Urantia Book Forum

Urantia Book Discussion Board : Study Group
It is currently Sun May 31, 2020 2:26 am +0000

All times are UTC - 7 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:42 am +0000
Posts: 282
Hello, group! Thought I would post an interesting topic for discussion, questions, answers, debates, etc, and so-forth. I have obtained, through a friend, who obtained on Amazon, a copy of "The Urantia Papers" as published by Pathways, Inc in 1995.

From what I am given to understand (and any of you are welcome to correct this narrative if you find anything inaccurate in it), in the 1990's, there was considerable debate over whether or not the Urantia Book (also known as the Fifth Epochal Revelation or the Urantia Papers) was actually under legal copyright. The Urantia Foundation said it was. At the time, they forbade anyone other than themselves from publishing the Urantia Book.

Well, a particular woman (whose name I do not know; perhaps someone can provide it?) disagreed with the Urantia Foundation, and believed that legally, the book could not be copyrighted, since the authors were superhuman. She began publishing copies of the First Edition of the book under the title of "The Urantia Papers" and also under the alternate title of "God's Bible". Aside from the titles, the books were identical. The books were produced through direct photo-negative process. She did this through a non-profit organisation designation Pathways, Inc, in NJ (I am not certain if this still exists or not, although a search on the internet found nothing, leading me to believe it does not).

Needless to say, the Urantia Foundation was not amused, and sued in court for copyright infringement. Ultimately, in the end-all and be-all, the lady won, although I am not certain on what grounds. The published book that I have does have a copy of some legal court documents that might shed some light on this once I get a chance to read them. But the financial/legal costs, and the emotional costs of fighting the Foundation were so high that it left her a broken woman in the end.

Basically, what it amounts to, at least from what I have read on the 'Net, is that in the '90's, the Foundation was led by a bunch of wanna-be little Stalinists, who were control freaks as far as the book goes. Little dictators like that are never good for spiritual things, and it sounds, from what I have heard, like they were not good here, either.

In my experiences with the Foundation, I have found them to be pleasant enough. However, they are very dictatorial in the UBIS. I started a class there, but when I started going against the Party line I was asked to leave. Unlike at Urantia University Institute, which I love, and here, which I also love, where all of you (meaning all of you in both places) have welcomed my searching and questioning and fighting with the book and even with you :smile: :smile: , they seem not to be able to tolerate questioning of ANY sort.

Anyway, I just wanted to post this, and ask, does anyone here know any more to this story than what I have provided here? I am quite curious to know more about this if there is any more to know. So do pipe up if there is anything else to add. I am curious indeed. Peace out!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:55 am +0000
Posts: 432
Hi Yaakov,

Alas, I believe you have touched on one of the few verboten topics on this forum. I am certain this is unintentional.

Posting guidelines specifically call out the prohibition of the discussion of "The Copyright." :(

Though I do ask the moderators: if the intention behind this prohibition was to suppress unnecessary argument over the copyright status of TUB, which, to my understanding, has been settled for some time now, would suppressing simple discussion and clarification of the facts surrounding the case, particularly for readers unacquainted with the conflict, be in the spirit of the motivation behind the prohibition?

I for one don't know (and really don't care to know) all the nitty gritty details of the conflict. But it is part of our history. And since the smoke seems to have cleared between the warring factions, is this prohibition even relevant anymore? When was the last time anybody ever attempted to argue over this topic on this forum?


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:42 am +0000
Posts: 282
Actually, yes, it WAS unintentional. I had no idea that that was a concern here. I mean, the matter HAS been resolved for some time now. I just wanted to get more knowledge about this particular, shall we say, "unauthorised" edition of the book. I have multiple copies of Foundation Editions in print and digital, two editions of Uversa (one in print and one digital), one Spanish edition digital Foundation, and one British Study Edition that is just random (I think "unauthorised") on digital. I collect Urantia Books. Its my thing. I just wanted to know more, not start a battle.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:42 am +0000
Posts: 282
After having read the rules of the Forum, in order to be in compliance therewith, perhaps someone can just tell me about the book itself? I've been able to read about the copyright issue itself, so I really don't need to discuss that anyway.

Does anyone else have a copy of this "unauthorised" text? What can you tell me about it if you do? I am curious to know more about the text itself. So do tell, people!


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:02 am +0000
Posts: 1393
Yaakov001 wrote:
After having read the rules of the Forum, in order to be in compliance therewith, perhaps someone can just tell me about the book itself? I've been able to read about the copyright issue itself, so I really don't need to discuss that anyway.

