A Gnostic Viewpoint on “Alien Abductions”
This blog is an elaboration of the ideas in God Reconsidered: Searching for Truth in the Battle Between Atheism and Religion. I used my training as a business journalist to analyze the major philosophies to find the best answers to the big questions about the purpose of life and what happens after death. There is more material and a Facebook Forum to post questions at www.GodReconsidered.com. All my writings express my personal opinions—there is no Gnostic Inquisition that oversees doctrinal purity—so others who share the same light shouldn’t be blamed for controversies I occasionally stir up.
In Part 1, I explained why traditional religions East and West fail to give adequate answers to the mysteries of life and why those provided by the philosophy of Gnosticism made the best sense to me:
In Part 2, I made the case that the starting point for determining the truth of why we are here needs to be recognition that the material universe is real (some philosophers have asserted it is an illusion):
In Part 3, I challenged the claim of the major religions that our spirits were sent into this world in order to exercise free will to do the right thing and either become worthy to go to heaven or escape the cycle of rebirth:
In Part 4, I argued that all humans only live once and survive death, though consciousness and our ties to friends and family take us into different dimensions:
In Part 5, I discussed how Gnosticism emerged in the Middle East as a mystical alternative to the faction of Christianity that became the Catholic Church, explained why the New Testament is not a reliable source for history or doctrine, explained the Gnostic Eucharist, and initiated the section “Spiritual Manifestations of the Living Gnosis” (see the contribution by another modern Gnostic at the end of this blog): https://brevity.news/the-case-for-gnosticism-part-5-the-dead-book-vs-the-living-gnosis/
“Aliens” Abducted My Religion
In God Reconsidered, the opening three chapters document how philosophic materialists (atheists who do not believe in anything popularly considered supernatural) reject certain phenomena without serious investigation. One is ESP or telepathy, which has been confirmed by hundreds of double-blind experiments. Another is that the human spirit survives death (I added to the evidential argument in Part 4 of this blog). The most controversial chapter is the one on UFOs, in which I provide detailed analysis of three famous cases that show that skeptics have lied about the evidence. No one who has taken a serious look at this subject can easily dismiss some of these events as the result of mistaking natural phenomena for “flying saucers.” That’s why J. Allen Hynek, the U.S. Air Force’s chief investigator tasked to debunk reports for Project Blue Book, ended up switching sides, founding the Center for UFO Studies in Chicago to pursue objective research into such events.
To focus everyone on the hard evidence, I avoided going into what the UFOs might be or muddying the waters by addressing the bizarre “alien abduction” phenomenon. I knew there was something “real” about UFOs long before I ever researched the subject because a doctor for whom I worked in 1975 and his associate, who had been a skeptic, told me about a saucer they had come across in southern Arizona one day parked in the middle of the road. I myself saw a mysterious set of blinking, stationary lights a few hundred yards up with a couple of police officers a decade later on Halloween and shortly thereafter I began reading about the subject just out of curiosity. I assumed that I would not emerge with any clear idea about what the creatures in the UFOs were up to and certainly did not think this had any serious religious implications (I grew up Mormon and our theology taught that there was human-like life on many other planets).
But as I read the early abduction literature, I felt this was a serious challenge to traditional belief in a just God. I had become increasingly disturbed, as I argue in the book, that the evidence is that we have very limited free will. We also live in a world plagued by accidents that derail any plan for achieving spiritual goals, for which God or karma had sent us into this life. From the beginning, humans have also suffered from genetic mutations, mental illness, diseases they didn’t know how to prevent, and dysfunctional parenting that made children’s lives even more difficult. Whatever theoretical influence demons might have, accepting alien abductions as a reality would mean believing that God didn’t really care about protecting us from anything in the entire universe.
After I went through the Landmark Forum, designed to stimulate personal growth through a stressful three-day seminar, my doubts about my faith increased. In January 1989, I experienced a spiritual crisis, a mystical dark night of the soul, in which I perceived through “direct knowledge” that all mainstream religions were based on a lie about why we are here (that we are to use free will to follow divine laws and go to heaven or escape the cycle of rebirth). Five months later, a more blissful vision of the divine realm provided the other half of what I now understand as “gnosis,” knowledge of the greater metaphysical reality as it relates to the human condition, although I knew nothing about Gnosticism at the time.
