Things are never enough by themselves. This statement originated this morning with my observation that what I had thought was happening with my recent post about a new UFO news article has turned into something considerably more interesting–a close look at what’s going on in UFO religious movements.
A scholar from the University of North Carolina was quoted in the post: “A cursory review of UAP literature, both primary sources by witnesses, as well as secondary literature by academics, reveals overt religious and often apocalyptic themes in UAP witness reports.” As it seems that quite a few UFO witnesses have formed what academics are calling “new religious movements,” I went looking for some. The only thing is, the UFO movements are not brand new but 1950s new! Here is a sampling, made easier by the fact that every one of the UFO religious movements I scouted has a presence on the internet. The post is a bit long, but I think it moves quickly.
Aetherius Society: Founded in the UK in 1955. Its founder, George King, claimed to have been contacted telepathically by an alien intelligence called Aetherius, who represented an “Interplanetary Parliament.” These metaphysically significant “transmissions,” as he called them, were recorded on magnetic tape as King sat in a state of Samadhi, and spoke the transmission. Several of these transmissions forecast UFO activity on specific dates in parts of the world where newspapers reported coinciding sightings. He reported being in communication with Cosmic Masters–beings from higher levels of existence on other worlds–from the time they first contacted him in 1954 through to his death in 1997.
The website says, “The spiritual teachings about UFOs on this website have come either from Dr. King directly or from the messages that he has channeled from Cosmic Masters who live on the higher realms of other planets, as well as Ascended Masters and unascended Earth people living on the higher realms of Earth. His legacy provides a spiritual path now known as “King Yoga” that embodies spiritual wisdom, self-development practices and service to others. In combination, these three facets provide a well-balanced path you can use to advance yourself and, more importantly, help the world around you.”
Ashtar is the name given to an extraterrestrial being or group claimed by quite a few channelers to be their UFO contact.
Ministry of Universal Wisdom. One of the founding fathers of the modern religious ufologies, George Van Tassel created two secular UFO groups in the 1940s. In 1952 he began to receive telepathic communication from an extraterrestrial and interdimensional being named Ashtar. A year later he created the “Ministry of Universal Wisdom,” interpreting the Bible in terms of extraterrestrial intervention in human evolution and claiming that Jesus was a being from space. One scholarly article (Nova Religio) reports, “Just as the mixing of the divine and the human violates the natural order in Genesis, so to, according to Van Tassel, does the mixing of the extraterrestrial with the human upset idealized categories. He wants the reader to understand that the reality we perceive is not the ideal reality, our existence is a fallen existence, and only the knowledge of our true extraterrestrial heritage can deliver us to a more authentic existence”
The Ministry of Universal Wisdom taught that all humans have the power to tap into the “Universal Mind of God”, which facilitates evolutionary progress such as that exemplified by Jesus and Ashtar. Van Tassel also claimed that by accessing the Universal Mind he could receive messages not only from Ashtar but from humans who had died, such as Nikola Tesla, from whom he claimed to receive instructions to build the “Integratron” machine. Still standing in the Mojave Desert, the “Integratron” is said to be capable of enabling rejuvenation, time travel, and anti-gravity.
[Note: It is imperative not to confuse this Ministry with a similarly named “Congregation of Universal Wisdom,” which is blatantly labeled by Wikipedia as a “quack religion.”)
Ashtar Command. By the mid-1950s, the concept of Ashtar and a galactic law enforcement agency preparing an imminent rescue of humanity had become well-established. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, many individuals in the spiritualist movement began to claim contact with Ashtar, and the space being’s role as Ascended Master grew. The Ashtar Command evolved into a worldwide network of loosely organized groups growing out of a generally theosophical base with UFO add-ons, described as “the common property of a diffuse New Age Spiritualist milieu.” One author describes much of the Ashtar channeling as akin to cargo cults, due to the blending of spiritual ascension with new alien technologies. Most of the Ashtar millenarian concepts are said to involve a transformation of human beings, via these technologies, who will then return to the planet Earth to enjoy a golden millennium. From the mid-1990s up to the present, several of these channeling groups began to utilize the Internet in order to promulgate their beliefs and attempt to unify the movement by establishing a single ‘authoritative’ source for all Ashtar messages. This led to more prominence in the religious scene and significant membership. Currently, a profusion of groups with a wide sweep of interests is populating the Ashtar web site.
