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New Age Sci-Fi Scenario Channeling Type Groups
Posted by: authoritah ()
Date: October 17, 2004 08:23PM

curious to hear people's opinions on these types of groups-- e.g., anna hayes aka ashayana deane; the nibiruan council; laura jadczyk-knight & the cassiopaens, etc.

i'm thinking of any of the groups which lay out complex mythologies detailing extra-terrestrial interference in human evolution; stories of conflicts between the different alien groups (reptoids, greys, etc.); "matrix" or gnostic-derived type scenarios; references to "the ascension", "dna recoding", different dimensional whatnots, etc.; practices involving versions of the "merkabah"; and so forth...

in the latest sf weekly, there is an article about Winnfred Wright's deadly bay area group "The Family" mentions that Wright was a fan of the teachings of anna hayes as well as david icke. []

i have not been able to find much of a critical nature on the web concerning these groups other than a couple of sites produced by the same person:
and []

these types of groups appear to be representative of a prevailing trend in the new age community (admittedly, "new age"=a vague, overly broad descriptor) over the past few years. many of them appear to promulgate an alarmingly apocalyptic worldview, which, though unsurprising in and of itself (considering the state of the world), in fact becomes quite disturbing when one considers their almost unbelievably pollyanna-ish attitudes to the current and impending crises facing our world, and when one recalls the tragic ends of groups such as heaven's gate...

in their most benign forms they merely seem to charge outrageous fees for their various services and merchandise. groups peddling fanciful/cosmically exotic- sounding metaphysical services and paraphernalia are certainly nothing new, but there seems to be a decidedly sinister slant to many of these groups. for instance, the extremist/conspiratorial worldviews espoused by the, um, charismatic leaders don't strike me as being particularly healthy...

so what do people here think about all of this? and does anyone have any more info other than the websites i referenced...or any personal experiences to report?

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Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 17, 2004 09:37PM

Gary Lachman wrote a book entitled [i:f8ca9e188e]'Turn Off Your Mind'[/i:f8ca9e188e]--it is a history of the occult ideas that influenced the 1960s. Turns out science fiction and fantasy writers (wierd fiction in general) were a huge, huge source of inspiration.

This article 'The Spiritual Cyborg' compares and contrasts two modern Gnostic systems:


finally in article entitled 'Spell-Bound and Hell-Bound'


Bob Wallace has some intriguing observations on how of how religion, horror fantasy and science fiction often co-mingle. You may not agree with Wallaces politics or his take on the theory of evolution but has hit the nail on the head when he reminds us that this kind of fiction can have a mood altering effect. It is no accident that the appalling Winifred Wright, leader of an abusive, authoritarian family cult in Marinwood California, was an aficianado of someo of the authors (Ickes, Castaneda) mentioned by Wallace.

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New Age Sci-Fi Scenario Channeling Type Groups
Posted by: diggingdeeper ()
Date: October 18, 2004 03:52AM

I have a fairly wide body of knowledge about these specific type of ufo, alien orientated groups. Feel free to contact me via email. You might also be intersted in reading a bok titled "When profacy fails" by Leo Festinger.
Written in either the late 40's or early fifties, it is a first hand account of a group like these.

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New Age Sci-Fi Scenario Channeling Type Groups
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: October 18, 2004 04:21AM

I unfortunately know quite a number of people who are into these types of things. Some of them are friends, some are friendly colleagues.
From time to time I get emails about David Icke, Aliens, UFO's, and the lizard people, or various other conspiracy type things, that are fused with New Age mysticism, and all the rest of it.

What is strange is that most of these people are functioning people, with homes, incomes, and all the rest of it.

Its obviously a complicated psychological phenomena, but perhaps some of this stuff has taken the place of old time religion for people?
We all have "irrational" aspects to our psyche, and this might express in different ways.

When I talk to these folks about my view of these things, and Skepticism, and Reality Testing, and things of this nature, they all sort of smile, and look at me like I am a poor, foolish soul, trapped in the prison of my mindless, primitive scientific beliefs.
They truly believe that their view of "reality" is correct, and they seem to have many "experiences" to support this.
I might mention that they could benefit from reading Carl Sagan's "Demon Haunted World", but not one of them has read it yet!

Now in some of these cases, some of these folks have some mental health issues, (in my view!), that express themselves in the paranoia, mania, or Grandiosity. Of course, from their point of view, they are seeing reality as it is, and the rest of us have been brainwashed by our Culture.