After working on a book in 1997 with famed Israeli psychic Uri Geller about the UFO cases with the strongest evidence (he had also had encounters), we discovered that publishers weren’t receptive after the glut of books for the 50th anniversary of the alleged saucer crash in Roswell, N.M. I turned many of the chapters into articles for UFO Magazine, and also had it publish a cover story I had originally written for Los Angeles magazine on local cases (my editor had scheduled to run, but was fired before it did and the new editor, who came from a fashion magazine, killed it as something that didn’t fit with vision of what a city magazine should cover). In the process of researching that article, I had interviewed someone I felt was very credible as a possible abductee, as well as Dr. Roger Leir, a podiatric surgeon who headed a team that had removed mysterious objects that abductees claimed were implanted by extraterrestrials.
The typical “abductee” reported that at the onset of the experience, he or she felt paralyzed, often while in bed at night or while watching a UFO somewhere else. Then they would be levitated through solid objects and into a spaceship, had mysterious medical procedures performed, and were returned to the place from which they were taken, coming to without an immediate memory of what happened, but noticing that their watch had moved ahead several hours from the last time they remembered (so-called “missing time”). The Wiki entry on “Alien abduction” provides a fair summary of the common sequence of the experience: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_abduction. It sounds like an absurd hallucination until one impartially analyzes the evidence that suggests that something extremely strange happened to these individuals. Many claiming to have been abducted have been tested and found to have normal personalities and no sign of mental illness.
One of my interviews for UFO Magazine was with C.D.B. Bryan, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist, who had a similar reaction to the one I did about the tales of abduction, which he wrote about in Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind. He told me that he decided to get out of the investigation before the phenomenon’s weirdness threatened his sanity.
David Jacobs’ Case for Taking Abductions Seriously
I had felt that the best case for the idea that the alleged ETs were not benevolent (some abductees view them as New Age saviors here to save us from ourselves), and that the abduction stories were not simply hallucinations, was made by David Jacobs in Secret Life (1992) and The Threat (1998). I had also read Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series, which documented what seemed like ET manipulation of human history from the beginning. Scott Rogo’s Miracles argued that a silver disk sometimes appeared alongside the Virgin in Marian visions like those at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, which made it seem that these entities were trying to encourage humans to believe in monotheistic religions. But I also interviewed Richard L. Thompson, author of Alien Identities, who argued that they were also behind Hinduism.
Jacobs, a now-retired history professor at Temple University, brought an admirably hard-headed approach to trying to understand what was really happening to abductees. He learned to regress them under hypnosis to recall these experiences (though he considers this simply a relaxation technique; I’m very suspicious of any kind of hypnosis because my wife, Sandra Wells, is a hypnotherapist and my research into “past lives” made me realize just how easy it is for memories to become confused with imagination). Jacobs defended his technique in two interviews with Alex Tsakiris of Skeptico, explaining how careful he has been to avoid contaminating real memories or to be taken in by confabulation (making things up without the intention to deceive, just as we spin meaningful stories out of memories that make our dreams seem real): http://skeptiko.com/230-david-jacobs-academia-alien-contact/ and http://skeptiko.com/231-dr-david-jacobs-dismisses-spiritual-alien-abduction-stories/
Jacobs argued in his first books that a complicated effort was underway to use human abductees to breed with the aliens, perhaps because their genetic stock was in decline. In 2015, he published Walking Among Us: The Alien Plan to Control Humanity, which laid out what he has concluded since then. The back cover includes recommendations by Thomas Bullard, a respected folklorist and author of The Myth and Mystery of UFOs, and Don Donderi, a retired associate professor of psychology and author of UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions.
After 15 years away from the study of abductions, I felt I was overdue for an update, especially since I did not discover Gnosticism until 2005 and wanted to revisit the topic from my new perspective. I had been introduced to Stephan Hoeller of Ecclesia Gnostica by my wife, a one-time practitioner of ritual magic, who had her own UFO encounter. I also was looking for material for our scheduled joint interview for Halloween 2017 with Miguel Conner on the Gnostic podcast AeonByte (she was with me on the one two years ago, when she recounted her experiences with supernatural powers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evTvYNqWAQg&t=681s)
I would not recommend Jacobs’ new book as a place to start for those not familiar with why some claims of alien abduction are credible. But it does list reasons why they can’t be simply dismissed as simple hallucinations or false memories implanted by hypnosis:
°When people are abducted they are physically missing from their normal environment (however, he acknowledges that this usually occurs when they would be least missed).
