The Metachorea, Chapter 1: Don’t Confuse me with the Facts!



By the second decade of the 21st century it is clear that the “great conversation” of philosophy has exhausted all possible pretenses to explaining an “ultimate reality” and, via its general turn to critiquing institutional powers, has almost entirely penned itself off from policing the empirical sciences.[1]

One reason for this situation is due to a centuries-old belief: Science is not supposed to deal with morality and ethics. Morality was the one province left to philosophy,[2] but by now this defense has been virtually swept away by the secular humanism that informs the Enlightenment’s political program. Technocracy’s utilitarian foundations have for the most part trumped moral concerns; ethics, whether pragmatic or deontological, only impede the march of science in its goal to relieve the plights of humanity.

The ancient forms of holistic philosophy such as the Stoics’s, in which epistemology, ontology, and ethics were inseparable, are forever gone. With the exception of German “meta-narrativists” such as Kant, Hegel, and Spengler, the classical Stoic trio of disciplines lived on until the late 19th century, when epistemology and ontology were farmed out to the hard sciences of physics, biology, chemistry, and neurology. Ethics was in effect left to individual conscience and the rationalizations of religious mores.

While “hard” science appealed to certainty for its cosmic visions, its methods were eventually applied to government policy and public mental health regimes via the soft humanistic sciences of psychology, economics, sociology, and anthropology. The freedom of a sovereign conscience came to apply not only to belief as defined by the Abrahamic religions, but eventually to beliefs in general on the nature of reality; this was the creeping nihilism inherent in supposedly “value-free” sciences which Nietzsche, amongst others, railed against as both dangers and as opportunities for a type of conscious evolution.

Today this free-for-all has resulted in multiplying the cosmologies and beliefs to which a person could potentially subscribe. Despite the sciences’ pretentions to a singular reality of which scientists are the sole arbiter, we have been in an ontological bacchanalia for some time now.

If we are awake and open, we must attempt to process a confusing mélange of conflicting explanations for where we have come from and even what we are. Those who are absolutely certain of any truth—and hold a universality to their beliefs—are looked upon as suspect, unhinged, even fascist.

So what has this situation to do with “anomalous” experiences and the human imagination?

It turns out, everything. From the standpoint we will explore, anomalous experiences like ghost sightings, psychokinesis (PK), or seeing an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) are akin to the creative acts of the human mind; both human ingenuity and anomalous experiences are equally mysterious in their origin.[3] Both have been plagues on humankind, for very different reasons.



With a fair amount of certainty one can predict a given person’s explanation for an Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) encounter based only upon their opinion of what reality consists—whether they profess a belief in absolute idealism or materialist monism, for instance.

For example, if one believes the real world is ideal (whether it be thoughts in the mind of God, the veil of maya, a realm of Platonic Forms beyond our imperfect copies, or a holographic projection from a higher dimension) then there is a good possibility that they will come to believe the UAP and their “pilot entities” are made of the same insubstantial “mind stuff” as we and everything else in the universe—incorporeal thought-forms—but perhaps more powerful with regard to their controlling these illusions in the UAP percipient’s mind. If the universe is not physical, the UAP entities furthermore can be contacted directly on this mental-ideal plane. Distance and time are no obstacles if space-time is illusory and malleable continuum of Idea. This particular belief underlies many forms of occult practice, and historically is the bridge between modern UAP and the realm of ceremonial magic.[4]

A monist physicalist (materialist) on the other hand erects insurmountable barriers for UAP being either extraterrestrial or interdimensional or ideal, as we’ll explore shortly. A Darwinian physicalist would counter the explanation that UAP are manned by “hidden Terran race/cryptoterrestrial” by explaining that an unknown species of beings cannot have survived on this planet without human knowledge of them, if not depositing some kind of paleobiological proof of their existence. Their physicalist framework would render claims of evolved abilities to possess invisibility camouflage (as some cryptoterrestrialist theorists have suggested) and psychic powers in advanced, unknown homo sapiens occultum as unprovable nonsense.

A fundamentalist steeped in the Abrahamic religions will see the world as the product of a single act of creation whose physical laws are secondary to a moral informing of the cosmos. Angelic and demonic forces may exist in this worldview, but are necessary to their core beliefs only by which sect we are discussing. For instance, a Southern Baptist or Muslim Salafist may shrug off UAP as demons, or the activity of Ifritic djinn, respectively—which, as we’ll see in Book Two, basically amount to the same type of being.

Within the materialist/religionist dichotomy we have binary oppositions of belief amongst social groups. They have completely different methods of knowing of what truth consists, and how it is constructed. Sub-species of both belief-systems could be extended indefinitely. A Hindu may view UAP as the return of ancient vimana craft used by Krishna and Rama; an Azande will cognize them as evil witch lanterns; a Mormon might believe they are the signs of spiritually advanced angelic beings like the Angel Moroni who appeared to founder Joseph Smith…

The upshot is that these all are conditioned responses via a priori beliefs inherent in their religions’ cosmologies. The scientistic stance is no different in this regard: in their case, an a priori dismissal of Others’ existence as impossible.

The rational study of UAP remains an outlying pursuit in our society and is largely immune to policing of its method. Its pretense to scientific tractability is illusory. “Ufology” has nothing with which to grasp its target but anecdotes, patterns within the anecdotes, and deductive reasoning.

Today’s dismal state of UAP/encounter study is due to the psychological and philosophical factors noted above. The specific belief-system of the investigator determines categorization and the phenomenon’s essence. The groundbreaking work in UAP study, if it can even be called such, has already been done, and done long ago.[5] We now accrete myth upon myth; the parameters for the debate have supposedly been set. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but in UAP study, every opinion is practically unfalsifiable.

It would seem at this point to be a hopeless pursuit, but it is not. Just like mainstream science’s explanations for UAP, this tract will not be so much an explanation as a detailed description of a process that occurs to individuals and groups who encounter—or rather enfold within—such anomalies, its parallels with psychophysical paranormal events, and how Imagination irrupts all norms.


The particle/wave complementarity of energy shown by quantum physics has given us an uneasy contentment with many phenomena that seem logically divergent. The untestable ideas of string theory yield the same unease in both its proponents and dissenters. The limits of the directly observable, long ago transgressed in quantum experiments, have driven physicists yet further to conjectures with no falsifiability criterion to test them.

The anomalies we will examine present disparate interpretations that structurally mirror our seemingly dead-ending physics. The divergence of interpretation stems from the highly strange circumstances of the paranormal events themselves. Ambiguity is their very nature, into which Imagination cannot but be projected.

With this essay I hope to steer a course using neurological and psychological findings about the brain, some axioms regarding that elusive activity known as human creativity, and deductions about anomalous perceptions, and tie them together.



In science, there are several types of evidence that may support a hypothesis but, theoretically, “truth” is a label to be avoided. As per philosopher Karl Popper’s criteria, there should be no positive statements asserting a general truth, but tentative ideas that have observable and predictable consequences that can then be falsified by an experiment—therefore, if a theory’s entailed test(s) is falsified, then the theory should be reexamined, if not scrapped.

When we’re considering evidence for concepts such as other dimensions or “otherworldly” beings, most scientists demand evidence that amounts to a type of irrefutable proof of their existence.

But as is historically demonstrated, apparitions almost always appear spontaneously, and therefore the conditions to study them are unrepeatable in the sense that an experiment can be replicated.[6] The Spiritualists’ experiments of the 19th and 20thcenturies, witnessed by some of the greatest scientists of the period, by and large failed scientific tests; only a small fraction of the paranormal phenomena were left unexplainable. The same percentage (10-15%) holds for “unknowns” in UAP reports and their reported pilot entities.

The burden then becomes foisted upon an anomaly experiencer to prove a positive—the physical existence of what they witnessed or are asserting they witnessed.

To assert grounds for their non-existence is easy enough for the debunker; they only have to state that the laws of physics as we understand them do not allow the existence of beings from distant worlds to appear here because space-time travel-lengths from distant stars are too great, or that the physical energies for “transdimensional beings” to fold/warp into our space involved are too intense—and their intrusions would easily be noticed by scientific/military instrumentation deployed throughout society at large.[7]

But these scientists are replying to specific (perhaps grossly misguided) hypotheses as to what was witnessed in the first place by the percipient and/or made it into the investigator’s report. That the Others are physical extraterrestrial or transdimensional entities are 1) human conclusions made after the fact of experience, or 2) admissions by the (usually) more anthropomorphic-looking beings. Skeptics suspend judgment about such ideas. Debunkers are another story.

The entities may very well be from another star system, but the chances of that are very slim, as we shall see. For the debunker, whose mind is already made up, a snap judgment is inevitable: the percipient has given us lies, hallucinations, mistaken memory.[8]

The “normal” and the “paranormal” are useless terms when one considers that the norm is a matter of a frame of reference relative to a body of knowledge in historical time. In other words, the paranormal is a part of the natural world from a larger standpoint we simply may not yet understand. To take just one example of a debunker’s irony, here’s a real corker from Michael Shermer, editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine: “It is at the horizon where the known meets the unknown that we are tempted to inject paranormal and supernatural forces to explain hitherto unsolved mysteries, but we must resist the temptation because such efforts can never succeed, not even in principle.”[9]

To what principle is he referring? It must be the axiom that the paranormal doesn’t exist because it simply can’t. This statement itself does not pass scientific muster. It’s a sterling example of rhetorically assuming total knowledge of what it intends to prove non-existent—that the paranormal does not exist, therefore cannot be investigated, simply because…it does not exist. It is circular. It rests on metaphysical assumptions about the ultimate nature of reality, that reality has no non-measurable aspects that may be responsible for the paranormal. Yet debunkers like Shermer are supposedly committed to eliminating metaphysics from any scientific discussion. The irony of his statement is completely lost on him.

It can’t be denied that debunkers neither prove or disprove any claim they make against the strange experiences anomaly witnesses report. Although many ufologists are masters at deploying logical fallacies in trying to prove extraterrestrials’ presence here on earth, there is no shortage of sloppy thinking in the debunker community either, in particular the use of the straw man, complex question, bandwagon, begging the question, ad hominem, “no true Scotsman,” subjectivist, and appeal-to-authority fallacies.



Astronomers Woodruff Sullivan and Adam Frank have tabulated figures using the first three parts of Drake’s equation and new information from the Kepler telescope, which has discovered 300 exoplanets. It turns out that nearly every star probably has at least one planet. In all likelihood billions of stars have planets in the “Goldilocks” zone where water and an atmosphere can form. According to their calculations there is a 1 in 10 billion chance that a civilization did not evolve in this habitable zone of some star. With the age of the universe, the chance that one that is at least as technologically advanced as ours developed at one time is 100%. Now multiply that by the estivated number of stars with planets in the habitable zone: 25%.

               The likelihood that advanced extraterrestrials exist, or existed in the past, is near 100%. If they exist at the level now, or have a say 100,000 year head start, it is very possible they could develop means of traversing vast interstellar distances. To say they have to pass through our exact technological phases to reach such a level is anthropocentric. Accident has played a huge part in scientific progress. Cognitive differences in their early evolutionary development could have led some of these extraterrestrials to possessing imaginative capacities far beyond ours; perhaps they could view designs for machines in 3-D solely in their minds, like Leonardo da Vinci was reputed to do. Perhaps they could see the finite and detrimental courses certain technologies would take (such as the use of fossils fuels). Perhaps after discovering mathematics, or a cognitive analogue to it, they could create in their minds many thousands of models for the composition and deign of spacecraft before even raising a finger to actually build them.

But these conjectures tell us nothing about them appearing here. Here is a syllogistic breakdown of the way things stand with regard to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) being extraterrestrial:

1. Standard ET hypothesis (ETH):
-Statistically, extraterrestrial life, perhaps technologically evolved many ten of thousands of years before us, must exist somewhere in our galaxy.
-Human-possible means of interstellar flight that approach/exceed light speed or that warp space have already been discovered by these extraterrestrials. Therefore,
-The ET civilizations that discovered it long ago could come here with ease, given the time-frame.
2. Conservative adjunct to ETH:
-Currently-known means of interstellar space flight make travel from elsewhere to earth nearly impossible for even one, let alone hundreds, of different alien races.
-There are hundreds of differing UAP forms and entities (“races”) reported; therefore
-Conventional means of interstellar flight are not used, or they are not here.
***Rejoinder: Unknown but human-possible means may be used for their interstellar transport, as in the first set of syllogisms; or multiple generations pass on the vehicle as it traverses space; or the beings are in suspended animation during flight; or grown artificially during flight; or they are very long-lived; or they are a form of artificial intelligences (drones).
These UAP and their pilot beings are not extraterrestrial but manifestations of something endogenous to earth.
3. Consensus ETH Qualification:
-5-10% of reported UAP and their entities are extraterrestrials.
-Different people have very rarely reported the exact same UAP and/or entity (prior to the “greys” seeming to dominate UAP lore 1980-present); there have been hundreds of types of “ships” and creatures reported, almost unique to each percipient, up to the present day.
-Statistically, to the best of our knowledge, it is probable that only one race would be able to perfect the technology capable as we currently envision it of making the journey, as in 2.1; therefore
Only one, or even none, of the UAP craft/entities are extraterrestrial.

***Rejoinder: We could conjecture that the single race that has made the journey here possess means to camouflage itself in a myriad of different forms, thus accounting for the hundreds of types and confusing humanity as to their purposes.

So the existence of UAP as extraterrestrial craft is suspect due to the numbers of different ships/beings that have been reported, and the vanishingly low odds of so many different “races” achieving the physical means to get here. And this even ignores the question of why they would be interested in our planet.

Still, the chance that an unknown intelligent force has interacted with the human race is very great, due simply to the astronomical numbers of reported events of “high strangeness,” revelations, contacts, epiphanies with otherworldly beings noted throughout history—all the way to the present age of UAP and aliens.


Another of science’s defining features is the strict classification of phenomena, a practice that stretches as far back (at least) to Aristotle. This Greek thinker also gave us the concept of the excluded middle, the axiom that any proposition must either be true or false. All existent beings either fall into one conceptual set or another. Their traits may overlap, but this results in the creation of a third set of predications. Thus could classification be extended indefinitely.

Together, classification and the excluded middle in practice allow no room for the existence for penumbral entities or experiences—that is, possibilities—where one must admit, almost everything in reality actually belongs. Plato’s “unveiling what is beyond nature,” wedded with Socrates’s technique of elenchus(suspension of any fixed beliefs in order to interrogate a phenomena) and Aristotle’s logic of classification bequeathed us the system that lives at the heart of science. This primal technology, this thinking method (or even a thinking ritual) has now changed the world, and especially how humanity regards its relation to religious experiences.

Regardless of the trappings, the structure of the anomalous phenomena still stands: an ethereal encounter begets the begats. The experiencers of Otherworldly beings and states have changed the world in ways that are socially primordial and more long-lasting than that of the modern science, its technology, and the epistemological stances associated with it.

When one examines human history, we should note that encounters with intelligent-seeming beings that seem evolved higher (or lower) than humanity, or are “from elsewhere” is a rule and not an exception. We may even venture to say that such encounters with Others are statistically ordinary occurrences over epochs, but extraordinary events in a sub-epochal sense—the span of a single week, for instance.

Another way of saying this is that spectacular anomalous events may occur unpredictably within the relatively short timespan of a decade or two, with clusters of events (or even none at all), but occur with a statistical consistency over long periods, such as two centuries—and by spectacular, I mean those events that have been recorded due to the presence of many credible witnesses, or devastating effects upon a small group of witnesses.[10] The Jansenist convulsionnaires movement (which we shall examine), the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima, Portugal in 1917 and the appearance of triangular UAP over the Hudson Valley in 1981-83 would be examples of mass anomalous experiences. In the 20th century, for instance, there were major worldwide waves of UAP encounters: 1947 (majority in USA), 1952, 1954 (majority in France/Italy), 1958, 1965-69, 1973-74, 1976-78 (majority in South America, UK, USA, and USSR), 1981, 1986-91.[11]

Every person who has lived has probably either 1) experienced an anomalous being directly; 2) known someone who has encountered one directly; or 3) has heard of someone by a maximum of two degrees of separation that has had an extraordinary encounter.[12]

The most important aspect of extraordinary encounters is that they almost always change that percipient’s outlook on life. The intense quality of their conviction affects people close to them; their family or friends may be converted by the sheer charisma of the transformed’s personality into not only belief in the experience, but belief in that force which ostensibly caused it as well. Obviously, such primary encounters are how religions begin: Pharaoh Amenhotep IV’s revelation of the Aten; Moses’s burning bush; the apostles encounter with the resurrected Jesus; Paul’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus; Gabriel’s appearance to Muhammad; Joseph Smith and the Angel Moroni, etc. Numinous encounters are also how the revelation of prophecy is forged: think of Ezekiel and Enoch and Elijah and John of Patmos. The communion of Saints Hildegard and Bernadette and Lucia with the “white lady” (AKA the Blessed Virgin Mary) has given way to alien contactees Betty Andreasson and Truman Betherum and Howard Menger encountering angelic-appearing beings. Each of these people had a meeting with some force that changed them—and through a subculture-to-cultural stealth, affected a not insignificant portion of our civilization.

Inside any socially stable group, individuals may be subject to an array of anomalous events but there are always limited vocabularies to describe and tame them. These anomalies transform the society, for good or ill—causing a spiritual solace in the experiencer(s), or causing a reactive force that comes to some powerful individuals or groups in vanquishing the irruption when it threatens the communal order (if we chose the late 17th century, for instance, by means of official exorcism or trials and murder of the “witch”).

It’s a simple fact that any arbitrarily chosen time-period/geographical area will possess its corresponding set of Otherworldly beings and associated phenomena. Their influences upon those populations’ thinking and, consequently, their histories are immense and unavoidable.

The bunk that arch-skeptics consistently retail is that a steady-state norm always exists from which there can be no deviation. If such a state of nature existed, all questions as to the universe’s structure and origin would be in principle knowable and probably satisfactorily answered by now. Scientific history is full of surprises that overturned everything known; it is how knowledge changes.

Arch-debunkers seem not to possess the reflective capacity to see the mechanisms by which the norms of accepted and acceptable scientific knowledge, for instance, have changed radically over the past century.[13] They are many times altered by noting and collecting anomalies in normal scientific practice, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out.[14] The norm is changing today at an almost alarming accelerating rate, and the scientific groundwork for postulating a falsifiable theory for anomalous experiences is being laid further each day. With this work, I hope to establish the skeleton and arrow pointing to such a theory.



So how are such unusual experiences classified today? We know the judgments of the psychological turn (that psychoses or “hysteria” are responsible), and the “mistaken cognitive impression/hallucination” that neuroscience would offer us. These explanations are default frames of reference, and require no thought at all—and are especially poverty-stricken with regard to the content of the percipient’s “hallucination.”

The phenomenology of hallucinations is a crucial aspect pertinent to all mental experience and is amenable to analytic interpretation (Jung was one such pioneer) but on the whole neuroscientists minimize or ignore the significance of the imagery and messages that are present in “deviant” brain activity. Thus every day, inadequate explanations are wheeled out to explain strange experiences, as well as their extrapolation backwards in history to account for the otherworldly encounters of the past.

This is not to say that there aren’t valid psychological, sociological, and historical reasons explaining why people without a directexperience of an Other would come to believe these supernatural occurrences happened. A series of fortuitous strokes led an obscure Palestinian Jewish cult to ascend into the world’s most populous religion. A staunch Christian would likely disagree with that statement, or say that it was foreordained because it is the one true religion, with Paul of Tarsus being the historical lynchpin.

But there is a structure here that bears emphasizing: The important dynamic regarding a born-again Christian’s personal conversion-revelation is that Jesus’s resurrection aligns the “reborn’s” experience with that of Saint Paul’s. It places the percipient directly in the center of an/the originating divine experience. What to the born-again person is a divine tautology—“the grace by which Paul was saved is the same grace by which I was saved”—is echoed in the debunker’s tautology “temporal lobe malfunctions cause ‘religious-experience hallucinations’ that can only be caused by a temporal lobe malfunction.” The phenomenology of this supernatural grace or affect-soaked hallucination fail to account for the structural change to the percipient’s mental state and physical disposition afterward. For the rest of us, who try to dispassionately view the transformation of an individual’s life after an Otherworldly encounter—especially seeing that these persons have come into possession of personal qualities or talents hitherto minimal or non-existent—we are full of questions meant to break the circular logic.