Does anyone else have a copy of this "unauthorised" text? What can you tell me about it if you do? I am curious to know more about the text itself. So do tell, people!

The text is the same. The book is different. If you tie it to the bow of your boat in the water, it will leave more turbulence in its wake.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:42 am +0000
Posts: 282
Well, the book appears to have an index, and appendices, various other things. Granted, the organisation that put it together doesn't claim that those things are part of the book, of course. Are those materials of good quality?


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:02 am +0000
Posts: 1393
You know I'm not sure. I had a couple of them back in the day but I didn't like them. They were too big. I gave them away. The blue book is already a big book, then Pathway made a bigger one. I just stuck to my other book. Besides, it kinda represented the statement for the times against the Foundation. There was blood sweat and tears on it.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:42 am +0000
Posts: 282
I see. I mean, my copy is primarily to enhance my collection, although I am happy to get a 1955 Edition for less than $500, which is what a true First Edition costs, more or less. I have no fracking idea why a book would cost that much, except one possibility. The only justification that I can see for it is that they are so blessed rare that the supply and demand truly IS that high!!

I got mine for a total of US$33.00, or rather, a friend did, whom I must of course reimburse. I am more curious about changes that may have been made in the book since 1955 to the present date in the various Editions I have (just in print I have the "unauthorised" 1955 Edition from Pathways, the 11th Printing 1993 from the Foundation, the 3rd Printing of the 4th Edition 2011 from the Foundation, and the Fourth Printing of the First Uversa Press Edition 2012).

And that does not speak for the editions I have on both my Kindle and my Nook, two authorised in English, one of which is Foundation and one of which is Uversa, one authorised in Spanish (Foundation), and then one "unauthorised" British Study Edition of the Urantia Papers, which is decidedly interesting as it "translates" the Standard Reference Text into British English (ie, with British spelling and mostly metric measurements), and has rather extensive footnotes.

For me, the subject is of academic curiosity. I am autistic. To be precise, I have Asberger's (sometimes spelt "Asperger's") Syndrome, which, until the DSM5 came out, was considered a high functioning disorder on the Autism spectrum. Now it is considered a related but separate disorder. Personally, as a person that has the disorder, I still consider it to be more or less high functioning Autism. I think the DSM-IV was more accurate.

Be that as it may, one of the functions of AS is the interesting tendency to find things of interest that other people would consider odd or random. Often-times this results in collecting things. In my case, it has resulted in (among other things) finding a fascinating interest not only in the beliefs of the UB, but also the Book itself, and the history of it. This has led me to collect it. Its just one of those Asberger's "things".

My wife thinks its a bit odd, but lives with it because its harmless in her mind. So there you are. The Pathways Book for me represents a fascinating addition to my collection, as well being a unique book of its own. I should enjoy finding out as much about it as I can. I am not interested in fighting about the copyright matters. The matter has been resolved. Whether one agrees with how it was resolved is beside the point. It WAS resolved.

So I am left with an interest in comparing books and Editions and Printings to see what changes have been made to the Standard Reference Text since 1955. THAT is what I find interesting, and worth analysing, rather than the ins and outs of a legal case that was resolved 15 years ago.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:02 am +0000
Posts: 1393
Although I'm far from an expert on the matter, I don't think whatever the alterations to the text, altogether they're insignificant. A few years ago I became aware of what was purported to be a major revision of the text, but when I saw what it was it made me wonder what the big deal was. I think what's at the heart of the matter is that for some any changes to the original is pointless. It's just fine with the textual imperfections as printed in 1955. I guess also for some, to start revising the text is a harbinger of what men have done with holy books historically. Today all this is misplaced concern in my opinion because the internet will allow for a secure level of protection against meddling with the text.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 10:09 pm +0000
Posts: 1817
The copyright issues of The Urantia Book are contentious -- they were very much so in the past and would be here now if we allowed a discussion to develop. The best source for information regarding this historical period, which roughly spanned 1985 to 2005, is the Urantia Book Historical Society website. You can ask for more information there for research purposes. The website address is http://www.ubhistory.org

Our intent here is not to bury or deny history but to stay away from contentious debate. I'll give a brief overview of this period, but we won't allow this discussion to progress much further than that.