°Bystanders are sometimes witnesses.
°Some people are abducted in groups and can confirm each others’ reports.
°When they return, they may have scars, broken bones, etc., they didn’t have before.
°Their clothes might be inside out or they’re wearing someone else’s.
°The phenomenon is global and cuts across all social, ethnic, religious, educational and other lines.
°Abductions typically start in childhood and are this also occurs to other family members going back generations.
°Some abductees have memories of their experiences without recalling them under hypnosis.
Jacobs constructs his new examination of the evidence around 14 abductees among those he has worked with who were involved in 1,150 “abduction events.” He also mentions that tens of thousands have written to him or colleagues about similar experiences and a Roper poll in 1991 of 5,986 people in the U.S., with an error rate of 1.4%, indicated a minimum of 2%, or six million Americans, might have been abducted by the ETs (extrapolated to the rest of the world, that would be 150 million out of a population of 7.5 billion).
Abductees have told him there is a hierarchy of aliens:
Insectalins: 6 feet-plus tall, who look somewhat like praying mantises, have large black eyes and no mouth, ear, or nose holes, and no visible reproductive organs or gender identification. They communicate with humans via telepathy and are in charge.
Small Grays: 3-3.5 feet tall, with almond-shaped eyes pointing towards nose holes, and ear holes, as well as a non-functioning slit for a mouth, without gender identification. They participate in the abductions and act as helpers.
Tall Grays: 4-4.5 feet tall, identifiable as male or female, they also are involved in the abductions and do the complex procedures related to reproduction.
Reptalin Hybrids: 5-6 feet tall, they have snake-like heads, scaly skin, cat-like eyes, and mouths, gender unknown. They perform complex physical procedures and question abductees about their lives telepathically.
“Aliens come from a collective society in which individuality and personal lives are virtually nonexistent,” wrote Jacobs. “They appear to have no idle or personal time in which they can indulge in any kind of rest or recreation. Insectalins and grays have limited emotional ranges…It is entirely possible that no art forms exist…The language abductees recount has no sarcasm, irony, or humor…In a telepathic society, privacy and individual expression are necessarily nonexistent or severely truncated.“
There are also, Jacobs writes, humanoid hybrids of various types, who may care for hybrid children, develop relationships with abductees, and protect the most advanced versions, known as hubrids, as they integrate into earthly society. The ultimate goal is to peacefully take over the planet, with the help of the abductees.
Why don’t they simply eliminate us with superior weapons? Jacobs admits he doesn’t know, but hazards three guesses:
*Their planet is dying and they want to continue on earth, which has a ready-made civilization, and they want to breed hybrids which can thrive in our environment.
*By acquiring planets, they can become stronger than competing ET groups.
*Earth has resources or characteristics they need.
“Are aliens walking among us?” he asks. “They are, and I know how insane I sound. There is apparently little that can be done to stop the inexorable takeover…The one thing that gives hope for efforts to disrupt the aliens is that they remain secretive. This implies weakness somewhere in their program that humans can exploit. Taking advantage of that weakness, however, is unlikely unless the scientific community participates—and that is extremely improbable.”
An independent researcher I respect, Tom Montalk, agrees with Jacobs about the nature and extent of the problem, though he does believe the real ETs are also imitated by Occult Entities that prey on mortals. He is less pessimistic than Jacobs, asserting that there are a variety of spiritual practices that might help stop abductions: http://montalk.net/alien/35/synopsis-of-the-alien-master-plan. I must admit, though, that his reliance on sources like conspiracy theorist David Icke and the New Age “Ra Material” make me question this interpretation of what is going on. He asks, in “Where Are the Good Guys?”:
Why don’t the Forces of Light just burst in with phasers blazing, take out the corrupt shadow elite, and free humanity from tyranny and deception? Partly because a large portion of humanity has yet to learn to be responsible, strong, independent, and discerning by going through a collective dark night of the soul. They have to be initiated via trial by fire. Consequently, they are weak, ignorant, and complacent.
If the dark forces were to disappear right now in an instant, one half of the problem would be solved. But the other half, people’s free will decisions to support the Matrix Control System and their vice for suffering abuse and manipulation, that half cannot be eradicated.
The Forces of Light are performing surgery on our planet—that means a delicate operation that works through us rather than upon us. It appears to involve incarnating into human bodies and turning over the system from the inside while the other half of the team stays in the higher realms and makes sure those below get a fair shot at doing their jobs.