Mature “epistemological autocracies” such as our materialist worldview are ideologies that marginalize or attempt to erase human experiences that do not fit their framework. Charles Fort called anomalous experiences “the damned”—the events that are ignored, suppressed, or explained away by both secular and religious orthodoxies.

But it’s only fitting that they be damned to irrelevance, we say from our peculiar Darwinist way of thinking—for were there any reality to their existence, they would have gained scientific purchase and be recognized realities by now.[15]

There appear to be at least two reasons why this is so:

One: We simply do not adequately understand consciousness or the relation of consciousness to its substrate, the brain, to offer an explanation for them. But, science assures us, in the future we will. This is called promissory materialism—the idea that all the physicalist answers will one day be found for all mental phenomena. The greatest problem with this form of scientism is that its conclusions about an objective world presuppose a presence—an experiencing thing—that it cannot bring itself to acknowledge. At best, the dominant form of neuroscience can try to persuade us that this subjective realm of experience is only another kind of object, a chemical machine called the brain whose secrets and tricks we are slowly uncovering. All we lack is more powerful technologies to make the discovery complete. Some of the best thinkers have concluded that consciousness is only an illusion constructed by the brain in order to assist the propagation of genetic material.

This conflict between the non-objectivity of behavioral observations and the inability of science to bridge the mind-brain gap seems bereft of a solution. Neuroscientists can propose yet further physiological investigations. Philosophers can offer up an endless stream of thought experiments, but there is no final resolution to the problem of subjectivity trying to objectify itself. This notion of neural correlates of conscious mental states is at the heart of a number of neuroscientific misconceptions ranging from assessments of consciousness, to the claims that morality can be ascertained scientifically. The feeling of security given by the reductionist approach is in fact illusory—a feeling of security analogous to the fundamentalist religionist’s.

Two: Even if the mind/brain system were completely explained, a scientific model for anomalies would still be problematic under our epistemic autocracy because such phenomena are, by definition (mostly) single witness-dependent, subjective, and often singularly-occurring phenomena. As noted at the beginning of this chapter, these reports are incommensurable with our scientific method of hard data, replicable experimentation, and peer-reviewed study, so they would still be eliminated from consideration.

From the point of view of the religious fundamentalist, the anomalies’ ambiguous nature contradicts the idea that God has a specific order to existence. People today still claim to encounter angels and demons, for instance, and while these episodes may pose problems for the ecclesiastical authorities, they do not for the common believer. The belief is solid because it has historical provenance thousands of years old. Still, most mainstream Christian and Muslim sects chose to minimize people’s accounts of encountering them.

Anomalous experiences cannot be transmitted to others—except by a sympathetic recognition by persons to whom a similar event has occurred, or the faith and belief-induction of those close to them.[16] As a culture we in the “West” have tended to throw Charles Fort’s “damned” experiences all together in an inchoate mass. Fringe incidents begets fringe community: a near-death experiencer gravitates into a support group with other survivors, learns of the afterlife’s “ascended masters,” then the UAP-entity connection to these ascended masters, then crystal power, and is embraced by the New Age set and may end up converted to belief in a nefarious, Reptilian-led New World Order—all because their original NDE experience has found no home in our materialist-dominant culture.

Inevitably an experiencer is compelled to retreat from defending the pragmatic value of their anomalous experience—the positive changes that occurred to them as a result—to arguing whether it even happened in objective reality. The positive changes in the experiencer’s personality are irrelevant to the debunker, as we noted; they fall back on the “God-sensing center” of the brain’s neurological edifices, or the “spiritual-neuron bundles” responsible for conversion experiences (usually a temporal lobe malfunction) and consequent beliefs that arise from the malfunction.

The tenuous research on the brain’s “God center” point to merely correlative relations between neural stimulation and a reported experience; there cannot be a causative God-sensing center in the human brain in the way that, say, the pituitary gland causes the secretion of hormones.

This use of language is known as a category error and is, ironically, often deployed by the debunkers against religious believers. How can God be sensed by a part of the brain, when God/a larger spiritual world does not exist for the scientist? To be clearer: the debunker looks upon the anomaly percipient’s experience as an avowal of belief, not a statement of fact. “The pituitary gland secretes hormones” can be empirically demonstrated through measuring instruments, but that proposition depends upon the consensus meaning of “pituitary,” “gland,” “secretes,” and “hormones.”

There are observable referents to each of the words. The statement “I sense the presence of a loving God” also depends upon the meaning/reference of each part of the proposition—but that which is signified by the object “God” has sense, but no referent that can be measured. Most people experience the “oceanic feeling” of Oneness or interconnectedness at least once, and in innumerable ways. It is often used as a substitute for God. That it should have a neural correlate does not negate the meaning of the experience to the subject, to say nothing of the time factor: that the subjective experience may be the cause of the neural change. We will explore the arrow of causation in this essay.

The crux of the matter is this: what happens when percipients are compelled to use the epistemological methods used by the dominant scientistic regime to explain their unique experiences? They must turn to physical evidence, of course, to sate the physicalist demands.

Perhaps 5-10% of the time the UAP (and even fairy, djinn, or cryptid animal encounters) produce inexplicable physical traces such as landing marks, burns, sickness in the percipient, stigmata, scars, spontaneous healings, etc. From the most generous frame of reference, these traces are exactly the result of what is described—physical evidence that some kind of high-intensity energy interacted with the percipient. But they always turn out ambiguous from a scientific analysis.[17]

Just as the effects of quantifiable objects (such as electromagnetic fields in a coil) may produce theories as to how they work, we can trace the effects of paranormal events back to their probable causes. This is what I intend to do in this essay.

We will eventually see that the suspension of a single explanatory reference frames regarding “Otherly” beings lets us entertain the idea that there is a family resemblance between what experiencers of UAP entities, fairies, djinn, and Other beings claim, and take all such accounts on multiple levels. This is a fruitful approach used by journalist John Keel and ufologist Dr. Jacques Vallee—in particular, Vallee’s idea that, regardless of their physically real/unreal status, these Others’s methods and effects mirror that of spy operations (psy-ops). Working from psychologically observable effects to possible causes seems both the most conservative and the richest stance to pursue.

Although varied in form, the spectrum of entities embody similar content/meaning/ends in their human interactions. No amount of conditioning will produce such phantasmal spectacles with predictable success. UAP and related phenomena appear to appear randomly (which, as I said, is what makes them impossible to study), and as long as most scientific organizations refuse to admit their existence there will be a poverty of potentially relevant information surrounding any unusual experience: an analysis of local geomagnetic disturbances, a change in the percipient’s brain chemistry, and, perhaps most implausibly, persons elsewhere in the world who are undergoing another kind of anomalous manifestation at the same time, or even groups of people actively trying to access another realm through occult ritual or meditation.

Such correlations are impossible to achieve; if we could somehow cross-section the world or take a snapshot of everything occurring everywhere in the globe, would we find some correlative supernatural events are transpiring elsewhere during a UAP or apparitional entity encounter?[18] And can we find functional relations between them?

The question is this: Statistically, on any given day or hour, how often do high strange anomalous events occur? And how are we to classify them?

These are impossible statistics to accumulate, but they would seem to be imperative to an understanding of UAPs and their attendant phenomena. Should such a database be established, it could find correlations that yield analyzable material. If scientists don’t even try to establish regularity to the phenomena, we can never get anywhere. Regularity establishes the basis of classification and testing. Researchers like Aime Michel, Vallee, and Keel have attempted analysis of UAP sightings by frequency and location, yielding at least some patterns related to electromagnetic earth disturbances; Keel and Vallee both strongly suggest a relationship between the percipients’ life history, psychological state, and the conditions under which the sightings occurred are the most important aspect of the phenomena. Albert Budden has further discovered deep parallels between electro-hypersensitive persons and UAP activity and personalities prone to “abductions.” I agree with this psychological/health angle, and will follow this lead as basic.



Cognitive scientists and psychologists claim to have rid themselves from Cartesian dualism and Skinnerian behaviorism, but these ideas have lived a skulking shadow-life in the psychology lab regardless. The structure of neuroscientific practice involves the experimenter’s believing the verbal accounts of a test subject’s experiences that the experimenter correlates with their objective/physical measuring devices. This yields publicly available data for inspection by expert and amateur alike.

What is needed is the third way, the mediation.

To be clear: To prove anomalous beings and phenomena don’t exist is impossible. To prove an anomalous experience changed a person’s outlook on life—including their habits, diet, and even their lifelong maladies, etc.—is proven beyond doubt, in hundreds of cases going back centuries.

Many people take this statement to mean some kind of positive assertion that “ETs” therefore must exist, but we shouldn’t assert this; we should deal with the facts, the possible, and the probable. We first need to bracket the experiences phenomenologically without regard to their physical cause, accept them in the form they are presented, and work backwards.

So all we have left is anecdotes. And from anecdotes we shall have to proceed, using logic and categorization to make sense of them. Anecdotes constituted the greater portion of human knowledge for the past 10,000 years—stories of battles, peoples’ folkways, spirit encounters, fairytales, and gossip. It was only by means of the data-organization techniques generated over the past 5 centuries that patterns could be gleaned from the raw data these stories presented. In our age of corporatized, physicalist science, these folktales of encounters are considered curiosities at best, an irritating form of non-scientific knowledge at worst. Almost always the word “anecdotal” is derogatorily cast upon UAP, NDE and psi studies. They are viewed as collections of mistaken impressions loosely gathered together. Mostly this criticism comes from our popular science boosters and professional debunkers, and not necessarily credentialed scientists themselves. Many of the actual scientists know better; they know that anecdotes are where science can begin, for all collections of anomalies that end in paradigm shifts start off as anecdotes encountered during experimentation or observation. Moreover, radical critics of scientific methodologies hold that the line between experimental conditions and anecdote is artificial; all the preparation (choosing the experiment’s participants, designing the experiment’s conditions, weeding out confounding factors) are just made in order to produce a series of anecdotes (the experimental runs) arranged and stereotyped in a strict way to reveal a certain result. The only difference between a collection of anecdotes and a scientific experiment is that a hypothesis motivates the experiment, a guess at the empirical effects of the hypothesis is made ahead of time, and a result is obtained. Studies function as little more than anecdotes that are used to back the claims of newer studies. The special status of these anecdotes—and why we are prohibited from calling them such—is that their transparency of methods and design supposedly render them replicable by other scientists.

So ahead we’ll go. In Part Two we will examine the rise of the “grey alien” and its “purpose” through witnesses’ experiences and the popular culture. Part Three will approach current theories of neuroscience with regard to quantum phenomena and especially their non-local aspects, leading to the conjectured existence of a field I call the metachoria, in which humanity has co-created from an “imaginal realm” very real experiences and energies that we are just on the edge of understanding. It’s necessary for to delve a bit deeply into some interpretations of quantum experiments and theory and their relation to the brain’s structure in producing—or rather filtering—conscious experience. After that, we will examine the many phenomena associated with dissociative identity disorder, hypnotism, seemingly impossible feats of psychophysical magic, and the holographic universe/implicate order hypotheses. The four of these combined will provide a foundation for the examination of Albert Budden’s theory of electro-hypersensitivity in certain individuals, and the anomalous experiences that can result.


[1] Possible exceptions are stringent evaluation of the models used in the cognitive sciences, neurology, and psychology by thinkers such as John Searle, Thomas Nagel, Hubert Dreyfus, David Chalmers, Colin McGinn, Roger Penrose, and Emily and Edward Kelly. On the more radical side, we have the philosophers of science Paul Feyerabend and Thomas Kuhn—which still are institutional critiques.

[2] Evidenced by such thinkers as G.E. Moore, Karl Popper, John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Martha Nussbaum, and Alasdair MacIntyre.

[3] This study will dispense with the terms UFO, flying saucer, and extraterrestrials. In their place I will substitute the “Others” because I don’t think it is useful to draw a hard distinction between the “craft,” the “entities,” their “origin realms,” “technology,” and their effects on percipients. The aberrant experiences should be considered as wholes, both on individual and collective bases. The supposition that these anomalous “presentations” may likely involve a form of “holography” or especially altered states of consciousness in the observer, noted by many investigators, has led me from this group of terms in favor of a singular one. The Others is a term meant to encompass the fact that something unknown and intelligent is interacting with human (and animal) minds. The specific form taken by the “entities” or their “craft” is less important than the fact that an interaction is taking place. As many researchers have noted, a study of folklore and history shows that the Others seem to alter their appearance based upon cultural constraints. This would mean they have an intimate knowledge of our minds, either by “study” or a form of “mind-hacking”—or that they are generated in part by us. But they have interacted with purpose nonetheless. I believe the previous generations of terms used to describe them are something we must condition ourselves to go beyond if any further progress is to be made. One may think this is an even worse nomenclature to use, but it elides the bewildering varieties of beings in favor of, hopefully, a philosophical engagement with something that could turn out to be the most significant in human history.

[4] One variation of this confluence began with Dr. Meade Layne’s “Etherian” hypothesis that was developed through trance medium Mark Probert’s communications with “space intelligences” between 1946-53. See The Coming of the Guardians: An Interpretation of the Flying Saucers as Given from the Other Side of Life, Inner Circle Press, 2009 (originally published 1958). In 1904 & 1918, poet and occultist Aleister Crowley supposedly accomplished “interdimensional” communications and evocations of extraterrestrial beings, one which became his “Holy Guardian Angel.” Crowley’s devotees John W. Parsons and L. Ron Hubbard performed Crowley’s “Babalon Working” ritual in 1946 to “rend the veil” between our realm of Malkuth (in Kabbalistic terms) and that of the Abyss, or Qlippoth (the shattered remains of material unused in Yahweh’s creation); some claim that, through their incompetency, the duo was unable to close this portal, resulting in the entire UAP “demonic invasion.” If nothing else, the coincidence of the dates 1946-1947, when UAP first appeared in vast numbers, and Crowley’s visual descriptions of the beings he contacted are interesting anecdotes.

[5] I am thinking here of the work of Aime Michel, who in the mid-1950s first (and unsuccessfully) submitted UAP sightings in France to statistical and “orthotenic” analysis; of Dr. Jacques Vallee, who did the same but came to embrace past folklore as continuous with UAP mythology and involved psychic factors; Trevor James’s and Brinsley le Poer Trench’s biological “sky people” hypothesis; John Keel, who introduced the world of occult manifestations into the mix by 1970; Dr. Michael Persinger, who attempted to explain experiences by means of electromagnetic interference with the brain’s temporal lobes; and, closer to today, the thorough work of Albert Budden in the 1990s, whose hypothesis we will explore in depth. Apart from Vallee, Keel, Persinger, and Budden there have been no theoreticians of UAP activity whose musings have come close to answering the full spectrum of the mystery.

[6] Many overly-curious investigators have tried to short-cut this problem by utilizing psychic mediums to contact the entities behind the UAP, as we shall see.

[7] In connection with UAP and “cryptids,” no physical evidence, such as an artificially created artifact, has ever passed analytical muster as something possibly from “elsewhere.” We are told about landing marks, drained car batteries, car paint damage, electrical surges that overload a grid, etc. Witnesses suffer burns, nausea, and even death from their encounters. These are obviously signs that something occurred. But no physical object has ever survived scrutiny as proof of an exotic “craft”. Further, I will purposely ignore the claims of dozens of witnesses to “crashed saucers” seen on-site or in secret government hangars, because these claims always lead into the wilderness of mirrors; they are always suspect to hoaxing, a witness’ misidentification of advanced black-budget military tech, or disinformation, simply because the government may want to project a certain narrative. Thus I am foregoing the use of any confirming/disconfirming statements by any government officials, studies, “inside sources,” etc., for the existence of UAP phenomena. These twisted tales have been covered ad nauseam elsewhere. The methods of science are all that is needed to make progress in understanding it. It’s unfortunate but the dis/misinformation techniques used by the government intelligence agencies have so thoroughly muddied the evidence trail regarding the existence of these things as to merit a complete disregard for a serious researcher. Studying the phenomenon and drawing conclusions from available public evidence is not only possible but can yield scientific breakthroughs, though warned against by certain experts.

[8] The latest coming-to-a-debunkers’-message-forum-near-you tool is to classify anomaly-experiencing person as a “schizotypal personality,” which holds, according to the JAMA Psychiatry July 2015 issue, that 1 in 20 people experience random veridical hallucinations at least once in their life; veridical in that they are not recognized as hallucinations as such. The APA has now devised this new classification as a spectrum disorder—a resting-state for humanity, in other words, with each individual falling somewhere within the spectrum. Some persons can even have many hallucinatory experiences while otherwise being completely sane and importantly, productive citizens. And thus, the pathologizing of everyday life, context-free of the hallucinations’ content and precipitating conditions, and in manageable quantificational form, marches on. On the other hand, their tired fallback reasoning for the impossibility of ETs and transdimensionals is deteriorating in the light of contemporary discoveries in quantum physics, nanotechnology, and “reservoir computing.” Recent findings such as the capacity to slow down photons’ velocity in superfrozen mediums, the ongoing research into space-warp or electromagnetic/radiation pulse drives, and the behavior of particles in zero-point energy conditions (absolute zero temperatures, 0 Kelvin, which obtain in open interstellar space) are challenging basic assumptions about the nature of matter and light.

[9] Scientific American article entitled, “Is It Possible to Measure Supernatural or Paranormal Phenomena?”

[10] Computer scientist and ufologist Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck have compiled a historical catalog of aerial anomalies, Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times. The criteria in the ancient world was quite strict to officially record a “prodigy” or “portent” in the sky; most times they were related to earthly events such as the outcome of battles, plagues, coups, etc. before being written down. This criterion held from Rome to China, and was used all the way up to the late Renaissance, but their many reports come from monasteries and lone chroniclers of towns. Vallee and Aubeck were equally strict in their choices; the recorded event had to have properties that defy descriptions of meteorological or astronomical phenomena such as meteors, bolides, temperature inversions, fata morgana, etc.

[11] Reported sightings increase and decrease in number from year to year. There is always a resting state of stigma attached to “close encounters.” In all probability this is a disconnect from what is actually going on; the sightings and close encounters may still be occurring between waves, but the stigma for the witness over going public remains, threatening one’s standing in the community. That reports suddenly begin to appear in great numbers may be a function of social snowball effects: when waves occur, they become undeniable events, whatever their real cause. And many times witnesses come forward during waves with reports of events that happened several years to even decades earlier because a modicum of “social safety” has been established by the welter of percipients revealing their experiences. The stigma is (if only temporarily) loosened.

[12] Like the children’s game “telephone,” noise can overtake and distort an informational signal (the percipient’s tale) when passed through a network, but noise has been found to be quantifiable by the number of participating nodes involved in the signal’s transference. A story told through two degrees’ separation from an eyewitness would not distort the data to a limit that would render useless its information. It depends on the veracity of the nodes. Those who are biologically-related or close friends are within the scope of the first node, with less well-known acquaintances or friends of the close friends in the second, and people within the second degree friends’ connected social groups in the third node. Beyond that, the quality of the signal—the story’s strict adherence to facts—breaks down. As per Claude Shannon’s investigations into what constitutes a signal versus a non-signal (or noise), it was found that a signal degrades into noise over time due to the second law of thermodynamics; entropy can increase over time or over distance (as measured by the number of connection points through which it travels). There is a parallel to this in neuroscience: Valid psychological studies have shown how memory slightly overwrites a recalled experience almost each time it is called up. The anomalous events with which this essay is concerned would obviously have a special place in the memories of the percipients; although they are many times in some kind of altered state of consciousness, their core recollections have been found by investigators to remain stable—which either makes them suspect as real experiences (for how can a real experience not be altered in the repeated recollection) or demonstrates that they actually occurred, having been burned into the person’s mind in a special way.

[13] This is known as the Basic Limiting Principle, as outlined by philosopher C.D. Broad.

[14] Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, University of Chicago Press, 3rd Edition, 1996.


[15] Many scientists perceive that if there were something to it, teams of experts would already be on the case. They then cite Project Blue Book and the Air Force/CIA investigations as reasons to dismiss the phenomena as solved. But these projects have amply been shown to be whitewashes. An average of 20% of the thousands of sightings were still classified as unexplained in the final reports. Furthermore, the original Air Force investigation, Project Sign (1948) supposedly concluded extraterrestrial craft were the most likely explanation. This “estimate of the situation” was deep-sixed by Air Force General Hoyt Vandenburg and the report destroyed. It is facts like these that scientists need to become aware of. There are literally hundreds of examples like this—a history of prevarication and disinformation in the scientific examination of the UAP phenomenon (which is why I’ve tried to avoid mention of the government in this essay). The reasons why would fill a book. See Richard Dolan’s UFOs and the National Security State: Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973, Hampton Roads Publishers, 2002.

