To assess their integrity and honesty all you need do is weigh the expressed and transparent intent, purpose and concern of those two men.

Both detested the autocratic structure which Sadler created in the Foundation. Bedell was in contest with Sadler over this from the beginning back in the 1940's(8). And he was correct. It led to the later inevitable dictatorial transfer of control to a man like Martin Myers. Refer to Bedell's document I quoted above. Refer also to paragraph 5 of the Burton statement. Their concerns were with policies which would stifle the Revelation, not with false accusations of editorial changes by Sadler. There is not a whisper of such possibility from those two men, nor from any other member of the Forum, but there is a clear concern over the policies of the Foundation, policies which had their roots in Sadler's original design of the earthly structures entrusted with the Revelation.

You can observe the shape of this problem from the work of Mark Kulieke. He is tied intimately to Tom and Carolyn Kendall, and to his flat perspective of the justification for Foundation policies. They all appeared together at a presentation at the recent conference in St. Hyacinthe. Poor, misguided, and manipulated Tom got up and tried to defend his pursuit of the policies which created so much havoc. I pitied the man. He simply does not understand the nature of his actions which led to such trouble. And the roots of those policies go back to the death of Lena and the shape of Sadler's process after that event.

I believe Lena was an excellent modifying influence on Sadler. She had her feet on the ground and her heart with God. She was the one who insisted that the Revelation was a miracle produced by celestial visitors. Sadler continued to see it as an unexplainable psychic phenomenon.

In previous letters I discussed Bud Kagan's remark about the sequence which led finally to Sadler's acceptance of the Revelation as the work of our invisible brothers. Remember, one paper a week from 1936, until the Paper on the apostles, which was the culminating clincher for Sadler. This would take us to the time of Lena's death. Those two events must have been nearly coincident. It is even possible that her death was the weight which brought Sadler around. But then something else began to happen within Sadler. It is here that you have not worked out the psychology of the influences which brought Sadler's autocratic attitudes and the later Foundation troubles.

Bud Kagan described the apocryphal atmosphere which pervaded 533 when he first came to know those people in the early 1950's. There were all kinds of stories about contact from celestial visitors, and the directions they were offering. That environment provided the context for real trouble.

When I first examined the trademark instructions touted so vehemently by Martin Myers I recognized the influence of Caligastia. There are certain characteristic ingredients in his productions which are repugnant to me. I reviewed those in my Open Letter to Martin Myers.

The great puzzle for me was an explanation of how those elements entered into the care of the Book. I resorted to a source in Myers, through occult seance sessions, and his manipulation of Christy after Sadler died. I concluded that he had created the trademark instruction with dictatorial imposition on weak Christy and, through her, upon equally weak Tom Kendall. However, as our investigations have unfolded, it began to appear that such influence existed from an earlier period. I then sensed that Carolyn Kendall's claim of origin of the trademark instruction in 1942 might have merit.

That possibility came about because of the psychological changes which were taking place in Sadler after Lena's death, and after his unreserved acceptance of the Revelation as miraculous.

But there was still another element which I felt had to exist: the death of the Sleeping Subject. I felt that Sadler had to experience a loss which would move him over to the acceptance of psychic instructions. If that source of instructions no longer existed he might have been looking for a substitute. Or, there was a possibility that the Sleeping Subject had ceased functioning and Sadler could no longer look to him. Remember, no one, including Sadler, had any control over when that phenomenon would take place. If Sadler waited around after the full text of the Book arrived, and after the initial instructions for publication of the Book, and nothing further happened he might have felt isolated and alone, especially with Lena gone.

Please remember, I am merely trying to find a scenario which would explain how events unfolded.

The scenario I have opted for is the permissive step of Sadler to approve someone on the Contact Commission to engage in channeling. And here is where you should look for channeling, not in the origin of the Book. I believe that person was Christy. I believe she attempted to contact the celestial world. And I believe she was successful; unfortunately, it was the wrong source.