I disagree with this view because I think it reflects both Western and Eastern religions’ assertions that blame the victims for terrible experiences as necessities. And I present evidence in chapter 6 and this blog’s Part 3 that our free will is greatly limited by genetics and cultural conditioning, as well as the chaos of the material world, from earthquakes to diseases, which destroys any chance for any neat plan to fulfill an individual’s divine or karmic destiny.
Strangers in a Strange Land
The first well-documented modern abduction was of Antonio Vilas Boas in 1957, but the one that really launched interest in the phenomenon was the case of Betty and Barney Hill, whose experience took place in New Hampshire in 1961.
Yet if you accept the thesis that the ETs have been manipulating human history from the beginning, it does make one wonder why the hybrid program has taken so long to launch and why it is progressing so slowly. Why, if the aliens have been incubating this planet for takeover, didn’t they moved evolution along a bit faster (3.8 billion years to get the right conditions)? They couldn’t spur civilization to develop faster after it appeared 6,500 years ago? And it does seem unlikely that if the ETs could get here from distant galaxies or other dimensions that they couldn’t find us before the first homo sapiens 300,000 years ago. If they did, why did they wait until the 1950s to start up the abduction project?
Montalk claims that since the aliens have mastered space-time, they aren’t on the human time-table, but it is still a very slow process by any measure (in this blog’s Part 3, I cite leading physicist Lee Smolin, who says that all we know is that in this reality there actually is a past, present, and future, with the big bang occurring 13.8 billion years ago and a universe that is still expanding; it would be prudent not to adopt radical conclusions about time to “solve” every inconvenient problem until we know a little more, just a century after Einstein’s theory of relativity).
If one accepts Jacobs’ reports on how difficult the humanoids are finding it to integrate into earthly society unnoticed, it doesn’t seem likely there will be any quantum leap in the process. It’s essentially like taking a peasant from 15th century China and putting him down in present-day New York City: every little detail has to be taught, from learning colloquial American and to how to master a job. The ETs are so clueless, despite their telepathy, that Jacobs claims they are very dependent on abductees for this training. These mortals may be fools, but it is apparently very hard to fool them into thinking a humanoid is a real human.
Jacobs takes 187 pages to list a vast number of challenges, including:
Children: After growing up on UFOs in a telepathic society, young hybrids have to learn about going to earthly schools, doing reading, writing, and homework, having pets, using utensils, eating pizza, playing games, sleeping, touching others appropriately, and dressing.
Teens and Young Adults: Training includes how to be fashionable, putting on nail polish, eating an orange, dancing, knowing the right facial expressions, making friends, playing sports, driving a car.
Adults: The agenda includes going to sleep, using refrigerators and dishwashers, how to bathe and use the bathroom, playing a DVD, laughing when humans would while watching a comedy, going to church, playing baseball and basketball, making small talk with neighbors, having sex, selling on eBay, sending email, making phone calls, and shopping at stores.
To help during The Change, as the ETs call it, some abductees are taught how to pilot a UFO and how to exert mind control over humans. Special hybrids liaison with abductees when they are back in their normal worldly state and they protect hybrids as they try to integrate into human society. But the whole process seems like a Rube Goldberg contraption with a thousand moving parts that could go awry, a bad science fiction cover story.
Despite having such great powers, ETs are apparently imperfect and quite vulnerable:
°They make mistakes in everything from letting people see their craft to putting abductees back in the wrong places.
°They need the help of abductees, but there is a limited number they can control.
°They’re afraid the humanoids might like the human lifestyle enough to switch sides.
°If the women who are implanted with alien fetuses remember what happened, they might terminate their pregnancies.
°They want their program to be kept secret, but they’re not very effective in completely blocking memories (nor do they stop Jacobs and his colleagues from writing about the abductions).
Malice in Wonderland
A bigger question might be that if the ETs wanted to preserve some form of human civilization, why didn’t they stop the Black Plague form killing off 40% of Europe in the Middle Ages, the smallpox epidemics that killed 500 million in the 20th century alone, the atomic bombings of Japan, or Mao Zedong when he killed as many as 70 million of his own people? Why not stop cancer or climate change now?
On the other hand, couldn’t they kill us off quicker with something that would be selective or just put most of us into a trance?
