Therefore his psychiatric problem predates that
letter by some period of time. Quite
probably the daughter’s love affair took place in the 1920’s when
Forum members would have known Loose, and
hence the references in the correspondence
concerning this problem date from that era, not World War I. The
episode with his daughter was merely another in a series of
personal problems encountered by Loose, as
I shall show.
17 - A Loose
Loose was born in Springfield, Illinois in
1880. He became a State policeman in
1901. He left that position to become a private detective with
the famous Pinkerton agency for a year
or two, then was hired by the Chicago police force.
He was attached to Hull House for six years before
returning to the streets. Photographs
confirm that he was a big strapping fellow. He lectured on the
Chautauqua and Lyceum circuits about
his experiences dealing with crime and criminals, and
the causes of those social blights.
The Chautauqua records indicate that Loose
did not really get started on his
lecture circuit until about 1919. A search of the Chicago City
Directory on Harry J. Loose provided
the following information:
16 16 Wrightwood Ave.
32 1 Webster Ave.
101 Florence Ave.
1 13 2 Diversey Blvd.
1146 Wrightwood Ave.
4227 N. Lawndale
4218 N. Monticello Ave.
42 18 N. Monticello
42 18 N. Monticello Ave.
Prevention -man ,Chicago
I obtained copies of the records on Loose
which the University of Iowa library
retains in its special Chautauqua collections in Iowa City,
Iowa. They reveal that Loose was a
detective when he first went on the lecture circuit, and that he
negotiated with the Lyceum Bureau to make trips around
Chicago which he could reach in
week-end travel. A contract dated December 11, 1918 offered him
$16.66 per engagement.
A letter from W. V. Harrison, the Chautauqua
Redpath manager, to W. A. Colledge on
December 19, 1919 shows that they would give him $125.00 per
week and would provide transportation for his wife to be
with him for one week.
By 1920 he was lecturing full time. A
contract dated October 1, 1920 guaranteed
him $150.00 per week with a specification of six lectures
per week. An addendum paragraph on the
latter shows that Loose would
furnish helper who will appear in full
police uniform during Lyceum work, of which 1st party will pay
$50.00 per week and helper’s railroad from and return to
Birth of a Divine Revelation
addendum specifies that
1st party will pay expense of railroads
for one week for 2nd party’s wife to
visit him on the road during Lyceum work.
Several reports show Loose as very good on
the circuit, but somewhat below
average in attraction of audience. Several unsolicited letters
brought high praise for his
Meanwhile Loose had written a book entitled
which was published
by the Christopher Publishing House in Boston,
Massachusetts in 1920. An
advertisement claims that Loose had lectured in over 200 cities
the previous two seasons, and that he
had worked at the Juvenile Protective Association of Hull
House. The advertisement also stated that during his six
and one-half years of connection with
Hull House he had been commissioned a Special Probation Officer
of the Juvenile Court of Cook County. He was later
assigned to the Chicago Council Crime
Committee, and placed in charge of investigations into the cause
In cooperation with the U. S. Department of
Justice, Mr. Loose made the investigation,
arrest and prosecution of Samuel J. Rosenthal, The Fake
Bankruptcy King, recently sentenced to
Fort Leavenworth. In cooperation with U. S. Post Office
Inspectors, he made the investigation,
arrest and prosecution of Dr. Ottoman Zar Adusht
Hanish of Sun Cult fame . . .
A letter dated May 27, 1920 addressed to
local managers on the Chautauqua
circuit shows that Loose
taken a year’s leave of absence and will not be
available for any engagements this winter.
do not get him the Mutual will. They have made him a
rather flattering offer, which I saw
Not until August 3, 1920 does Loose suggest
that a police officer named Gray would
in full police uniform.
August 7 he was offered a winter
program at $165.00 per week,
not to exceed
A letter from W. A.
Colledge dated August 31
He filled a very successful engagement
with Vernon Harrison this summer. He has taken a year’s
leave of absence and at the end of the
year he gets his pension so that there is no danger of his being
Colledge goes on to say,
a mighty fine fellow and I think would
give you excellent satisfaction.
letter to Colledge from H. H. Kennedy in Kansas
City states that
Indeed, I trust that it will be possible for the Bureau to
secure him for next season, as I
believe he has a type of lecture that is very greatly needed
and that will take readily with the (Chautauqua)
Much other correspondence shows the
activities of Loose on the lecture
A letter of September 2, 1920 from J. A.