In the 1980s readers began working with the Urantia text with computers. Urantia Foundation was the sole publisher of the book and it was soon discovered that there were undocumented discrepancies in the text from one printing to the next. That discovery along with a legal battle involving Urantia Foundation, the Urantia Brotherhood, and a dedicated student of the book forced many readers to choose between supporting Urantia Foundation policies or the policies of the Urantia Brotherhood. Instead of being united spiritually by the teachings of the book the readership became divided over legalistic issues.

Concern over undocumented tampering with the text caused one reader to publish photocopied versions of the book taken from an original 1955 printing. Ten thousand copies were printed, half with the title of God's Bible and half as The Urantia Papers. The woman you've mentioned was not involved in this -- she had been sued by Urantia Foundation for distributing computer discs containing the text of the book along with the first popular and useful search engine.

The Urantia Brotherhood lost its name and became the Urantia Book Fellowship. Urantia Foundation lost its social and outreach affiliation and created the UAI/IUA to replace the Brotherhood/Fellowship, so the organizations became more fragmented. They have overcome many of the past difficulties and have found ways today of continuing to work together but discussion of those times still stirs up unpleasant memories for many.

Larry


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 5:42 am +0000
Posts: 282
I see. So, I own at present one of the 10,000 copies that were published of the copied 1955 Edition. How interesting! Now, without meaning to try your patience, is there a forum where this matter can be discussed more thoroughly? I shall visit the website you suggested, of course.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 10:09 pm +0000
Posts: 1817
You can try http://www.ubron.org/


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 5:02 am +0000
Posts: 1393
lwatkins wrote:
The copyright issues of The Urantia Book are contentious -- they were very much so in the past and would be here now if we allowed a discussion to develop. The best source for information regarding this historical period, which roughly spanned 1985 to 2005, is the Urantia Book Historical Society website. You can ask for more information there for research purposes. The website address is http://www.ubhistory.org

Our intent here is not to bury or deny history but to stay away from contentious debate. I'll give a brief overview of this period, but we won't allow this discussion to progress much further than that.

In the 1980s readers began working with the Urantia text with computers. Urantia Foundation was the sole publisher of the book and it was soon discovered that there were undocumented discrepancies in the text from one printing to the next. That discovery along with a legal battle involving Urantia Foundation, the Urantia Brotherhood, and a dedicated student of the book forced many readers to choose between supporting Urantia Foundation policies or the policies of the Urantia Brotherhood. Instead of being united spiritually by the teachings of the book the readership became divided over legalistic issues.

Concern over undocumented tampering with the text caused one reader to publish photocopied versions of the book taken from an original 1955 printing. Ten thousand copies were printed, half with the title of God's Bible and half as The Urantia Papers. The woman you've mentioned was not involved in this -- she had been sued by Urantia Foundation for distributing computer discs containing the text of the book along with the first popular and useful search engine.

The Urantia Brotherhood lost its name and became the Urantia Book Fellowship. Urantia Foundation lost its social and outreach affiliation and created the UAI/IUA to replace the Brotherhood/Fellowship, so the organizations became more fragmented. They have overcome many of the past difficulties and have found ways today of continuing to work together but discussion of those times still stirs up unpleasant memories for many.

Larry

Thanks Larry for the link to http://www.ubhistory.org
I now have a new website to explore. I wasn't familiar with this one. From day one, when I asked one of the first questions about the book, Who wrote it?, I've been real fascinated with it's history.

One thing I wanted to ask you, why has there been so little if any remarks from the members of the Kellogg family over the years? I can't remember ever reading about something they said.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 10:09 pm +0000
Posts: 1817
One of the early positions of all of the people involved in any way with the Urantia revelation was to keep the human connection as much in the background as possible. Famous people like the Sadlers, Kelloggs, Hubert Wilkins, probably Houdini, Harold Sherman participated in various ways as the revelation was being received; they accepted that what was transpiring was spiritually beyond human nature and that association with humans, famous or not, would not improve the message, so they didn't call attention to their connection with the Urantia papers. Some I'm sure too thought that if they were associated with this strange phenomenon that it would damage their own reputations.

Larry


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted:  
Offline

Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:55 am +0000
Posts: 432
Larry,

On second thought I'd have to agree with you. Looking back at the facts of what occurred evokes pretty strong emotions in me, and I wasn't even a reader until the very very tail end of the saga. So, yes, upon reflection, I can see how it is still considered a contentious issue.


Top
 Profile Send private message  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours


Who is online

Registered users: Google [Bot]


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You can post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group