The Controversy over the Concordex

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The Controversy over the Concordex
Excerpts from relevant correspondence between
Clyde Bedell and Urantia Foundation, 1969 - 1977
Prepared by Carolyn Kendall, 1978

The first edition of the CONCORDEX, published in 1971, with a second printing in l973, had 315 pages, with an introductory section of 30 pages.  The second edition, published in l974 consists of 438 pages, and an introduction of 44 pages, plus one page at the end of the book which could also be classified as “introductory”. From Foundation Minutes, 10-10-69

“The correspondence with Mr. Clyde Bedell concerning his expanded list of references to the Urantia Book on which he is now working, was reviewed.  Mr. Bedell has proposed that the list of references be distributed by the Urantia Foundation, and that the amount realized therefrom be credited to the remaining $__________ due on his pledge for the second printing of the Urantia Book.  The Trustees felt that the Foundation should not commit itself at this time.  Mr. Kendall was instructed to write to Mr. Bedell expressing appreciation for his efforts, and suggesting that Mr. Bedell send the Foundation a copy of the list – when completed,…”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 10- 31-69

“…we feel that the next step should be our review of the index itself. … Why not give us the chance to react to the index itself so that we can be forthright with you in estimating the interest that would likely develop.  … You could … send a copy to us when you have it typed; …”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter, 11-5-69

“I would welcome anyone you would care to send out here to spend several days probing what I am doing … Do anything you want, to enable your representative finally to say:  ‘THE FOUNDATION WILL, (OR WILL NOT) recommend this LISTING as a constructive, ever-so-helpful, but unofficial companion to the Urantia Book.’  … I will abide by an agreement we make as to how we can profit the FOUNDATION THROUGH THE SALE OF BOOKS. … If you wish to be utterly and completely unconnected with my enlarged LIST, simply say so.  I will respond that I must of necessity take a little longer, … to discharge my pledge.  I will then print a little paragraph in the Book saying that my list represents a personal labor of love, that it was not authorized by the FOUNDATION, and has no official connection whatever with the Foundation.  Then, when the Book is completed and available, you may look it over to your heart’s content.  If you wish to sell it, we will make some arrangement to that end that will at least take care of my pledge.  If you don’t, I will find my own ways to get the new LISTING into the hands of the people who want it.”

Tom Kendall to John Dionner (Foundation Attorney), Letter, 11-20-69

“See enclosed soft cover booklet of references to the Urantia Book.  We neglected to have you review this prior to its being printed.  We are now confronted by a second version of this list of references, which is larger than the one enclosed.  Mr. Bedell proposes to publish the second list in hardcover and sell it personally, and through the Urantia Foundation.  We have not actually seen or reviewed this revised version ourselves.

Please advise whether this type of work has to have our approval before publication.” …

“The plan, therefore, that the hard cover edition of the book may be sold in part through the Urantia Foundation seems a perfectly logical and desirable one; and it will in no way constitute an inadvertent or foolish relinquishment of any lawful right properly vested in the Foundation.”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 12-17-69

“Your letter convinces us that you have carefully considered many aspects of the matter of composing and publishing your second ‘List of Personal References.’ … Our opinion (is confirmed), that your second ‘Index’ will be a useful tool in the study of the Urantia Book; more useful than the first.  We agree with you, though, that no listing will ever be ‘complete and consummate.’ … The Trustees believe they could assist you in the sale of your second index as they did with your first work.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter 1-7-70

“I am assuming from your favorable response that I can discharge my pledge to the Foundation through turning some of these books into money for you.”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 1-13-70

“You are correct in your assumption that you may discharge your pledge to the Foundation through turning of the books into money.”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 1-23-70

“In further response to your recent letter to Christy regarding permission to quote from the Urantia Book on your CONCORDEX, such permission is granted for the use of the paragraphs indicated in your letter.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter 10-27-70

“I am using my own judgment as to ‘front of the book material’, introduction, etc.  My original intention was to send it to you all for approval.  Decided against it.  To do that would imply official approval or sponsorship, and this must be avoided.  I, and I alone, should be responsible for what is in the CONCORDEX, and the FOUNDATION in case any bobble shows up, or any error of judgment, should be able to say the CONCORDEX had approval, but details of carrying it out, introductory material, and so on, represents one man’s best judgment whether everyone agrees fully with them or not.”