Bumstead of the Chautauqua Redpath
circuit to W. A. Colledge is highly informative about the
practical character and nature of
Loose: From the committee reports that are in
so far, he is ranking eighth place
among the seven-day talent. He is just a trifle below the
average for all the talent.
17 - A Loose
It is our opinion that Loose is a mighty good
afternoon man, nothing sensational but
a good novel lecturer. However, it takes about four good men and
a nurse to keep him going and keep him
sweet. He is almost as bad as Gusaulus in this
respect, for every day he tells someone that he is going
home, and finally did leave ten days
before the circuit closed without any prior arrangements made
for getting someone in his place,
except his sister, who did not fill the bill at all. He said
that he was sick, but confessed in a
letter that it was homesickness more than anything
else. Would like to talk with you about this sometime.
A handwritten footnote to the letter says:
He says he lacked companionship but anyone
who companioned with him would soon
get the same way he is. A fine fellow but a most peculiar
Then, on November 22, 1920 an event took
place which misled Martin Gardner into
a serious error, and a pitiful assumption about William Sadler.
In a letter dated November 24 Loose
states to (Uncle) L. B. Crotty:
I know Sadler. Knew him when he was on the
Municipal court Bench years ago. Have
had cases before him. Knew he was lecturing but did not know for
According to what is stated in the clipping,
(from the Moline Dispatch) he is
following the outline of my talk so closely that the possibility
of it being accidental or mere change
is exceedingly small.
A man must be in great need, be kind of short
on brains himself and not be bothered
with an oversupply of conscience to deliberately lift another
man’s effort and make off with it like
Imitation is the sincerest flattery but, from
the outline given in the clipping, Sadler
can hardly be called imitating in this. A shorter,
uglier, name would be more appropriate
and probably describe his efforts more truthfully.
(Here Gardner made another bad assumption. He
thought this address by Loose to
Crotty implied that Crotty was his blood uncle. Actually, the
term was one of affection for Crotty’s
managerial position; it had nothing to do with blood
In a reply to Loose with the same date the
Manager of the Lyceum Department says
that he is
returning the newspaper comment on Dr.
Sadler at Moline.
Loose is reassured not to worry because
Sadler is not going to have enough
(lecture) dates to bother about.
When Martin Gardner read these letters he
immediately jumped to the conclusion
that Sadler was William Sadler. The Chautauqua manager had
referred to Dr. Sadler. How many Dr.
Sadlers were around? Gardner then speculated that this
was the trigger event which led Loose to later despise
Sadler. Unfortunately, Gardner had it
Note that Loose had a copy of the newspaper
clipping. There was no confusion on
the part of Loose. Richard Preiss, who now works for the Moline
Dispatch newspaper, obtained a copy of
the clipping, which reads partially as follows:
Birth of a Divine Revelation
IN THE BIG CITY
Frank P. Sadler Warns of
Dangers in Sunday Talk at
Crime begins whenever there is a desire to
get something for nothing, said Frank
P. Sadler, Chicago criminologist, at the Moline Y.M.C.A. Sunday
Judge Sadler declared the best remedy of
removing crime is to improve the environment
of the growing boy and girl and to eliminate conditions
that lead to criminal activity . . .
It is one of those ironies of fate that two
men were on the Chautauqua lecture
circuit by the name of Sadler, that both came out of Chicago,
that Harry Loose knew them both, and
that the Chautauqua manager referred to Frank
Sadler as Dr. Sadler. How easy it was for Martin Gardner
to deduce ill feeling on the part of
Loose toward William Sadler when it was nothing but a figment of
Gardner’s imagination. Gardner quickly leapt into this
assumption because he was emotionally
disturbed by the possibility of divine revelation. He should
have done the homework for which he is
On this incident Gardner brought a major
indictment against William Sadler —
and it was all smoke.
A Book of
for 1911 shows this Sadler to be Frank
Prather Sadler, a judge in the Chicago
Municipal Court from 1907 to 1909. He was born in
Springfield, Illinois on June 10, 1872, received a
Bachelor of Arts degree from the
University of Michigan in 1896, a Bachelor of Law in 1898 and
was admitted to the Illinois State Bar
the same year. He was a Republican and a Methodist, a
member of the law firm of Taylor, Ingraham & Sadler, and
gave lectures on subjects related to
his profession, including
Criminal in the Making, The Criminal
in the Saving, Twentieth Century Unrest — Its Portent,
and so on. He also contributed
to numerous publications.