So I think there is a lot of things at play here.
But I think it comes down to the fact that we have very primitive, Paleolithic brains, that still operate the same way they did in the Middle Ages, and even many thousands of years ago.
Combined with this, we have the loss of old time Religion for many folks, and this leaves a void in their worldview, and the scientific view of the universe is a bit barren, at first glance.
Added to this, are mental health issues, paranoia, grandiosity, and things of this nature.
Humans are also Constructivists, and our brains construct our interpretations of reality. The problem here is that we are also very Imaginative, so the mind can dream up all sorts of things.

As far as David Icke, I actually "read" (tried to read) one of his books. It was the weirdest book I have ever read. It was like taking every New Age crackpot idea on earth, and just sticking them all together.
I think he believes what he says.
Near the end of this book though, he states that according to psychiatry, he would be a "paranoid schizophrenic". But of course the psychiatrists are wrong. ;)

On top of this, the Leaders of these Groups, do all of the cultic techniques to get people to buy all of their junk.

And of course, we have a total lack of Critical Thinking skills, which are not taught in school. I didn't learn how to think critically until I read Carl Sagan's book, and this opened up a whole new world to me, of ways to think about thinking.
So I guess they would argue that Carl Sagan, Bertrand Russell, Karl Popper, and Martin Gardner brainwashed me into Skepticism and Reality Testing!
There is also a good book, WHY PEOPLE BELIEVE WEIRD THINGS by Michael Shermer.

To me, it comes down to people not knowing how to distinguish external reality from Imagination. Of course, the folks I know think their Imagination IS reality, concerning these matters.
On top of this, they are manipulated by shrewd leaders.
But I do see folks as getting real "meaning" out of this stuff, that to me seems totally crazy.
All of the stress and fear of the world situation at present seems to feed into all of these things as well.

Its really a huge problem, and I see it getting much worse.
In my view, the way out of this mess is to use the skills of Critical Thinking.
A good basic place to start is Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit.

But of course, 99% of the people into all that stuff have no interest in Critical Thinking! As a matter of fact, they think they ARE critical thinkers, in rejecting the false worldview that dumb guys like me have.


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New Age Sci-Fi Scenario Channeling Type Groups
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: October 18, 2004 04:44AM


He does make some good points, in a funny way, but his view of Dawkins is off the mark, in my view. Except that he does make a good point that many folks feel that Evolution, as explained by Dawkins and others, IS a horror story. Too horrible to accept. Evolution through Natural Selection is mindless, wasteful, impersonal, and horrible.


Dawkins write in a very blunt way about how Evolution operates.
This gets into a very complex, yet important argument though about how we represent reality in our minds.

One thing people miss in Dawkins, is that he also explores the ideas of Altruism, and all of the finer and humane aspects of the higher primates, including humans.
Again, its a very complex line of exploration, that takes many hundreds of hours of serious study to begin to get a handle on it. Its completely counterintuitive.

Perhaps that's why so many reject it out of hand, without exploring the evidence as carefully as they can.

Here is some criticism of Dawkins from Stephen Jay Gould, that points to some of the issues.


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Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: October 18, 2004 08:10PM

One of the things i recall from David Icke's book, was that he said that things like schizophrenia do not exist. The Evil Psychiatrists just dreamed it up so they could put guys like him in jail, or drug him into submission, under orders from the World Gov't, who is suppressing the knowledge of the Reptilian Agenda, which are shape-shifters who drink the blood of babies, and Rule the World, etc. (not kidding).

He held the view that things like schizophrenia were not mental illnesses, but were actually people who could access other dimensions of REALITY, that the rest of humanity was not attuned to.
So if someone sees angels in the trees, or hears voices of gods or devils, or sees spaceships hiding behind the clouds, or sees George Bush shape-shifting into a Lizard for a moment, then these are not Hallucinations or Delusions, they are other Dimensions of Reality, etc.

If you can stand it, read some of this madness.

Have a look at the Reptilian Archive

another link for Baloney Detection, is from the anti-Scientology site, Operation Clambake.

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Posted by: authoritah ()
Date: October 21, 2004 09:41PM

Thanks for your responses!

Some of my comments below may seem off-topic, argumentative, sloppy, ill-reasoned, pretentious, long-winded, or simply petty...but anyway, here goes...