Christy to Clyde Bedell, Letter 2-8-71

“We are very pleased to be able to turn the bookstore orders over to you as there has been some discussion here, as to what we could do about a discount. … I am glad to know that you will sell the Foundation the CONCORDEX at a 40% discount following our sale of the first 250 gratis copies.  We would like very much to have some leaflets about the CONCORDEX with a coupon and price attached.  The CONCORDEXES are being delivered to us today.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter 11-15-71

“…I address you briefly as Chairman of the Domestic Extension Committee. … I hope that you know that the remark has been made variously, by booksellers and individuals, that more people are buying the Urantia BOOK because the CONCORDEX is available.  I hope you know that many people are reading the BOOK more with the help of the CONCORDEX.  I hope you know that when an owner of both books shows them both to someone else who has some interest, the CONCORDEX makes the Urantia Book seem simpler to get into and to study.  Granting the truth of all this – has it occurred to you, Tom, that the FOUNDATION could make a profit while at the same time helping propagation of the Urantia Book, if everyone who buys the BOOK was told of the CONCORDEX? … There is about $3.00 profit for the FOUNDATION in every CONCORDEX sold, or for the good of the Brotherhood, isn’t it worthwhile?  If not for the profit, for the help and good of Urantia BOOK purchasers?”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 12-22-71

“I’m really not sure how we could give you more help in selling the Concordex.  We have repeatedly mentioned it in the Bulletin … Currently about 80% of Urantia Book sales are through book stores, and it is a little hard to see how we could inform these readers of the Concordex at time of purchase.  I understand we have furnished you with the names of many of our bookstore accounts.  If we come up with any other ideas on this subject we will get in touch with you, since your financial contribution to our efforts through Concordex sales is obviously valuable.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter 1-6-72

“As for selling the CONCORDEX . . . The best way for the Foundation to sell the CONCORDEX, which unquestionably helps sell more Urantia Books, would be for every Urantia Book sold to individuals to carry my eight page folder, … In most cases Urantia Book purchasers would then buy a CONCORDEX.  Yes, it would cost something to do it, but the profit should be beneficial to the Foundation.  Every Book Store COULD be sent a CONCORDEX MAILING, perhaps twice a year by you, until they had stocked the CONCORDEX. … There should be no reluctance, I think, for the FOUNDATION to promote the CONCORDEX until your INDEX is out. …”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 3-21-72

“We continue to sell the Concordex as orders come in.  You will be interested to know that we send a prospectus to every individual to whom we send a book.  We have had many compliments on your work.”

Tom Somin (reader) to Urantia Foundation, Letter 4-17-72

“I’m writing this letter to ask if anyone … in Chicago has read the introduction this man has written for his “Concordex”!?  Sample quotes:  “…multiplying and coddling baser orders of humanity.” … “…defectives” …”…weak and useless drones” … “…deviates” … I think it was very wise that this “Concordex” … was not published as an official volume by the Urantia Foundation, … In my years of association with various ‘occult’ groups, I’ve never run into anyone like Mr. Bedell.  He’s a new one on me!”

Christy to Tom Somin, Letter 4-17-72

“We believe the principal value of the CONCORDEX is its helpfulness to readers of the book during the preparation of the official Index. … please consider … that the preparer is alone responsible for any shortcomings, errors, and judgments.”

“The Trustees of the Urantia Foundation did not solicit these efforts, much less the introductory remarks, but were satisfied to accept the offer of the preparer to provide his own list of references.  The Trustees only permitted the association of the CONCORDEX with the Urantia Book insofar as it would serve as a help to locate references.”