Powerful Intentions (source: Google/Ashtar) declares that “Powerful Intentions is a Law of Attraction community. Official online community for The Secret Movie. Law of Attraction blogs, forums, etc. Our intent is to remind you of your Cosmic Nature. Explore your Cosmic Nature and let the universe be a mirror for your infinite potential.” The material continues: “Its time to expand the awareness of our Oneness. We are equals, no matter what religion we belong to; no matter which concepts we carry with us. This is what the website does… it unites different views into a common energy; where we can grow and change our Collective Reality just by being “Who we Are”. Ben-Arion
Spending time at the website shows a multiplicity of groups demonstrating that while some aspects of Ashtar are genuinely spiritual, a good many others are now aggressively anti-government, anti-vaccine, anti-mask, and supportive of defiantly sovereign citizen views; there is a lot of conspiracy theory.
The Pioneer Voyage (source: Wikipedia)
In 1994, a small group of Ashtar Command members claimed to have had “the lift-off experience”. They announced to the Ashtar Network that they had been placed aboard the ‘ships of Light’ that were circling the planet. “The Galactic Fifth Fleet” had used ‘physical vibrational transfer’ which involved the human consciousness (or, sometimes, the ‘etheric body’) being raised from the physical dimension and transferred to the “Light ships”. More than 250 people participated in a second event. It was claimed that in order to participate, a person’s vibrations had to be raised through an eight step contemplative procedure, and that the Pioneer Voyage would occur during the meditative state and would later be revealed to the individual in some form of conscious recall. This eventually evoked ‘memory recall’ from a core group of Ashtar Command members meeting in Australia who began providing accounts of their ‘time aboard the ships’. Others followed suit. The time on the ships was claimed to be extensive even though the member’s meditation period was short.
Despite an increase in complexity, the general themes have remained in accordance with the Australian reports. The claim is that the events are occurring on a spiritual or etheric dimension and not a physical one. The group claims that the purpose of the lift-off is for the ascension of the human race as a whole, to which individual ascension is a precursor and an aid. It also claims that the collective ascension is being aided by large electronic grids deployed around the planet by the guardian ships.
Ashtar Summary: The Ashtar belief system is based on faith in an extraterrestrial celebrity, the concept of which has fared better than the individual messages. Failed prophecies have moved the emphasis from a physical space fleet averting doom, to the more theosophical concept of an Ascended Master aiding spiritual advancement, mingled with the UFO experience belief system which regards UFO experiences and sightings as the natural progression of the spiritual development of humanity. Though followers of Ashtar believe in his divine right and knowledge spread across the human race, he and others of his kind have yet to provide any physical evidence of their existence.
Raëlism (not Realism) is a large, atheistic religion claiming tens of thousands of members, mostly from Francophone areas of Western Europe and North America. In France on December 13, 1973, Claude Vorilhon reported his alien abduction by an extraterrestrial species known as Elohim (Hebrew for “gods”), including his contact, named Yahweh. The Elohim renamed him Raël and instructed him to act as their prophet.
Raëlism teaches that the Elohim, who have historically been mistaken for gods, created humanity using their advanced technology. It claims that The Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, and Muhammad, along with thirty-seven others including Raël himself, are not divine but Elohim/human hybrids who have served as prophets. Raëlists believe that since the Hiroshima bomb of 1945, humanity has been in an Age of Apocalypse, threatening itself with annihilation, and must find new scientific and technological developments for peaceful purposes. Then the Elohim will return to Earth to share their technology and begin a utopia.
Raëlians disbelieve in evolution, believing that DNA naturally rejects mutations. They believe the Elohim planted all life on Earth 25,000 years ago through scientific processes. The Elohim were likewise created by another race and one-day humanity will do the same on some other planet. While the Raëlians also disbelieve in an afterlife, they vigorously pursue scientific inquiry into cloning, which will grant its own form of immortality. Raël established a research company called Clonaid, which in 2002 alleged that it had successfully produced a human baby named Eve, bringing much critical scrutiny and media attention to the group.
Joining the Raëlian Movement requires denying any previous theistic associations, followed by a baptism. The ritual, known as the transmission of the cellular plan, is believed to communicate the new member’s DNA makeup to an Elohim extraterrestrial computer.
Raëlianism strives for world peace, sharing, democracy and nonviolence, and also has a very liberal attitude towards sex. The Elohim are benevolent creators who wish for us to enjoy the life they have given us. As such, Raëlians embrace sensuality and are strong advocates of sexual freedom between consenting adults, which attitude is one of the better-known facts about them. Raëlians, therefore, exhibit a very wide variety of sexual orientations and preferences, including monogamy and even chastity.
A news story in 2009 blew apart decades of intense secrecy about Scientology:
“Scientologists believe that mankind’s problems stem from brainwashed alien soul remnants created millions of years ago by genocidal alien overlord Xenu. The admission follows years of attempts to dismiss the story, first leaked by defectors, as anti-church propaganda… A core doctrine of Scientology belief is that freeing the human body of attachment to alien soul remnants…is key to achieving spiritual progress and relief from worries.” The Register
Science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard devised a process he called Dianetics, representing it as a form of therapy. After losing and regaining his rights to the material, and with accusations of practicing medicine without a license, he restructured it as a religion named Scientology.
