I’m on record regarding the Urantia Book as being relatively harmless. I’ve read parts of it, found other parts too dense and fantastic. The people I know who work closely with the text are uniformly kind and reverential and almost always happy. They like talking about the many aspects of Urantia, but they aren’t especially evangelical about it.
So I tend not to think of there being any kind of Urantia cult. Do I understand the inclination of some people to see it that way? I guess so. But the Urantia Foundation is a pretty solid and grounded group. And while the Urantia papers can seem wild and crazy, think for a moment on traditional Christianity. A guy gets killed and three days later walks out of the tomb where he was buried?
There is an unfortunate trend of taking anybody who is passionate about religion and spirituality and – if the object of their devotion is obscure, as the Urantia book tends to be – calling them a member of a cult. If that’s true, then Christianity started life as a cult.
But isn’t there a whole Urantia book hoax aspect to this? Aren’t believers in Urantia being led around by the nose?
I think the best thing any critic can do is take a look at the source. You can start reading the Urantia book online (and you can get a Urantia book pdf too). Why not read it? If it works for you, then take another step. Talk to somebody who is really trying to bring its truths into application.
If it doesn’t work, then shuffle off to the next spiritual enterprise.
Am I saying that there aren’t people out there who are over the top when it comes to Urantia? Sure there are. There are Buddhists like that, too. And Shintoists. And ACIM students who can’t stop trying to get everyone to join the club.
But we need to do two things. First, let’s not define the whole on the basis of one perceived part. And second, let’s actually decline to judge experiences that we haven’t had. If you want to knock Urantia, then get the text and start reading it. Everyone should try it. As channeled texts go, it’s entertaining and diverse. Parts of it are absolutely inspired. Other parts feel like poorly written science fiction or fantasy.
And doesn’t that just sound like another book you know?