Ssgt. USAF Geo. T. Johnson to Urantia Brotherhood, Letter 4-72

“I might add at this time, that I was displeased with the Concordex.  The introductions and comments on the flyleaf had the flavor of ‘Glory be!’ testimonials I learned to abhor from my contracted views dealing with the more narrow-minded churches I explored in my earlier searchings.  I was surprised your organization would allow these as endorsements, after as much as I read in The Urantia Book about how they generally regard this type of organized religion. … Pardon me if I’ve stepped firmly on Mr. Bedell’s toes, but it appeared inconsistent with all the impressions I’ve gotten from the book.”

Martin Myers to Tom Kendall, Memo, 11-30-73

“I wonder, too, if we could not work out some arrangement with Clyde for the assignment of his copyright to the Concordex of The Urantia Book, with a royalty arrangement to either him or his heirs, to run for a set period of years, with no duty on the Trustees to pursue an aggressive sales of the Concordex.  We should not be under any obligations that would perhaps compromise our publishing our own index.  I cannot help but continue to have very serious reservations about the propriety of Clyde’s having taken out a copyright in a work that is based 100% -- with the exception of his introductory material – on The Urantia Book, in which we as Trustees of the Urantia Foundation hold a copyright.”

Lyman Emrich to Jim Mills, Letter 12-14-73

“This is further to our telephone conversation, in which you reported to me your discovery that J. Weiss had written Clyde, to inquire whether Clyde had been obliged to obtain permission for the Foundation in order to publish his Concordance with The Urantia Book.  Not only is it now apparent that Weiss is seeking to obtain some support for the position that his Concordance is not a derivative work, but also it is clear that, in order to discourage others – including, particularly, someone like Burton King – from preparing a similar work, it will be to the definite interest of the Foundation, to have Clyde display a suitable notice. … I believe that I recall your mentioning … that it was possible that Clyde Bedell could be persuaded to assign the copyright in this new (second) edition of his Concordance.  This would certainly be highly desirable.  If Clyde is willing to execute such an assignment prior to the actual printing of his revised work, the above-noted copyright notice would, of course, be unnecessary and inappropriate.

Martin Myers to Jim Mills, Memo 12-16-73

“Thank you for your telephone call of Saturday, December 15th, regarding your conversation with Clyde earlier in the day.  It is fortunate that he is at least willing to add the notice of permission to his second edition as is set out in Lyman’s letter of December 14th, 1973, although an outright assignment is, of course, desirable.  As I understand from your explanation, Clyde offered what really amounts to a legal reason as to why he cannot assign, … offering opinion… about various matters, … precluding an assignment of his work to Urantia Foundation. … We should not be lulled into accepting Clyde’s excuse as to why he cannot assign without making certain that his reasoning is in fact supported in law.  The area of derivative works in the copyright law, as I understand it from Lyman, is still largely unsettled.  Consequently, we should be willing to articulate and enforce our interests – as we see them – to the fullest extent possible, lest by our inaction and inattention, we sacrifice some valuable point of law.”

From Foundation Minutes 1-17-74

“Pursuant to previous oral conversations and correspondence with Mr. Clyde Bedell in which he was advised that he had the permission of the Trustees to prepare a private list of references to the Urantia Book, and pursuant to further communication in which Mr. Bedell was granted permission to prepare a concordance with respect to the Urantia BOOK, …

“BE IT RESOLVED that the Trustees hereby confirm their grants of permission for these works.”

“The foregoing resolution was prompted by Mr. Bedell’s current preparation and plans for a much enlarged concordance to be entitled “Concordex”, Second Edition”, of the Urantia Book, it being understood that appropriate notice of copyright status of t he Urantia Book will be displayed.  The Trustees hereby grant permission for the preparation of this Second Edition.”

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that permission is granted to Mr. Bedell to quote certain passages from the Urantia Book, namely, … (List of 6 quotations to be used in CONCORDEX, follows.)