[16] The mass media cannot encompass the subtleties of experiencers’ tales either, being fueled on immediate spectacle and the utilitarian, extraverted mindset of our society. In short, anomalous experiences (and especially their aftermath) do not fit the compressive laws of mass media representation. For instance, America heard about the Heaven’s Gate tragedy in 1997 but had no inkling of the cult’s existence or beliefs. One cannot make money off anomaly witness experiences, unless you’re talking about the train of quickly-cancelled Bigfoot/UAP-chasing reality shows featuring “crack” researchers on the trail of physical evidence that never shows up—or fictions such as Twin Peaks or The X-Files, crafted from them because they always already touch a deep mythic impulse.

[17] See the works of Jacques Vallee, J. Allen Hynek, and John Keel. Perhaps in the most famous UAP evidence case, farmer Joe Simonton witnessed a silver disc landing on his property in 1961. The three black-garbed men inside the “craft”, one of them holding a bucket, gestured to him to get some water. Simonton did so and was given three wafers the men were cooking on what appeared to be a grill! They proved to be made of ordinary terrestrial grains. Simonton said they tasted of cardboard. Such a strange story would no doubt garner dismissal from 99% of the population. Yet the sight of a silver disc a few miles away by an independent witness at the same time, and Simonton’s prior and post-experience standing in the local community (“He’d never make up a tall tale, let alone a story like that”) has to this day kept the story in the realm of a “real” UAP entity encounter.

[18] If you perhaps consider conservatively that one in ten experiences makes it to an investigator and one in ten of those reaches print, the Others must be encountered at least once every day somewhere on the planet. And from reading the lot of the collected stories it would seem one might as well watch your own backyard closely instead of the skies, for many of the accounts occur on the ground close to one’s house, while camping, or on a walk and involve “vehicles” tangentially or not at all.

…in which physicalists’ protests against accepting the reality of anomalous experiences demonstrates not a world succumbing to anti-science (as they’d have you believe), but rather their own desperation at the Newtonian worldview’s obsolescence–which is steadily proceeding from within physics itself. In other words, the grounds for explaining people’s anomalous experiences expands by the day, contains elements that are “magical” yet scientifically tractable–and the arch-skeptics don’t like it. Perhaps the most common example of this reality-rupture is the UFO, which we’ll examine in depth.

The Metachorea, Part 2: Why the Greys?


We’re familiar with the stereotypical grey alien. Thousands of people have reported encounters with them, in many different situations. These imps ostensibly figure in the world’s folklore as well, from the mantindane in Southern Africa, the ikuyas of Brazil, the curipiras of South America, the specific Hopi Kachinas to the Baiame of the indigenous Australians.[1] There are dozens of “experiencer memoirs” on the book market that seem to describe interactions with more or less the same creature.[2]

Beings of the grey type appeared only very sporadically in UAP landing reports (usually in spacesuits complete with helmets) from the 1950s until the early 1980s. They then became a standard element in abduction scenarios to the present day. The only types of “alien” that have held steady throughout the modern 70-year phenomena are the long blond-haired, blue-eyed “Nordic” and the “hairy dwarf.” Nordics ostensibly got their start with George Adamski (contacts between 1951-59), who claimed they were from Venus.[3]

Nordics have been reported hundreds of times, both in conjunction with UAP and without them (in “bedroom visitations,” usually preceded by a glowing haze or ball of light). You could plausibly say the Nordics resemble angels or spirit guides, and thus initially appeared to humanity as far back as the ancient Roman world. The hairy dwarf likewise figures in folklore the world over, from some types of the ancient Greek Pygmies and kobaloi/kobolds through Scandinavian trolls and huldravolk (hidden people) and medieval goblins to the Ebu Gogo of Indonesia, the Shoshone Nimerigar, and the Ojibwe’s memegwaan.



With the appearance of the stereotypical greys came the accompanying reports of a heralding “blue-white light in the bedroom,” levitation of the physical body or astral body, travel thru walls/windows to a round room, sexual examinations, rape,[4] induced pregnancies, “false pregnancies,” fetal extraction, “hybrid baby presentations,”[5] and the uncovering of a lifetime of abduction experiences going back in some cases to age two. Through my research I’ve discovered that only eight cases out of hundreds (1890-1980) introduced all or most these elements before their profusion from the 1980s to the present: the Sara Shaw case (1953), the Betty Andreasson case (1967), the Shane Kurz case (1968), the Buff Ledge case (1968), the Pat Roach case (1973), the Sandra Larson case (1976), the Stanford, Kentucky case (1976), and the Allagash Four case, (1976).

I’m intentionally omitting grey abduction reports that were made under hypnotic regression or conscious recall post-1987, when Whitley Strieber’s Communion and Budd Hopkins’s Intruders were published and became top bestsellers (Communionreached #1 and remained there for months). It was through these books that alien abductions by greys entered popular consciousness in an unprecedented way. It was only after 1987 that reports of “lifelong” repeating abductions in experiencers’ lives inundated the field, going as far back as the 1950s, reported mostly under hypnosis and still featuring the greys during the time 1947-1980 when they were not reported in thousands of consciously-recalled UAP accounts that featured visible entities.

Contamination by exposure to popular culture becomes a confounding factor in evaluating the recalled elements here, so I’m trying to concentrate on early reports that contain the many standard elements of the repeating show before there was any mass knowledge of the beings’ appearance and behavior and environment.[6] Many books of experiences that were partially or fully recalled prior to 1987, such as the Allagash event or the Buff Ledge event, were investigated earlier but written up and accepted for publication after 1987 simply because of the intense interest and momentum Communion and Intruders created in the publishing industry. Alien abduction narratives became hot property between 1988-1993, perhaps peaking with the publication of C.D.B. Bryan’s book on the MIT-sponsored abduction conference (1994) and Harvard psychiatry professor John Mack’s professional interest in the subject (1993).

Many “nuts and bolts” (NaBs) advocates of UAP phenomena (those who believe biological extraterrestrials from another planet are here in physical ships) have for the most part settled upon a specific story, while seeming to willfully ignore the fact that “UFOnaut”-human interactions have radically evolved in appearance and function over the past seven decades, if not centuries. As we’ve seen in the first chapter, the NaBs explain this by saying that perhaps many ET races are here, or only a few that, like we’ve said, can project their appearance in whatever manner they want.

For the NaBs crowd, when these “experiencers” give their accounts and an expert-hypnotist fine-tunes and collates these reports they (most of the time) arrive at a convenient, simple narrative conclusion: a dying, cloned extraterrestrial race has come here across space to replenish itself by creating a hybrid race between themselves and humanity. In other words, NaBs make sense of the experiencers’ reports through the hyper-technological lens of our society. Our own fears of ecological destruction and hubristic science are reflected back to us through the cataclysmic visions that the greys often induce in experiencers during abductions,[7]along with the dissonant comfort that this same higher race may have answers for us…to immortality, to interdimensional travel, time travel, to paradise.

The story has become a repeating show, a rerun from experiencer to experiencer. Folklorist Thomas Bullard breaks down the abduction experience into 7 parts: Capture, Examination, Conference, Tour of the “ship” (rare but sporadically reported; it was first described in the Hills’s 1961 case), “Otherworldly journey” (possible but not uncommon; we will see it in the Andreasson case), Return, and Aftermath. After we examine the eight cases I will offer a list of recurring elements enumerating the details of Bullard’s sequence.

And the material revealed by experiencers and trance-mediums alike, who claim contact with “extraterrestrials” and reveal their motives, is startlingly similar in content: 1) “our vibratory rate is about to heighten in an ascension of some kind from the third density to the fourth density;” or 2) our planet will become uninhabitable, and those chosen will transcend this third density planet in some kind of ET Rapture; or 3) these alien beings are omnipresent and only need but choose to materialize anywhere, anytime; or 4) there is no good or evil, only “service to self” or “service to others”; or 5) there is a gradually-focusing spiritual orientation for human life through many incarnations on many worlds…etc.[8]

Why this particular narrative? Can’t we consider the possibility that a form of telepathy has sneakily taken place between the veteran abductee hypnotist and the experiencer/medium? Or that the dying-alien narrative has gained memetic traction in our culture, like a literal “mind virus” propagating in the dreaming night-brew of neurochemicals? That is to say, the experiencers are having night terror paralysis/visions/dreams that have been unconsciously shaped by the cultural proliferation of the grey, that are later recalled as real events?

These two popular explanations are perhaps only slightly less outlandish as that of a dying race of embryo-looking cyborgs popping into our reality to borrow our astral bodies and extract DNA from semen and ova to serve their ends…The problem is the small details these experiencers have reported, both from conscious recollection and under hypnosis. In many cases, there is a poverty of cultural contamination: too little to no prior knowledge of small details in the hundreds of abduction narratives that nevertheless appear in their fresh narratives and in new case after case.[9] These can include the particular shape of a scalpel-like instrument; the coldness of the ovoid rooms; the lack of obvious light source in those uniformly-lit rooms; the passing of the “doctor”-being’s hand over the forehead or eyes of the experiencer to stop the pain of a medical procedure; being unable to recall the transition into these rooms (“doorway amnesia”); etc.[10]

Betty and Barney Hills’s 1961 New Hampshire nighttime highway abduction is considered the first “missing time” UAP abduction but it did not contain many of the elements that would two decades later become standard—the details previously mentioned: floating into a beam of light, Out of Body Experience (OBE)-like intervals, doorway amnesia, the uniformly glowing round rooms, a “black box” wielded by the entities, a variety of beings seen together (mantis, Nordic, grey), an enhanced “psychic abilities” aftermath,[11] induced visions of apocalypse and paradise, etc.


          The identical elements between the Hills’s account and contemporary experiences number only eight: 1) Barney Hill consciously recalled (that is, prior to hypnosis by Dr. Benjamin Simon) feeling psychically controlled by the “leader” being’s eyes from the road as he watched the craft with binoculars; 2) the medical examination, reported by both; 3) the use of a letter-opener-type scalpel instrument to “rake hair samples” from the arm; 4) the removal of sperm from Barney by a suction-type device; 5) the insertion of a long needle into Betty’s uterus through her belly button as a “pregnancy test”; 6) the passing of the leader’s hand over her eyes/forehead to relieve the pain of the test; 7) her “conference” or tour of the vessel with the leader after the examination; 8) the general description of short beings with large, slanted eyes.[12]

The famous Pascagoula, Mississippi abduction case of October 1973 featured floating beings that carried two fishermen through the air into a landed craft.[13] Four months later in 1974 in Warneton, Belgium, a motorist whose car stopped dead in the night was confronted by two short “twin-faced” beings with inverted pear-shaped heads, large black eyes, no noses, and slits for mouths—what we now describe as greys. However, they were wearing space/pressure suits with helmets.[14]

Suits like this are very rarely reported anymore; they seem to be a relic of the 1950s-60s Space Age, when they were ubiquitous in encounters. One could trawl through the old reports and pick out each contemporary element’s appearance—elements that now all come together regularly like a show, or theater performance that has been perfected after many rehearsals.


Here are the first eight cases that involve this entire abduction spectacle, listed in order of their public unveiling, that I’ve found. The elements of the abductions which have become commonly reported are italicized and bolded:

1. 1976: In 1975, Sandy Larson was driving with her daughter and daughter’s boyfriend near Fargo, South Dakota at about 3am when they saw an array of intense lights descend from the sky, growing closer. They stopped in mid-air less than fifty feet away from the car. A portion of the lights changed direction and disappeared off towards the horizon. At that moment the three passengers felt that time slowed down somehow as the remaining lights stopped. They abruptly found that an hour had passed. Sandy’s daughter Jackie found herself in the back seat when she’d been sitting up front with her boyfriend Terry.


Veteran ufologist Dr. Leo Sprinkle hypnotized Larson. She recounted that a craft had landed and told of being floated into the UAP with Terry. A bizarre robot-like being with glaring black eyes and jointed arms put her on a table, rubbed a clear, cold liquid over her skin, and inserted an instrument up her nose, then performed other medical procedures. Curiously enough, a long-existing sinus problem was cured after the experience. The face of the being’s “mummy-like” swathings could be interpreted as heavily wrinkled and folded skin. In the drawings made from her description, the being in fact facially resembles a grey, but inside a mechanical body. At one point she said the being cut open her head and removed her brain (this is a common procedure in shamanic initiations by Otherworldly spirits).[15] After a period of time she and Terry, whom she did not recall seeing inside the room, were returned to their car, and all conscious memory of the incident vanished immediately. Daughter Jackie was also hypnotized by Sprinkle and recalled only standing motionless in a field. Terry refused to be regressed.

Four months later, Sandy Larson had a night-time “bedroom visitation” of two beings. They floated her through the wall to a glowing orange craft, then transported inside a transparent cube to a building in a desert-like place. She claimed she tried to get them to understand that human minds are each different from one another, a concept they apparently couldn’t understand. The beings wanted her to “give them a report on everyone she meets” when they returned for her some day.

After this interrogation they returned her via the orange object and she recalled feeling that she needed a bath to remove the “alien germs,” which intrigued the beings. They had no understanding of soap. Having arrived at her home, Sandy then took them into the basement and showed them laundry detergent and even gave them a cup of it. At that point her memories of the night of December 4, 1975 cease.[16]

2. 1975, Utah: Mother of three Pat Roach was awakened at midnight in October 1973 by the sounds of her children screaming and the cat howling; dogs across the street were also barking. Her six year-old Debbie said a skeleton had been in the corner of their room, and that she had just visited a spaceship. Since there had been reports of a prowler in the neighborhood recently, Pat called the police, who found no sign of forced entry. After the police left, Pat’s oldest daughter Bonnie said that a “spaceman” had indeed been in the house but couldn’t recall anything further. They all had vague recollections of bright light filling the house.

When put under hypnosis in 1975, Pat recalled awakening in the bright light that night to see two small beings beside her couch. She and her children tried to fight off the creatures, who tranquillized and floated them to a craft in a nearby field. Pat was given a gynecological examination in which needles were inserted in her side. A needle was also inserted into her head, and the beings “took her thoughts.” She characterized them as clinical, unfeeling entities—which would become a standard description of the greys’ robotic, military-like demeanor. She also reported a middle-aged, apparently human male with glasses who was working alongside the creatures as if monitoring their work. This accompanying human appears in many subsequent reports (Travis Walton’s being the most famous) but most of the time a taller grey of definite gender dressed in a smock, robe, or doctor’s coat of some kind is reputed to be in charge. These taller beings additionally are reported to have a direct relationship with the experiencer over a long period of repeated encounters, as if they were a “handler” or “soul mate.”[17]

The six year-old Debbie was told she would forget the experience but replied to the creatures that she wouldn’t; she was the first to react when brought from the spell, claiming to have seen a skeleton. She also said she had seen a line of people—neighbors, some of whom she recognized—waiting to get on the “ship.”[18]

Pat Roach’s friends and family both noticed a triangular set of red marks on her arm after the incident.[19] The child Debbie Roach, whose conscious recall was the greatest, remembered a box-like suitcase had been brought into the house by the beings then removed when they returned. This “black box” figures in dozens of cases from the 1950s to the present, in many different contexts—it is used as a hypnotic device in one case, a healing device in another, a blood-sample taking device in a third, etc.

But most telling is Pat Roach’s general impression of the beings that abducted them: she claimed, “They need us.” Out of her hypnosis, she clarified that she was given knowledge that they were genetically extracting material from humans to clone them. This is clearly in line with fairy lore, as will be explored Book Two.[20]

3. 1976: On January 6, 1976, three women left a restaurant in Lancaster, Kentucky at 11:15pm for their 45-minute drive back to Liberty, Kentucky. At about 11:30, a red glowing orb soared downward from the skies ahead and materialized above the highway into a silver saucer lined with yellow lights and a brilliant dome. It swept to the left side of Route 78 and pivoted until its bottom faced them. The driver Louise Smith pulled over and tried to step out. The other two terrified women managed to stop her and continue driving (Smith never recalled this occurring). The UAP then sprayed the road with three brilliant blue-white lights and followed the car. One of the beams struck the vehicle. The backs of the women’s necks and heads terribly burned at this light. The car appeared to accelerate to 85 mph despite Smith taking her foot off the pedal; it also listed left and they had the sensation of turbulence as the car shuddered continuously. The road before them became perfectly straight, completely unlike the winding pavements of Route 78. There was a vague memory by all three women of a stone wall.[21]

Then abruptly, their surroundings returned to normal—but for the fact that the trio had headaches, irritated skin, nausea, and torpor. They made it back to Louise Smith’s trailer and were extremely thirsty. Mona Stafford’s eyelids were swollen and all their eyes were tearing continuously. They were astonished to find it was 1:25am. Smith woke her neighbors to check if the time was correct. It was. They told them their story. The husband asked them separately to draw the object. The depictions were identical.

Several days after the incident Smith found her taillights and turn signals were burned out, and her battery nearly drained; her pet parakeet was now scared of her (it died within a few months). Over the next weeks, the trio lost much weight and suffered symptoms like radiation sickness and actinic burns to their eyes. Their story made its way to investigators. All three passed polygraph examinations. When placed separately under hypnosis, the women told the same account, up to the hallucinatory straight road and wall—then they were suddenly elsewhere, and their stories diverged in the details. Mona Stafford’s first conscious memory of the missing time period was examination by a large eye; whether it was biological, as in an “alien’s” eye seen very close, or a “scanning machine” was unclear to her. Under hypnosis she recalled being in a stifling atmosphere whose ceiling reminded her of the inside of a volcano, although with further hypnotic clarity she found herself in what appeared to be a white operating room. Short beings in “surgical garb” moved beside the table on which she lay. Painful “bending” procedures were done to her legs. She felt a “wettish”, spider web-like substance coating her body and burning it.

In her hypnosis session, Louise Smith recalled her car being pulled backward and stopping at a stone wall that joined a driveway, then, apparently without transition, a pressure being exerted upon her chest as she lay upon a table. Her “examiners” telepathically exhorted her to forget their presence.

The third woman, Elaine Thomas, recalled also being within a “netted, cocoon-like device,” but this one constricted her throat when she tried to speak or emotionally protested. A bullet-like object poked her chest. She described the beings as about four feet tall, with outsized heads and dark, “turtle” eyes.

On January 6, 1976, at about 11pm, a married couple, the “T.s,” saw a light-bulb shaped, neon-like object pass south in the night sky. A Randall Floyd and his wife—and, he claimed, the “whole neighborhood”—watched a large, soundless, oval-shaped light maneuver through the skies earlier, at 8pm. Also at this time, Mike Fitzpatrick, David Irvin and Irvin’s family claimed to see a saucer with a row of orange lights.

These sightings occurred near Stanford, Kentucky, the night of the women’s experience. Investigators discovered that Fitzpatrick’s sighting was on record with the Stanford police. He had made it before the women’s story had been public.

There were “high-strange” sequels to this triple abduction: principal NICAP investigator Leonard Stringfield was concerned for the three women’s mental and physical health, and regularly checked up on them. On July 29th he called Elaine Smith, who frantically told him that she had been bidden the previous night by a voice to travel back to the stone wall, which she and Stringfield had together earlier located while retracing their path along Route 78 (at that earlier time, Smith, terrified, could not get out of the car to stand near the wall). Entranced by the voice, she dressed and did so, staring at the wall in the darkness. After an indeterminate amount of time she finally pulled herself away and drove back home and discovered that three rings on her hands were missing.

Later, Mona Stafford was visited in her house by a “biblical-looking” being with a beard and robe that simply appeared in a golden glow. Entranced like Smith, she could not pick up the telephone to call her friends or Stringfield while the event occurred.[22]

4. 1977: Betty Andreasson’s experiences are the most fantastical in the history of ufology. Five books have been written about her continuing involvement with “greys” and Nordics and other kinds of beings. Possessing an eidetic memory and being an artist, she was able to draw detailed pictures of what she re-experienced under hypnosis.