In the words of Scientology scholar Susan Raines:
Ron Hubbard created in Scientology an immense landscape of alternative worlds, realities, and possibilities. Scientology cosmology, mythology, and eschatology are inescapably linked to galactic events and Hubbard’s retelling of human history is replete with science-fiction tropes …. In his therapeutic and religious teachings, Hubbard proposed a complex narrative that re-defined the essence of self and society in relation to the cosmos. For Scientologists, the fantastic becomes mundane as they position themselves within a vast and heavy quest to reshape themselves, the rest of humanity, and, for some, the entire universe. Understood within the science-fiction context from which Scientology emerged, one can better understand the grand nature of Hubbard’s proposals as belonging to a specific tradition within the genre – namely, space opera.
Only through Dianetics auditing, with its technology, reported Raines, could one address these ability-inhibiting engrams to reach the state of ‘Clear.’
Wikipedia describes the belief system succinctly: “Scientology is a set of beliefs and practices invented by American author L. Ron Hubbard, and an associated movement. It has been variously defined as a cult, a business or a new religious movement.” As of 2008, its worldwide membership had declined from upwards of 100,000 to roughly 30,000. As Wiki points out and other groups in this post demonstrate, UFO groups often recast traditional religious themes in the language of modern technology; similarly, the Church of Scientology presents spiritual teachings and mythology as psychology. For his followers, Hubbard created a new reality.
Within his cosmology, whose history seems to form the structure of his space opera, each Scientologist works his way step by expensive step, through 75 million years of collected engrams to reach a state of ‘Clear.’ Even after that, more levels of therapy are required to ensure spiritual adequacy.
Without question, Scientology is far and away the most complex, designed, and inherently manipulative of these alternative religious movements, not to mention its being the most controversial, pricey, and litigious.
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a quasi-Islamic and Black nationalist movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in 1930. His mission was to “teach the downtrodden and defenseless Black people a thorough knowledge of God and of themselves.” The group’s central purpose has always been to build social justice and racial pride, on a foundation of UFO and biblical beliefs.
Its late leader Elijah Muhammad built a myth around the fabled story in the biblical Book of Ezekiel about a mighty wheeled chariot in the heavens. Elijah reported in his books that his mentor, Wallace Fard Muhammad, used that biblical evidence of a “Mother Plane” or great “Wheel” to claim there was hidden technology on Earth which is secretly known to certain scientists all around the world. The UFO cover-up is not simply to hide the fact that such objects exist; instead, the cover-up is to prevent the public from knowing the source of power behind these crafts. These apocalyptic views describe how these machines will have a hand in the Day of Judgment, when God will use them to (at last) wipe out evil—white oppression and its society—leaving the Black nation to live the Kingdom of God on Earth, as biblically described in Revelation.
The associations between UFOs and spiritualism were once very much joined at the hip. … there obviously are still unique similarities between the spiritual nature of mankind and the UFO phenomenon; At the heart of the matter, it seems that the ultimate nature of the UFO mystery does still maintain some link to our inner-selves. |
– Micah Hanks , mysteriousuniverse.com
The “contact movement,” represent[s] one maanifestation of a “scientific” NRM. Drawing on time-honoured religious stories of the descent of supernatural beings from the heavens, UFO groups developed what has been called a “technological myth” of the arrival—whether imminent or actual and ongoing—on Earth of space aliens, who will bring advanced knowledge and spiritual wisdom.
Nation of Islam
Saviors from the sky
Conspiracies – secrets and hidings
Technology as god
Mal Mitchell says
Thanks – interesting and nutty stuff. Not an extensive listing, of course. There are so many obscure ones which won’t even have discernible traces on the internet: The Wikipod Expectancy, for example – the cult founded in Bognor Regis (UK) by Bethsheba and Meredith Noakes in 1967, the youngest of whose adherents are now in their 80s. The group’s early activities revolved around a prophecy that Divine Knowledge would be brought to Earth in pods, ‘Wikipods’, by human-like beings, and this knowledge would be gathered, collated then distributed around the planet by some electronically facilitated means. So far as anyone has heard of it, the cult has naturally become connected in the public imagination with the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In distinction to Wikipedia’s clear political and philosophical neutrality, general reliability and invariably sensitive, balanced treatment of subjects, the Wikipodians have long been suspected of ‘trolldom’, devoted to diverse endeavours to infiltrate public information sources (including actual Wikipedia entries) with conservative, establishment-think viewpoints, and to rid them of anything presenting alternatives to mainstream narratives, etc. That this would seem to be radically opposed to an agenda of disseminating ‘Divine Knowledge’ is one of the many conundrums currently associated with The Wikipod Expectancy.
