CHAPTER 34
 

KNOWN ALTERATIONS TO THE TEXT

We know from the printing record of the Urantia Foundation that alterations were made to the text of the Revelation without public announcement or justification for those changes. Although the official position of the Foundation was to classify them as insignificant they were warning flags of the attitude of William Sadler, Christy, and Bill Sadler, Jr. concerning the purity of the text. The Contact Commission had been through a series of changes in the early 1940's; this experience diluted their respect for a divine revelation.

In my paper on Text Changes in The Urantia Papers I did an exhaustive evaluation of all known changes in the Foundation printing history from the first printing in 1955 through #11 in 1992. At the time of my analysis I took the position that the changes were benign. I attempted to discover causes in human psychology or simple human error. I was not able to use this rationale for some of the changes, and postponed discovery of their causes to future investigators. Little did I realize at that time how I would become involved in assignment to Caligastia. I fully respected Sadler's integrity, and simply was unwilling to accept that the Devil had inveigled himself into 533.

In this chapter I shall concentrate on those printing changes which now come under the eye of suspicion as assignable to Caligastia.

PROBLEM #1  

The telltale remark was given by Sadler:
 

What has just been recorded refers more particularly to Parts I, II, and III of the Urantia Book. Part IV -- The Jesus Papers -- had a little different origin. They were produced by a midwayer commission and were completed one year later than the other Papers. The first three parts were completed and certified to us in A. D. 1934. The Jesus Papers were not so delivered to us until 1935.

We immediately run into our first contradiction. On page 1319 we are told:  
 

[This paper, depicting the seven bestowals of Christ Michael, is the sixty-third of a series of presentations, sponsored by numerous personalities, narrating the history of Urantia down to the time of Michael's appearance on earth in the likeness of mortal flesh. These papers were authorized by a Nebadon commission of twelve acting under the direction of Mantutia Melchizedek. We indited these narratives and put them in the English language, by a technique authorized by our superiors, in the year A.D. 1935 of Urantia time.]

Sadler clearly distinguishes between Parts I, II, and III. Those three parts were completed and certified in 1934. But the statement in the Revelation says Part III was indited and put into the English language in 1935.

Internal evidence also suggests Part III was revealed in 1934.

The Revelators appear to always date their text from the year in which they presented it to us.  
 

P.354 - §8 These thirty-one papers depicting the nature of Deity, the reality of Paradise, the organization and working of the central and superuniverses, the personalities of the grand universe, and the high destiny of evolutionary mortals, were sponsored, formulated, and put into English by a high commission consisting of twenty-four Orvonton administrators acting in accordance with a mandate issued by the Ancients of Days of Uversa directing that we should do this on Urantia, 606 of Satania, in Norlatiadek of Nebadon, in the year A.D. 1934.

These thirty-one papers make up Part I.

This is confirmation of Sadler's statement about Part I.  
 

P.648 - §6 This paper on Universal Unity is the twenty-fifth of a series of presentations by various authors, having been sponsored as a group by a commission of Nebadon personalities numbering twelve and acting under the direction of Mantutia Melchizedek. We indited these narratives and put them in the English language, by a technique authorized by our superiors, in the year 1934 of Urantia time.

These twenty-five papers make up Part II.

This again is confirmation of Sadler's statement about Part II.

Within Part III we find the following remarks:  
 

P.707 - §7 From the year A.D. 1934 back to the birth of the first two human beings is just 993,419 years.

P.710 - §6 It is just 993,408 years ago (from the year A.D. 1934) that Urantia was formally recognized as a planet of human habitation in the universe of Nebadon.

P.716 - §7 Onagar was born 983,323 years ago (from A.D. 1934), and he lived to be sixty-nine years of age.

P.828 - §1 Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia, from the year A.D. 1934, 37,848 years ago.

The references on page 707 and 710 appear in Paper 62, those on page 716 appears in Paper 63, and those on page 828 appears in Paper 74.

These four reference confirm that these Papers appeared in 1934.

Hence, the statement at the end of Part III not only contradicts Sadler's remark -- it also contradicts the dates given within three Papers within that Part.