It began one foggy night in late February 1967, when the lights flickered and failed in her Massachusetts house. She, her parents, and three children saw a pink-orange glow outside the back of their home. The lights came back on. Her father went to the rear kitchen window and saw what he described in a legal affidavit as “a bunch of Halloween freaks” bouncing towards the house like grasshoppers. He retreated fearfully to the family room with the others. It was his last memory before waking up the next morning. The family consciously remembered the pulsing light, then feeling exhausted and all going to bed (or finding themselves in bed). Betty recalled that after her father went to the window she saw four greys in uniforms materialize through the back door. At this point her conscious memories ceased. While hypnotically regressed in 1976, she saw that her family seemed frozen in time from this point forward, except when her 9-year old daughter Becky (when hypnotized separately) turned her head and saw Betty and “Quazgaa” (the taller “leader” grey) holding a Bible together, and Quazgaa passing a blue book to her mother. Betty herself vaguely remembered this prior to her hypnosis. Betty was taken from the house and floated into a ship in the back yard, transported to a cavernous place, shown a unearthly garden/city, given a vision involving the classic phoenix/fire/worm-rebirth transformation, and had an encounter with the “One” which she believed was the Godhead. She could never speak of the content of this last experience and hasn’t to this day; being a fundamentalist Christian, she interpreted the entire episode in terms of angels and the fallen “Watchers” (grigori/Elohim) from Genesis who long ago bred with humans. One of the beings used a hand-held globe of light to keep her family tranquillized in the house while she was gone.[23]

5. 1979: Hans Holzer’s book “The Ufonauts” contains the second variation of the accounts of the typical UAP abduction account. In 1975, a young woman named Shane Kurz was hypnotically regressed to a 1968 missing-time episode that contained the full measure: the light filling her bedroom (which her mother and neighbors too had witnessed); walking trance-like into the night (an effect of the light) to meet with a saucer hovering over a nearby field; extraction into the saucer by a beam of light; no recall of how she immediately appeared in a round room; telepathic communication with the beings; impregnation; a later fetal extraction. She was “branded” with a triangular mark (like Pat Roach and Dr. X [see footnote], and many abductees) extending from her belly button across her lower abdomen that would spontaneously recur over the years. In its immediate aftermath she suffered deep lethargy, eye soreness, skin problems, and headaches, and her menstrual period ceased for 18 months. The details of Kurz’s experience, even more unbelievable than others in that hers involved “occult” or supernatural elements, in 20 years would come to be entirely routine “high strange” events in experiencers’ lives.

If Kurz fabricated this narrative, or her mind confabulated it while under hypnosis—and there is room for doubt here, because she had previously sighted UAPs twice with her mother and was interested in the subject, as well as being familiar with the Hill abduction case which had become public two years earlier in 1966—it does not explain why thousands of people worldwide would come to tell minor variations of her story a decade later. Advocates of the “psychosocial” explanation for abductions and debunkers both like to give “mass hysteria” as the answer—but that nebulous concept is itself scientifically unproven and has no known physical/psychological basis.[24]

6. 1980: In 1975, Sara Shaw asked investigator Ann Druffel to explore a  “missing time” event that involved a bright light and disorientation 22 years earlier, in 1953, in Los Angeles’s Tujunga Canyon. It happened to Shaw and her girlfriend Jan Whitley. Both women had no interest at all in UFOs and did not connect the experience with them, until Sara heard of the missing time phenomenon. The two women told the same story under hypnosis of a bright blue-white light waking them at 2am on March 22, 1953, the entry of short, black-clad beings into the house, being floated into a hovering, Saturn-shaped craft, and a medical examination. Jan (who Druffel believed was the focus of the abduction) fought the beings, while Sara was tranquillized and even mirthful during the episode.

Another event occurred three years later, in 1956: Jan and friend Emily Cronin pulled over at a rest stop to sleep late at night on a coastal highway. This involved memories of a bright light and men surrounding their car. When they later searched for this rest stop on the same stretch of California coastal highway, they found nothing.[25]

In 1959, Sara Shaw abruptly switched careers and eventually claimed a sort of psychic communication involving a cure for cancer and that she had a special purpose in the world. This “mission” message happens to many “silent” abductees, that is, individuals who have strange experiences but don’t connect them to abductions. Her ex-girlfriend Jan would develop cancer and pass on in 1979.

If their recollections are actual events, this would be the earliest case (1953) involving greys and a stereotypical abduction.[26]

7. 1993: Walter Webb’s exhaustive investigation in the “Encounter at Buff Ledge” is the fifth part of the template, for its story includes the (future-typical) travel to a cylindrical mothership high in space, a round room with a high, railed walkwayaround it full of glowing screens and lights, and being shown visions on a screen. This event occurred in 1968 to a pair of male and female teenagers who never again spoke to one another after it occurred, as if they were compelled not to (another common reaction by multiple abductees, whether close friends or just acquaintances)—a separation that went on for ten years after the incident.

The Buff Ledge summer camp on Lake Champlain was mostly deserted on August 7, 1968; staff and children were away on a swim meet. Lifeguard “Michael Lapp” (16) and “Janet Cornell” (19) went onto the dock and talked as the dusk set in. They had never before conversed. At one point they saw what appeared to be Venus—but then it dropped closer to the earth, elongated into a shining cylinder, and began disgorging lights. The cylinder moved up into the sky and disappeared. The three lights formed a triangle and moved closer; two of the lights raced off into the distance.

The remaining light drew closer until they could see that it was a disc-shaped object with a flattened cupola. It dove into Lake Champlain, emerged, and began to draw near. The object mesmerized the two. It came within a few dozen yards of the dock. Two entities were clearly visible in the dome staring at them. They had oversized hairless heads, large, oval black eyes, and appeared to be wearing skin-tight grey uniforms. Michael tried to ask Janet if she was seeing this but she was in an immobile trance, staring out over the lake.

Michael then initiated a telepathic conversation with one of the beings. He was so amazed and delighted that he laughed and slapped his knee—and one of the beings did the same! The other seemed to be in a trance, like Janet—or concentrating its attention upon her. Michael waved and shouted at them to come closer. The beings disappeared as the craft came slowly closer, then they reappeared.

Be careful what you wish for…

Within seconds the craft hovered over them. Michael leapt up to touch it and a very bright light engulfed them. He draped himself over Janet as the light seemed to enter his mind.

Suddenly it was nighttime, and the girls’ team was returning from their swim meet. Michael and Janet lay groggy on the dock. They wandered back to camp on the shore. Someone asked them what those bright lights were on the lake(!) but they did not answer, drifting to their respective cabins to go to sleep. They would not talk again for ten years.

After this experience, Michael would re-evaluate his life and become a religion major. Janet eventually moved to Atlanta. In 1978, Michael wrote to astronomer and UAP investigator Walter Webb of the Hayden Planetarium asking for help. Webb tracked down Janet and wrote to her, inviting her to reunite with Michael and undergo hypnotic separate regression to recall the event. He spent the next five years on the case.

The duo consciously remembered the object hovering above them then awaking to darkness. Janet’s recollection was that the object was very close over the dock and they crouched or lay down and then passed out in a bright light.

Under hypnosis, Michael found himself inside the ship with a “leader” being. They stood upon a walkway above a round room. It was impossibly larger than the saucer they had seen. The “vehicle” was in space, approaching the cylindrical “mothership.” He could see Janet upon a table, naked, being examined by the “creatures.” Samples were taken from her body. He reported computer-like lights on the wall near her. He was led down to a table next to Janet’s, laid down and passed out. When he awoke it appeared that the saucer was inside a huge space, presumably the cylinder. A light beam teleported he and the leader through the wall and into a large space full of the same “alien beings.” The leader brought him into a room, where a “helmet” was placed over his head. A group of beings were watching a film of some sort in his peripheral vision on a bubble screen and reacting to the images. 

Then the leader took him to another room, touching his hand, and Michael saw visions of a landscape with a purple sky. Many other humans surrounded him, all distraught. Janet was next to him crying. He passed out again and seemed to be falling towards an infinite number of “screens” each showing him and Janet on the dock. He entered one of them and the leader’s voice said goodbye to him.

Here it must be emphasized again that they hadn’t spoken since that night, nor had Webb revealed any of Michael’s details to Janet:

Janet, under hypnotic trance, recalled the saucer above them on the dock then immediately found herself upon a table surrounded by beings that were touching her. There were lights upon a wall. She saw Michael and the other being in the distance. She lapsed in and out of awareness. Her memories had significant gaps but she recalled being with Michael twice in rooms. She too reported that the small saucer had entered a larger one in which it sat. A mothership.

It must be stressed that Webb chose a hypnotist who had a total lack of knowledge of UAPs to boot, unlike many investigators.[27]The two told stories he determined were 70% congruent. This is an amazing case because Webb’s fieldwork showed exemplary precaution and skepticism. It contains some of the best evidence that something far from ordinary psychological states occurred to the two teenagers.[28]

8. 1993: Four art college friends went on a fishing trip deep into the remote northern Maine wilderness on August 20, 1976. On their fourth day traveling north they, along with several other witnesses, saw a glowing orange orb appear erratically over the distant woods around Chamberlain Lake. Two days later, they reached the northernmost point they could and made camp on the Allagash waterway. Late that night (under a clear and moonless sky) they built a huge bonfire onshore to orient themselves while doing some night fishing. Suddenly the same fiery object appeared, moving slowly over the trees across the lake, swirling with many colors. Chuck Rak was first to notice it, and became immobile in fascination. One of the men, Charlie Foltz, flashed a light at the silent orb, which immediately began floating towards them. It sent a bright blue light beam onto the lake surface. Terrified, they began to paddle back towards camp. The light struck their canoe and the next thing they recalled was being on shore, staring at the object in the sky as it bounced upward stepwise and shot off like a meteor. They discovered their fire, set to burn for two to three hours, was embers. It seemed 20 minutes at most had passed. Exhausted, they immediately fell asleep.

Jim and Jack Weiner, identical twins, were the first to begin having nightmares about the “missing time” between the light striking the canoe and their coming ashore. Their dreams involved non-human creatures. After hearing about the missing time-UAP phenomenon, and Jim’s reading Strieber’s Communion, they approached ufologist Raymond Fowler (chief investigator the Betty Andreasson case) in 1988. It must be stressed here that their nightmares unequivocally preceded the publication of Communion by years, and Jim Weiner was terrified by the coincidences he read therein with his own dreams—hence his contacting the famed researcher. Fowler set up hypnosis sessions for all four men. They were told individually not to divulge to the other three what they revealed during the trances. They each recalled the same basic story of being levitated by the “tunnel-like” blue light, entering a room where they were tranquillized by (insect-like) greys and each placed one by one on an examination table in which sperm samples were taken. Afterward they were floated and guided in the “tunnel-beam” by the beings, who physically helped them back into the canoe. Since they were trained artists, each drew virtually identical beings without knowledge of the others’ pictures—most incredibly, that the beings’ hands had only four digits in two pincer-like groups of two.[29]


So we have a fact, whether its content is “real” or psychosocial in nature: the encounters reported in media have changed over the decades 1950-1990 from being an outside/observer to an inside/participant.

I realize that this is a small dataset. This conjecture is culled from the dozens of books I have read over a period of years as I searched for the first unambiguous (as possible!) historical descriptions of the template abduction scenario. I claim eight cases, but of course there may be reports I’ve missed, and there may be experiences like these that simply have not been reported. For instance, a small being tried to capture a man during the 1897 American wave of “phantom airship” sightings—and claimed he experienced several hours of missing time during the chase. He was not, needless to say, hypnotically regressed to explore what befell him during his amnesiac period.[30]

I can only make these assertions based on the veracity of the experiencers’ recollections and the diligence of the original and subsequent investigators, who ruled out many mundane explanatory factors. Nor have these eight reports been proven fraudulent or decisively debunked over the intervening decades; they are in a sense canonical. A few more equally unexplained cases from the 1960s, 70s, early 1980s are available but the eight above cover the specific details that proliferated through the early 1990s experiences to the present.[31] Revisionist ufologists who have revisited these canonical cases have tried to explain them in psychosocial or psychological terms, some even invoking the involvement of intelligence agencies, but all of their interpretations have fallen short in my opinion.[32]

The point is that holistic change occurred over time—a change in the relation-triad witness/phenomena/after-effects.

By the time the alien abduction conference was held at MIT in 1993 the community had come to focus on at least two strong narratives, both based on the same material but with divergent interpretations. As arch-debunker Philip Klass once (paraphrasing) said, “given a choice between being hypnotically regressed by Leo Sprinkle or Budd Hopkins, I’d choose Sprinkle. At least then I’d have happy recovered memories.” Klass’s statement is a pithy summation of the problem that had emerged: One set of abductees, those laboring under the least ambiguous explanatory narrative for the phenomenon (Hopkins’s and historian/abduction researcher David Jacobs’s) mostly underwent the recovery of horrific experiences/memories with serious physical and psychological side effects. In total, Jacobs and Hopkins regressed perhaps over a thousand individuals. These victims had PTSD, anxiety disorders, paranoia, hypochondria, etc. Conversely, the abductees regressed by Dr. Leo Sprinkle, Dr. Richard Boylan, hypnotherapists Dolores Cannon, Barbara Lamb, John Carpenter, and Harvard psychiatry professor Dr. John Mack had minimally or manageably disturbing experiences to which they eventually learned to psychologically adjust and even incorporate into new lives that often involved healing professions, shamanistic type practices, or jobs that concerned activism against the earth’s deteriorating environmental balance. In other words they “accepted their role in the Others’s plans,” however mysterious those plans may be.

Those with professional credentials—Mack, Sprinkle, Boylan, Lamb, Cannon—tended to produce greater numbers of people finding acceptance of these experiences. Perhaps this is due to the social expectations of a clinical, therapeutic setting. Hopkins and Jacobs had neither licenses nor professional guidelines.[33]


To recap: reports of UAP entities in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s changed from “swarthy” and “Asian-looking” human beings to a wide variety of beings (hairy dwarves, small bald spacemen in pressure suits, the Nordics, elf-like creatures, etc.) to the standard “greys” which began to the best of my knowledge with the Hill, Tujunga Canyon, Kurz, Roach, Kentucky, Allagash, Larson, Buff Ledge, and Andreasson abductions in the 1960-70s. I think it’s no coincidence that mass consciousness of UAPs and their “alien pilots” exploded during the mid-to-late 1960s due to television’s domination of mass media. Science fiction UAP shows such as “The Invaders” (1967) became popular. The grey beings came to dominate the scene in the 1980s, as did what turned out to be tales of genetic extractions, impregnation, training exercises, “sick hybrid baby” nursings, and exposure to apocalyptic visions for whose aftermath the abductees were “chosen” to assist.

Here’s a list of recurring elements in these eight cases:

-Heralding very bright light

-Appearance of “greys”

-Telepathic communication (orders, mentally calming platitudes, ambiguous answers to questions)

-Floating into air with “doorway amnesia” (no recollection of entering “ship”; all cases except Andreasson’s)

-Becoming naked (or having one’s clothes removed) and being upon a table in glowing circular room with no visible light source.

-Being coated with a (usually) cold substance (Larson, Andreasson, Kentucky, Vilas-Boas [1957])

-The use of a “wand”/needle with a glowing tip (all cases but Kentucky)

-Insertion of needle in head, side, navel, neck, nostril.

-Instant tranquillization by the beings when pain occurs, usually by the passing of the “leader’s” hand over the eyes or forehead.

-Use of a black box device for tranquillization (Roach case)

-Robotic demeanor by greys.

-A taller, leader being (Hill, Buff Ledge, Larson, Allagash, Shaw, a human in the Roach case)

-Beings show the percipient a vision of a “heavenly” place on a screen (Buff Ledge, Andreasson cases; Betty Hill was shown a star map [1961]).

-Interest in the human reproductive system (extraction of eggs/sperm; all but the Kentucky case).

-Sudden return to car/house/campsite with vague or no recollection of events.

-Physical sequel—“branding” such as scars, triangular burns/rashes, nausea, headache, blurred vision, conjunctivitis, swollen eyelids, excessive sleeping or insomnia, nightmares.

Historical Phases:

Small beings and humanoids in silver suits/“diving suits”/flight suits: 1947-present

Giants, up to 11 feet tall, in silver suits/flight suits: 1952-present.

“Dark-complected” or “Mediterranean-looking” humans: 1947-1985

“Asians”: 1947-1970 (1896-1970 if the airship landings of 1896 are included)

“Nordics”: 1947-present (or antiquity to present, on a cultural assessment)

Imps or dwarves: 1950-present (or antiquity to present)

Reptilian creatures: 1950-present (or antiquity to present)

Presence of hairy bodies, including face: antiquity-present

Greys (in order of their media reporting): 1967-present (Or 1961-present including the Hill case, or 1953-present in Shaw case [1990])

Mantises/mantids: 1990-present


1951-present: Hybrid human/almost indistinguishable from human being, bearing “message for all humankind”, with or without presence of object.

1952-1985: Instruments used by entities seen at a distance such as “metal detectors” being waved across ground; silver wands (1954-present); a box on chest or belt that when touched induces paralysis in observer (1953-present).

1950-1985: Observation of surveying/collecting of flora/mineral samples.

1967-present: entities holding a small globe of light which effects paralysis (Andreasson); in her later recollections of earlier abductions, she witnessed a tiny marble of light from the entities that flew and attached itself between the eyes on the forehead.

–The first wave was simply the “object” seen in flight (antiquity-present)

–The second wave was the “object” seen in flight or hovering, with a subsequent ray of light that paralyzes the observer

–The third wave was of landed “objects” with the entity either “surprised” by witness and followed by a quick takeoff; sometimes the startled “pilots” paralyzed the percipient (1947-present, possibly far earlier—this is consistent with the “fairy-stroke”/“elf-shot” of fairies) then entered the UAP and took off, or they intentionally approached the witness (with or without paralysis), then takeoff. Many times it appeared as if the beings were either collecting flora or repairing their “craft.” (1949-1981).

–Fourth and overlapping with 3 is automobile disturbance either before or during sighting of “craft” (1950-present; many Otherworldly encounters during the pre-automobile era reported disturbed horses that often would stop and go no further in the presence of beings/lights).

–Fifth is observed landing or already landed craft seen, paralysis, and abduction (Vilas-Boas and Hill, 1957-present, reported 1957 & 1961, mass media presentation for both encounters in 1966). Albert Rosales’s humanoid encounter catalog contains scattered reports in the early 1950s in — of consciously-recalled abductions without greys that also had reproductive operations.

–Sixth is the appearance of a strong light in the house, paralysis, and abduction to a circular room involving the standard elements (Shaw, 1953, Andreasson, 1968-present).


Adherents to the nuts-and-bolts UAP conjecture would explain the large variety of entities reported prior to the greys’ prevalence by saying that many alien races are here, or perhaps the aliens’ appearances have been deceptive in the past but they are now finally showing us their true form and purpose through the Nordics’ and greys’ seeming ubiquity in these encounters.

Indulging this for a moment: if they deceived percipients before, for whatever reason, then why should we believe this is their true form?

It is more likely the greys and the Nordics are the “model” millions of people have (un)consciously chosen to accept. For several reasons:

They are basically human looking. Collectively, abduction experiencers certainly haven’t settled upon hairy, grunting ugly dwarves as their primary antagonists (these figure in early 1950s-1990s, especially South American, UAP reports—although many experiencers, including Whitley Strieber, have encounter cloaked, dark blue-skinned “dwarves” during their episodes).

This “choice” of the greys’ physical appearance and purposes is in line with ingrained cultural expectations. Consider the Talosians from the original 1964 Star Trek pilot, “The Cage”: they were short, skinny, pale, huge-headed, bald, tiny nosed, with hardly a mouth. If we gave them large slanted ebony eyes, they would look almost exactly like greys. The Talosians possessed stupendous powers for casting holographic illusions on humans, and are involved in a desperate search for genetic “stock” to rebuild their civilization, which their ancestors destroyed. Sound familiar?