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 2-4-74

“…after consulting with our legal counsel and the other Trustees, we must insist that you use a color on the cover of your new edition different from that used on the cover of The Urantia Book.  This is especially important because you intend to use gold lettering, … The color you used on the cover of the Second Printing of your First Edition will be entirely satisfactory. …It is essential that we maintain a decidedly different appearance between your work and The Urantia Book for the future best interest of Urantia Foundation and this Fifth Epochal Revelation of Truth.  If the two books were markedly similar in appearance it would be assumed that there was an official connection between them.  This could set a precedent that the Foundation could find to be a problem in the future. … I understand that, although you wish to use a white stock for the dust jacket, the finished product will look quite different from our dust jacket, because you intend to use yellow and another color, not black. … Pursuant to the resolution adopted by the Trustees at our January 17th meeting, I am pleased to inform you that you are now officially authorized to publish the Second Edition of your new and enlarged Concordex. … With regard to the copyright in your Concordex, as I indicated in my December 3rd letter, we respect your reasons for retention of the copyright.  However, our interest in having you assign the copyright to Urantia Foundation is because your work is so obviously based on The Urantia Book and could be classified as a derivative work.  We are interested in discussing your assignment of the copyright to us at a future date.  The mood of the Trustees at present, is to require copyright, and probably publishing rights to be assigned to Urantia Foundation in any future work so closely based on The Urantia Book.”

Clyde Bedell to Christy and Tom Kendall, Letter 1-25-75

“I still rankle under Paul Snider’s DIRECT REMARK eye-ball to eye-ball with me immediately after the conference last summer, that he wished there was a way to have everyone have the Urantia Book a full year before they ever got hold of a Concordex.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall and Christy, Letter 6-4-75

“I have been selling CONCORDEXES to headquarters at 40% off list.  I now propose to try out selling CONCORDEXES to you at 75% off, at $3.00 each, so you can net $9.00 each … anything that encourages the sale of CONCORDEXES, encourages people to read and study The Urantia Book. … I never put a Urantia BOOK into the hands of ANYONE until after he (or she) has read – THE FIRST 32 pages of the CONCORDEX.”

“It is interesting to note that here is a second ANNUAL CONFERENCE, presumably to promote STUDY OF THE Urantia BOOK.  According to a high percentage of all the contacts I have been able to make, the CONCORDEX is the top aid by far, in this matter of aiding STUDY OF THE GREAT BOOK.  And yet, there is no spot on the program named for discussion of the CONCORDEX and its use. … From the standpoint of headquarters of the Brotherhood, … the CONCORDEX officially might as well not exist.  The 75% discount is the ‘other cheek’.  I have no more to turn.”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 7-28-75

“You make a generous offer concerning the increased discount on the sales of the Concordex.  Added revenue is always appreciated particularly as we grow.  This is a matter for consideration by Urantia Brotherhood Corporation, which actually sells the Concordex.  We will refer this to the Brotherhood for reply as soon as possible.  Everyone I have talked to who mentions the Concordex does so in a positive manner.  It is of great assistance as one tries to find that elusive thought, or attempts to follow a concept as it appears and re-appears throughout the Book.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter 10-27-75

“The crux of your letter was this:  ‘This is a matter for consideration by the Urantia Brotherhood for reply …’ … over 20 weeks have passed since my letter of June 4th, and I still have had no acceptance or rejection of my 75% discount offer.  The Brotherhood has apparently considered it and not deemed it worth comment, acknowledgment, or even the courtesy of a 10 cent reply of any kind.  I therefore withdraw the offer.  Your discount will continue at 40%.”

Christy to Clyde Bedell, Letter 11-4-75

“We are extremely sorry that we neglected to answer your letter for such a long period.  We fully appreciate your generosity and the many fine things you have done for us. … Please forgive us.  We love you.”