I have copies of correspondence between Frank
Sadler and the Chautauqua managers
which date to 1914 and 1915. According to this correspondence he
was lecturing in 1914. A Chautauqua advertising brochure
for Frank Sadler is dated 1908, during
his tenure on the Municipal Court. They show him as Judge
on the Harrison Street and Des Plaines Street Benches,
two of the most notorious districts in
Chicago. The themes of his subjects about criminals, how they
enter crime, and moral and social issues to reduce crime,
show a remarkable similarity to the
material by Loose, but predating Loose by ten years. If
anything, Loose borrowed from Frank
Sadler, not vice versa.
But to continue with Harry Loose
17 - A Loose
A newspaper article in Elkhart, Indiana on
October 16, 1920 noted that
Loose was accompanied to Elkhart by Examiner Lewis of the
Bertillion bureau of the Chicago
police department, an intimate friend, who assisted the speaker
in displaying his interesting
As William Sadler indicated, Loose was afraid
to travel alone, and usually had
someone with him. He called upon his friends on the police force
for that assistance, incorporating
them into his lecture program. He would display a dramatic
assortment of knives, guns, burglar tools, and so on
which he had collected over the years.
A police officer standing by in full uniform made this even
more appealing. This living display was an important
adjunct to his lecture, bringing the
reality of crime closer to his audience.
But something further was happening
emotionally to Loose. He not only felt
a need for a traveling companion, he got involved in situations
which demonstrated other weakness in
character. In a lecture at Holden, Missouri early in 1921
he got carried away with a fervor for the cause of right.
As the local newspaper reported:
Of course he gave an interesting talk of an
hour and a half about crime in Chicago,
illustrating it with weapons, etc., in his manicure set,
but all that was merely introduction
to the last 20 minutes when he delivered the most stunning,
sledge hammer, solar plexus wallops on
supervised recreation ever handed a Holden audience.
Taking all in all, it was the most wonderful
lecture ever given in this city.
. . . But really, the cause is found in a
departure from the old-fashioned faith in
God, the real virile religion of the Nazarene . . .
. . . Not many congratulated Loose for his
lecture. (It was not that kind of a
On this occasion Loose vented feelings that
were bottled up in him. The pressures
of long travel away from home, the rigor of the schedules, the
stress of living audiences — all
contributed to this outbreak. But more trouble was brewing.
On March 3, 1921 W. A. Colledge wrote a
letter to several ministers in Tipton,
Indiana. He had received a report that Loose was seen with a
woman in compromising circumstances.
The Chautauqua managers believed he was with his wife.
We do not know the outcome of that episode
but Loose continued on the lecture
circuit. It must have been resolved satisfactorily.
Still another problem is recorded in the Chautauqua
files. Apparently, Loose failed to pay
a taxis driver. The Wever, Iowa Lyceum Committee wrote a letter
to the Redpath Vawter Management in
Cedar Rapids dated January 26, 1922.
We have your letter of the 26th instant
stating that Mr. Loose will make affidavit
that he paid H. W. Patterson $5.00. I would suggest that
you get this affidavit.
Birth of a Divine Revelation
. . . We also want to say that we can get
every man and woman within a radius of
five miles of our village to vouch for the honesty and
truthfulness of H. W. Patterson. It
would require a great deal more than the affidavit of a man of
the calibre of Mr. Loose has shown
himself to be to impeach Mr. Patterson in the minds of the
people of this community, where he was
raised and is known by everyone.
W. A. Colledge thereupon wrote a letter to
Loose requesting some explanation. But
Loose’s problems were not that simple. Other letters of
complaint were received by the
Chautauqua managers about Loose failing to fulfill his contract
Colledge went into several demands upon Loose
to express clearly his loyalties to
his contract and his bookings, and to consider the impact he had
upon the Lyceum reputation. Colledge
then states that he
is now with-holding my future
judgment until I hear from you in regard to the policy
you intend to pursue in the future.
Loose responded with a lengthy four-page
reply, denying the allegations one by
one, and showing reasons why the accusations were false. William
Gray was with him and could confirm
every point. The letter is sincere in tone, and demonstrates
either a great deception on the part of Loose, or high
feelings of dissatisfaction in Iowa,
with causes unknown.
In further dispute with a deteriorating
relationship Loose insisted in several
letters that he was contracted until April, 1924, but the Lyceum
minutes of meetings
show that they considered cancelling his
contract on May 1 and 2, 1922, because
of certain things which had happened.