The only reasonable way to reconcile these contradictions is to conclude that the statement at the end of Part III is incorrect.

This evidence is strongly suggestive that some human mortal, or a celestial personality, altered the statement at the end of Part III after those Parts of the Revelation were complete.

As I shall show in the following chapters, many of the contradictions, errors, and misstatements are located in single paragraphs, through the mechanisms of insertion of words, phrases, or sentences to alter the meaning.

Sadler described how these changes came about:
 

In a way, there was a third presentation. After receiving these 196 Papers, we were told that the "Revelatory Commission" would be pleased to have us go over the Papers once more and ask questions concerning the "Clarification of Concepts" and the "Removal of Ambiguities." This program again covered several years. During this period very little new information was imparted. Only minor changes were made in any of the Papers. Some matter was added -- some removed -- but there was little revision or amplification of the text.

Now we can understand what Sadler meant by "a third presentation." The statements by Carolyn Kendall of the "first series" and "second series" provides a context for this "third presentation." The third was the context for the corruptions by Caligastia.

Sadler does not state when this request by the "Revelatory Commission" appeared. From the sequence of events at 533, from Sadler's statements, and from anecdotal accounts, as recounted in previous chapters, this rework of the 196 Papers took place after 1939, the year Lena died.

We can see how the Forum was brought into this corrupting activity. The "Clarification of Concepts" and the "Removal of Ambiguities" was the key to their participation. It covered several years, from 1939 until 1942. It also provided a means for Caligastia to slip in his corruptions under the guise of "Improvements" to the Revelation.

I shall now reexamine the significant changes which took place between the first and second printings.

PROBLEM #2: Errors I Had Assigned to Habit of Mind

These were mistakes that could easily have been made as Christy typed the manuscript due to her unconscious expectation of a word or phrase, but that word or phrase was different from her expectation. Or they could have been conscious changes because of her judgment that the word was in error. They were:

a. changing the word "east" to "west" because Christy thought the migration of the red man over the Bering land straight should have been in that direction, Page 883,

b. changing eleven apostles into twelve after Judas left the group, Page 1943,

c. stating that the three wise men visited Jesus while he was in the manger, where his parents and he had clearly moved to another location when those men arrived, Page 1317, and

d. typing the word "Christ" when it should have been "Christ Michael," Pages 490 and 1024.

The direction of red-man migrations, and the visitation "in the manger" might have been such conscious alterations. If so, she did not hesitate to reconcile the Revelation words to her personal choices.

On the other hand, these four errors may have been introduced by Caligastia. They fit a pattern of simple word or phrase changes to contradict the Revelation.

PROBLEM #3: Logical Contradictions

Some contradictions may have been due to lack of understanding by the Contact Commission. They were mistakes which immortal beings would not have made, unless that immortal being was a rebellious Prince.

They include:

The Word "other":

On page 3 in the Foreword is a list of "perfection in all phases and forms of relativity..." In item #5 the word "other" was removed from "in all manifestations." This appears to have been removed for logical reasons. All manifestations cannot be "other" and must be absolute.

Lazarus Leaves Town:

The statement on page 1849 that Lazarus remained at the Bethany home until the day of the crucifixion of Jesus is contradicted by other passages. "Day" was then changed to "week."

The Number of Fallen Sons:

The numbers given on pages 581 and 608 do not agree. The error seems to be a simple transcription mistake.

PROBLEM #4: The Scientific Mistakes

A most disturbing characteristic of the Papers is their scientific inaccuracies. It is one thing for divine revelators to hedge, and not reveal; it is quite another to state falsehoods. And just such falsehoods exist in the Papers.

Here I limit my discussion to those which were detected through changes made in the text between the first and second printings. In a following chapter I shall discuss the more substantial scientific errors.

These important errors show that some hand was at work to pollute the Revelation.

Density Of A Nearby Sun

Page 460: The density of a nearby sun was first given as about sixty thousand times that of our sun. After the first printing this was changed to forty thousand.

This was a clear conscious choice, based on factors which are not clear.

