A Theological Assessment of the Alien Abduction Phenomenon Simon Penney MSc. MA.
My dissertation was a 20,000 research project for a Master of Arts Degree in Applied Theology which I undertook in conjunction with the University of Gloucestershire and Redcliffe College in the UK I can email the PDF of the full text to anyone who is interested, please email me on [email_address]
Is this really how British People Study Aliens?
Introduction, Experience and the ETH Epistemology, Knowing and Experiencing Reality Mythological and Religious Experience Religious Themes Theological Responses Further work Overview
Introduction, Experience and the ETH You Already know a lot about this subject – Historical George Adamski – Space brothers Antonia Villas-Boas – A Darker side Barney and Betty Hill – A combination of opposites Case Study - Mark Copley (Pseudonym) 5 years old, Dreams, Grey Reptilian like creatures, smell and feel Pixies – Grandmother reassured him they would not harm him Development of passionate interest in UFO phenomenon Marking on skin Visions Witnesses to one of his experiences Psychic - Spiritual mother (healer and clairvoyant) Hybrid phenomenon
The Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis - ETH There are infinite worlds both like and unlike this world of ours.....We must believe that In all other worlds there are living creatures and plants and other things we see in This world.....Epicurus 341-270 BCE Drake Equation - (1-1 Mil! In our Galaxy) Travel Stephanie Liefer, JPL, Nuclear Pulse Technology 10% light speed 40 years to nearest stellar system, Proxima Centauri 59 Such systems within 20 light years of the Sun 100,000 more years of technology interstellar travel OK Intergalactic travel, unlikely except new physics Evidence for Life Elsewhere Exohabitats and Planets – Gilese 581 (20LY) Mars, water, methane production, Panspermia Meteorite contained uracil (AA) and formic acid = thymine SETI, no (other than wow signal), but would they respond Possible?
Knowing Introduction Epistemology, is the philosophy of Knowing Veridicality, is how much of our experience reflects reality Knowledge-Self-World-Language Mix Experience How do I know an apple on the saucer before me? Inner and outer connection, earlier experience connects with current Understanding By Asking questions Judgement By asking yet more questions Finally Knowledge (must be fully supported by ALL three stages) One further stage, Intersection of Knowledge in time/action Based on others knowledge.......faith?!
Knowing God – is a little bit like the Apple knowing the knower Wisdom is a word advocated First hand experience – does not equal knowledge!! I relied on one person whom I knew and trusted Then on second or third hand accounts, quickly become very complex Most Alien/UFO literature is almost entirely based on experience Application of Religious and Scientific questions remain in their infancy Only serious conference was the 1994 MIT conference there was almost No reference to religious/theology in that conference Knowing 2
Jacque Vallee and Similarities with Fairy Myths Abduction by fairies – taken into conical shaped hills / The shape of UFOs are often said to be conical Fairies take their abductees into windowless, womblike caverns,/ Aliens take their abductees into rounded windowless, metal chambers Those taken by fairies lose track of time/ Those taken by Aliens may experience missing time Fairies are known to have sex and give food to Abductees/ Aliens abductions often includes sexual themes . Aliens and Fairies
Fairies substitute changelings for human babies/ Aliens breed hybrid babies Fairies get human mothers for their changeling babies/ Aliens seem to keep contact between hybrid babies and their human mothers Those taken by fairies suffer from fairy bruising/ Alien abductees suffer scars and cup shaped incisions Spheres of light are associated with both aliens and fairies Fairies leave circular marks on the ground from “dancing”/ UFOs leave circular marks from landing. There are also key difference............ Aliens and Fairies
Spiritual, Sacred, Mystical, Transcendent Sometime difficult to tell from psychosis, trance James Williams – Varieties of Religious Experience (19 th century) transient/ineffable Norman Habel – Direct and mediated (ritual), within religious context Richard Swinburne – Five categories, two public, three internal private Principle of Credulity – if X is said to be there, then it probably is (except if there is a clear reason for it not to be illness/drugs etc) Principle of Testimony – Eye witnesses are telling the truth Rudolf Otto (1869-1937) Mysterium Tremendum and Mysterium Facinas Ecstasy (Out of Body), NDE, OBE,Dr R. Straussman DMT etc AEE - Partly religious experience Religious and Alternate Human Experience
Professor John Mack (Harvard University, Professor of Psychiatry) states that any theory, scientific or otherwise needs to High degree of consistency of detailed abduction accounts, reported with appropriate emotions Absence of psychiatric illness Physical changes and lesions affecting the bodies of the experiencers which follow no evident psychodynamic pattern Association with UFOs witnessed independently by others while abductions are taking place Reports of abduction by children as young as two or three years of age Some Questions
Died 1962 – didn't write directly on phenomenon, but wrote a book called Flying Saucers, a Modern Myth of Things seen flying in the sky Archetypes , psychic structures which are reflected in external reality, they evolve, The gods. The story of the gods are seen in myth. “ we are living in what the Greeks called the Kairos , the right moment for a Metamorphosis of the gods” UFO, rebirthing of the gods into a technological age – he had a number of thoughts On UFOs. He thought that if governments knew about things and were not disclosing them This was a serious mistake which could potentially damage society Even if you do not ascribe to Jung, there is the concept of the Ziegest, the Spirit Of the age, there are large social trends etc. Carl Jung