Clyde Bedell to Tom Kendall, Letter 11-20-75

“I appreciated your phone call of last evening.  I respect your forthrightness in taking the blame for the ‘lost discount.’ … I renew a generous discount proposal for the time being, but will make it a saner 60% instead of  75%. … This discount will begin with your next order.”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 12-8-75

“We are now checking to find the best way to handle your Concordex offer in line with the law now in effect governing Foundations.  This new legislation requires us to be very careful of all of our financial records and transactions.  Clyde, we really appreciate your thoughtfulness in wanting to help provide us with adequate funds to meet our current and future needs.”

From Foundation Minutes, 12-13-75

“The Trustees discussed Clyde Bedell’s recent proposal to sell Concordexes to Urantia Brotherhood Corporation at an increased discount – from 40% to 60%, the 20% increase to be given to Urantia Foundation as a donation.  Mr. Myers has taken this matter up with the accountants, Arthur Andersen & Co., and wrote them a letter dated December 10th, 1975. …”

Roy R. McCarthy of ARTHUR ANDERSEN & CO., to Martin Myers, 1-26-76

“I believe the best way to accomplish this is as follows:  Mr. Bedell would continue to sell his Concordex to the Corporation at the normal 40 percent discount.  He would then direct that the Corporation remit a portion of his sale proceeds to the Foundation as a charitable contribution on his behalf and the remainder to him.  Mr. Bedell should document this arrangement in a letter to the Corporation and the Foundation stating therein the amount or percentage he wishes transmitted by the Corporation to the Foundation. … Upon each purchase of the Concordex, the Corporation would record a purchase at the normal 40 percent discount price on Mr. Bedell’s behalf and to Mr. Bedell for the balance.  The voucher accompanying payment to Mr. Bedell should note that a portion of his sales proceeds have been transmitted to the Foundation as he has previously directed.  The funds transferred by the Corporation to the Foundation on Mr. Bedell’s behalf would be considered a contribution from him and not a receipt from the Corporation for the purposes of the l/3 support test.”

Paul Snider to Clyde Bedell, Letter 2-25-76

“To reiterate:  Urantia Brotherhood Corporation will continue to buy copies of the Concordex at 40% discount off list price.  Any additional discount you wish to provide will be made through a direct contribution in the amount of the additional discount.  Until you notify us of a change, the additional discount is 20% off list price, and will be sent in the form of a contribution to Urantia Foundation upon receipt of payment for the books ordered.”

Tom Kendall to Clyde Bedell, Letter 3-16-76

“To the Trustees, this method of handling the extra discount is an excellent one.  These funds can certainly be used to advantage and will be greatly appreciated for whatever period of time you choose to let the arrangement remain in effect.”

Meredith Sprunger to Clyde Bedell, Letter 7-14-76

“We would especially like to express our appreciation for the great service you have performed in compiling the CONCORDEX.  It is the product of many years of work and devotion.  The CONCORDEX is the most widely used aid in the study of The Urantia Book.  The Administrative Committee is considering ways in which more readers of The Urantia Book may be informed about the CONCORDEX.  We extend our gratitude and love.”

Clyde Bedell to Carolyn Kendall, Memo 3-27-77

“By summer 1978 either a fat, improved new CONCORDEX, 3rd edition, will be ready or in the works, and I believe, worthy of some attention by the General Conference attendees. … I suggest a CONCORDEX element in your total program with little hope.  For there is apparently a determination in Chicago to do nothing to help U Book readers toward this pre-eminent aid in their reading and study, and USE of the U Book.”

Clyde Bedell to Carolyn Kendall, Letter 4-14-77

“Just a hasty note to say I am sorry I suggested to you a spot on your upcoming program for a discussion of the CONCORDEX.  I have had a letter from Meredith that convinces me that you all at headquarters believe your motives alone are pure, and your decisions always right, ‘group judgment’.  He apparently believes anything I suggest should be done in order to help readers of the book by informing them adequately and suitably about the CONCORDEX is to somehow glorify myself.  This makes me ill.  Let’s forget it.  I regret having made the suggestion.”