One might think they could simply make an overwhelming display of alien power and promise peace to those who comply. In a battle with earthlings, their mind control should be able to frustrate most opposition. If they are the robot-like hive-minds Jacobs depicts, they aren’t likely to be worried about dying in a battle and they can readily change dimensions to avoid attack.
But all of the arguments for abduction rest on the assumption that these must be ETs who can travel through space-time to get here. Jacobs notes that scientists have posited that our galaxy alone could contain at least 8.8 billion habitable planets, which leads him to a conservative calculation of 88 million advanced civilizations. But astrobiologist David Waltham, in Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional—and What That Means for Life in the Universe, wrote there are hundreds of scientific reasons to believe our conditions would not be likely duplicated elsewhere for the billions of years needed.
That would explain why the SETI program that broadcasts messages into space in a way any alien intelligence should recognize hasn’t found anyone home. Other than the claims about aliens and UFOs, which are rejected by most scientists, there is no evidence of advanced life forms anywhere else. If that turns out to be true, Gnostics should not be surprised, since our mythology portrays this world as the result of an accident. There certainly are not good reasons for God to populate other planets, let alone this one (see chapter 6 of my book and this blog Part 3).
Let us consider an alternative to the literal alien abduction scenario that starts from the fact, which only Gnostics fully acknowledge, that there is a dualistic tension between the forces of good and evil in the universe. Neither the ETs nor demons/archons have overrun the earth; angels and the Virgin Mary only make occasional appearances, allegedly as messengers of God. But we know that such entities have been eagerly promoting competing religious traditions.
The “aliens” have often rattled their light-sabers when they haven’t been pretending to be our Space Brothers here to save us. But do they really have the power to take over our planet? Even a few decades ago we would have been easier to conquer or infiltrate, certainly a century or thousands of years ago. There have been apocalyptic predictions from many traditions that have not come to pass and the threats this time seem likely to be just as hollow.
But we do know that entities like the demons of many religions like to terrify mortals, sometimes even possess them. In Gnostic myth, the archons who aide the Demiurge would like nothing better than to make the mortals cower and worship them. Perhaps the reason that the “aliens” have allegedly only abducted 2% of the population is because there are limits to what they can do, whether that is due to a cosmic law or because of their inability to operate readily in our physical world. But don’t look for an all-powerful God to stop the supposed ETs, any more than there will be divine intervention to end other suffering of the innocent. As I argued in chapter 5 of God Reconsidered, mainstream religions can’t square their concept of a benevolent deity with human history.
We also know that the entities calling themselves aliens lie, just like the trickster gods of folklore and some pagan religions. Why should we believe them when they tell us we’re doomed? The claim that they want abductions kept secret sounds like disinformation they actually wish disseminated.
It seems likely that whatever they are, they’re quite capable to masking themselves as extraterrestrials, planting physical evidence, allowing radar to detect their so-called saucers and let thousands of witnesses see them in the service of promoting the myth (perhaps the bodies at Roswell, if they existed, were of actual ETs and nothing to do with those behind the abductions; Jacobs acknowledges there may be more than one species of visitors, while Montalk thinks some could be genuine ETs, while the OEs imitate them to cloak their actual identity as hostile supernatural beings).
Black Holes in the Fairy Tales
After referencing C.G. Jung’s view that UFOs were a mythological manifestation of the collective unconscious, Bullard discussed some alternative theories to the ET model, starting with those of Jacques Vallee, an astrophysicist who was Hynek’s assistant 1963-67 and the model for the scientist in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind (he also developed the C.E. ranking system, which goes to 5 when someone suffers lasting harm). After he and Hynek defected from the Blue Book investigation, Vallee had written books that supported the ET hypothesis, initially, as Bullard recounts:
In 1969, he nailed a series of radical theses to the door of established ufology, starting with Passport to Magonia. There he sought to “build a bridge between two clusters of rumors, observations and reports,” one the claims of UFO encounters, the other an unlikely company of fairy legends and demonological traditions. Stripped down to basic events, UFO accounts and fairy folklore revealed enough likenesses to suggest a unitary phenomenon. UFOs, he said, existed at a juncture between the material and mental, where they manifested both physical and nonphysical properties. The intelligence behind UFOs was inherently elusive and misleading, but the very absurdity of anomalous “encounter” events constituted their logic, since they operated like a schedule of reinforcement to break old conceptual habits and rearrange our mythological structures. The goal of this conditioning was unclear. Did it nudge us toward cosmic consciousness or portend a new religion?