Here is H.G. Wells’s extrapolation of what humans would look like given a million years’ evolution:


Here are huge heads, large eyes, skeletal bodies. Thanks to Wells, dozens of visual depictions in syfy art, from the 1890s onward depicted skinny, simioid beings with large craniums and large eyes. Folklorist Thomas Bullard, Martin Kottmeyer, and Robert Sheaffer have each undertaken an extensive cataloging of ostensible “contamination” of UAP entity descriptions by science fiction monsters and motifs, particularly the spate of 1950s alien invasion films and 1960s-70s TV shows and films. Their work showed only ambiguous (statistically insignificant) correlations between extraterrestrial depictions, in everything from pulp magazines to TV shows and the subsequently reported “real aliens.” But correlation is not causation, of course, and the attempt to explain a mechanism of action for how people would experience these Others via entertainment sources goes, for the debunkers, no further than “cryptomnesia of the media source combined with hallucination brought on by unconscious stress hysteria, or dream/self-hypnosis mis-experienced or misremembered as reality.” Whoof! It is a game try, and may explain a portion of cases, but ultimately untenable explanation for the experiences in which multiple witnesses and physical evidence is present. And it does not explain the prevalence of the greys in reports.

Experiencers report beings that resemble human fetuses—basically large heads with vestigial bodies. Consider the image metaphorically: The head dominates: the intellect dominates. The body is negligible. And what results from a race in which the head outweighs the heart? Unfeeling, cold beings who treat humans like lab rats.


As noted above, the grey has precedent in UAP reports but at one time they had visible irises and pupils, and not the black, shiny eyes. The Hills and Betty Andreasson reported large, visible black irises on the entities they met. This to me signifies another subconscious projective clue: the eyes being the “window to the soul,” and such emotionally expressive organs, the greys now have no eyes, thus have no souls. These organs that communicate so much between humans is a void. With researchers Budd Hopkins, Whitley Strieber, David Jacobs, Raymond Fowler, Edith Fiore, John Carpenter, Yvonne Smith, and John Mack came mass experiencer reports of these black eyes.[34]

Many other types of “high strange” beings have in fact been encountered since 1980, but the reports seem to have been swept under the rug over the past 30 years, ever since the greys appeared in the popular literature. They are outliers and not taken seriously, thus no longer widely reported. That is to say, a consensus set in on the aliens’ appearance, and many ufologists became just as narrow-minded as the debunkers (as noted already, one great exception to this is researcher Albert S. Rosales, who has published fourteen books on these outlier creatures that appear in conjunction with UAP sightings).[35]

When one examines the most elaborate ongoing abduction cases—Betty Andreasson Luca’s (1967-95) and Whitley Strieber’s (1985-97) for instance—you find the themes that hundreds of other experiencers echo: messages of ecological destruction, impending human sterility, the spiritual poverty of Western worldview, the need for redemption, a “purification” of the planet, the beings as evolutionary principles connected with the dead, as guides and “Watchers,” as guardian angels. These match with religious visionaries’ experiences throughout history. Sneaking beneath this current discourse is undoubtedly the deep-time symbolisms that world mythology presents. Transitional periods of great societal upheaval and psychological transformation should produce, by Carl Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, a certain stereotyped response by the mind—and this seems to be the case here. The greys may be symbols of our future, creatures embodying a liminal state between the atavistic and the high-technological.

Abductees are kept in constant state of confusion and disorientation during their experiences. Nothing is clearly or directly perceived. As we can see, stereotyped imagery is prevalent: the round dimly lit room, the operating table, a wall of lights/computers, scanners, etc. Rote orders, exhortations to relax, and cosmic platitudes are offered by the Others during the terrifying encounters. The aliens speak of disaster and rebirth of their race and the creation of a human-hybrid one on a world that may or may not be the earth. They claim that the human race is repeating their past mistakes, and they show experiencers images of what is taken to be their now-barren world.[36] Very often their ships contain plant nurseries. For instance, after passing through a verdant, hothouse-type landscape, Betty Andreasson was shown an unaltered, straightforward Phoenix rebirth “performance” that deeply affected her. This amounts to psychodrama. The Others act as doctors, performing check-ups and operations on humans, thus are acting like our “keepers”—and contactees/experiencers claim they’re our siblings or even parents. As noted above, experiencers are often “washed” or cleaned with cold gels and liquids, like a baptism, before medical procedures or “transportation” scenarios where they visit the aliens’ home world. They are also at times immersed in pools of vibratory liquids under which they find they can breathe.[37]

The alien fetuses removed (by light or “physically”) from female experiencers’ wombs are usually immediately transferred into a liquid-filled container.[38] Experiencers male and female almost very often report seeing nurseries with walls filled with these tanks.[39]

I’m not saying something very strange is not happening, or that some intelligence is not interacting with us. I’m saying they take the form we partially project onto them. We are co-creating their form through some presently unknown psychophysical means, which we shall explore. Another way to say this is that there is a third element between the tired mind/body duality. This third is an interface with “outer” reality, and is the primary means of perception—not the sensory apparatus of a physical body or brain. What I call the metachoria is the field in which all unwilled mental phenomena occur, but metachores (unconscious/subliminal templates or images) per se have the character or aspect of “transmissions” from elsewhere or elsewhen for those who experience them. These may come unbidden from things such as a sudden image for a painting in an artist all the way to a full-blown abduction experience. It is a matter of degree of the state of attunement to the metachoria. This is my nexus between a certain kindof mind of the UAP/paranormal experiencer, which I will later discuss more clearly in parts four and five of this essay. The rest of this work will address physical (re)actions by which these phenomena manifest in “our” world. The particular psychophysical histories of the experiencers, while in many cases showing similarities such as psychic abilities or “fantasy proneness” or dissociative tendencies,[40] will play a large part in my description but is not determinative. That there is something on the “other side” of perceptible reality that is utilizing electromagnetic phenomena and persons highly sensitive to electromagnetic fields is implied but I submit we can know only a small set of axioms regarding these forms’ motives or true nature. It is only by their statistical rarity and the effects they sometimes catalyze in witnesses that they are called “supernatural.” I believe they are of natural origin—albeit “agents” of a biological superorganism of which our consciousness observes only a narrow phenomenological range of activity.[41]

The next part will outline an interpretation of the physics of consciousness with regard to willed vs. unwilled thoughts and actions and the place the quantum Zeno effect (QZE) within the brain’s neurons has in this apparent dichotomy; we will discover that there is something missing in this formulation that only conjecturing a third field would accommodate. The chapter will also address the concept of quantum entanglement, feedback loops between “mind” and “matter,” the Fourier transform/frequency domain model of the bodily senses, and the holographic universe conjecture.


[1] The indigenous Australians of the Arnem Land have the Mimi, who are the forefathers who taught many skills to the Yolngu and Bininj clans in antiquity. They are described as extremely frail and thin, and could be contacted by approaching sacred stones or mountains in ritual manner. These places were doorways to an immaterial dimension that, like the fairy and djinn planes, existed outside of the human world. Mimi play tricks on humans if they or their magic places are not respected. Shamans could fully interact with the beings. Their offices derive from the cult-heroes of the totemic heroes, spirits and ghosts and second the long line and hierarchy or order of medicine men, which leads back to the same heroes of the Dreamtime. They were thought to steal food, fool unsuspecting travellers, and even shoot magic darts—which is a connection to many shamanistic practices and the “fairy elf-shot.” The magical arrow is also associated with Abaris the Hyperborean, a figure said to have emerged from a mythical land “beyond the north wind”. Abaris was said to be able to commune with spirits, heal the sick and travel through the air on a magic arrow. Additional connections to Apollo and Pythagoras hint at the shamanistic journeying technique of “incubation” practiced by the healer Asclepius in his temple.

[2] And then there is the existence of ancient cave paintings in Australia, India, the American Southwest which depict beings very similar to the descriptions of the greys: large, bald, pale heads and staring ovoid black eyes with stick-like or vestigial bodies. Anthropologist Michael Narby in his book The Cosmic Serpent and Graham Hancock in Supernatural speculate that these strange beings were encountered during shamanistic trances so regularly that they merited artistic representation on cave and rock paintings. This conjecture will play a crucial part of my thesis as to UAP “creatures’” genesis and purpose.

[3] Clark, Jerome. The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, pgs. 26-37. Adamski is widely regarded as a charlatan (at worst) or someone who confabulated and capitalized on a real experience with UAP (at best). We would consider ludicrous his claims about the Venusians’s civilization—from a literal point of view. But do the Nordics’ independent longevity in UAP reports 1) grant some kind of credence to Adamski’s outlandish stories, or 2) bump down the believability factor of Other experiencers’ tales or 3), suggest some sort of psychological “screen” is being induced on all the witnesses’ minds, and the actual energies/intelligence behind the images are beyond our comprehension, as one of our ET hypothesis conjectures in the preface allowed for? And if the third option is so, why do these hidden intelligences choose robed/jumpsuited, blue-eyed, blond seven-foot “Aryans” and not a beautiful Ethiopian princess, even occasionally? Perhaps the hidden intelligences don’t do the choosing. Perhaps we do, because the “Nordic” and dwarf images are very ancient and have always signified the Otherworld (of which more later).

[4] Jacobs, David M., The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, Simon and Schuster, 1999, pgs. 76-88; Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, pgs. 4-15;

[5] Pritchard, Andrea; Pritchard, David E.; Mack, John E.; Kasey, Pam; Yapp, Claudia, eds. Alien Discussions: Proceedings of the Abduction Study Conference held at MIT, Cambridge, MA.,1995, pgs. 45-81; Jacobs, David M. Secret Life: Firsthand, Documented Accounts of UFO Abductions, Touchstone, 1993, pgs. 49-60, 91-93, 107-131, 153-186, 209-219; Jacobs, David M., The Threat, pgs. 116-118, 128-160; Clark, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, pgs. 7-9, 15-17;

[6] There have long been battles over the veracity of memories recovered under hypnosis. Rarely are they accepted in court, especially after many of the allegations during the “Satanic panic” of the 1980s-early 90s were proven to be hoaxes or confabulations. Studies have shown that in general, emotionally disturbed individuals and their health practitioners both are primed to play out a specific dynamic during a clinical setting. The patient is primed to provide material acceptable or amenable to the therapist’s skills. The same dynamic holds between an abductee and a qualified hypnotherapist or an “abduction expert” who practices hypnosis without a license. The theory goes that the abductee unconsciously (or consciously) wants to please the researcher with an account that conforms to the template; in this way, both participants are recognized as valid and “special.” When an abductee deals with someone of David Jacobs’s or Budd Hopkins’s stature, who are known world-wide as “abduction experts,” the unconscious is even more emotionally engaged and the imagination active. Thus we can say, with a high degree of probability, that there will be a level of confabulation present in abduction narratives made while under hypnosis by an abduction expert, whether licensed or not. To what level that confabulation rises has supposedly been neutralized by researchers withholding outlying, unusual details over time in their published works, to see if these “odder-than-normal” details turn up in further cases. Although this is meant to be a scientific method to determine the veracity of a case as a “control,” the approach is flawed; it is the abductee’s prior knowledge of any narrative structure or sensory details to these experiences that should always be the issue. To put it another way, if a family of homesteaders living off the grid for several generations were to suddenly show up terrified at the local police station with conscious, template-level tales of abduction, their lifestyle would count in favor of the truthfulness of their claims. If Amish families, say, with none to minimal familiarity with aliens or abductions were to claim the full-spectrum conscious experiences we are detailing, what could we say about it? The Amish would probably claim they encountered demonic forces. But if they reported classic grey beings, we would have to concede that, at least, the image of the grey has risen above the level of a “cultural contaminant” and gained some sort of independent psychological existence.

[7] See Strieber, Whitley. Communion: A True Story, Avon Books, 1987, pgs. 52-64; Jacobs, David M., The Threat: Revealing the Secret Alien Agenda, Simon and Schuster, 1999, pgs. 227-234; Bullard, Thomas E., The Myth and Mystery of UFOs, The University Press of Kansas, 2010, pgs. 89, 140, 179, 218, 230; Clark (1998), pgs. 7, 8, 17; Randles, Jenny. Abduction, pg. 136; .


[8] See Rueckert, Carla and Elkins, Don. The Law of One: Ra Material, L/L Research, 1982; Anka, Darryl, Bashar: Blueprint for Change: A Message from our Future, New Solutions Publishing, 1990; Cannon, Dolores, The Convoluted Universe Series 1-5, Ozark Mountain Publishing, 2001-2015; Marciniak, Barbara, The Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians, Bear & Company 1992. The list could encompass dozens, perhaps over a hundred, books.

[9] Bullard (2010), pg. 299; Clark (1998), pgs. 13, 21, 23;

[10] Bullard (2010), pgs. 71, 138-39, 142; Bryan, C.D.B. Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: A Reporter’s Notebook on Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at MIT, Penguin Books, 1996, pgs. 27, 261, 418; Clark (1998), pgs. 6-14.

[11] See Randles, Jenny. Abduction, Guild Books, 1988, pgs. 67, 69, 91; Clark (1998), pgs. 9, 10, 16, 705-07; Bullard (2010) pgs. 143-44.


[12] Full account: Fuller, John G. The Interrupted Journey: Two Lost Hours “Aboard a Flying Saucer,” New York Press, 1966. Four years prior to the Hills’s missing time experience, in 1957, Brazilian farmer Antonio Vilas Boas was plowing his field in the middle of the night (due to the daytime heat) when he was dragged aboard a teardrop-shaped craft by four beings in spacesuits. He was stripped naked and examined. He was then led into a room where he had intense sex with a pale, tiny, growling woman with blue, slanted, cat-like eyes. Just before the woman’s appearance, the “astronauts” had applied a gel to his skin with sponges and a type of smoke had been ejected into the room that made him nauseous; he claimed uncontrollable passion towards the woman and later speculated that either the smoke or the gel was a powerful aphrodisiac. He remembered the entire experience without hypnosis. Boas’s description of the woman’s face and her platinum-blond hair are very similar to both the female Nordics (although she wasn’t seven feet tall) and “hybrid human” greys. This case was investigated in Brazil within four months of its occurrence, but unknown to investigators in the USA until 1966, after the Hills’s case had its spectacular unveiling via the Saturday Evening Post. So the theme of reproduction-intervention was present in these two earliest reports. See Coral and Jim Lorenzen, Encounters with UFO Occupants, Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1976, pgs. 61-87, for the full account.

[13] Ibid, pg. 215; Blum, Ralph and Blum, Judy. Beyond Earth: Man’s Contact with UFOs, Bantam Book,s 1974, pgs. 12-36.

[14] Lorenzen, pgs. 342-346.

[15] A similar “physical” procedure of “cranial brain removal” has occurred in other UAP abductions. See Fiore, Edith. Encounters: A Psychologist Reveals Case Studies of Abductions by Extraterrestrials, Doubleday, 1989, pg. 139; Rosales, Albert S. Humanoid Encounters: 1985-1989, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015, pg. 289.


[16] Full account: Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, Berkley Publishing, 1977, pgs. 52-69; Clark (1998) pgs. 573-76.

[17] Often their heads are described as resembling a praying mantis, and the experiencer often senses that this being is possibly millions of years old and infinitely wise.

[18] This detail would also come to be repeated many times throughout the 1980s and 90s: rooms full of people known and unknown are seen by the abductee aboard the craft or a cavern of some sort by the experiencers. Many times these hordes are sedated upon tables, or seen naked in groups in a groggy state. In a few instances, two repeat experiencers had abductions in which they remembered seeing each other during encounters that were later discovered to have occurred on the same night. See

[19] While this may or may not be related to her experience that night, this detail nevertheless recalls the 1968 case of “Dr. X” in France. Preeminent UFO expert Aime Michel interviewed Dr. X several days after his experience occurred. (“X” was pseudonymously used because he was a well-known town physician at the time, and all the examiners vouched for the man’s sincerity in the face of his incredible tale). A few days before the incident, X had injured his foot with an axe. He additionally suffered from a permanent limp due to a wound inflicted while serving in the Algerian war. He was awoken by his infant son’s cries late that night. Entering the room, his son was gesturing at the window, where a light pulsed. Several hundred yards away, two massive lights were strobing above the woods. They joined then “exploded” in a lightning-like flash. Both his war wound and the ax wound were instantly healed. Even stranger, a triangular red rash appeared around his navel—and one appeared around his infant son’s navel as well. They faded over several weeks but would periodically return on both of father and son (once, purportedly, they broke out simultaneously when the two were far apart from each other). See Clark, Jerome. The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, Vol. 1, pgs. 335-337; Vallee, Jacques, Dimensions: A Casebook of Alien Contact, Anomalist Books, 2008, pgs. 173-176.

[20] Full account: Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, Berkley Publishing, 1977, pgs. 9-24; Clark (1998) pgs. 800-802.

[21] These effects on the car and the perception of a “changed road” have occurred in a few abduction cases. See the Australian case of Maureen Puddy, which occurred between July 1972 and February 1973, cited in Bryan, C.D.B., Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind: A Reporter’s Notebook on Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at MIT, Penguin Books, 1996, pgs. 70-74.

[22] Full account: Stringfield, Leonard. Situation Red: The UFO Siege, Fawcett, 1978; Clark (1998), pgs. 554-58; Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, pgs. 114-131.

[23] Full account: The Andreasson Affair: The Documented Investigation into a Woman’s Abduction aboard a UFO, Prentice Hall, 1980; Clark (1998), pgs. 86-95.

[24] Full account: Holzer, Hans. The UFOnauts: New Facts on Extraterrestrial Landings, Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1976.

[25] This is quite a common phenomena as well in the minutes leading up to encounters: brilliantly lit rest stops, houses, diners, gas/convenience stores, or construction sites are observed that, when later searched for along the same route, are found not to have existed.

[26] Full account: Druffel, Ann and Rogo, D. Scott, The Tujunga Canyon Contacts, Anomalist Books, 2008. However, more cases have come to light involving greys that occurred in the 1950s, culled from regressive hypnosis sessions in the late 1980s-present. See Yvonne Smith’s Chosen: Recollections of UFO Abductions through Hypnotherapy; Dr. John Mack’s Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens and Passport to the Cosmos, and Intrusion by Bob Mitchell.

[27] If this were done as a rule by investigators with those claiming abduction, perhaps the “psi-contamination” explanation for the startling uniformity of details could be ruled out.

[28] Full account: Webb, Walter N. Encounter at Buff Ledge: A UFO Case History, J. Allen Hynek Center, 1993; Clark (1998), pgs. 169-172.

[29] Fowler, Raymond, The Allagash Abductions, Granite Publishing, 1993.

[30] See The Great Airship Mystery: A UFO of the 1890s by Daniel Cohen, pgs.

[31] For instance, in 1975, Air Force Sgt. Charles Moody went out to watch a meteor display at 1AM and saw a UAP drop from the sky and hover very close to his car. Returning home after a period of confusion, he found several hours of missing time had passed when he was sure his trip should have taken no more than forty minutes. He experienced intense pain in his lower back the next day, and developed a “heat rash” on his lower body. These physical reactions might indicate an allergic reaction to enormous EM exposure. He had no memory of abduction until spontaneously recalling it weeks later. He consciously recalled the UAP landing, and later fully recalled the abduction involving greys in which he injured two of the beings before being taken into the “ship.” Their leader showed him the propulsion mechanism during a tour of the vehicle before releasing him. It must be stressed that there were no images or descriptions of “grey” beings, the “tour,” the rooms’ uniform lighting without a source, the missing time phenomenon, crystalline “engine” parts, etc., that Moody described that were known to the public at the time except for the 1961 Hill case (see Lorenzen, Coral and Jim, Abducted! (1977) pgs. 38-52 for the full account). The elements listed above would all become parts of the standard narrative in the 1980s and 1990s. According to Albert Rosales’s humanoid encounters catalogue, creatures similar or identical to greys in conjunction with UAP were reported in Bethel, North Carolina, 1920; Port Burwell, Canada, 1925; Poitiers, France, 1928 a man saw a light land and was taken into a strange area with grey-like creatures and covered in a cold gel that evaporated, and he was able to pass through the space’s walls (we will see that these are two fairly consistent details in today’s abductions); Floridablanca, Colombia in 1950; Safonova, USSR in 1951; West Surrey, England, in 1956; La Napoule, Alpes Maritimes, France in 1956; and Novato, California in 1958; Sedalia, Missouri, in August 1965; Island Lake, Manitoba, fall 1966; Mendoza, Argentina in September, 1968. UAP-associated “reptilian” beings were reported in Nuevalos, Spain in 1954; Riverside, California in November 1958; Vienna, North Carolina in June 1963. “Doorway amnesia” was reported in an abduction encounter involving non-grey creatures at St. Francis River, Arkansas in 1954 when a 7-year old boy was allegedly hit with an intense light and found himself upon a table surrounded by beings; in March 1959 a Japanese businessman allegedly saw a spherical UAP approaching and suddenly found himself aboard the “craft.”  A case involving an entity touching a percipient’s forehead to induce tranquilization is reported to have occurred in Cordoba, Argentina in 1957. I must stress that these were all consciously recalled encounters in which hypnotic regression was not used. I have deliberately avoided the 1975 Travis Waltoncase for reasons of continuing controversy over his polygraph tests and the tangle of claims and counterclaims involving character that noised his story from the beginning—although the debunkers have never convincingly discredited his and his six co-workers’ tale of the UAP and Walton’s being struck by a beam from it.