If we assume the values given in the text, the mass of the nearby sun began about the same as our sun, at 2 X 10 (to the 27 power) tons. (See page 459. Our scientific estimates are near this value.) If it has contracted to the size of our planet, the average density should be much greater than either forty or sixty thousand, with calculation based on the original mass, and the diameter of that sun now about the same as the earth's diameter. (The ratio of the densities would be simply the ratio of the cubes of the respective diameters.) Calculation based on the mass of our sun, and the volume of the earth, again gives numbers much greater than the one ton per cubic inch provided in the text.

These numbers cannot be verified from simple calculations based on diameters and masses. Stars have density gradients, with the outer regions much less dense than the inner regions. Assumptions must be made about the gradients and the location of "average" densities. Perhaps the "average" density based on earth diameter was not used to make the statement, but rather a density somewhere along the density gradient.

In any case this is not a simple transcription mistake, nor a value which Christy would have modified from personal logic.

The Masses Of Nuclear Particles

Page 477: Another mistake exists in the numbers assigned to the sizes and masses of atoms, electrons and protons.

This is the original, first printing, text:
 

"Each atom is a trifle over 1/100,000,000th of an inch in diameter, while an electron weighs a little less than 1/2,000th of the smallest atom, hydrogen. The positive proton, characteristic of the atomic nucleus, while it may be no larger than a negative electron, weighs from two to three thousand times more."

"If the mass of matter should be magnified until that of an electron equaled one tenth of an ounce, then were size to be proportionately magnified, the volume of such an electron would become as large as that of the earth. If the volume of a proton, eighteen hundred times as heavy as an electron, should be magnified to the size of the head of a pin, then, in comparison, a pin's head would attain a diameter equal to that of the earth's orbit around the sun."

In all printings after the first, the word "less" was changed to "more" in the first paragraph, and the phrase "from two to three thousand times more" was changed to "almost two thousand times more."

Obviously, these changes were more than spelling, typographical errors, or simple substitution.

Two factors enter into the changes. First, internal consistency, and second, modern scientific measurements. If the mass of a proton is "eighteen hundred times as heavy" as that of an electron, as stated in the second paragraph, it could not be "two to three thousand time more," as stated in the first paragraph. This was a glaring contradiction. Current scientific estimates place the value at 1,836.

The impression we might receive is that someone had a passing knowledge of the ratio of the masses and might have remembered it as "two to three thousand times more," rather than the precise figure. But this would mean that the statement had human origin. If so, why would they permit a direct contradiction to exist in the next paragraph?

The additional error of "less" to "more" in the first paragraph accentuates the fact that the errors are solely in that paragraph, not in the following paragraph. Was the entire paragraph humanly created? Given the lack of human attention to the various errors, and the lack of persons familiar with atomic science among the Contact Commission, it seems hardly possible that a human mortal would have taken the time to concentrate on this detail.

The fact that this contradiction was removed between the first and second printing shows that it should have been evident at a careful reading of the text. After all, the two paragraphs are immediately adjacent to one another. Why was it left in there for the first printing? Did Sadler believe it was a divine statement, and hence he should not change it, regardless of the contradiction? He probably did not notice it, and trusted the source of the statement. Only after it was brought to his attention by later students did he decide to change it.

Did he have thoughts about when the error might have been inserted into the text? Did he remember such detail many years later?

Again, this is an example of simple changes in a single paragraph to create a contradiction. Perhaps the entire short paragraph was introduced by Caligastia to create the contradiction.

Well-Nigh Instantaneous

Page 478: At the top of the page appears a statement about nuclear stability as more than 100 electrons are introduced artificially into one atomic system. The result is the "well-nigh" instantaneous disruption of the central "proton," with wild dispersion of the electrons. The hyphenated term "well-nigh" was missing in the first printing.

The following remarks were made by Ken Glasziou, in his evaluation of scientific mistakes in the Papers:  
 

"Element 100 is fermium. It was first detected in the debris of a hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952. Its most stable isotope has a half life of 80 days. It would be expected to occur "naturally" at some stage during the life time of many stars."

