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By: Don Allen To: All Re: The UFO Cults ** Extract from: "Phenomenon - Forty Years of Flying Saucers". Edited by John Spencer & Hillary Evans. Copyright 1988 by BUFORA. Avon Books. ISBN: 0-380-70654-7 ** This is posted for informational purposes only ** ===================================================================== The UFO Cults Kevin McClure Frequent claims have been made during the past forty years, that individuals and groups have received messages, information and instruction from intelligences and entities that claim to come from the same sources as UFOs. There are few cultures in the world that do not have as their spiritual centre a belief system based on information from a non-human source. That source can be personalized - the issue of the Ten Commandments by Jehovah to Moses - or it can be found in a body of writing - The Koran, The Talmud. The relationship to the non-human source can vary considerably. Buddhism encourages a striving to become one with that source. Judaism a detailed adherence to its laws, Catholicism promotes a judgemental system of error and forgiveness, where there can be a relationship with the divine. In simpler societies the relationship is managed through a shaman, or witch-doctor figure, chosen by a village or tribe. The more a culture develops sophistication and intellectual achievement, the more likely it is to develop a priesthood and the need to explain and understand its relationship to the rest of creation, and to the time before the birth and after the death of each individual. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that the most ancient of cultural mysteries - religion - has become deeply involved with the most modern of cultural mysteries - the UFO Experience. Most of our knowledge of the UFO Experience comes from reports from those who have witnessed UFOs of many kinds, from simple light-in-the-sky, to complex close encounter cases. There is objective evidence for very few of these, but it is important that they were _unexpected_ experiences; events that occurred out of the blue, that surprised and mystified the witnesses. Though a few go on to have repeat experiences, and to anticipate and welcome them, a great majority of witnesses shun publicity, and gain little pleasure from their experience. It is clear that a great many decide never even to tell anybody outside their immediate family. The credibility of the UFO experience as a whole rests not on individual reports but on what the ancient Greeks called `common notion'. Simply, if enough people believed something to be true, then it probably was. The only fair conclusion to be drawn on this basis is that a substantial number of reasonable people have been witnesses to events that cannot be rationally explained. However, the UFO cults, or belief groups, almost entirely avoid the accepted processes of report and investigation, but still play a part in the public understanding of the UFO field. It is proper that we look at their claims. Claims of communication and instruction from UFO-related intelligences are frequent and persistent. Most groups are short lived and to judge from material recently received from the USA we are entering a golden age of UFO belief groups. However, let us look at what a few extraterrestrial intelligences have had to say: 'I am one of these Advanced Spiritual Beings. I have come from a very high spiritual world called Aries; I am not an Earth Person. I am now living as an Earth Person in a physical body. I came to teach the Earth people' (Uriel, through Ruth E. Norman of the Unarius Foundation.) `Will you agree to be the saviour of the world?' (Ashtar, to American contactee Allen-Michael Noonan.) 'Prepare yourself! You are to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament!' (Invisible entity to George King, founder of the Aetherius Society.) 'I, Raymere, transmit once more upon this occasion in order to speak with you about the things of the next period of time ... you will find that you are moving into a higher frequency wherein there is a totally new dimension'. (Raymere, a space being, through Alenti Francesca at the Solar Light Retreat.) 'Earth's vortex is about to break because of an excess amount of hatred ...' (The space brothers resident on Io, one of the moons of Jupiter, to 'Gordon', a US contactee from 1967.) These are typical of a great many more. They purport to be from non-human sources, channelled through a particular human being who then becomes the centre of attention in a belief group: The source claims a knowledge of human and universal affairs superior to any that humanity could hope to achieve. In addition to this display of knowledge, there is almost always an exhortation for members of the belief group to undertake a task, or live in a particular, unusual way, in order to do something about a situation of which the source has made them aware. This task may be as complex as constructing a working flying saucer, or working in prayer with UFO entities to avoid disasters and change the history of the world, or as simple as spreading the word of the reality of Martians or Venusians, or of the civilizations in the centre of the Earth. All too often, a way of life is demanded that immediately sets the group members apart from the friends and neighbours around them. On such a basis have been founded many UFO-based belief groups. The classic account of the life and death of such a group is in the excellent book "When Prophecy Fails" by Festinger, Reicken, and Schachter, sociologists who joined a group in Utah as observers, and spent many hours within the group. The leader and 'channel' for the group was Marion Keech, who first received messages from her father, then from the `Elder Brother', and then from entities who said they came from the planets Clarion and Cerus. Her closest contact was Sananda, who had previously been Jesus! In 1954 her group forecast a major and disastrous flood, from which she and her followers would be physically removed by extraterrestrials. The group and its message received considerable publicity, and its members gave up jobs and possessions. During the last few days before the predicted end the messages became wilder and more contradictory, and when the appointed night came there was neither flood nor rescue. Deeply disappointed, the group drifted apart. A