A leading East Coast New Age magazine, New Frontier, recently ran a “dirt for sale” advertisement in its November issue. But this one had a twist — the dirt had allegedly been supercharged by extraterrestrials (ETs). It stated: UFO LANDING site radiates cosmic energy alters psychic awareness. Soil samples $5 + p&h.
Not surprisingly, the Boulder, Colorado firm that ran the ad did not respond to a letter asking for proof that there was something unusual about the dirt.
While it is not immediately known how many people actually sent in their $5, the appearance of such an ad is not unusual. Alongside all the ads bought by New Agers — peddling crystals, “power within” seminars, and channeling sessions — are news bits about recent UFO landings, announcements of upcoming UFO conferences, and advertisements from some of the nation’s leading names in the field of UFOs and the New Age. Some of the ads are placed by alleged “walk-ins,” people who claim that ETs have literally invaded their bodies and can be summoned up (sometimes for a fee) to share wisdom and Ann Landers type advice.
In short, more and more people today are saying UFOs have landed. And while proof that they have seems consistently elusive, it is clear that the phenomenon of UFOlogy — a fascination with UFOs and alleged space creatures — has landed squarely in the middle of the New Age movement.
What is behind the recent resurgence of interest in UFOs, particularly in New Age circles? Los Angeles Christian journalist Stuart Goldman says one reason for the rise in interest is the unbelievable success of science fiction/horror writer Whitley Streiber’s 1987 book. Communion (which soared to number one on the New York Times best seller list), and his recent sequel, Transformation.
In his books, Streiber alleges that he was abducted by UFO creatures and subjected to incredibly harrowing experiences, some of them sexual. Following publication of his books, Streiber formed “Communion” support groups throughout the country for people who claim to have had similar abduction experiences. These too have been growing.
In an unpublished manuscript, Goldman suggests that Streiber’s approach to the UFO phenomenon has fit the New Age movement well because it is “a much more Shirley MacLainesque approach.” Goldman, who claims to have infiltrated Streiber’s group, wrote that Streiber calls the aliens “visitors” who have possessed his body. And, says Streiber, they “are not necessarily extraterrestrial at all, but rather interdimensional beings who have come here to take man on a journey through his own consciousness” for the betterment of the planet.
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In UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game, UFO investigator Phil Klass writes: “Streiber’s remarks suggest that he now sees himself as a modern-day messiah who has been chosen to warn the people of this planet, bringing them not the Word of God, but of the omniscient UFOnauts.”
Goldman, who has appeared on numerous television and radio shows — including “Good Morning America” and
“Hard Copy’ — says there are many reasons to be wary of Streiber’s message, as well as those proclaimed by other UFO enthusiasts. First and foremost is that Streiber and others have been heavily involved in the occult prior to their “abduction” experiences, which could mean demons — not aliens — are toying with them.
“In looking at the backgrounds of UFO abductees, it quickly becomes clear that almost to a man, they have some background in New Age or occultic beliefs,” Goldman wrote. “Interestingly, studies show that there are very few practicing Christians or lews amongst UFO contactees. What could this mean? Are the aliens racists? Or does this, rather, indicate something about the belief systems of the abductees themselves?”
Streiber was a 15-year follower of (occult mystic) G. I. Gurdjieff, and his “occultic belief system includes Zen, alchemy, witchcraft, shamanism, tarot, hermeticism, and ‘mystical’ Christianity,” Goldman wrote. Moreover, says Goldman, “in an interview with author Douglas Winter in Faces of Fear, a book profiling horror writers, Streiber says, ‘I am, a student of the great thirteenth-century mystic, Meister Eckhart. I have been a witch. I have experimented with worshipping the earth as a goddess/mother.’”
Streiber was one of the leading drawing cards at the Whole Life Expo in New York City, October 6-8, 1989 — the largest New Age festival ever held on the East Coast. But he was not the only workshop leader who spoke about space beings. A number of people representing UFO sects were manning their booths — spreading their messages of benevolent space brothers and furnishing instructions from outer space on how mere humans could usher in a new Golden Age. At the same time a handful of UFO “experts” were giving workshops on topic like how to welcome the space brothers to planet Earth so they can help us save ourselves from destruction.
One of the older UFO groups represented was the Jesusonian Foundation, which follows the teachings of The Urantia Book. According to the foundation’s booklet, “Origins of The Urantia Book,” the 2,000-plus page book was penned by “numerous supermortal (angel-like) beings” working in accord with a small group of people headed by a Chicago psychiatrist in the 1920s. The Urantia Book teaches that God is a “trinity of trinities,” that the human race never had a fall, and that humans are moving forward through progressive revelation to become fused with God. The book also gives a derailed “account” (or gospel) of the life of Christ which declares that Jesus did not die to satisfy the Father’s justice and wrath.
Another group represented at the festival was the rapidly growing Raelian movement, founded by French writer Claude Vorilhon (allegedly renamed “Rael” by the space aliens). In a booklet entitled “Help us welcome Extraterrestrials,” Vorilhon claims that on December 13, 1973, “in a volcanic crater located in the center of France,” he “met with a space-craft from which emerged a small human-like being” that looked like a child. Vorilhon said the space being chose him as the one to spread “the greatest message ever revealed to humanity” and that he would be an apostle of a new world order.
The message was that he was to prepare humanity “for the Age of Apocalypse or the Age of Revelation,” which was kicked off by the explosion of the first atomic bomb in 1945. The space being also told him that life was created by aliens in a DNA laboratory.
The Raelian movement is surprisingly large and organized: it claims 30,000 members worldwide, and has more than a dozen offices throughout the world — including ones in Japan, Africa, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, and three offices in the U.S.: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami.
Other UFO groups include The Aetherius Society (which is also one of the oldest and largest UFO sects), the One World Family, the Mark Age Metacenter, the Solar Light Center, the Solar Cross Foundation, the Universal Mind Church, the Ashtar Command, the Earth Mission Interplanetary Outreach, the Unarius Educational Foundation, and the Amalgamated Flying Saucer Clubs of America.