Okay, I am making progress, and much of that comes from help from WPMU folk. Thanks.
I am using the Membership plugin to establish my groups. I have two - vistors and board. I also have set up URL groups and set up rules.
So far, so good but ...
Here is my predicament:
I want the Board members membership group to arrive at a page showing the latest posts and pages and forums, with sidebars visible and populated, but I want that page and all the linked pages to be invisible to visitors.
When I set the theme to show a static page as the front end, and I have the sidebars populated, a visitor will see the titles of the sidebars.
Can I make the theme function such that visitors land on a home page that shows only PROTECTED CONTENT and no sidebar or linking information, while the Board members land on a home page that SHOWS the links and sidebars?
Thanks for reading all the way down. Blessings to you.