Corboy, I have read Lachman's book. There is certainly a wealth of great stuff in it (along with a few inaccuracies, e.g. at one point he confuses Hindu Tantrism with its Buddhist counterpart)... One of the aspects of the book i found most intriguing is that which you mentioned; that is, the influence of (oftentimes rather obscure) early twentieth century fantasy writings on '60's strands of the occult and "new age". Also, for those unfamiliar with the L. Ron/Jack Parsons/O.T.O. story, it's really something else (that saga can be found all over the web, as well...if anyone is curious they can google "Jack Parsons").

Lachman's attitude turned me off, somewhat, though. He seems kinda contemptuous of even the most benign countercultural personalities; for instance, his portraits of Henry Miller and Alan Watts, to name just a couple, are not terribly flattering. But maybe this is a valuable corrective to the romantic mythologizing of these personalities; i dunno. It's just that he seems to have little good to say of anyone that he writes about in the book, and seems to view the entire '60's countercultural project as being at best a merely naive, and at worst, an entirely sinister mistake/conspiracy of huge proportions...while, myself, i believe that many of the personalities involved have made tremendous positive contributions to our culture. True, there has been a great deal of negative fallout which one may be inclined to attribute to the '60's; and it does seem that a pandora's box of sorts has been opened, but i for one, would not want to be stuck back in the gray eisenhower days (not that the bush era is such a wonderful time!)

The Erik Davis article is great; i always appreciate his writing. I need to get myself a copy of Techgnosis.

The Wallace article is okay, but i'm not sure that his arguments hold up all that well. For instance, his thing about the absurdity of reptilian/alien experimentation/abduction scenarios-- he writes that it's absurd for such an highly-evolved civilization possessing extremely advanced space-travelling technology to splice their own genes into human beings or to repeatedly conduct the same silly abductions/experiments on humans. He remarks how absurd it would be for humans to do the same...Well, our own species has travelled to the moon, which i reckon is no small feat, and in fact, we have begun to attempt to splice our own genes into different species for our own purposes...and additionally, we repeatedly conduct experiments on other primates which are often completely pointless. Please understand, i am not trying to say that i believe in the scenarios that icke and co. are pushing, but merely saying that there are weaknessses in Wallace's argument.

And though he makes some good points in his sci-fi/religion argument, on the other hand, why should it come as any surprise that religions contain elements of sci-fi/fantasy/horror fiction, and vice-versa? Both literature and religious beliefs naturally deal with issues of good and evil, the Other, supernatural beings, the origin of the species, and so forth, on a vast scale. I think that what Wallace's argument is speaking to perhaps says more about the human mind and its tendencies in attempting to account for the mysteries of life...rather than, as is his apparent intention, functioning to explain away specific religious beliefs on the basis of whether they may double as interesting genre literature...again, i am not trying to defend particular religious beliefs here, but trying to express my disappointment with the content of his argument.

Coz, i have to concur, Dawkins' evolutionary views are very complex and take a long time to is true, i agree, that most explanations of evolutionary theory and natural selection are unpalatable to us as human beings...they certainly pose an affront to the deeply felt sense of weightiness to our being which many/most/all? of us do we reconcile the notion that we are ultimately just replicating gene machines of a sort, with all of the richness that we find within our minds and hearts? on a sidenote, i find dawkins' invectives against peoples' belief systems to be a bit tiresome. The brand of scientific reductionism that he, (and people like Randi, whom he seems quite fond of) push, i find difficult to stomach at times. I mean, for people of Reason, they seem unreasonably, perhaps fanatically, bent upon consigning any mystery in the universe to the domain of Science... and in my experience, there is just too much oddness and funkiness going on for me to accept their own peculiarly rigid-seeming worldview. Dawkins, if i'm not mistaken, says that religion is a attempt at a scientific viewpoint in its own right, while i feel that it's more accurate to say that Dawkins and co. have made a religion out of their Science. Sagan, i find easier to take...perhaps he had less of an axe to grind?..

Though I have already written far too much, lastly I will say that the link to operation clambake is greatly appreciated; that website is nothing short of awesome. And the icke stuff, my reaction is, y'know, if it were only not presented so hysterically, i might give it more of a chance. Although i'm guessing that many who read this board may not hold terence mckenna in especially high regard, i do think that he did have a pretty good b.s. detector...and one of the things he said about cults (i think he was talking at the time about the heaven's gate thing) is that "the truth is not tacky", or something to that effect. when applied to stuff like icke, i think that's a pretty good rule of thumb.