In any case, UFOs were just one facet of a mystery that encompassed all paranormal phenomena. John Keel, in The Mothman Prophecies, proposed an ultraterrestrial intelligence that perpetuated an Operation Trojan Horse on humanity, with aliens, angels, and poltergeists some of the various disguises assumed by this intelligence as it spread deception and nonsense to disorient conventional thought and lead some recipients toward enlightenment, others toward madness and ruin.
In Magonia (a folk name for the Other World), Vallee gave five reasons for his increasing skepticism about the alien theory of UFOs:
1) Unexplained close encounters are too numerous to be explained by the supposed mission of doing a survey of earth.
2) The “alien” body structure is not likely to have originated on another planet and not biologically adapted to space travel.
3) The reported behavior in thousands of abduction reports contradicts the hypothesis of genetic or scientific experimentation on humans by an advanced race.
4) The extension of the phenomenon throughout recorded human history demonstrates that UFOs are not a contemporary phenomenon.
5) The apparent ability of UFOs to manipulate space and time suggests radically different and richer alternatives.
Jeffrey Kripal’s Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred, devotes an entire chapter to Vallee (Kripal also remarked on the anachronistic medical procedures reportedly used on abductees in an interview with AeonByte: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_msLbRLx9p8&t=2462s).
Vallee had seen a UFO with his family in France in 1955 at age six, but blocked it out of his memory until his mother reminded him many years later. After completing an M.S. in physics and astronomy, he began working at the satellite service of the Paris Observatory in 1961, where he saw recordings of UFOs destroyed, while the government then publicly denied had existed. He left for the U.S. the next year to work at the University of Austin on the first computer-based map of Mars. He then moved to Chicago and worked with Hynek at Northwestern University’s Dearborn Observatory, earning his Ph.D. in 1967.
After moving to California, in 1972 he began working on Arpanet for the Pentagon, which evolved into the Internet two decades later. For SRI in Menlo Park, he did research in the same building where it was conducting experiments for the military with Geller, Ingo Swann, Joseph McMoneagle, and others that produced startling results in remote viewing and moving objects with the mind.
Vallee left SRI at the end of 1973 to found his own software group, the Institute for the Future. Two years later, he published The Invisible College, a reference to those who secretly collaborated during the Dark Ages of science on “forbidden knowledge,” to avoid being accused of being in league with the devil. Now, he wrote, scientists who wanted to do serious research on flying saucers could be threatened with loss of their jobs and excommunication by the gatekeepers of conventional wisdom. He argued that UFO appearances were part of a control system of human consciousness through the ages by Cosmic Puppet Masters, using “psychic technology” to create our mythology. The solution to the crisis “lies where it has always been: within ourselves,” as Jung and the ancient Gnostics would have suggested.
His next books, called the Alien Contact Trilogy, developed his ideas further: Dimensions (1988), the most metaphysical volume; Confrontations (1990), which documents cases of encounters during which individuals were harmed; and Revelations (1991), which argues that the secrecy and deception used by the entities and by governments “creates a hall of mirrors in which the signal is completely drowned out by the noise, making it the most depressing of the books,” Kripal summarized.
Intimations of Immortality
In 1992, Vallee had published his personal journals about his paranormal research as Forbidden Science, and in the second edition in 1996, he wrote an epilogue confirming what Kripal calls “his mature gnosis, which is still defined by an impossible double conviction: in the metaphysical reality of Magonia and in the foolishness of accepting the standard ufological readings. The ufonauts, he wrote now, ‘continue to behave like the absurd denizens of bad Hollywood movies,’ and their ‘technology is a simulacrum—and a very bad one at that—of obsolete human biological and engineering notions.’ The encounters and abduction stories still struck him as staged.”
Vallee had become disillusioned with both traditional religion and contemporary scientific dogma, Kripal wrote:
As each tries to collapse the many dimensions of reality into a fundamentalist Flatland of simple faith or pure reason…in the pathetic little strip of the electromagnetic spectrum that we are able to detect and record with our itty-bitty senses… Such an alien-ated gnosis is even more apparent in Vallee’s God of the Bible, a rather disturbing deity whom some of the early gnostic Christians considered a demiurge, that is, a half-wit creator god who was not worth their worship or respect…The True God, the Father, the One, was…a God above god. He had put the same in print over a decade ago: “The notion of the ‘good yet frightful God’ of the Bible…seems like a swindle to me: the biggest, most cruel confidence game in history.” This is radical stuff many are likely to miss or too quickly dismiss. The UFO phenomenon…as interpreted by an author like Vallee, not only challenges our basic notions of consciousness and reality. It calls into question “the entire history of human belief, the very genesis of religion, the age-old myth of interaction between humans and self-styled superior beings who claimed they came from the sky, and the boundaries we place on research, science and religion…Certainly Vallee experiences this gnosis as profoundly dangerous.