[32] In the book The Abduction Enigma for instance, author Kevin Randle, the primary APRO investigator of the Pat Roach case, eventually dismissed it as the product of confabulation, contamination and “leading questions” by hypnotist Dr. James Harder. The regression transcript evidence Randle produces in the book is weak: just a few questions Harder asked that Roach answered in the affirmative and proceeded to elaborate on. In hypnosis, there are literally thousands of questions a hypnotist could ask that are knowingly meant to lead the experiencer during sessions that are just as often answered “no” and corrected by the hypnotic subject. Randle simply puts down Roach and her children’s experience to the fact that there were rumors of a prowler at the time in her neighborhood. Apparently he means they had a hysterically-shared fantasy. No scientific explanation is offered how such a thing could occur; it fails to explain both children’s conscious recollections of a “skeleton spaceman” in the house, Roach’s disorientation and unexplained terror that night, her memory of a bright light, and the marks on her body…On the Allagash case, he dismisses Jim Weiner’s first hypnotic accounts as contaminated simply because he read Strieber’s book Communion, which contained many parallels to nightmares he had already been having for years and is in fact what caused him to seek investigator Raymond Fowler’s help in the first place (and Randle doesn’t begin to explain how such an odd coincidence such as this would be possible). He ignores the other three Allagash men’s hypnotic accounts of their missing time, which are very similar to identical to Jim’s. Randle claims that their speaking together about the strange incident in the 12-year interim caused “contamination”—which says nothing as to how they could come up with similar to identical accounts of the “repressed” experience, unless one allows for telepathy. Investigator Fowler made certain after Jim Weiner’s first sessions that Jim reveal nothing of what they had uncovered to the other three, who had not read Communion. Additionally, Randle sloppily summarizes the events leading up to the four men’s return to their camp after the conscious UAP encounter, when they found their huge bonfire reduced to embers. Obviously a period of hours had elapsed between their leaving and returning, when they were certain the whole episode had taken 30 minutes at most. He fails to mention the classic interplay between a UAP and a human light source, in this case Charlie Foltz turning the flashlight at the thing and “signaling” at it, which caused to object to send a beam down and approach them. Again, these events were all conscious recollections of the four men prior to their hypnosis…Randle also summarily dismisses the Shane Kurz abduction as unreal simply because paranormal researcher Hans Holzer did the hypnotic regression on her…The Abduction Enigma does not touch upon our other five template cases. Randle and his co-authors selectively choose cases where contamination by accounts of the Hills’s, Vilas-Boas’s, and Strieber’s encounters is in fact possible. This is a valid qualification, but again, it does not explain the core uniformly, consciously recalled experiences. These Randle explains away in the Roach case as fantasy generated unconsciously by the media-ubiquitous UFO reports of late 1973. The book also conveniently mentions only in passing the thoroughly researched multiple-witness accounts we have been looking at, such as the Andreasson case, the Buff Ledge case, and the Stanford, Kentucky case.


[33] Go into BUFORA, ethics.

[34] Which according to Betty Andreasson Luca are conjectured to be contact lenses with holographic projective/memory and neurologically extractive properties.

[35] While the greys’ physical appearance got made into Halloween costumes and bumper stickers and appeared in Hollywood movies, the damned within the damned march on. Rosales has spent over 40 years collecting humanoid reports that in most ways do not conform to this “mainstream” midnight theater show that keeps both MUFON and Pleiadian cults going. His (currently) 14 volumes of worldwide humanoid reports 1AD-2015 show that the parade of high-strange beings has never ended. Hypnotic recall of the encounters is rare in the reports he has documented; the percipients were either fully conscious or under the Oz Factor while experiencing the Others but required no therapist to elicit their memories. This alone makes them (ironically perhaps) less suspect than the ongoing parade of “grey manipulations.” Rosales’s reports are the raw accounts from field ufologists and cryptozoologists across the world and show that hairy dwarves, little green bearded men, Sasquatches, reed-thin “elves,” uniformed giants, living stick figures, smoky apparitions, sentient, human-shaped fogs, white “Michelin tire men,” winged furry “demons,” space-suited elves, fairies, and indescribable Bosch-like beings have not disappeared from human experience.

[36] Clark (1998), pgs. 7, 9, 15; Randles, (1988), pgs. 175-76. The list of these attributes from Hopkins’s and Jacobs’s books would be very long. They figure in most of their cases.


[37] Fowler, Raymond, The Andreasson Affair, pgs. 59-65, 101-103; Bryan, pg. 21, 414; Turner, Karla, Taken, pg. 73, 107, 139; Smith, Yvonne, Chosen, Backstage Entertainment, 2008, pgs. 54-64, 79-81; Clear, Constance, Reaching for Reality, Consciousness Now Inc., 1998, pgs. 142-144; Fiore, Edith, Encounters, Doubleday, 1989, pg. 19; Mack, Abduction, pg. 34-35, 125; Rosales, Albert S., Humanoid Encounters: 1900-1929, pg. 129; Jacobs, David M., The Threat, pgs. 100-101; Randles, Jenny, Abduction, pg. 91;


[38] Fowler, Raymond, The Watchers, Bantam Books, 1990, pgs. 19-34; Clear, pg. 144; Smith, pgs. 80-81; Mack, John, Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters, Three Rivers Press, 2000, pgs. 121-127.

[39] Mack, Abduction, pg. 155; Turner, pg. 154; Clark, Jerome, ed. The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, Vol. 1, pg. 7; Jacobs, The Threat, pgs. 62-69, 100-101.

[40] Bryan, pgs. 126-127; Kelly, Edward, and Kelly, Emily Williams. Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2009, pgs. 337-340, 345-348.

[41] This may sound like pantheism or panpsychism, because it is.


“UFOnauts” used to come in all flavors: space-suited dwarves, hairy gremlins, robed monks, silvery giants, glowing balls and humanoids, tall blond “Nordics,” “Asians,” “Mediterraneans”–then suddenly in the mid-1980s witnesses started mostly reporting the skinny lightbulb-headed cyborgs called the greys. What the hell happened? Here I look into the history of the alien abduction, examine the history of its elements, and possibly why the grey bastards monopolized a perfectly entertaining form of theater with their supposed genetic machinations.

“Alien abduction” as Shamanic Initiation: The History of a Mystery


Transverberation: The soul being inflamed with the love of God which is interiorly attacked by a Seraph, who pierces it through with a fiery dart. This leaves the soul wounded, which causes it to suffer from the overflowing of divine love.

–St. John of the Cross

“While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th [August] I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person who presented himself to my mind’s eye. He had in his hand a sort of weapon like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boy to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, and nothing was spared. From that day on I have been mortally wounded. I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony.”

— Letter from St. Padre Pio to Padre Benedetto, Aug. 21, 1918.


“The spirits cook (the shaman’s) flesh to ripen it.”[1]


The “angel” Quazgaa to Betty Andreasson, 1967:

“We prefer our food burnt…by food we mean knowledge, knowledge tried by fire.”[2]



As the second epigraph indicates, motifs of a celestial or infernal being injuring a “chosen” person that induces ecstatic agonies is not confined to the beliefs of traditional shamanic cultures. Padre Pio (1887-1967) was a Capuchin monk who went on to possess powers of healing, bilocation, levitation, and stigmata. These feats were verified and documented by the stringent Catholic authorities as authentic and he was canonized.

Had he been born in an Amazonian village, the elder shamans would surely have ordained him a powerful curandero.

One current in alien abduction literature links the experiences of the abductees with that of shamanic initiation. No such reverse paralleling—from academic shamanism studies to the abduction experience—has to my knowledge been explicitly made, except for a very short article by UCLA professor Douglass Price-Williams in 1999. Such a connection could only have been made possible after the abduction experience had been reported hundreds of times, and the recurring elements noted; these were enumerated and clarified through the published work of folklorist Thomas Edward Bullard in 1986-87.[3]

When the extraterrestrial explanation dominated the phenomenon in the 1950s-60s it was considered outré to posit any sort of initiatory aspect to the experiences. The alternatives to the “ET visitors” hypothesis were very few. Only English professor and psychic researcher Dr. Meade Layne and his group Borderland Sciences saw “etherian” or interdimensionality as the answer (1946-1956); contactees such as Guy Ballard, George Adamski, and Truman Betherum preached on higher realms and their inhabitants via Theosophical language, but the vehicles they claimed to interact with were strictly made of unearthly metals. Carl Jung (1959) considered the UFOs’ religious and mythic aspects and their effects upon culture, but hedged upon the physicality of the “objects.”

To the hardcore science-minded, any connection to shamanism was not only absurd but unthinkable during that period, because shamanism was still considered a hallmark of the “primitive.” Mircea Eliade published his classic Shamanism: The Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy in French in 1951. It was translated to English a decade later, finding a limited academic audience. The book was a turning point in anthropology, however, because it showed the cross-cultural similarities of techniques and invalidated the reigning conception of shamans as “insane persons mistaken for supernaturally gifted sorcerers by traditional peoples.”

It was only when the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) got jostled aside somewhat by the occult and paranormal angles of John Keel and Jacques Vallée in the 1970s that a family resemblance between “spirits” and “apparitions” and UFOs became discernable, and that was because these two investigators insisted on a more fine-grained examination of the witnesses’ lives and all the aspects of their experiences, no matter how absurd-seeming those experiences were. The ETH advocates concentrated on the “vehicle” descriptions and, once their reports were finalized in print, threw away the psychological effects on witnesses as noise-creating nonsense that was dirtying up their narrative. Keel and Vallée, however, uncovered psychic experiences including telepathy, psychokinesis, precognition, and effects on electrical devices. Vallée zeroed in on these phenomena throughout the 1970s and 80s, convincing preeminent expert J. Allen Hynek to cease ignoring the “high strange” encounters and surrounding aftereffects; Hynek, the world’s leading UFO expert, came to accept there was far more than metals to the manifestations. In addition, from the late 1960s onward, hypnotic regression came to be used in recovering “missing time” episodes associated with UFOs, led by University of Wyoming psychologist Dr. Leo Sprinkle.

But it required the “epidemic” of abduction reports 1980-1998 to bring clear symbolic meaning—and a narrative—to this aspect of the UFO mystery. By 1998, the surface parallels with shamanic initiation became undeniable. As far as I can tell, this is its timeline in the literature:


–While examining Native American nature spirit stories in their 1975 book The Unidentified Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark quote Eliade’s Shamanism on “little green men” who are often shamanic guardians of the Western Plateau and Northern California nations.[4] This mention is made in general relation to fairy lore and the global mythologies of small spirits.


–Australian researcher Bill Chalker writes an article in 1977 on the similarities between Aborigine shaman initiations and certain abduction features. This was somewhat prescient because the Betty Andreasson account (published 1979), considered the most detailed and “initiatory” encounter, had yet to be made public.


–British author John Rimmer concludes his 1984 The Evidence for Alien Abductions with a short discussion of shamanism with regard to abductions as mystical experiences that change the percipients into vegans, prophets, message-bearers, or healers. Apparently he drew the parallels on his own, without having read Chalker’s essay (although he cites Coleman and Clark’s The Unidentified in the bibliography).[5]


–Two of British researcher Hilary Evans’s books, in 1984 and 1987, reference shamanism in the context of otherworldly apparitions and UFO beings, but again, only in passing and without elaboration.[6]


Whitley Strieber’s 1987 Communion poses some problems. I don’t think Strieber mentions shamanism in the book, but his entire narrative amounts to an orgy of either synchronicities with or parallels with the “archaic techniques” of initiation. Several times during his encounters he feels as if his very existence as a person is dissolving, and he is subjected to intensely painful “operations” involving needles and other devices. Sexually-tinged emotions involving a “female” being similar to those of shamans with their “celestial wives” is hinted at in Communion, then made more explicit in the rest of his autobiographical books, especially 2016’s Super Natural.


–In 1988’s Abduction, Jenny Randles mentions in passing Bill Chalker’s study of parallels with Aboriginal myths and practices.[7]


–1989, the American folklorist Thomas E. Bullard publishes an article about UFO abduction reports entitled “The Supernatural Kidnap Narrative Returns in Technological Guise,” which claims “These accounts share many motifs with legends of supernatural encounters and otherworldly journeys.”[8] As noted above, this otherworld-journey aspect had long been a current in the UFO puzzle since Vallee published Passport to Magonia in 1969. As Vallee, John Keel, and Bullard were contending, otherworldly snatchings-away that involved nighttime encounters with lights, a sexual component, and transformation of the percipient have been occurring since the Neolithic period. Many times fairy encounters of the British Isles in particular involved the bestowal of “second sight” upon the percipient, allowing them interaction with the “Fair Folk” and then becoming a “wise woman” or “wise man,” that is, a community healer: the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of a shaman.


–Bill Chalker publishes another article in 1990 equating the two experiences.[9] He quotes from anthropologists Spencer and Gillen’s “The Northern Tribes of Central Australia” (1904), an excerpt from which we will examine below.
–By 1990, Harvard Medical School psychiatry professor John Mack informs Near-Death Experience researcher Dr. Kenneth Ring about the parallels between NDEs and certain aspects of the abduction experience. Ring had already noted the similarities between NDE experiences and shamanic initiatory ordeals (NDEs often have disturbing, transformative psychological and social aftermaths). Ring works with his graduate students on what he calls the Omega Project to determine what kind of person undergoes NDEs and abduction experiences. He finds that they seem to exhibit moderate-to-severe PTSD, possess fantasy-prone personalities, high abilities for creative visualization, ease in hypnotic dissociation, and increased psychic abilities such as telepathy, psychokinesis, and sometimes field effects that disrupt electronic devices. Most importantly, he also notes these same personality traits in anthropological and psychological studies of shamans.[10]


Keith Thompson’s great 1991 book Angels and Aliens popularizes the awareness of these “archaic” parallels growing within certain factions of the experiencer research community.[11] Thompson must have been following Kenneth Ring’s Omega Project NDE/abduction research as it was being undertaken, because the book was published the year the project wrapped up and mentions it. Angels and Aliens explicitly mentions an abduction connection to both shamanism and near death experiences on pages 88-89, and Thompson excoriates UFO investigators in failing to perceive the obvious parallels with archaic initiation and other seemingly “irrelevant nonsense” such as fairy abductions, the importance of which Jacques Vallée had clearly outlined two decades earlier.

Michael Talbot’s The Holographic Universe (1991) mentions Otherworldly beings such as fairies, Bigfoot, and “UFOnauts.” Given the book’s overall thesis that we perceive only a narrow band of sensible “vibrations,” he stops just short of declaring that anomalous things are part of a multiverse that our minds naturally filter out but can, at times, with the proper disinhibiting stimuli, see and interact with. He claims the entities may be part of an “omnijective” world, neither subjective nor objective. This is a clearer version of John Keel’s “superspectrum” hypothesis of the late 1960s. He brings up Ring’s work with NDE survivors, out-of-body experiencers, and their shamanic parallels and, like Thompson, mentions Ring’s (then) just-funded Omega project to make a comparative study on the three subjects.[12]

–With Kenneth Ring’s 1992 book The Omega Project appears the first apparent iteration of the “imaginal realm” hypothesis, which is similar to Talbot’s omnijective universe: that these beings and experiences occur in neither purely physical nor mental space, but a third “realm” that contains independently existing visions as well as receives those conjured up by people in states of concentration. This idea is taken from Sufi scholar Henri Corbin’s study of Sufi practices of visualization used to access the heavenly realms.

Similar practices to the Sufis’s are ancient. For instance, Hebrew Kabbalistic meditations and ritual exegesis on Pardes, Pantajali’s Yoga sutras of the 1st century, and Tibetan tantric visualizations (the creation of tulpas) all involve entering a realm of energy in which concentrated thoughts can either produce phantasms that achieve independent activity, or allow the mind/astral body access to a “parallel universe.” These roughly correspond to a shamanic otherworldly journey. The esoteric form of Kalachakra tantric practice, which is considered the most strenuous—and potentially dangerous[13]—way of achieving enlightenment involves celibacy, fasting, purifications, prostrations, prayers, and prodigious daily mantra recitation. It is essentially an extended series of rituals to achieve the type of expanded consciousness that shamans experience and use in their healing ceremonies. Thus the transformative aspects of both abductions and NDEs conceivably tie in with traditional mystical experiences—and become a part of New Age thinking.

–1994 is probably the high point for abduction-related publications. For five years, Dr. John Mack has worked with hundreds of “abductees” and is helping them accept their “ontologically shattering” memories, dreams, and experiences. He publishes Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens in 1994.[14] Mack points out that the “vibratory chaos” some experiencers feel (and as Whitley Strieber vividly described in Communion) as they are transported into the round rooms of the “ships” mirrors in contemporary terms the dismemberment phase of shamanic induction.

Jim Schnabel’s 1994 book Dark White gives a summary of shamanic initiation, from the Siberian Buryat and Australian native traditions via quotes from Joseph Campbell and ethnologist Holger Kalweit. Schnabel emphasizes the transformative aspects of abductions and the idea of objects (usually crystals) being implanted in the shaman during the initiation that turn up in a technological guise in abduction reports as “implants” in the brain, ears, nose, calves, or behind the eyes.[15]

–The same year, in his book Grand Illusions, Gregory Little tells the story of Red Plume’s spirit quest at the Big Horn Great Medicine Wheel in Wyoming in 1800.[16] Red Plume was of the Crow Nation. For four days he fasted, prayed, and suffered the cold inside the cairn at the center of the Wheel. During his initiation he met four small spirits who brought him into their subterranean world beneath the mountain. He was shown a vision of a red eagle and his soul became airborne. He awoke outside the wheel with a red eagle feather. During his subsequent purification at the sweat lodge he told the Crow elders of his experience and was given the name Red Plume. Little goes on to enumerate other aspects of the “little people” spirits of the Crow and other nations, pointing out that they all consider the “dwarves” dangerous if spontaneously encountered but benign if sought out for legitimate medicine or knowledge-seeking motivations. The beings are intimately connected to the Medicine Wheel and certain rocks in the landscape, and are essentially the same helpers Coleman and Clark mentioned in 1975 by way of Mircea Eliade. Throughout the book, Little also analyzes the ancient mounds that cover the American continent and believes they are potent and exploitable sources of electromagnetic energies that First Nations medicine people used to communicate with the spirits. Little’s book is the first to connect up “spirit” abductions, shamanism, and EM anomalies to the high strangeness of some UFO encounters. His conclusion on what UFOs are is a variant of the psychic energy/electromagnetism exposure hypothesis put forward by Paul Deveraux and expanded during this same early 1990s period by Albert Budden.

–On the last page of his unique 1994 study Gifts of the Gods? researcher John Spencer mentions the shamanic parallel to one British “abductee” in particular, Elsie Oakensen, who became a psychic spiritual healer as a result of a UFO encounter and the missing time period associated with it.[17]


Patrick Harpur publishes the monumental and influential work Daimonic Reality in 1995. His treatment of the abductee-shamanic initiation parallel is the deepest yet, embedded within a hypothesis that all “supernatural” encounters occur in an imaginal realm neither fully physical or fully mental—an idea, as we saw above, with a long pedigree in mysticism. He calls it the daimonic Otherworld. Following Jung and James Hillman, he connects up the “paranormal” as aspects of the world-soul that are, for lack of a better term, exteriorized synchronicities of psychic/emotional states. The idea is very subtle.