"Element 101 is mendelevium. Mendelevium 256 was first produced in 1955 by bombarding an isotope of element 99, einsteinium 253, with alpha particles accelerated in a cyclotron. It had a half life of 1.3 hours. Mendelevium 258 has since been synthesized and has a half-life of 54 days. Whether either is produced by a "natural" process in a star is a matter for debate, but whether they would ever occur on a world (planet) via a natural process appears to be unlikely."

Regardless if the statement on page 478 was meant to be "instantaneous" or "well-nigh instantaneous" it does not reflect material reality.

Virtually all of the above examples show some influence at work to "pollute" the text. These examples are all based on changes that Sadler made between the first and second printing. In following chapters I shall show many mistakes that were never corrected.

We know that Sadler had no compunctions about making changes to the text through his own authority. With his conscious and intelligent hand at play after 1955, these changes were introduced into the text, but they were hidden from the general public. Not until the work of Merritt Horn and Kristen Maaherra was the public aware of those changes.

If Sadler had no compunction about making changes between printings, then why would he have compunctions about making changes to the original text? Perhaps he did. But if he trusted the malevolent influence which appeared after 1939, and the changes suggested by that "divine authority," Sadler became accustomed to the idea of changes.

Furthermore, if, by chance, some of the additions to the text came from human sources, a specter raised by Matthew Block's work, then purely human material, not originating through the hand of the true revelators, might have been incorporated into the text. This purely human material might have degraded Sadler's respect for, at least, those portions of the text. Was it also introduced by Caligastia?

This review leaves us with a crucial question.

If Caligastia were to denigrate the Revelation how would he go about doing it?

We must consider several elements.

Certain passages stood out in the minds of Sadler and the Forum as exhibiting great truth. One of those was the descriptions of the apostles. Those descriptions were the straw that broke the camel's back in convincing Sadler that the Papers had origin other than from the subconscious mind of the Sleeping Subject. If Caligastia were to subvert the text his chances of changing such outstanding passages were slim or none, without arousing suspicions. Therefore, he had to work in areas which were not so striking. With his powers he certainly knew which passages he could alter without arousing suspicion. Unfortunately, the task of mapping the Papers to determine those passages is complex and difficult. Perhaps it will never be done.

Another possible method for approaching the problem of suspect passages is to consider the different intellectual realms of the human mind. The potential influence of the Papers on human kind are rich in many areas: future theological developments, new insights into psychological understanding, philosophical speculations about the formation and structure of the universe, shaping orientations to new perspectives on material relationship, i.e., new attitudes about science, and so on. Many of us who have lived with the Revelation for a good number of years find ourselves reorienting our notions about creation, purpose, God, and destiny.

Therefore, it would be supremely easy for a celestial personality with the powers of Caligastia to slip in a word here and there that would bring drastic alteration in attitudes, and in human rumination. Here the problem is far more than simple contradictions. We are now in a depth of intellect which ranges beyond many human minds. Then we are forced back to our recognition of truth, and guidance from God in determining the validity of the Revelation statements and discourse.

In none of the above example do we find errors that might have caused a profound change in theological thinking.

We should keep in mind that the Devil's most immediate challenge was to stifle the Revelation in its infancy. If he could find ways to bring early dispute he would further his purpose of "spoilation." This early concern was illustrated by the "scientific mistakes" and by the work of Martin Gardner. On the other hand, he probably would also work toward the far future in the event the Revelation should continue to grow.

We should also recognize that he would not so easily attack the general biography of Jesus and his teachings. The events of the life of Jesus as portrayed in the Papers are profoundly impressive. Many of the teachings of Jesus in the Papers had strong foundation in Christian tradition. Therefore he probably would be more cautious in defiling the teachings although he could bring contradictions on dates and facts. Again, I shall offer illustration.

We are a materialistic society. Our orientations, hopes and dreams, are centered around our material developments. And these depend upon our scientific research and developments. Because of our materialistic orientations the scientific material would also be the first tested, and the first detected. If the Devil could get well-trained scientific minds to examine the Revelation he could have the first real doubt cast upon it. Why should he not concentrate in those areas?

Of course, this approach would be subject to the test of truth. If the truths of the Revelation were striking to those who delved into the Revelation, then the scientific errors might be overshadowed by those truths. And this is exactly the fifty-year history of the Revelation.