Urantia: The Great Cult Mystery Paperback – Aug 1 2008
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The media has temporarily turned its large but constantly blinking eye away from cult-of-the-day reportage after the Waco conflagration, but such organizations continue to collect adherents. Martin Gardner, best known as mathematical-games-meister for Scientific American, turns his refreshingly unblinking gaze on the origin and continuing growth of the Urantian cult. It is a marvellous study of the ways in which ideas can be propagated through society. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
First published in 1955, the Urantia Book, a 2097-page tome hailed by its advocates as the channeled wisdom of celestial beings, posits one infinite God, the great I AM, and billions of lesser gods. It contains pronouncements on evolution, cosmology, physics and quantum mechanics, which Gardner (The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher) finds deeply flawed, and it includes a biography of Jesus that asserts he toured Rome and Greece at ages 28 and 29, becoming an adept of Greek philosophy, mathematics and art. The Urantia cult was founded by two former Seventh-day Adventists?Chicago psychiatrist William Sadler (1875-1969) and his brother-in-law, Wilfred Kellogg (1876-1956), a businessman. In this intriguing expose, Gardner, former Scientific American mathematics columnist, makes a strong case that the Urantia Book is filled with plagiarized passages from other cult books. He also charts bitter schisms among the Urantians and looks at other Adventist splinter groups, notably David Koresh's Branch Davidian cult consumed by flames near Waco, Tex.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I first ran across the Urantia Book (UB) in 1973, bought it and spent months of careful reading before finishing it in early 1974. At that time I got rid of the UB because I felt that, although unconventional, it was essentially Christian and capable of only producing yet another Christian sect, and was therefore limited in perspective and usefulness. The racial and religious prejudices, spread throughout the book but concentrated especially in the Jesus papers, were obvious, and likely not the product of those with a comprehensive view of the world, as assumed by the UB's purported cosmic authors. Because of the UB's complexity and obviously Christian focus, I concluded at the time that the source must be, say, a very cynical Christian mathematician.
Although I have not paid much attention to the UB for the last 30 years, I was very interested to recently run across Gardner's book in the library and to find that my initial reaction to the UB had some elements of truth. From Gardner's book, I learned that the authors of the UB, or at least its editors/compilers, were from a strong Christian (Seventh Day Adventist) background. Also, to date, approximately 50% of the UB has been shown to be directly copied or summarized from a variety of early 20th century religious, scientific, sociological, and historical publications that were available to UB authors prior to its publication in 1955.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Martin Gardner ia an angry man with an angry agenda.
Interestingly,The Urantia Book is a beautiful book based on unlifting hope for all of God's children.
Half Truths (Suppressed Evidence): Any statement usually intended to deceive that omits some of the facts necessary for an accurate description. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2002 by RR
I suggest Mr. Gardner actually read the Urantia papers in their entirety. In my opinion, his review is fiction, sophomoric and wreaks of sour grapes.Published on Nov. 21 2001 by Jonathon Johnson
This book is an example of someone taking a belief and working very hard to mold reality around it. Some of his arguments are circular, depending only on themselves for support. Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2001
Martin Gardener is, or was, the editor of that popular magazine Scientific American. His astute recommendations for scientific books (e.g. Read morePublished on Nov. 4 2001
After going through parts of The Urantia Book and finding kernels of truth, and an underlying consistency in the overall message, I found Martin Gardner's book a bit disturbing. Read morePublished on April 27 2001
Actually, my comment is more on the comments about Urantia. I find it so interesting that everyone takes the Bible as the literal Word of God. Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2000
Mr. Gardner is not correct in most of his critiques commensing with Urantia being a 'cult'. This is simply untrue. Read morePublished on July 9 2000 by Marian J. Mateu
As the person who turned Martin on to the UB and corresponded with him during most of its writing, it would interest most readers of UTGCM to know that Martin believes in God,... Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2000 by Julio in Denver
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