here is a quote from him:
"I couldn't believe the way in which the media portrayed the Heaven's Gate people as very careful thinkers, very reasonable people -- I mean, I heard about this thing in 1975. Somebody said, "Hey, there are these two people who are running around who say that they're off a spacecraft. You wanna go see?" [extremely irked voice] "NO!" Yet 'decent people' -- and most of us are 'decent people' -- just lack the imagination to imagine where you can get if you embrace pathological lying as a professional strategy for advancement. Joseph Goebbels showed that this can really take you places! I'm sorry, you have a follow-up?"

i love his bit about "pathological lying as a strategy for professional advancement"...i think it applies to a great number of the groups and personalities that are covered on this website...and he neatly points out how one must reside on the psychopathological end of the spectrum of personalities to even begin to be able to initiate a cultic (in the all of the negative senses of the word) group.

another quote:
"I preach reason, but when into a tight place, I think the appeal to beauty is a deeper and more intuitive dimension in which to make the judgment. In other words, I'm like a thoroughgoing Platonist. I say, the Good, the True, and the Beautiful: these are three aspects of something we're trying to maximize. Truth; you can formally learn the rules by which one approaches Truth. It's tricky. The Good, it's even trickier. Beauty makes a direct appeal to the senses. Somebody asked me, what did I think about the face on Mars? And I had no problem dismissing that because it was tacky. [laughter] In other words, that's all you have to know about that, because the Mystery will not be tacky! It is not tacky!"

(t. mckenna quotes from [])

i guess this is somewhat in line with my above complaints re Dawkins, Randi-type approaches to the mysteries of life...I think their crowning of Reason and the scientific method as the ultimate, highest, arbiter of truth ignores and demeans our deeply human qualities of and capacities for intuition and other means of apprehending reality which may be beyond the strict definitions/parameters of the scientific method...I often think about the dadaist and surrealist artists who were so sickened by the horrors of the first world war, and became determined to launch an offensive against what they saw as the obscene culmination of the project of "Rationality" and "Progress" strikes me that such rigid rationality potentially causes as many horrors as does the appeals to the supernatural which have been at the roots of all of the atrocities perpetrated in the name of religion. I am no worshipper of freud or jung, but it seems to me that one of the lessons which we must take from the twentieth century is that we can not afford to ignore the deeper aspects of (wo)mankind's being, and we must learn to integrate both the irrational aggressive, sexual, and other emotional unconscious aspects of our being ("freudian stuff"), as well as those which we sense as being characteristic of the numinous or the transpersonal ("jungian stuff"). My own personal interest in cult phenomena stems from outrage at those who exploit these deep needs at the expense of others, as well as sorrow at other projects intended to address these issues which may have started out sincerely but were ultimately misguided, and in some cases ended in disaster.

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Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: October 22, 2004 03:26PM

Lots of good points here.

A couple of quick points about Dawkins and Randi.

No question, Randi is a crusty old guy, who likes picking fights with people, who he considers con-artists. But sometimes i think they are delusional, or mentally ill. I read his newsletter every week, and i enjoy it, but only for the critical stance of endless nuttiness in the world.

But he's not in the business of "profound thoughts" or aesthetics, or anything else. He's a "Debunker" to me. That's it.

As far as Dawkins, Gould and others have criticized his views on the mechanics of Evolution. That's fine and good.
But perhaps he suffers from some "intellectual superiority" which is a character flaw, and has nothing to do with science.

Science is a tool.
Its not Ethics, or Aesthetics.
So i don't look to Dawkins for a personal philosophy of life.
He's an Oxford professor of Zoology, and he is a very smart guy, who is fighting the Creationists. In my view he is fighting the good fight. He has attacked Prince Charles for his wackiness many times.

Carl Sagan criticized both those guys for being too strident, critical and "superior" to non-professional thinkers.
But again, that's about Character flaws, and not about Science.

No one can explain the Universe in total...yet...
(especially these phoney Gurus!)


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Posted by: authoritah ()
Date: October 22, 2004 06:29PM

hmm, cool.

that's interesting that sagan criticized those guys.

well, at any rate, i guess that it would be a mistake for me to knock someone merely for being a debunker. heaven knows there's already way too much crap floating around for the even most rigorous/thorough of them to keep up with. if we were just talking about something relatively innocuous, like astrology, then it wouldn't be such a big deal. but unfortunately, as we know all too well, people's lives are at stake thanks to some of these groups/people.

to be honest, i'm somewhat disappointed that there aren't more cult awareness sites on the web. (i'm not counting the fundamentalist christian ones...don't get me started...) this seems to be the best site that i've found. and the small number of other ones don't seem to be all that comprehensive or up-to-date. i've found that some of the most valuable resources are sites addressing specific groups, such as "the knee of daism" [] (critical of adi da), or the above mentioned operation clambake...