–UFO-obsessed billionaire Robert Bigelow creates the National Institute for Discovery Sciences in 1995, mainly to investigate the paranormal goings-on at the Gorman ranch in Utah, which he’d bought. Centuries ago, the Spanish taught the Ute people horsemanship and pressed the Navajo into slavery, and some Ute warriors engaged in an attempted genocide against the Navajo during the Civil War. In retaliation, according to the Ute, Navajo shamans placed a curse upon them that would last down the generations—a free roaming demonic being that occupied a wide swath of their lands in Utah: “the path of the Skinwalker.” Accounts at the Gorman ranch of strange animals impervious to bullets, apparitions, unexplained lights and electrical anomalies, cattle mutilations, and poltergeist activity compelled some NIDS researchers to consider these as manifestations of the legendary evil spirit. Bigelow funded many other UFO-related projects during this period, one of them being a 1999 paper by UCLA anthropology professor Douglass Price-Williams on Shamanism and UFO Abductions.[18] (Jacques Vallee also thanks Price-Williams in his 1990 book Confrontations, so he had been involved in the UFO/folklore field for some time previous to Bigelow’s commission).

–Dr. John Mack publishes Passport to the Cosmos (1999/2011).[19] Mack interviews three shamans who have interacted with the beings known as the greys, the “reptiles,” and other alien beings. The Zulu sangoma leader Vusumazulu Credo Mutwa claims a brutal initiation by the greys, who he calls the mantindane, and continuing sexual abuse by them in several abductions. To Mutwa, the greys are vampiric demons that are at the same time a part of humanity and symbolic of our future. Conversely, he encountered benign small blue beings who helped educate him when he was young,[20] and “Nordic” appearing entities who also taught him.[21] Bernardo Peixoto was born into the Uru-e Wau-Wau community near the Brazil-Venezuelan border. Their name means “people from the stars” and they trace their knowledge of agriculture to a race that arrived in a sky vehicle long ago.[22] In 1995, Peixoto encountered three “grey-like” creatures on the Irunduba River.[23] For hours he seemed in a trance as he followed them in a state of disorientation. In the aftermath he felt psychically shattered, yet eventually a healing power entered him and he became devoted to unifying the diverse traditional peoples of Brazil against the corporate destruction of the Amazon. Third, Mack interviews activist Sequoyah Trueblood and points out the Lakota and Cherokee belief that they are descendants of people from the Pleiades.[24]

Simon Brian Harvey-Wilson publishes the monograph thesis paper Shamanism and Alien Abductions: A Comparative Study in 2000. He notes that those UFO and abduction researchers who take the largest possible cultural-historical view of the phenomenon usually come to endorse the shamanic parallels. His own research involves interviews with 11 abductees from one of Mary Rodwell’s support groups.


Graham Hancock’s 2007 book Supernatural: The Ancient Teachers of Mankind[25] ties together these many strands, and solely addresses the shamanic aspects of abductions, fairy encounters,[26] and DMT experiences. He focuses on the “spirit teachers” angle by way of Jeremy Narby’s thesis in The Cosmic Serpent. In that work, Narby claims DMT/ayahuasca/psilocybin placed human consciousness in direct relation to Otherworldly beings who taught the peoples of central and South America on a molecular level about the pharmacopeia their jungle surroundings contained. In other words, the Quecha, Aztec, and Mayan shamans symbolically learned the language of DNA and how this “serpent” inhabits every living thing. DNA is the vast communication system of a single organism. Hancock rejects the ET hypothesis and instead speculates on the release of endogenous DMT as the cause of alien abductions—but recent studies have shown that the pineal gland, which secretes the alkaloid in the brain, cannot ever produce enough of it to cause the entheogenic effects because it is synthesized too quickly.

– 2013: The History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens,” in its idiotically reductive bid to explain most of the products of human genius as extraterrestrial intervention, gives us “The Shamans” in season six. The less said about this one the better.

-During the 1980s through the 2000s, philosopher Terence McKenna lectures on the similarities between shamanic otherworld consciousness and UFO experiences in many interviews and talks.

-In their 2016 collaboration, religion scholar Jeffrey Kripal and Whitley Strieber attempt to contextualize Strieber’s many strange experiences in Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained. Kripal runs through the shamanic parallels explicitly on pages 191-97, focusing on Strieber’s ear “implant,” which he has refused to remove, as emblematic of the traditional crystals that Siberian and Australian shamans have had placed into their “new” bodies during initiation.

So what in fact are the parallels? How does the evidence for this claim come together?



Viewed from this angle, any “sickness-vocation” fills the role of an initiation; for the sufferings it brings on correspond to initiatory tortures, the psychic isolation of “the elected” is the counterpart to the isolation and ritual solitude of initiation ceremonies, and the imminence of death felt by the sick man (pain, unconsciousness, etc.) recalls the symbolic death represented in almost all initiation ceremonies.[27]

–Mircea Eliade

According to Eliade there are two primary ways a shaman is chosen: through hereditary profession or through extreme illness. The shaman’s actual initiation usually begins with a life-threatening physical episode, “psychotic” break, or extreme depressive episode.[28] The ancestral spirits and clan’s shamans may then visit the young person while in the delirium. The illness has induced a loss of soul, or a detachment of the astral body (soul) from the physical body. Whether “astral/spiritual” or physical, this body is then deconstructed, pulverized, and reassembled anew.

The ancestral spirits/shamans perform this work. The candidate is then led to a celestial or infernal place (sometimes both) to be taught by the master shaman-spirits. A totem animal appears and the young candidate associates with it (this may be the primordial form of the “witch’s familiar”). The animal’s spirit and the candidate’s become one. We should note that abduction researchers never tire of mentioning the animal forms—particularly owls (via Strieber’s Communion) and deer (via Virginia Horton’s experience in Budd Hopkins’s Missing Time [1981])—that are consciously associated with the kidnappings or function as unconscious “screen memories,” produced by the mind, to mask the traumatic appearance of the aliens.[29]

Eliade notes that some Yakut (Siberian) shamans have reported that their bones are scraped of flesh and tied or boiled together with iron.[30] J. Cowan (1992) writes of Australian Aborigine shamans being shown global cataclysms during their initiations.[31] Rock crystals, mostly quartz, are introduced into the shaman’s body in such diverse cultures as the Semang of the Malay peninsula, the Cabeno of South America, and the Aranda, Utmatjera, and Wotjobaluk of Australia.[32] Ioan Couliano describes how both African and Australian shamans gain power from a “rainbow serpent” that protects sacred healing crystals that are given during initiation.[33] Here’s an example from Bill Chalker’s 1990 article, quoting anthropologists Spencer and Gillen’s “The Northern Tribes of Central Australia” (1904):

An aborigine, Kurkutji, was set upon by two spirits, Mundadji and Munkaninji, in a cave: “Mundadji cut him open, right down the middle line, took out all of his insides and exchanged them for those of himself, which he placed in the body of Kurkutji. At the same time he put a number of sacred stones in his body.

After it was all over, the youngest spirit, Munkaninji, came up and restored him to life, told him that he was now a medicine-man and showed him how to extract bones and other forms of evil magic out of them. Then he took him away up into the sky and brought him down to earth close to his own camp, where he heard the natives mourning for him, thinking that he was dead.

For a long time he remained in a more or less dazed condition, but gradually he recovered and the natives knew that he had been made into a medicine-man. When he operates the spirit Mukaninji is supposed to be near at hand watching him, unseen of course by ordinary people.”

The last paragraph in particular pertains to many repeat abductees: they reports feelings of anticipation when they “know” an incident is going to occur in the near future, or sense they are being constantly monitored either by implant or telepathically by the aliens. The beings become, in a sense, “spirit guides.” Many believe that they have been permanently changed mentally, emotionally, and spiritually by their encounters—and the beings play on ongoing role in this evolution of their personal humanity. Sometimes during the period of abduction, the experiencer appears asleep or in a trance to other people; the observers may experience something strange in the environment, but the experiencer does not depart the area.[34] This implies a sort of “astral body travel” to an otherworld, just like the shaman. Often times this is achieved for the shaman via a silver or “fiery” cord that extrudes from the stomach, belly button, solar plexus, or head.[35] The shaman becomes entranced and uses this cord to climb to the heavens or spin a web on which to travel to view distant events.[36] There are a few reports of such cords in abduction literature.

Shamans are called wounded healers in part because their consciousness is only halfway “in consensus reality” due to the personality dissociation induced by their traumatic initiation—which is considered to them a gift and not a liability. Second, they consciously relive their traumatic initiation as a part of their skill to self-induce trance (but without the abreactive adjustment that heals a “crippled psyche,” as our psychotherapy would have it). A third meaning is that they have sacrificed a normal life in the clan in order to occupy their liminal office; a fourth aspect is that they literally injure themselves in the course of their medico-spiritual treatments of people through fasting, bloodletting, conscious pain induction via self-harm with needles, spikes, or arrows, and massive drug intake, all in order to enter the trance in which they commune with their spirit masters and animal guides.[37]



The traditions of using a cave for ritual sensory deprivation, spirit journeys, and symbolic rebirth continued from the Paleolithic well into recorded history, especially with the Greek practices of iatromancy or “sleep cures” at the night temples of Asclepius and Apollo. These were natural caves around which a temple had been built. Here the patient becomes, in a sense, a deputized shaman and charged with using their daimon-intermediaries to discover their own treatment. Climbing into the confined dark space of the caves, and perhaps with the use of either psychotropic or sedative herbs, the sick person has visions or dreams of messages in symbolic form delivered by their daimon (or perhaps even the healing gods Asclepius or Apollo). Upon exiting the cave they would approach the priest for the vision’s interpretation and then be given a course of appropriate medicines for the cure. The parallels to shamanic practice and oracular clairvoyance are obvious.

The cave has always been one of the most powerfully symbolic of places, evoking both the chthonic “womb of earth” from which all life came, the maternal womb, and a representation the celestial vault of the nighttime heaven to which we may rise in the afterlife. Most archaeologists and paleoanthropologists agree that shamans used the famous Chauvet, Lascaux, Coliboaia, and Altamira painted caves of 18-38,000 years ago for rituals and possibly for initiations.


As we’ve noted from the anthropological literature, the non-hereditary candidate suffers the following events in the calling and course of initiation:

-Illness/Mental symptoms of uncontrolled “fantasy” or psychosis

-Spontaneous entrancement due to illness/psychosis


-Dismemberment by spirit beings

-Reassembly by spirit beings

-Learning from elder shaman spirits

-Gradual reintegration of self & into society, with conversion to a healing profession, including

For a hereditary shaman candidate these same events occur, but the psychosis/entrancement are induced through some form of controlled, ritual fasting, breathing, dancing, drug-taking, chanting, drumming, or other methods and under the supervision of an elder shaman. Usually a vision-quest is required in which the candidate must remain alone in a cave or in the wilderness for a time until the requisite spirits contact them, as in Red Plume’s experience above.

As to the life-transformative aspects of abduction experiences, there’s no better example than what happened to the “Avis” (Day) family. In the 1974 Aveley, England encounter, John Day and his family saw a UFO and encountered a glowing green fog that interfered with their car while traveling home at night. The radio sparked, the car vibrated, they felt very cold, and it became silent as they passed through it. Three hours were found to be missing when they arrived home. In the experience’s immediate aftermath (and three years prior to hypnotic regression), John abruptly gave up a three-pack a day cigarette habit; the family (except one child of three) gave up eating meat; the parents became teetotalers; the child Kevin, formerly lagging in his studies, became an exemplary student; John quit his job but eventually obtained sought-after employment working with the handicapped; Elaine went back to college and became a confident artist; the couple became very concerned with environmental and health issues. There was also poltergeist-like activity in their house for several years, and both parents had recurring dreams of ugly, gnome-like beings around John as he lay upon a table.


John was hypnotized in 1977. He remembered a bright beam of light hitting the car as they entered the green mist. He found himself in a big room where three tall beings in one-piece colorless suits with balaclava-like headgear examined him. They possessed cloudy, pink eyes. Only one communicated with him telepathically. They told him not to worry about his children. They ran a “honeycombed” wand-like instrument over his body. A small, furry being was also present; it made chirping sounds and seemed the helper to the tall beings. He asked where they came from; they showed him “a map but not a map”, and gave an explanation of which he could remember only the word “Phobos,” which “meant nothing to (John)” but is, of course, one of Mars’s moons. Asked why they were here, they told him it didn’t matter because they were always here, and had “more than one base.” Their propulsion system used a magnetic “vortex.” John felt he was prevented from saying any more.

Before John and Elaine’s hypnotic regression in 1977, all of them traced their life changes to their encounter with the green mist that night. The intervention of an “otherworldly force,” whatever it was, had a profound effect on the entire family. The UFO, fog, and three hours’ missing time were clues that something extraordinary occurred, although beyond conscious memory, but whatever it was, it had spiritual results in their lives.

This transformation, whether sudden (like the Day family’s) or gradual, has been documented in hundreds of abduction cases.[38] The list of parallels to shamanic initiation in the abduction literature is so long that I will just touch on a few. Most prominent are the sensations undergone at the abduction outset, in which “disassembly” by blue or blue-white “light” occurs as one passes through walls or roofs to the “craft.” Sometimes it is done via a thin or thick beam from the UFO above or outside the house/car. This seems to echo the “silver cord” or web-strand the shaman uses to climb the rope of heaven. Many repeat abductees report invasive “medical procedures” by the alien beings. These can include surgical operations, healings (curing of terminal and non-life-threatening diseases),[39] psychological “tests,” induced pregnancies, subsequent removal of implanted embryos or fetuses, and subjection to pain-threshold levels that have no discernable function. Psychotherapist Dr. Edith Fiore reported operations upon both body and the head during abductions by half a dozen of her hypnotized subjects.[40] In one, crystals were placed into the skull of an abductee, and the subject was “flayed” and their cancer removed.[41] Yet another was told she would become a healer as a result of the aliens’ interventions.[42] John Mack’s patient Karin experienced the removal and replacement of her heart.[43] Abductee Sandy Larson, in a famous 1976 case, had her brain “removed” and replaced during her experience.[44] Betty Andreasson had an eye removed to have an implant placed in her brain, and had objects placed in her spine.[45] Amy, one of the women interviewed at length for Karla Turner’s book Taken, speaks of an otherworldly council influencing Amy’s life from a young age. She was shown how to levitate objects, affect electrical equipment, and move through solid objects.[46] The chart Turner displays on pages 215-22 of Taken shows common aspects of the experiences the eight women she interviewed had undergone in dreams or altered states of consciousness: Five reported head surgery of some kind, three a “nasal implant,” five an “ear implant,” six a “spirit-body separation,” six a teaching session, four sexual activity, three witnessed surgery performed on another human present, and four seemed to be in an “underground city.” There are also many dozens of reports of persons experiencing a “download” cascade of information into their consciousness that some believe effects the spiritual transformation they eventually undergo.[47] Others think this overload is either a psychological test, or a preparation for eventual “activation” as agents of the “aliens” when a world cataclysm is to happen in the future.[48]

Caves or cave-like structures appear many times in abduction reports.[49] By the early 1990s, cave-abductions became explicitly present in the literature; many dozens of experiencers recounted being taken to caverns where hundreds of other humans were supposedly seen—as well as human military and medical “collaborators” with the “aliens.”[50] These subterranean spaces are represented either as tunneled bases built directly into the bedrock or a series of structures (and strange craft) inside a hangar-like cavern. Abductees undergo the same medical procedures as in the round rooms within the “vehicles” in these caverns.

Writers such as Colin Wilson, Graham Hancock, and John Mack have pointed out the similarities between those who undergo out-of-body experiences and the shaman’s trip to the heaven/upper world and underworld—the ability to “fly” to obtain information on behalf of their querents or ill persons, whose souls the shaman must retrieve. Many people who are adept at inducing OBEs (“astral projection”) report being very ill at some point when young. Sylvan Muldoon, who wrote two books on the subject, was sickly as a child and had his first OBE at age eleven.[51] In Holger Kalweit’s Dreamtime and Inner Space, he notes many OBE and consequent spirit journey experiences undergone by various shamans occurred while these individuals were either extremely ill or (by witnesses’ accounts) dead, in coma, or a cataleptic state. As noted above, in many instances a cord, rope, or web-strand attached to the belly button, the fontanel, or the back of the neck is mentioned that guides the spirit back to the body. [52] The shamans consider these illnesses transformative, as we’ve noted, allowing them to experience the interconnection between the spiritual and material worlds.

In many shamanic cultures, a spirit may seduce or even rape the candidate and become a “sky-wife” or “sky-husband” to them.[53] During hypnotic regression, the entranced experiencer very often speaks of already knowing the sequence of events and the (alien) beings. Sometimes they say that they even “love” these beings. Some abductees call the “leader” being (with whom they claim to be the most familiar) either their “soul mate,” or a part of their soul.[54] Whitley Strieber speculatively discusses this idea in Communion. For abductees, this phenomenon usually occurs in those who have a history of interactions going back to early childhood, but is initially remembered during the recall of a recent experience. Does this bond exist because there are in fact multiple unrecalled events that occurred earlier in their lives? Or do abductees feel this during hypnosis because they are trying to normalize, in any way possible, the beings’ appearance to lessen their shock at (re-)experiencing it? In other words, is there an emotional reversal (enantiodromia, as Jung called it) from terror to love due to the unconscious realization that these beings are a “missing” or “unacknowledged” part of humanity’s psyche, but experienced for them as a personal relationship for the abductee? For the shaman, the cosmic pairing with a spirit spouse is many times inevitable and done with great reluctance. It is the same with abductees; many are highly ambivalent about their emotional attachment to the beings.[55] For abductee-turned-researcher Karla Turner, these inappropriate moments amount to a form of induced Stockholm Syndrome (via the practice of “love-bombing” that most cults perform on a target individual) and are probably achieved by means of stimulating the limbic system and inducing an overwhelming dopamine cascade.


Candidacy in the Siberian cultures may involve lightning strikes or being hit by “stones from the sky.”[56] Holger Kalweit speaks of “lightning shamans,” and devotes a chapter of his book to those individuals who became shamans due to direct or close-by lightning strikes.[57] The shock may have produced in them the state of electro-hypersensitivity and its consequent array of allergic pathologies. Hypothetically this would manifest by the person’s reactions to fluctuations in the earth’s ambient electromagnetic field due to seismic faultlines and their resultant earthlights (piezoelectric phenomena), ionization of the atmosphere before storms, ball lightning, etc. Magnetized rocks and meteorites attract metals, and seem to defy the normal physical world; EM anomalies in the landscape could thus affect these individuals also. Persons deeply sensitized to electromagnetic fields may enter trance spontaneously and further be able to produce unconscious or even conscious psychokinetic effects by way of these EM “hot spots.”[58]

Lightning strikes are a minority in the spectrum of initiatory sicknesses the shaman undergoes. But these two phenomena reflect those that accompany poltergeists. Emotionally disturbed young people have been found to be the “focus” in many poltergeist “infestations,” so it makes sense that a young person entering puberty,[59] which is when these initiatory sicknesses or calls usually occur in traditional societies, could unconsciously manifest the “psychic stress overload” through environmental and electrical PK effects, marking them as potential shamans.[60] Eliade points out that in many cultures sickly or eccentric or withdrawn youths are singled out as candidates if there is no hereditary shamanism present in the society.[61] Are these kids born allergy-prone, or come to possess weakened immune systems due to malnutrition?


Electromagnetic atmospheric phenomena must have inspired fear and reverence in early humankind—lightning foremost, of course, but also ball and bead lightning, plasmas, and static fields. What would early humanity have made of will-o-the-wisps or long-lived forms of ball lightning rolling across the landscape and darting into the sky? Or the shimmering curtains of plasma formations that covered the sky during solar coronal mass ejections that happened to strike the planet? From what we now know of these rare phenomena, and how dangerous they can be, humans in the Paleolithic and before who came close to earthbound energies most certainly were injured in both short and long-term ways, or even killed by them. The manifestations’ seemingly purposeful movement probably led to belief that they were living beings.

Did we interact with these energies—or perhaps the shamans even learn to control them?


In Supernatural, Graham Hancock discusses at length the figures in prehistoric rock art that are depicted pierced multiple times with arrows, spears, or needles. These figures are commonly believed to be shamans. He puts forward the hypothesis that these depict “pins and needles” sensations the shamans experienced as the product of drug-induced trance—but these sensations could just as easily be nervous system reactions to intense EM fields, the kinds with which we are all familiar when we are accidentally shocked. Static electricity of course galvanizes the skin, and in very strong amounts can cause prickling sensations. Strong EM fields can disrupt the temporal lobes, causing hallucinations in all the senses. Further, many of the vividly colored entoptic visual disruptions that he compares to some cave drawings easily have mundane causes, such as scotoma (painless migraines that present jagged visual auras), epilepsy, and the precedent to full migraine attacks.