Then the perversions began. They received trademark instructions. They received a location for the spiritual pole of the planet. They received an assignment of Norson as Vicegerent Planetary Supervisor. They received Sonsovocton as a character who could approve their actions. Sonsovocton had the same origin as Norson and the giant Sequoia.

Carolyn Kendall stated publicly in the Origins meeting at the St. Hyacinthe conference that they sometimes heard voices directly from the air. She also stated that Christy continued to receive instructions for policy decisions until she lost ability to function, certainly through the period of the internal trademark debate in the 1960's. This is the major reason for believing it was Christy who channeled. She was the "instrument."

The difficulty in human recourse to celestial directions is the psychological dependence which ensues upon that practice. If the midwayers would weekly offer me demonstrations of their presence I would come to look forward to that contact and would begin to avoid my own personal will. I would become psychologically dependent and indecisive. Therefore, it seems to me that contact from the celestial realms would be severely limited. It would occur only at times of crucial importance. It would not be daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. It would be tied directly to importance of functional development of events. It is on these grounds that I must deny Christy's assumption of authority in contact with the celestial realms. And it is on these grounds also that I believe her contacts were with evil sources. This leads to an extreme difficulty in understanding of how much Sadler may have been influenced by this practice, starting in the late 1930's and continuing to the publication of the Book, and in later policy decisions.

In this assessment it is important to realize that Sadler continued to deny paranormal origins to the Book in his 1958 statement. He never accepted those phenomena as part of the Book. But he may have come to accept them as part of his instructions and therefore as part of the ensuing policy decisions. In spite of all this, the Book remained intact. And how I thank God that his hand is more powerful than that of any fallen Sons.

There was one thing Sadler would not do; he would not change the text of the Book. He had the miraculous nature of its appearance to sustain him, and he had instruction which made that perfectly clear.


Consider the gossip you are getting from Sherman and Belk about Sadler's moral character. In 1942 Sadler was 67 years old. Perhaps he was a lecherous old man, but I seriously doubt it. He was not that kind of character. At 67 sex was passing him by, as it does all of us sooner or later. Consider my sex life; do I entice pretty young things into my office to squeeze them? Consider your sex life; do you go around pinching nice round bottoms?

Where is your head? Don't you see that you are squirming under the possibility of this revelation? Don't you understand how it frightens you? Don't you understand why you must denigrate and defame Sadler? Is this the way to offer truth and understanding to the world? Have you employed such techniques in all of your scholarly life?

Again, you are grabbing at straws!

I have a lot of respect for the depth of your research and for your scholarly abilities. That is what has kept me in such heavy contact with you. But you have become so engrossed in disproving a miracle that you cannot see the forest for the trees. And about the only tree you can see is Sherman. He looms large in your vision.

It is crucially important that you disprove the Revelation. You will dig everywhere you can find, exaggerate the most trivial instance, and seek others who became disillusioned with the Revelation in order to cling to your views of the universe. You created a logical conceptual structure about God, one that is not based on a real living spiritual experience, and you must defend it. You are a defender of a faith that is now dimming in the conscience of the entire world. That is fine. That is your prerogative. But do not cast away your scholarly integrity and the reputation you spent so many years building in order to achieve that end. Remain true to standards of honesty and fairness to the evidence, all the evidence.




1. This statement suggests that the Sleeping Subject was still alive in 1942.

2. These abbreviations are a shorthand notation for references to judgments handed down by United States Courts. 210 USPQ 217 is Volume 210 of the United States Patent Quarterly, page 217.

3. Kristen Maaherra, then living in Tucson, Arizona, was sued on February 27, 1991 by the Urantia Foundation for both copyright and trademark violations. She had created the Urantia text on computer disks and distributed those free of charge to all who asked. She also placed a copy of the three concentric circles on the disks.

4. See following Chapter.

5. Refer to additional legal confirmation in the following chapter.

6. This was an error on my part. Carolyn Kendall did not become Sadler's receptionist until the early 1950's.

7. Refer to Appendix C where I analyze the use of Christ names within The Urantia Papers.

8. This concern by Bedell dates to the early 1930's, as I shall show in the following chapter.