Jung is widely misunderstood (Clancy), but....... “ There are no exclusive arguments against the hypothesis that these Archetypal figures (aliens being a split form of such a figure) are endowed With personality at the outset and are not just secondary personalisation's. In so far as the archetypes do not represent mere functional relationships, they manifest themselves as diamons , as personal agencies In this form they are felt as actual experiences and are not figments of The imagination as rationalism would have us believe” C.G.Jung Collected works 5, 1992, 388 This corresponds well with the insistence that the AEE event is real The Alien is similar to the Christian concept of the angel George Adamski, the so called Nordic alien , sound a lot more like the traditional Angel? Do we see here the two sides of the archetype, light and dark, lower and Higher (Angelic (Celestial)– Demonic, Base, Animal, Insectoid (Earth)) Psychologically, semi-autonomous complexes , that are felt as real, integration of Internal and external reality Carl Jung 2
“ The Phenomenon of UFO abductions is a gold mine for scholars of religion ” John Whitemore (1995, 81) The Gods Have Landed Sounds and Light – precursors to encounters with the divine Paul, Mohammad, even Pentecost Mystics travel to heaven and hell , Strieber and many others report going to Other realms Soul piercing eyes, large foreheads, supernatural beings reported the world over The experience often has an apocalyptic theme Strong sexual themes , Jung associated this with the lower side of a religious Experience, healings are also reported Meeting with the leader, the anima, animus (in Jung's individuation schema) Religion and the UFO/Alien Experience
Similar to the Jinn of Islam, Janna meaning to hide (occult), apocalypse Meaning to reveal Missing Time Phenomenon – Budd Hopkins “ that the remarkable phenomenon of temporal aberration occasionally Occurs in the vicinity of the constellated Self,” the influence of the God archetype”. Time and eternity intersect and there may be a brief Suspension of the usual categories of consciousness, time, space and causality” Edward Edinger 1922, 42. (Jungian Analyst) Interesting Points
Moral injunction, you have sinned! Apocalyptic, disaster is coming Chosen, but you are a chosen race Salvation, you will be rescued and humanity will survive Revelation, see what happens So to summarise, the “ archetype of the Apocalypse is the activation of The archetype of the Self ...(the psychological image of God)...What We’re going through is nothing less that a redefinition of mans relationship To God , to his Creator. That’s the archetype of the Apocalypse at work (Van Wishard 2004) Abductees are the new missionaries and to, slightly misquote John Wesley The Earth is their parish.......Partridge 2003 – Theosophy (New Age) Religious Themes
Eastern Thought in western spirituality Human beings are best understood in terms of consciousness and its Modifications Consciousness can be transformed by spiritual practice There are gurus, masters and teachers who have done this They can help others do the same. Religions coming from the Alien/UFO Myth Raelian, 40,000 members in 85 countries, sensuality and individuation Aetherius Society Heavens Gate Nation of Islam Nuwaubians Scientology Unarius Academy of Science Universe People Star Children Zetatalk Religious Development
Life on other worlds has been a theological question since the 15 th century Giordano Bruno , burnt at the stake in 16 th century partly because of his infinite Worlds theory William Derham 1715 – Astrotheology Thomas Paine 18 th Century, clash between ET and Christianity Fr Pedro Pio , the Lord did not restrict his glory to Earth Eric Ingleby ( Rev Paul Inglesby ), Alien as demonic (Psychotic illness) Gary Bates and Joe Jordon , evangelical Christianity, the alien as demonic Juho Tenhiala , Biblical events as the result of ET activity Recent pronouncements by the Vatican The Diamonic realm, arbitrary categorisation of the Roman gods by Christianity Into good and bad (Christian attempt to partly de-demonise the diamonic, CS Lewis in Naria) Christianity and Aliens
How does it help us think about God Does it help us to understand ethics, evil, redemption and salvation Does it speak to human experience of the cosmos Does it lead towards wisdom Walter Wink-Theologian Ancient world view – reflection on earth of heaven Spiritualistic world view – Gnostic, world is illusion Materialistic world view – Spiritual reality is an illusion Theological world view – concede earth to science, but not heaven Integral world view – both heavenly/inner and earthly/outer components AEE and the UFO remind us of mystery , it calls us out of ourselves, growth in some, development, creativity, innovation, concern for the environment, in those that integrate it, in others, it creates fear and illness Again both sides of the archetype are visible Theological Questions
John Mack, thinks its ultimately about Love Professor David Jacobs (Temple University) thinks it is about invasion or Hate Jung interestingly says that we are all “ victims” of cosmogenic Love Interesting conjunction of views! Perhaps it is not the whole story What sort of “Kingdom is it”, compared to the biblical concept of the Kingdom of God Principles of hierarchy, power and technology are strong themes If we put all our faith in alien salvation it may leave us deeply disappointed Some Perspectives
Research the theological significance of the UFO Transformation of God image within the western psyche Similarities to other anomalous human experience, especially the role of endogenous psychedelics, petuity gland, DMT etc Distinction from wide range of psychological states Ask a heck of a lot more questions! What does this mean for society For the issues that face our world For religion, for science, for our understanding of reality ‘ My ego rebels against this’, Karin says, ‘but in my higher selfconsciousness, I’m in complete agreement with the whole process….. It’s creating life. It’s just creation. It’s what God does.’ Karin, An experiencer, Passport to the Cosmos (Mack 2008 Second Edition, 1) Next Steps
It is my suspicion that aliens and God have known each other for a very long time. It is really that we have forgotten about both of them In our world which is unbalanced towards materialism There is no doubt that, if nothing else the experience reminds us that Despite our wisdom we know very little , despite our technology We live precariously and despite our wish to be among the gods, we Were made lower than the gods . However perhaps the time is coming when indeed the Gods will land and the truth will be obvious . Lets finish with a short clip from a movie which is one of my favourites combining religion, faith, science and experience all together, reminding us to wonder through the cosmos in awe and mystery Video Clip - 2 Happy to take some questions. Thanks for Listening