He spoke in 2007 about what he called “a festival of absurdities” with the focus on alien abductions obtained by hypnotic regression, but expressed hope we would one day come closer to the truth.
One of the least-known aspects of so-called alien abductions is that the ETs sometimes introduce entities as the victim’s “dead relatives.” The most famous living abductee, author Whitley Strieber, believes that the whole phenomenon “has something to do with death.” Even pilot Kenneth Arnold, whose 1947 sightings popularized the term flying saucers, came to believe UFOs were “connected to the realm of death.” I believe the attempts to tie UFOs to the afterlife are the ultimate deception: in my view, the “aliens” (when they aren’t really ETs) are the Gnostic archons, attempting within the limits of their powers to harass mortals and make them despair of any spiritual meaning in life.
Those who are being bothered by these entities might try Montalk’s spiritual practices to ward them off, as well as those I recommend in chapter 13 of my book within the Gnostic tradition, or the ones in Dion Fortune’s Psychic Self-Defense.
In chapter 3 and this blog Part 4, I presented compelling evidence that all humans (and some higher animals, at least) survive death in another dimension. I’m a skeptic about reincarnation for reasons stated (there is no Gnostic dogma on this), so if I’m correct about that, it would mean that we have 70 billion examples of people who have escaped the grasp of the archonic powers of this world. According to the International Associates for Near-Death Studies, surveys of Americans, Germans, and Australians suggest 4-15% of the population has undergone a near-death experience and NDEs have been described in 95% of the world’s cultures. I believe we are all destined for immortality in a realm we can’t imagine, commensurate with our consciousness and with eternal progress possible.
But we aren’t supposed to rush that transition, one way or another.
Spiritual Manifestations of the Living Gnosis, Part II
Last time, I ended the blog with contributions from some individuals active in the modern Gnostic movement about the spiritual experiences, with different viewpoints on the details of the core philosophy. I invite readers who want to share their own stories to send a few paragraphs or pages: firstname.lastname@example.org (let me know how to ID you if you don’t want your name used and I will get back to you with questions or comments before publication).
Tau Rosamonde Ikshvaku Miller
Rosamonde Miller is well-known in Gnostic circles as Tau (bishop) of the Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum www.gnosticsanctuary.org in Redwood City, Calif. (Facebook page “Gnostic Sanctuary”). She has an unusual and fascinating story that led to its founding.
“My earliest recollections at a very early age were of the presence of the extraordinary,” she told me. “My parents were officially Catholic, but not very religious in the traditional sense and my mother liked to visit churches of different denominations, as well as those of non-Christian groups. I can remember clearly when I was five and she took me to my first Catholic mass. I sat there very quietly, looking all around, until we stood up and the priest in his ceremonial vestments stepped up to the altar. The melodious Latin was pleasant to my ears and I became curious as to what was happening at the altar. At some point, the building seemed to suddenly become flooded with light emanating from the altar and the walls and statues around me appeared to recede. The light was going through me, penetrating every pore of my body and eliciting emotions I had never experienced before. The light was alive, aware of me, and filled with an awesome, but also reassuring, knowledge, that while I couldn’t understand it, I knew what it was and that I belonged with it and in it. I don’t know how long this lasted, but slowly the statues, the shapes in the building, and the lights from the chandeliers returned to normal. This was the beginning of my spiritual journey.”
At 19, she went with her father to another country, which had a totalitarian regime. He left her alone while he was transacting some business and she was taken political prisoner on trumped-up charges that were never presented to a judge. At the secret police headquarters, she was beaten, brutally tortured, and lost the sense of the Presence, plunging her into deepest darkness, terror, and pain. During this time, there was a man who directed her abuse and seemed to enjoy it, though he never touched her.