Nan Bush says
Thanks, Mal. There’s just no limit to the nutty stuff! Still, I hope Meredith and Bethsheba Noakes stayed aroound long enough after 1967 to know how fantastically successful their little cult has become. Why, here you are, living out the Wikipods mission statement! A note about Wiki: I use it so constantly, they get a monthly donation from me. Nonetheless, they are not the objective exemplars your faith has led you to believe. Anything Wiki considers “pseudoscience” has a hard time with their editors, no matter the subject’s reputation elsewhere. The paranormal is always suspect from a materialistic perspective.
Would that all trolls were so clever.
Oh dear… Sorry Nancy – I’m afraid I didn’t put enough put enough pepper in the satirical dish there, as it seems to have passed for an honest meal…. I certainly doubt that Wikipedia need your donation more than they need people to have such impressions. And not that he’s an ‘objective exemplar’, but it’s worth lending an ear to Wikipedia’s co-founder spelling out how “I no longer trust the website I created” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0P4Cf0UCwU. To speak plainly then, very much YES to your point here re Wikipedia’s firings of “pseudoscience” charges at anything outside ‘standard issue’ supposed science/reality.
Nan Bush says
Mal, back in August when I posted about UFO religions, you sent three comments. Although I responded to all three, something obviously went haywire, as I’ve now discovered all of them still sitting in the Comments queue. Odd, and leading to more questions. However, my apologies for the miscommunication. I now get a better view of the satire!
Mal Mitchell says
No problem, Nan, and many thanks for all your thoughts.
Jill Whitehead says
Just in case others aren’t receiving your emails, I subscribed again and will let you know if it works.
Nan Bush says
Thank you, Jill. I’m inching back.
A. Christian says
Goodness. I’m at a loss for words. Oh wait, no I’m not.
Okay. there is so much here, but let me just say that all these abovementioned things are ALL New Age Cult worship. I’m surprised Ruth Montgomery hasn’t “reincarnated” here, LOL!
Seriously. This is dangerous stuff.
You are all being led down a dark and dangerous path here. I broke away (Praise Jesus!) from this New Age stuff a few years ago. I prayed to Jesus Christ for guidance, and mercifully he answered my prayers. Please do understand, this whole ‘alien’ thing is a cover for the devil and his dark angels. I grew up experiencing some of this UFO and “spirit” activity. I got the HELL scared out of me a few times. This is BEFORE I was saved by the mercy and grace of our Lord. He let me go down the wrong paths of New Ageism, out of body experiences, tarot cards, getting psychic readings, buddhism, things of that nature.
Please do get Texe Marrs’ “Book of Cults”. These alternative religions (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism etc) are all apostate. Jesus himself said nobody gets to the Father (God) except by me (Jesus Christ). We are not to be yoked to the unbeliever. Islam only sees Jesus as a “prophet”. He is the Son of God. Jehovah Witnesses see Jesus as a “brother” of the devil! (btw, the founder of JW was a high up 32 degree freemason), the Mormons only believed Jesus was one God (of many) who ‘owned’ this planet, but if you become a Mormon (males only, sorry ladies!), you too can get your own planet populated with lots of gorgeous women! Harem city here we come! Not to make light of this situation, it’s very very deadly! This is your immortal soul! This is the evil of ecumenicsm which is already prophesied about the global religion that THE Anti-Christ will take over once we’re back to the past of Babylon and the tower of Babel. I urge you all to read “Mysterious Monuments” (also by Texe Marrs) as well as books about the New Age (New Age Lies to Women is very good, by Wanda Marrs, his wife).
This is satan in disguise. Pure and simple. Please do not be fooled. For many will be led astray. I was, until I asked Jesus Christ for help.
I pray you do not delete this comment, but if you do, I will pray you are led to the truth, the way and the life which is by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior.
May the Lord bless you with his grace!
To God be the Glory, forever and ever, AMEN!
Jon F. says
I’d find it easier to believe that Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are all apostate if it weren’t for the fact that two of these religions are older than Christianity (a lot older in Hinduism’s case).
Judy Nill says
Nan, I’m wondering how you’re doing. Hoping all is as well as possible.
Nan Bush says
Judy, many thanks. Six months after the stroke, I am at least home, with lots of physical therapy and a fair amount of mental sorting out. I’m still on a walker and not cleared to drive. Thinking takes real effort. Until recently, a message this length would be impossible because of the hand tremors. So, there’s lots of progress, but all of it maddeningly slow. But I can think you a hug.