Clyde Bedell to Meredith Sprunger, Letter 4-15-77

“Try to understand that what I am concerned with is not credit, but the promotion and advance of God’s Word – of the Book – getting it spread and used widely and usefully.  Can you not see that there is something distressing to me and to many other Urantians, and perhaps something shameful as far as headquarters is concerned, that great numbers of people even now, find out about the Concordex only years after they have owned the Book, and in many cases have let it languish when the Concordex would have helped them keep it alive and ever warmer in their hearts?  For they had no key, no help, no substantial aid to unlock for them its illimitable treasures.  No TREMENDOUS instigating aid  to the Book’s study! … from my contacts with many individuals that there are a host more who are being deprived of THEIR SINGLE GREATEST STUDY AID because of headquarters’ what? – timidity, intransigence, mistrust, weariness, …”

Clyde Bedell to Meredith Sprunger, Letter 4-26-77

“Isn’t it great that the headquarters Executive Committee can call everything they don’t own, commercial, so they can have an excellent “out” for NOT LIFTING A FINGER to help U Book purchasers know that this great aid to the Book’s use is available. .. Yes, there are some barbs in this letter.  It gives the Executive Committee a good excuse for being vexed with that ill-natured pest, Clyde Bedell.  It can soothe some consciences for not helping the Book in the most logical way on earth. … One (letter) is from a reader who never really got into the Book although he had owned it for 10 years.  For him, the Concordex was the ‘open sesame’.  How many of the 65,000 books in the hands of the public are still largely unread because the owners have not really got a grip, an entry, an open sesame to the Book?  DO YOU AT 533 FEEL NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIS – THESE LOST READERS? …De Vorss alone sells the Concordex to bookstores.  We sell about 100 books a month while you sell about 900.  You say:  ‘Go jump in the lake, Clyde.  Find your own way to distribute the CONCORDEX.  It’s YOUR baby.’ … You know, Tom Kendall called me long distance and asked me to deed the CONCORDEX over to the Foundation.  I refused.  I had been through experiences of offering even to 75% discount … to the Brotherhood on all books purchased, if they would simply wiggle a little to help readers find the CONCORDEX.  So I refused.  I sweat the blood that created the CONCORDEX.  It is my baby, my contribution on the same altar the U Book serves. … Would you turn your child over to such nice people who were so ineffectual?  Tom later wrote they still want to talk to me about taking over the CONCORDEX.  One cooperates with and aids people who are receptive and open-minded and act in kind. … I believe I will ultimately … have to set up my own plans and go my own way.  But I keep feeling they should have ‘one more chance’ ….at the moment I feel as the small corporation feels that is being pressured for a take-over by a big and heartless corporation that doesn’t give a damn about fairness or logic. … Now, until there is some change at headquarters in open-mindedness, objectivity, and rationale, I’ll drop the matter.”

Clyde Bedell to Meredith Sprunger, Letter 5-12-77

“Just suppose someone next year comes out with an utterly stupendous and fantastic new audio-visual aid that would grip and move people as they have never been gripped before by any religious-philosophical message. .. So, in their conservative stance, they say:  ‘We don’t care how it will win many thousands of young hearts and minds for the Urantia message.  We don’t own it, so it can shrivel and dry up as far as we are concerned.  Let the owner … ‘use other channels’. … Don’t get yourself irrevocably into the mental strait jackets that prevail at 533.  If the 533 organizations are mandated to protect and disseminate God’s fresh word, hold out for a vigorous, highly intelligent, up-to-date program for doing so … even if it makes headquarters THINK and SWEAT bullets to come up with policies that do the job, not that it exonerates the headquarters staff for NOT doing the job.”

