3.2. The apocalypse of religion

3.2. THE APOCALYPSE OF RELIGION

The presence of extraterrestrial beings fundamentally alters our conception about universal history and undermines the religious phenomenon by simply killing the idea of divinity or supernatural being. Before the advent of aliens the Universe had a complete spiritual form. From an Abrahamic point of view, the devil represents the evil, God represents the good, and the earth is a battleground between the two sides. Human beings: the victory trophy. But science shows that the Universe is unimaginably vast and mankind is only at the beginning of its quest for knowledge. Claiming at the moment that there is no life on other planets is a proof of fanaticism or stupidity. Yet, it is almost impossible to formulate theories which include in the same universe an all-powerful God and intelligent beings from other planets without violating religious dogmas.

God and aliens are in conflict with each other because they both aim to master the same object: man. Aliens, through the contactees, do not speak about an all-powerful god whom they represent, but about the fact that they are our gods. And there is no doubt that an official contact with extraterrestrial civilizations would cause massive social unrest and the collapse of the religious phenomenon; an absent god, supported by questionable beliefs, would not stand a chance against a visible and immediately accessible god, supported by science. The belief in aliens can be classified both as a religion and as a more sophisticated version of atheism. Aliens are not supernatural beings, but natural beings that have the advantage of knowledge. They are scientific gods because they, through their existence, confirm astronomical and biological theories regarding the phenomenon of life.

Until the Age of Enlightenment people assigned the unexplained phenomena to the power of God. Now, this new, scientific form of worship challenges the classic religions and beliefs. All myths, miracles, legends, folklore and religious and historical mysteries seem to have a single satisfactory explanation: otherworldly intelligent beings with superior technology. “UFO religions,” as this kind of beliefs are generically called, only changed a god for another. There are strange similarities between UFO religions and the Abrahamic religions: the contactees are a precise copy of prophets; there are gathering places like churches or mosques; some UFO cults have scriptures with alien instructions; there are verbal formulas similar to prayers in order to establish a telepathic contact with aliens and there are even so-called sacred places, such as Area 51.1262

The past is constantly interpreted in the light of the present knowledge. And, as in the case of classic religions, the past is a crucial element for UFO religions as well. Alien worshipers often state that otherworldly beings have been among us since the dawn of humanity. Of the countless bidimensional, tridimensional or textual descriptions of the gods, finding patterns to match the alien image is extremely easy. From the statues of Puma Punku, the sarcophagus of Pakal in Palenque, the Nazca Lines, the “sky people” in the ruins of Tikal to various ancient old murals or biblical descriptions, there are countless pieces of information on the globe that can be interpreted as portraying flying machines, lasers, teleportation devices, aliens or humanoids dressed in special costumes.

One of the strongest arguments that supports the existence of ancient aliens is the thousands-of-years old aircraft concept. In India, in Mahabharata, the hero Arjuna flies with a divine chariot alongside thousands of other amazing chariots (vehicles). Likewise, Ramayana or Rig-Veda describe in detail flying objects or flying cities from within which vimanas – small aircrafts travelling at high speed – were exiting.1263 In Egypt, Osiris descends from the sky in a ball of fire and Thoth, the god of knowledge and wisdom, travels in a flying chariot. In the Bible, Elijah the Prophet is abducted to Heaven by God in a chariot of fire and a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11), while in Greek and Roman mythology the god Apollo walks in the sky in a chariot of fire.

However, some accounts were forged. The famous Book of Dzyan was conceived by Helena Blavatsky by plagiarizing other texts. The book was supposed to support theosophy, but it is currently used to confirm the existence of prehistoric astronauts. The Book of Dzyan was meant to be a 2,400-year-old collection of Tibetan legends, but the events described within it took place, allegedly, 6,000 years ago. No enshrined deity is mentioned in the book. It speaks about beings who descended from the sky and became the leaders of different groups of people, being venerated as gods. But these otherworldly beings came to quarrel among themselves. At a given moment one of the leaders threw a ball of fire toward the community of another leader and killed them all, people and unearthly beings alike. After this event all these beings left with their ships and they never returned.1264

The Bible also contains several details of angels and manifestations of God that can easily be taken as proofs for the existence of aliens. Ezekiel the Prophet says:

And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire infolding itself, and a brightness round about it, and out of the midst thereof as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire. And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings [thus]: their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle. And their faces and their wings were separate above; two [wings] of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. And they went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; they turned not when they went. As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: [the fire] went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning. And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold, one wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces thereof. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto a beryl: and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in their four directions: they turned not when they went. As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and they four had their rims full of eyes round about. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went; thither was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. And over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of a firmament, like the terrible crystal to look upon, stretched forth over their heads above. And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies. And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of a host: when they stood, they let down their wings. And there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads: when they stood, they let down their wings. And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above. And I saw as it were glowing metal, as the appearance of fire within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of Jehovah. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake (Ezekiel 1:4-28). Then the Spirit lifted me up … And [I heard] the noise of the wings of the living creatures as they touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, even the noise of a great rushing (Ezekiel 3:12-13).

“Wheels” (circles, referring to flying saucers), “wings” (referring to airplanes) and “noise of tumult” (referring to the engines of the ship) are keywords which seem to prove the alien presence. But the text can be interpreted in countless ways. For example, “noise of tumult,” “noise of great waters” and “wings” can rather be attributed to a traditional airplane. And airplanes are not by far a means of interplanetary transportation. The contemporary UFOs are very silent, they are composed of solid materials and they resemble flying cans, compact-shaped, circular aerodynamic.

The Nation of Islam – a UFO cult which believes that aliens created the world and they will also destroy it on Judgment Day – came up with a solution to this problem.1265 The former leader Elijah Muhammad said that Ezekiel describes a Mother Plane (Wheel) – a theory accepted by his successor Louis Farrakhan:

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Mother Plane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day, but a pillar of fire by night. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the original scientists. It took 15 billion dollars in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel. America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this Mother Wheel, which is a half mile by-a-half-mile. This Mother Wheel is like a small human built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.1266

Reinterpreting the religious texts is a habit among alien worshipers and ufologists. And there is no better example for this practice than Raëlism, the largest UFO religion in the world, with around 70,000 members worldwide in 20081267 (small religious groups tend to exaggerate the numbers; Scientology, for example, varies between 25,000 and a couple of millions, depending on the source).

Raëlism was founded by the former French journalist Claude Vorilhon, now known as “Raël.” On December 13, 1973, Vorilhon found a spaceship within Puy de Lassolas, an inactive volcano near the city of Auvergne. The 25,000-year-old humanoid Yahweh descended from the ship and revealed to Vorilhon the answers to mankind’s major mysteries. Yahweh explained to Vorilhon that Earth was initially empty, with thick clouds and shallow seas, but …


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