Following correspondence shows
that they reverted to individual contract dates, rather
than a long-term contract, and that
Loose, probably upset with his treatment, left a schedule in
Kansas for ten days. The Lyceum
management felt that was sufficient grounds to discharge
him from further contractual obligations. The last letter
on record is dated May 11, 1923 to
Loose from H. V. Harrison; Harrison had one or two personal
matters to discuss with him, but that
he should stop by at
Loose then obtained employment with the
Chicago Daily News, where he directed
their security staff.
As I described in Chapter Nine Loose gave a
lecture in Marion, Indiana in 1921
which was attended by Harold Sherman as a reporter for the
This led to Sherman becoming a member of the Forum in 1942, and
a consequent rebellion among their ranks. This was
Sadler’s first real challenge for
preservation of the Revelation. Other challenges were to come,
but not in Sadler’s lifetime.
In a letter to Sherman dated February 4, 1941
Loose tells Sherman
watch for a tremendous book which will
be published in about two years. It has been 35
years in the building. It is not mine but I had something
to do with it.
17 - A Loose
Loose, of course, is referring to
The Urantia Papers.
Although I have been unable to locate
a record, he apparently became a member of the Forum. By
“having something to do with it” he probably meant he was
active during the period when
questions were being posed and answers received. His attitude is
typical of the Forumites who were members during that
process. The statement could not mean
more than that, although Sherman may have concluded that
Loose played a larger role. This statement also led
Martin Gardner to assume unreal
conditions for changes in the Revelation and of Sadler editing
The Papers were not subject to change by any
human mortal; Sadler was exceedingly
careful that no human alterations creep in. This strict rule led
to Sherman’s later deep
I have been unable to determine the dates of
Loose’s attendance in the Forum, or
how long he was active. We do know from letters to Sherman that
he continued to maintain contact with
other Forumites into the early 1940’s. In an
undated letter, certainly after Sherman’s contact with
Loose in 1941, he mentions
Ronayne, Potter and the other four,
apparently individuals who attended
meetings and kept him informed of
events. He tells Sherman to stay in
touch with them. This raises the question
of the reasons for his departure from
the Forum while he continued to have such an intense interest.
Gardner reported that he retired to
California in 1934. This would be just before the actual
revelation, but at the end of the
question and answer episodes. At that time he was a
mere 54 years of age. His retirement may have been due to
failing health. Gardner reported that
Loose in 1941 was then
in his seventies, with a severe heart condition.
Once again, Gardner showed how his emotions
conditioned his thinking. In
Loose was only 61 years of age, not in his seventies. However,
it may be that
he had a severe heart
condition which led to an early death on November 21,
Loose went deep into psychic phenomena. The
path by which he entered those
pursuits is unknown. He may have been impelled from limited
understanding of the content of
The Urantia Papers.
In his letters to Sherman he tells a strange story of
hybrids. In a letter dated June 14,
1942 he mentions the hybrids and states that they are not
midwayers. They were an exception
approved on petition of the Ancients of Days. In another
undated letter he again speaks of the missing hybrid
story, but states,
. . .
be assured, it was for a good purpose.
He does not explain this remark to
Sherman picked up on
this esoteric notion and made it an important part of
his attack on Sadler in his book
How to Know What to Believe.
shall discuss this problem in greater
depth in the following chapter. Here I note that the discussion
on hybrids was due to a confusion in the mind of Loose.
Since he had no hard copy of
The Urantia Papers
available he had to depend on his memory. His ideas
of the role of the Staff of the Planetary Prince were
faulty. The Staff had been instructed
to not mate with the primitive human mortals of those days, but
later did reproduce among themselves,
after the planetary rebellion, to create the
Nodites. Reference to these planetary transactions is in
the Bible in Genesis 6, which
identifies the Nodites as Nephilim, or Giants.
Birth of a Divine Revelation
In his many letters to Sherman Loose
repeatedly expressed anger and frustration
with Sadler. In a June 9, 1942 letter he attacked
Sadler’s personal vanity. He
complained that Sadler wouldn’t separate himself from the
make contact and ask the intelligences an authoritative
explanation of our truly evidenced
psychic phenomena . . .
But he cautioned Sherman that
Receiver of this Revelation should be forever shielded.
This last remark shows that Loose was unaware
of the miraculous nature of the actual
revelation, which did not come through SS, although he respected
the reasons for not identifying him.
This perceived use of SS may have been the
reason he pursued psychic phenomena so relentlessly.
In another undated letter he complained about
Sadler not relinquishing control over
the Revelation. He wanted greater democracy over it. He stated,
so sad that Sadler is so blind. He was
so well chosen for the part he has had. And he
has performed so wonderfully up to the present.