Meredith Sprunger to Clyde Bedell, Letter 5-28-77

“As you know, Clyde, I recommended to the Executive Committee that we become the distributor of the Concordex.  The majority, however, did not agree with the recommendation.  As individuals we may not agree with the majority views, but as a Brotherhood we must work with group decisions.  I certainly do not blame you for protesting our decision or for going your own way in distributing the Concordex independent of our advice or help.  There is no indication that the Corporation or the Foundation will change their current policy. … I well know that you are not interested in personal gain, but are concerned about serving readers of The Urantia Book.  I’m sure the Executive Committee and the Foundation trustees also believe this.  But the majority differ with you concerning the wisdom of distributing the Concordex through the Brotherhood.”

The following are extracts from drafts of proposed policy statements which have not, to my knowledge, ever been formally adopted.  They are significant in that they may be relevant to the CONCORDEX and to other up-coming matters.

Policy of the Trustees of Urantia Foundation Regarding the Publishing or the Giving of Permission to Publish Major Works Related to The Urantia Book.  3- 18-74

“Though the Trustees of Urantia Foundation believe that The Urantia Book speaks grandly for itself, it is inevitable that a volume of the nature of The Urantia Book will engender much comment.  Most comment – even the very best – will, to some extent, be in derogation of the purity, unity, quality, consistency, balance, integrity, over-all symmetry, and eternal viewpoint of The Urantia Book. … “

“While it is difficult to set-out all of the considerations bearing on the decision to undertake to publish or to give permission to publish, various works related to The Urantia Book, or to the use of quotations taken from The Urantia Book, the following points will, hopefully, serve to set-out some of the guidelines which will undoubtedly influence the Trustees’ thinking.

  1. The proffered work must enhance The Urantia teachings in a major way.  (Of course, the work must not distort the teachings.)
  1. The work must promise to fill a major developing need of potentially long duration and not one that will be of transitory existence.

Memo from Trustees of Urantia Foundation to Urantia Brotherhood Corporation 4-20-77

“…we will offer some brief comments on the general subject of Urantia Brotherhood Corporation handling books or other materials which are not published by either Urantia Foundation or Urantia Brotherhood.  As time goes on, we could reasonably anticipate that there will be an increasing number of requests by various individuals and groups for Urantia Brotherhood Corporation to merchandise their products.  Many people would enjoy having the impression created that their work is officially sponsored by the Urantia organizations.  Such an impression in the minds of many people is to be expected if the Corporation sells a product and it is mailed out with a label exhibiting the registered marks.  We know that this is the impression many people have of the Concordex even now.  It is possible that having Urantia Brotherhood Corporation for the distributor of a publication would increase its sales, and it would certainly relieve the publisher of burdensome paperwork.”

“We would advise that the Corporation approach with great caution any consideration to market publications other than those of Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood.  However worthy such publications may appear to be, it is wise to bear in mind that the primary function of the combined Urantia organizations is not of a commercial nature.  We are not in the publishing and marketing business.  Our over-riding mission is to disseminate the teachings of The Urantia Book with adequate safeguards.  Let us not become sidetracked and overworked by selling derivative publications of The Urantia Book.  Should we ever experience a need for derivative works, we would find hundreds of them as easily obtainable as so many grains of sand.  They will always be a readily available resource.  At least, until the primacy of The Urantia Book is safely established, let others contend with the work of distributing their own secondary works.”

Urantia Brotherhood Policy on Advertising and Publicity 3-3-75

“It is occasionally possible to attract people to a Urantia Book study group through advertising.  What we do not know, however, is the number of sincere religionists or Urantia Book readers who are repelled or further removed from us by the presence of any advertising whatsoever. …”

“We must further keep in mind the increasingly international dimensions of all of our future work.  The mission of The Urantia Book spans the entire planet; the brotherhood we are forming is a world brotherhood.  And it is well to remember that some publicity techniques, which might seem acceptable to many people in the United States, would be found questionable to many Europeans and Asians.  While we disseminate the Urantia teachings, we must guard against actions, which unwittingly, might jeopardize the acceptance of these teachings in other cultures.  Our daily work must be done with a global perspective.”

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