couple of other cases from the USA: I mentioned 'Gordon' whose Institute for Cosmic Research was given the task of building a flying saucer - The Bluebird - by one of the Great White Brothers (who make remarkably frequent appearances among many belief groups). Gordon's followers persisted with their task for seven years before they began to realize that they were getting nowhere, and the group broke up. More rewarding - for its founders at least - was HIM, Human Individual Metamorphosis, which appeared in California in 1975. Run by Bo and Peep - the chosen names of a psychiatric nurse and one of her patients - they procured a substantial following among the post-hippy generation by preaching that they would be assassinated, only to be resurrected after three days. They also promised that once their followers had achieved a lifestyle of sufficient asceticism, UFOs would come for them, and they would be removed to a physical plane above the Earth. Bo and Peep made a good deal of money, but nobody made any exciting journeys! Perhaps the belief group which has attracted the largest and most consistent following is the Aetherius Society, founded and based in Britain, but with active branches in major cities throughout the world. Following his call to become the `Voice of Interplanetary Parliament' George King, who had a background in what, in the 1950s, was known as 'the occult', founded the Aetherius Society. Over the past thirty years it has developed a detailed cosmology, in which many flying saucers represent a benign and concerned force, the Interplanetary Parliament. King wrote extensively, and explained how he had travelled to Mars and Venus, stating that Mercury was the only uninhabited planet. He detailed a battle he fought on a massive flying saucer of an interplanetary space fleet, 40,000,000 miles from Earth. In public meetings he gave out - and continues to give - messages from entities such as Mars Sector 6, the Master Aetherius and even the Master Jesus, who is apparently living on or near Venus. The tasks set for members of the Aetherius Society are usually of charging 'spiritual batteries' for the use and protection of suffering humanity, at various sites around the Earth. To quote briefly from the Society's account of Operation Prayer Power, an effort to help invasion-threatened Poland in 1981, as published in the journal "Cosmic Voice" : The Los Angeles battery had to be substituted for the inadequate Detroit one, because the Prayer Energies were not being picked up by Adepts 002 and 003 in position in their invisible [!] space craft above the central base of operations in Los Angeles ... the Great White Brotherhood Retreat in Kilimanjaro, East Africa, had now joined in the release pattern ....' At the end of the operation, Mars Sector 6 informed King that `there was a heavy resonance of Spiritual Energies over the whole of Poland'. In the great majority of belief groups the source intelligences do nothing to prove themselves to the world at large, nothing to _prove_ themselves even to their own followers: `Only believe, and thou shalt see.' But what is it that the average group member really believes in? The channel; the person through whom the messages are being transmitted, who runs the group or cult, who asks, and organizes, demands and - of course - promises. Perhaps this is why the group members take so long to become critical and untrusting - it is the charisma of the messenger that holds the group together, not the conviction of the message. Evidence is problem enough in relation to the mainstream UFO experience, but far more elusive where belief-groups are concerned. Amongst the hundreds of belief-group messages I have come across over the years, I can think of no two that have clearly been in contact with the same entity, giving the same information. And while some of the names - like Ashtar and Uriel - do crop up more than once, they seem to be different from other Ashtars and Uriels, who have never even met each other, and are unaware each of the others' existence. Historically, most of these groups have collapsed in failure, disappointment and dissent. Promises have not been fulfilled, disasters predicted have not occurred, and nobody has been flown away by the UFOs as so frequently promised. In every case, all we know of the intelligence or entity is what its channel says about it. In no way does that constitute evidence. The relationship of the communicator's revelations to the developing scientific knowledge of space is an obscure one. While there has been the occasional coincidence, exploration has made a mockery of reports of visits to alien civilizations on the nearby planets. Though the Aetherius Society covers the contradictions with the cloak of invisibility it is noticeable that as the space programme has extended its reach, so the belief groups have extended to parts of the galaxy well beyond the reach of scientific knowledge! It must be clear by now that I am less than convinced that the messages that inspire the UFO belief groups have anything to do with the broader, witness-based UFO experience. There are a great many more examples of allegedly non-human communicators who claim knowledge outside and ahead of our understanding, and who almost invariably fail; the Theosophical version of the Great White Brotherhood; the magical visitors of Eliphas Levi and Aleister Crowley and Dion Fortune; the Witch of Endor or the Delphic Oracle. We could list hundreds of spirit guides and local deities the world over: Elijah, Mahommed, Joan of Arc, and many appearances of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All have had their messages, their convictions and, inevitably, their followers. But in no case is there any significant evidence to suggest that the communicators had any separate existence from those who said they had been chosen to transmit those communications. To put my argument in its simplest form, the UFO belief groups are a contemporary form of a tradition that has been with us for thousands of years, in a guise that is attractive and convincing to followers. I do not think that the channels, the leaders of the groups, intentionally set out to deceive; they are part of a long-established cultural phenomenon, that grows and changes with the fears, wishes and priorities of succeeding generations. ** End **

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