“I thought he was the epitome of evil,” Miller recalled. “Then one day, I overheard him talking about a surprise gift that he had obtained for his daughter’s upcoming birthday. There was so much tenderness and love, I was shocked. I asked myself how a monster could be capable of love, just as I was. I realized he was a human being, like me, albeit a terrible one, and that if he was capable of love, it meant I had the potential to be as evil as he was. The shock of that revelation was too much for me and I fainted. When I came to, I recognized that in seemingly radical opposite extremes, humanity consisted of threads of dark and light with different hues interwoven within it. If this man may have seen me as an enemy, I could no longer see him as such. He was flesh of my flesh and blood of my blood. Once I accepted the wholeness of life in its totality, I became possessed of joy and love. A sense of anointment descended upon me and for a moment my cell was filled with light and the grimy walls of my small cell receded, as when I was five, and the Presence filled me once again. There were no walls and no prison and I was free, no longer a prisoner. Not much had changed externally, pain was still there, but I was no longer suffering in darkness. A week later, I managed to obtain my physical freedom.”
Miller spent many years researching all the scriptures of the world, especially the poems of mystics of different traditions, such as St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart. She also pursued philosophy, theology, science, and psychology, especially Jungian psychology. In her early 20s she came across the works of the Gnostics in a 1906 book Fragments of a Faith Forgotten by G.R.S. Mead. It included this quote from the Acts of John: “Thou hearest that I suffered, yet did I not suffer; that I suffered not, yet did I suffer; that I was pierced, yet was not pierced; hanged, and was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, and it flowed not; and, in a word, what they say of me, that befell me not, but what they say not, that did I suffer.”
“I had found my kin, the Gnostics,” Miller said. “I had found a word for the all-encompassing knowing of my experiences: gnosis.”
In 1962, she was approached by emissaries of the hierophant of the Mary Magdalene Order and offered ordination into the line of succession from Mary Magdalene herself. According to the tradition, Mary had fled with Joseph of Arimathea and a few other trusted ones to the British Isles, where they stayed until Joseph’s death. At that time, she and some of the other women sailed to the Continent, where her successors survived in strict secrecy, despite persecution.
Miller later began meeting with others who shared her interests and that discussion group led to the founding of the Gnostic Sanctuary in Palo Alto, Calif., as a “refuge for spiritual travelers.”
In 1973, she was offered ordination in the traditional apostolic succession for the masculine priesthood by Stephan Hoeller, the head bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica. This was the first time a woman would be publicly ordained since the First Council of Nicea in 325 C.E. After consulting with her hierophant in France, she agreed to accept the ordination into the traditional line, as well, and was ordained as a priest in January 1974. Her consecration as a bishop took place seven years later in 1981 at the Sanctuary, which has since been moved to Redwood City. The two churches remain distinct, but affiliated.
In an interview with the AeonByte podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9adblKhH5rA&t=1800s, Miller talked about the “very strange synchronicity” of receiving a letter from famed Jungian therapist June Singer in 1982 from the same address in Palo Alto where Miller had once lived. Miller had been giving lectures at the church based on Singer’s Androgeny: The Opposites Within, something Singer knew nothing about—she was just writing to find out if she could visit. Singer, of course, knew about Gnosticism because Carl Jung had his own mystical experiences that convinced him of the truths of the ancient tradition’s insights. Miller and Singer became good friends and Singer went on to write The Gnostic Book of Hours for the sanctuary and said that the Eucharist was “satisfying to the soul and psyche.”
“We do not follow one school of Gnostic thought, ancient or modern, and today, as our ancestors did, maintain our freedom to inquire and explore all levels of existence, unfettered by the conscious beliefs of our society and times,” Miller wrote on the Sanctuary site. “The old mysteries, as they unravel, eternally disclose new ones to be unveiled. We hold ourselves open for that Supreme Mystery to manifest in all its life and splendor in each blinding, eternal moment. We Gnostics are not pessimistic, but see life as a great adventure.”
By Scott S. Smith
About the author
Scott S. Smith is a freelance journalist, whose 1,600 articles have appeared in 180 media, such as Los Angeles Magazine and Investor’s Business Daily, He has specialized in interviews of famous people and his subjects have included Bill Gates, Meg Whitman, Stan Lee, Richard Branson, and Kathy Ireland.
He has also used his worldly skills as an analytical journalist to make the case for the paranormal in Fate magazine and in several books, notably The Soul of Your Pet: Evidence for the Survival of Animals After Death and his latest, God Reconsidered: Searching for Truth in the Battle Between Atheism and Religion, which has a dedicated website and online discussion forum at www.GodReconsidered.com.