i wonder why there are not more sites similar to this one. fear of lawsuits? (hello, elron people!) or a fear of offending people's belief systems?..

lastly, regarding the freud business i brought up at the end of my post-- there is a great piece entitled "Our Present Disillusionment" that appears in the "Readings" section of the Oct. 2004 issue of Harper's magazine. it's an excerpt from an article originally published in the London Review of Books. it's available at the LRB website, but unfortunately, only to subscribers of the print edition...though i think that the harper's issue is still available at the newssstand...

anyway, it deals with the Abu Ghraib incident and general american arrogance and relates it to freud's ideas addressing narcissism, especially as it relates to group identities. a couple of quotes from the article:

"The people can be cruel, our institutions vicious. Knowing this, however, may not in the long term make any difference. It might even make matters worse. Acording to Freud, it is when people's self-love is threatened that they resort to extremes. Far from being humbled, they tend to lash out in narcissistic self-defense. We are in a vicious circle if it is true that there are no limits to what people will do to hold on to their belief in themselves."

"...There is no such thing, Freud states, as 'eradicating' evil. The impulses that constitue the 'deepest essence' of human nature are 'neither good nor bad' in themselves. He will condemn actions but never the drives from which they stem. It is a central tenet of psychoananlysis that if we can tolerate what is most disorientating-- disillusioning-- about our own unconscious, we will be less likely to act on it, less inclined to strike out in a desperate attempt to assign the horrors of the world to someone or somewhere else. It is not, therefore, the impulse that is dangerous but the ruthlessness of our attempts to be rid of it."

"Freud knew that the fierceness with which a group builds and defends its identity was the central question of modern times. But unlike the leaders of our 'present-day White Christian culture' [a phrase Freud used to describe the European culture he found himself in during his lifetime] he knew that no group is safe from the dangers of conviction, and that a nation that frees itself from doubt and refuses to question its own motives and acts can place the world in peril."

i think that these comments are applicable not only to the dynamics of identity within enormous groups such as present-day nations, but also to cultic groups. it's indeed disturbing that the same dynamics which operate on the level of your not-so-friendly neighborhood cult are also at play on the scale of global politics. in both cases, it seems that one message stands out clear-- we truly need to grow up, pyschologically. again, i'm not trying to push freud or psychoanalytic dogma here, particularly; i think a lot of freud's ideas can be safely discarded today as being pretty much rubbish...but i do think that he had some genuine and valuable insight into the workings of our psyches.

the idea that i suggest above- that of the presence of cultic dynamics operating on a larger scale throughout society, all the way up to the level of the nation-state, is one that intrigues (and disturbs!) me. i'm sure that this idea must have been previously explored by others elsewhere-- does anyone happen to know of any relevant studies, e.g., looking at cultic aspects of corporate culture? (i'm familiar with the idea that n. korea functions much like a cult; but i'm curious as to more subtle that of the culture of patriotism in america...f'rinstance, as i heard noam chomsky say in an interview, the idea of someone in italy criticizing the italian p.m. and then being called 'anti-italian' is laughable to italians...but people in the states are accused of 'anti-americanism' quite often)

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New Age Sci-Fi Scenario Channeling Type Groups
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: October 25, 2004 03:22PM

John Kenneth Galbraith explored in his terrific book, "The Anatomy of Power" how totally indoctrinated the people at the highest level of any corporation are. They HAVE to be. All of the dissenters were weeded out long ago.

So in my view, the highest levels of almost any powerful organization are going to be totally indoctrinated.

Chomsky has a great book called, "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control In Democratic Societies".
He really means what he says there.
Thought Control.
We live in a ocean of it.

To me, these things are all related, but of course are on a continuum.

Another note on Randi.
Here is the archive of his newsletters going back to a great Time article from 1992.

My guess as to why there are so few anti-cult resources are that these cult people will come after you, and literally try to destroy you.
For instance, i have an old copy of Cults In Our Midst, by Singer.
In later editions, her section on Landmark was taken out as part of a lawsuit, i believe. (correct me if I'm wrong).
So if the worlds top academics are silenced by lawsuits, it takes special people with enormous GUTS to fight these maniacs.
They literally will come after people and try to destroy them financially, or in other ways.

Look at the classic article about Scientology called "Cult Of Greed" by Time. They fought them for 10 years in the courts. Scientology lost, thank God.

Who here would be willing to risk it all to speak out publicly against the Cultists?


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