This, too, was part of the psychology
developing within the ranks of the
Forum, and was eloquently expressed by Clyde Bedell and Robert
Burton who later brought attacks
against the policies of the Urantia Foundation, Sadler’s
autocratic creation. Again, I shall
discuss these events in a later chapter. I mention
it here merely because Loose had sentiments similar to
many other members of the Forum about
Sadler’s methods of management of the Revelation. Their views
later proved correct.
The manner in which Loose may have pushed
Sherman into an unfriendly attitude
toward Sadler is demonstrated in other letters. In a letter
dated August 14, 1942 he urged Sherman
to fight Sadler. He is vulnerable.
He reminded Sherman
of Sadler’s remark,
I am only the custodian of the
papers. I do not own them.
September Loose suggested a law suit against Sadler. He
felt that Sadler would be greatly
fearful. In a later September letter he stated his belief that
snapped with Dr. S before the death of his wife.
further expressed the hope that
Sherman someday would meet SS face to face but first contact
would probably be with the wife of the
subject. Here Loose showed his first-hand knowledge
of the routine for messages to be received from SS. His
wife had to notify Sadler before
Sadler could be present to receive the messages.
In an October letter he further railed
against Sadler for hypnotizing the instrument.
He wrote that Sadler should not have done so, because it
would have been against the will of
the subject, and Sadler wasn’t skilled in this area. He
stated that It
was Dr. Lena that kept Sadler balanced.
Once again Loose touched on a subject crucial
to understanding of the mechanisms
within the mind. A person under deep hypnotic trance can be
induced to perform acts which he could
not do consciously. Thus the act of hypnotism
may be a violation of the conscious will. But Loose was
not expert in this area, and did not
account for the degrees of hypnotism which may be used by
medical professionals. Sadler was thoroughly competent in
this area, after many years of
experience. He did not subject SS to hypnotic trance to cause
17 - A Loose
perform acts against his will, but rather to
probe his subconscious or marginal
mind. This was part of Sadler’s investigation into the origins
of the revealed material.
These examples illustrate how Loose had an
impact on unfolding events, and
conditioned Sherman to unfavorable attitudes toward Sadler.
Loose may also have feared his social position among the
Forumites. In several letters he
entered into tirades against G. Willard Hales and his wife. He
referred to her as a long
He did not trust the Hales, perhaps
because they saw through him.
Loose was an emotional, somewhat unstable,
personality who had contact with the
process of a divine revelation, and desired good for the
revelation, but was deeply disturbed
by natural human frailties. He also got carried away with the
mystery of celestial activities he interpreted as psychic
phenomena. Many Urantians after him
followed the same route into eternal jeopardy. The full cost to
human kind has not yet been counted.
In spite of his concerns the Revelation
eventually was given to the world,
through the honorable trust of William S. Sadler.
Jane Addams, a Chicago women with wide
reputation for social reform, and
later given a Nobel prize, was highly influential in the passage
of the Juvenile Protection Act. Many
of the Chicago Juvenile activities were centered in Hull
House, her base of operations. It was here that Harry
Loose, as a detective on the Chicago
Police force, was attached as a probation officer. It was also
at Hull House that William Sadler
became involved in the Juvenile work as a psychiatrist.
He continued to offer services to Hull House
well into his life. I have copy of a
letter from Hull House dated April 16, 1931 which shows how his
fame had spread throughout the
country. A Miss Gladys Smith of Newport, Tennessee had made
an inquiry of Jane Addams concerning a physical ailment
which left emotional problems, and
wondered if Dr. Sadler could help her, apparently believing that
Sadler was a member of Hull House.
Miss Addams has shown me your letter and has
talked with me about it. Since she is
interested and since I have some experience with problems such
as yours, she has asked me if I would
write you. Miss Addams receives a large number of letters
from people in a variety of problems and she wants to
answer every one herself, but that is
not possible. She has no secretary, so those of us who live at
Hull House attempt to share the little
of this responsibility.
Dr. W. S. Sadler has written a good many
popular articles and books, but he is
listed in the Directory of American Medical Association not as a
psychiatrist but as a surgeon. He was
graduated from the American Medical Missionary College in
Chicago in 1906 and was licensed to
practice medicine in 1907. He is a member of Chicago
Medical Society, Illinois Medical Society, and American
Medical Association, which memberships
indicate that he has professional standing so far as the
practice of medicine is concerned. I
am not able to find, however, that he has any special training