In two underrated books, British researcher Albert Budden explored the electro-hypersensitivity hypothesis with regard to abductions, and found plausible explanations for both the major and minor components of the experiences. What is important with regard to his hypothesis is the physical and symbolic sicknesses undergone by shaman and experiencer both. The EHS sufferer is physically endangered by their immune system reactions, and for Budden the “aliens” or “apparitions” are a form of warning system generated by the unconscious (or “universal intelligence” as he calls it) during altered states of consciousness that these overlapping ambient/anthropogenic electrical fields are harmful to them. Secondary abduction phenomena that Budden ingeniously explains by this hypothesis are: a sudden or gradual dampening of sound in the immediate vicinity; a humming, hissing, or throbbing sound heard just as the experience commences (both which are symptomatic of temporal lobe stimulation by EM currents); very high-pitched noises similar to tinnitus; a series of loud clicking or popping sounds (which Budden explains could be the heating/expansion of tiny bones in the ear canal reacting to the sufferer’s lowered resistance to microwaves); the “crunching sound” many have reported in the nose or brain while an “implant” is placed up the nostril (EM-stimulated magnetite motes that have been deposited over a long period in the upper nasal passages); depersonalized or out-of-body sensations (temporal lobe disruption); and the small patterned burns, scars, “scoop marks,” and bruises, which could be caused by psychophysical action upon the body while in a dissociative state of consciousness (the abduction experience) brought on by an electromagnetic field overload.

In his book Daimonic Reality, Patrick Harpur points out the shaman-abductee parallels in the case of the famous experiencer Debbie Jordan-Kauble, who was weakened by multiple illnesses at an early age.[62] Budden mentions Jordan-Kauble’s poor health in connection to electro-hypersensitivity as a direct cause of her subsequent “alien” experiences and her ability to affect electrical devices.[63]

Along with and sometimes preceding the aural disturbance, a blue-white light is many times seen at the abduction’s onset. Is this the perception of an fast strobe light, which obviously might be able to induce trance or seizures in persons? Such stimulation might also account for the feeling of one’s “vibrations’ increasing” during the opening of the event and passage through a window into the “room” where the experience occurs. San and Australian shamans report going into highly energetic trance in which the silver fire “ropes” carry them into the realm of the spirits high in the sky.



We have seen that one of the commonest forms of the future shaman’s election is in encountering at divine or semi-divine being, who appears to him through a dream, a sickness, or some other circumstance, tells him that he has been “chosen,” and incites him henceforth to follow a new rule of life.[64]

The appearance of a bird, especially an eagle, is interpreted as a sign of shamanic vocation.[65] Eagle is the “father of shamans” in many cultures.[66]

The world tree also figures in shamanic journeying as the source of powers. Eliade mentions the belief that the eggs hanging upon the world tree contain eagles that are actually the spirits of future shamans.[67] Some of John Mack’s experiencer patients reported eagles and other “power animals” during their abductions.[68] We already noted the animal spirit with whom the shaman binds themself and the “screen memories” of strange animals. Betty Andreasson is a deeply religious Christian, yet her first recalled abduction vision contained a pagan psychodrama from antiquity of a death/rebirth mytheme involving the shamanic animal, the eagle/phoenix.[69]

In Supernatural, Graham Hancock points out the parallel visions of the shamanic “eggs on the world tree” and the high-tech “baby nurseries” many experiencers have reported: A “wall” of amniotic sacs within cylinders or cube-shaped containers containing hybrid alien-human fetuses.[70] I don’t believe Hancock is stretching in emphasizing this similarity. One could also make the case that the column sometimes seen in the center of the “ship’s engine room” also serves the same function as a treetrunk-like symbol of power.[71] Abductee Charles Moody described the “engine” as three strut-joined half-eggs that contained diamond crystals inside them.[72]

Eliade mentions that the spirits “count the bones” of the resurrected shaman before their teaching procedures begin.[73] There are many reports of the “alien beings” touching and counting the abductees’ ribs to “see if it’s okay.” The beings never explain the mysterious procedure.

The famous Mazatec curandera Maria Sabina, who had taken psilocybin mushrooms thousands of times since age 11 in her career as a shaman, was illiterate yet absorbed the contents of a book given to her by a spirit. She received a “download,” as experiencers like to say, of an enormous amount of information about the other worlds and healing.[74] Maria was not allowed to keep the book, which “belonged in the sky”—just like the fates of the books given to Betty Hill and Betty Andreasson during their abductions.[75] The “angel” Quazgaa gave Andreasson a “blue book” in her 1967 experience whose at first blank but luminous pages contained information that at some point she was to remember. This is a universal motif (at some point in the relationships) when dealing with “higher intelligences”; Joseph Smith, occultist and founder of the Latter Day Saints, was given a special scrying/reading crystal in order to decipher the angelic language on the golden tablets the angel Moroni had shown him, which became the Book of Mormon. The tablets were given back to the being.

Mongolian shaman


The shaman or prophet assumes a statusless status, external to the secular social structure, which gives him the right to criticize all structure-bound personae in terms of a moral order binding on all.[76]

–Victor Turner (1969)

This “right to criticize” applied to the “space brother prophets” of the 1950s such as George Adamski (who condemned our society’s violence, our misconceived notions about time, and inability to perceive the “oneness of everything”), but equally to some abductees who have found a calling in healing professions considered marginal to mainstream medicine that involve clairvoyant or empathetic skills. Anthropologist Turner emphasized the idea of liminality, in both the shaman/experiencer’s “chosenness” and initiation by spirits and their eventual social status that results from embracing it as a reality. In the case of the shaman they are elevated in status, but in the abductee’s case it is a lowering of social status in the general community—but perhaps raising it within the boundaries of the experiencer community. Whether these initiation events occur in a “physical reality” or psychic space, their effect on the individual is the same. Socially, there is a parallel between the liminal status of the shaman in society and the “repeat experiencer.” Abductees for the most part have been shunned or denigrated by mainstream science in the same manner as ethnographers and anthropologists once dismissed shamans and even their entire tribes as irrational degenerates. Plato’s parable of the cave may be considered a shamanic myth, and its point is not unlike what the abductee claims to experience. For shaman, mystic, and experiencer, who have had Plato’s allegorical “experience of the sun,” scorn pours out onto those who stay content before the cave wall’s shadows.

Just as the shamanic vocation is considered hereditary in many cultures, some abductees and investigators are convinced the experiences run in families, as if a bloodline were being followed or manipulated over generations.[77]

Since our culture doesn’t properly ritualize the transition to puberty and adulthood as in traditional societies, there is no structure or vocabulary for the children in the “developed” world to contextualize or describe Other experiences. Their experiences, no matter their age, are “infantilized.” This “infantilization” equally applies to criticisms of adult experiencers by the overculture; debunkers relegate their memories and events to repressed childhood traumas, “birth memories,” and the sleep paralysis/“night hag” phenomenon. Young children have their imaginary companions and are eventually taught to separate this function of their mind from the real world. Those who are experiencers, however, describe the utter reality of the “weird looking” child companions they once had (especially their night visitors) and how their parents disbelieved their trips to rooms the sky where they played with both other normal children and the “strange” ones.[78]


When we jettison the high tech trappings and examine the form of these experiences, they contain all manner of “traditional paranormality”: astral travel/OBEs, NDE-like passages, poltergeist activity, psychokinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, “spirit meetings.” Both contemporary hereditary shamans and the “Western” individuals who have had otherworldly experiences via, say, Michael Harner’s shaman workshops do not report UFOs, aliens, or abduction experiences in their journeys.[79] For them, their shamanic experiences still involve spirits, power animals, and the traditional imagery that accompanies it. As Graham Hancock points out, Dr. Rick Strassman’s legal and public experiments with pure DMT induced in a large number of its participants the elements of abduction imagery: greys, insect-like sentient creatures, round rooms, examination tables, etc. but the subjects were simply reclining on a hospital bed when these veridical experiences occurred. Their minds entered another space.

Since shamanic initiation and abductions are only similar but not identical in form or result (many persons, after all, don’t have transformative life changes associated with abductions) and “traditional” shamanic experiences still occur without the high tech trappings we must conclude that whatever force(s) is behind the UFO phenomenon is somehow aping the vocabulary of the shamanic experience (or causing the human mind to create a symbolic shamanic-like experience). Are the results similar? We must conclude with a qualified yes: in the short term the person experiences John Mack’s “ontological shock.” Their world-views are disrupted and often turned upside down. In the long term, some are given a type of “second sight” in line with the cunning folk/Celtic shamans whose powers were often induced by fairy encounters: they continue to have interactions with non-human intelligences.

[1] Schnabel, Jim. Dark White: Aliens, Abductions, and the UFO Obsession, Penguin Books Ltd, 1995, pg. 139, quoting Holger Kalweit’s Dreamtime and Inner Space: The World of the Shaman, Shambhala Publications, 1988.

[2] Fowler, Raymond. The Andreasson Affair: The True Story of a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind, New Page Books, 2014, pg. 35.

[3] Bullard, Thomas E., UFO Abductions: The Measure of a Mystery, 2 Vols., FUFOR, Mt. Rainier, MD, 1987.

[4] Clark, Jerome and Coleman, Loren, The Unidentified and Creatures of the Outer Edge, Anomalist Books, 2006, reprint from 1975, pg. 65.

[5] Rimmer, John, The Evidence for Alien Abductions, Thorsons Publishing, 1984, 138-43.

[6] Evans, Hilary, Visions Apparitions Alien Visitors: A Comparative Study of the Enigma, Aquarian Press, 1984; 235-36; Gods, Spirits, Cosmic Guardians: A Comparative Study of the Encounter Experience, HarperCollins, 1988. 41, 237.

[7] Randle, Jenny, Abduction, Guild Books, 1988. 33-34.

[8] The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 102, No. 404 (Apr. – Jun., 1989), pp. 147-170.

[10] Ring, Kenneth, The Omega Project: Near-Death Experiences, UFO Encounters, and Mind-at-Large, William Morrow & Co., 1992. 64-65, 85, 92, 108, 218-19, 234;

[11] Thompson, Keith, Angels and Aliens: UFOs and the Mythic Imagination, Ballantine Books, 1993. 154-58, 188, 232.

[12] Talbot, Michael. The Holographic Universe, Harper Perennial, 1991, 276-285.

[13] That is, through strenuous disciplines that awaken the energy coiled at the base of the spine, it is meant to wipe out the karmic accretions one has accumulated over many lifetimes within a finite time-period. For the improperly initiated or novice this can have devastating emotional and mental effects. The full Kalachakra cycle includes confronting heavenly and hellish beings which the monk or nun eventually subdues in order to use the beings’ powers towards achieving nirvana; these entities are considered aspects of the initiate’s own “compounded” illusory existence, but stripped of personal attributes; in other words, they are transpersonal or archetypal representations of cognitive-emotional states of being. Whether “imaginal” or energetically real, conquering them and utilizing their existential energy towards liberation is the goal of the initiate.

[14] Mack, John E. Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens, Scribner, 1994.

[15] Schnabel (1995), 136-39

[16] Little, Gregory L. Grand Illusions: The Spectral Reality Lying Behind Sexual UFO Abductions, Crashed Saucers, Afterlife Experiences, Sacred Ancient Ritual Sites & Other Enigmas, Eagle Wing Books, 1994.

[17] Spencer, John. Gifts of the Gods?: Are UFOs Alien Visitors or Psychic Phenomena? Virgin Publishers, 1995.

[19] Mack, John. Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters, Three Rivers Press, 2011.

[20] Mack (2011), 203.

[21] Mack (2011), 208.

[22] Mack (2011), 169.

[23] Incidentally, this location is 900 miles west at the exact latitude as the 1977-84 events Jacques Vallee writes about in his book Confrontations. During that period glowing orbs and “flying buses” were shooting “beams” that killed, sickened, and burned many night hunters and villagers in northern Brazil. The area was so remote that medical intervention was minimal to none during this “wave.” Vallee personally traveled to the isolated area in 1990 to interview the witnesses and victims. See Confrontations: A Scientist’s Search for Alien Contact, Anomalist Books, 2008, pgs. 124-39, 200-226.

[24] Mack (2011), 181.

[25] Hancock, Graham, Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Disinformation Books, 2007.

[26] Hancock (2007), 161-66.

[27] Eliade, pg. 33.

[28] It is interesting to note that many persons become writers, artists, or scientists due to prolonged illness in youth by which they either have a consciousness-changing experience, or they use their long convalescence to develop a hobby that becomes a lifelong passion.

[29] See Mike Clelland’s The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity, and the UFO Abductee, Richard Dolan Press, 2015; Vallee, Jacques. Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers, Daily Grail Publishing, 2014, pg. 58; Hopkins (1987), 91-92, 100; Strieber (1987), 21-22, 116-17, 145, 298-300; Mack (2011), 152-157, 295; Smith, Yvonne (2008), 116-17, 138-49, 144-47; Anglin, Elizabeth. Experience: Memoirs of an Abducted Childhood, Vol. 1, Sacred Peak Press, 2014, pgs. 38-42; Hopkins and Rainey (2004), 230-38; Turner, Karla. Into the Fringe: A True Story of Alien Abduction, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014, pgs. 84, 124-43 (the latter is an extended account of a shared hallucinatory episode at a real cabin with “screen memory” elements to it); Hough and Kalman, (1997), pgs. 78-80; Wilson, Colin, Alien Dawn: An Investigation into the Contact Experience, Fromm International, 1998, pg. 7; Boylan (1994), 115.

[30] Eliade, 36. There is a long tradition in the British Isles that fairies cannot abide the presence and even sound of iron (such as a bell). Could we thus speculate that fairies as known by the Celtic Anglo culture and the master shaman spirits, whether celestial or infernal, are not the same beings as the fee?

[31] Cowan, J. Mysteries of the Dream Time, Woollahra, NSW, Unity Press, 1992. Quoted by Harvey-Wilson, Simon Brian. Shamanism and Alien Abductions: A Comparative Study, Edith Cowan University, 2000, pg. 51.

[32] Eliade, pgs. 45-52.

[33] Couliano, I.P. Out of this World: Otherworldly Journeys from Gilgamesh to Albert Einstein, Shambhala Publications, 1991, pgs. 44-45.

[34] See Watts, Barry, UFOs Down Under: Australasian Encounters, Barry Watts Publications, 2017, for the case of Maureen Puddy, who was abducted “astrally” in the presence of two other people; Turner, Karla, Masquerade of Angels,

[35] Kalweit (1988), 48-51; Wilson, Colin. Mysteries: An Investigation into the Occult, the Paranormal, and the Supernatural, Watkins Publishing, 2006, 377-78; Hancock (2007), 126-31.

[36] Couliano (1991), 44.

[37] Kalweit,

[38] See Mack, John, 1994 & 2011; Boylan, Richard J. Close Extraterrestrial Encounters: Positive Experiences with Mysterious Visitors, Wild Flower Press, 1994, 36-46, 157-69; Rutkowski, Chris A. Abductions and Aliens: What’s Really Going On, Durdurn, 1999, 212-28; Randles, Jenny (1984), 83-84; Strieber (1989), 73-77;

[39] Dennett, Preston, and Dennett, Christine. UFO Healings: True Accounts of People Healed by Extraterrestrials, Wild Flower Press, 1996.

[40] Fiore, Edith. Encounters: A Psychologist Reveals Case Studies of Abductions by Extraterrestrials, Doubleday, 1989, 121-23

[41] Fiore (1989), 89-91.

[42] Fiore (1989), 96.

[43] Mack (2011), 142.

[44] Lorenzen, Coral and Jim. Abducted! Confrontations with Beings from Outer Space, Berkley Publishing, 1977, 63.

[45] Fowler, Raymond. The Andreasson Affair Phase Two: The Continuing Investigation of a Woman’s Abduction by Alien Beings, Prentice Hall Trade, 1982, 137-46.

[46] Turner (1994), 176-77.

[47] This is a fairly “routine” experience when a person encounters “UFOnauts,” from the contactee phenomenon of the early 1950s right up to the present day. See Bullard, Thomas E. (2010), 214; Strieber (1987), 119; Randles (1984), 103; Mack (1994), 224, 243; Mack (2011), 94-98; Ring (1992), 51; Hough, Peter and Kalman, Moyshe. The Truth About Alien Abductions, Sterling Publishing Company, 1997, pg. 111; Swords, Michael. Grassroots UFOs: Case Reports from the Center for UFOs Studies, Anomalist Books, 2005, pgs. 94-95; Turner (2013), 39, 173; Marden and Stoner, (2013), 212; Jacobs (1993), 197; Fiore (1989), 162, 182-83; Harpur, Patrick. Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld, Pine Winds Press, 2003, pgs. 184-85; Thompson, Richard L. Alien Identities: Ancient Insights into the Modern UFO Phenomenon, Govardhan Hill Publisher, 1995, pgs. 126-27; Smith, 158-65 (“induced” visions of plans for an engine).

[48] Jacobs, David. The Threat, (1999), 236; Strieber (1987), 252, 265-66; Mack (2011), 93-119,

[49] Hancock (2007), 131-132.

[50] See Mack (2011), Fowler (2014), The Watchers by Raymond Fowler (1990), The Watchers II, Fowler (1995), Taken by Karla Turner (1994), Lost was the Key by Leah Haley (1995), Reaching for Reality by Constance Clear (1999).

[51] Wilson (2006), 377-78.

[52] Kalweit, Holger, Dreamtime and Inner Space: The World of the Shaman, Shambhala Press, 1988, 48-51.

[53] Eliade (1974), 73, 76-77, 79, 133, 168, 344, 381, 421; Hancock (2007), 150-60; 188-92.

[54] Mack (1994), Boylan (1994), 69, 87, 89.

[55] In traditional Celtic lore, fairies may entrance, kidnap, and rape humans. This can produce hybrid children, whom Graham Hancock (amongst others) believes may be the changelings who are placed in substitution of stolen human children. That’s one possibility; the other is that the changelings are “pure-bred” but deformed fairy children. Yet there are also innumerable tales of humans falling in love with a fairy, whether the humans are “glamoured” or of their own will. These “marriages” often result in children who have great difficulty living in either world. Sometimes the human has been given the “second sight” to perceive fairies and their world prior to these couplings—and also become healers by fairy tutoring. See Hancock (2007), 177-81; 192-203 for the changeling-hybrid enigma.

[56] Eliade, pgs. 19, 32, 55.

[57] Kalweit, Holger, Shamans, Healers, and Medicine Men. Shambhala Books, 2000.

[58] See Shallis, Michael. The Electric Connection: Its Effects on Mind and Body, New Amsterdam Books, 1998.

[59] Eliade, 26.

[60] Heath, Pamela Rae. The PK Zone: A Cross-Cultural Review of Psychokinesis (PK), iUniverse, 2003, 167-69; Wilson, Colin, Poltergeist! A Study in Destructive Haunting, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1982, 158-60, 262, 361-62; Rogo, D. Scott, Mind Over Matter: The Case for Psychokinesis, Thorsons, 1986, 84-87; Shallis, Michael. The Electric Connection: Its Effects on Mind and Body, New Amsterdam Books, 1998, 194, 207.

[61] Eliade, 24-26.

[62] Harpur, Patrick. Daimonic Reality: A Field Guide to the Otherworld, Pine Winds Press, 2003, (1995), 235-36.

[63] Budden Albert. Psychic Close Encounters, Blandford Books, 1999, 145-46, 179.

[64] Eliade, 67.

[65] Eliade, 69.

[66] Eliade (1974), 69, 128, 160.

[67] Eliade, 70.

[68] Mack (2011), 149 for eagle; 148-152.

[69] Fowler (2015), 102-05.

[70] Hancock (2007), 160-64.

[71] Lorenzen and Lorenzen (1977), 47-49; Fowler (1982), Andreasson,

[72] Lorenzen, (1977), 48-49.

[73] Eliade, 42.

[74] This experience is also similar to the angel “transmissions” the mystic polymath Emanuel Swedenborg claimed in a trance to have received and by which he said angels regularly telepathically communicated.

[75] Hancock (2007), 142-44.

[76] Turner, Victor (1969) 116–17, quoted in Hansen, George P. The Trickster and the Paranormal, Xlibris Corp, 2001, 86.

[77] See the work of Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs, John Mack, Karla Turner, Yvonne Smith, Richard Boylan.

[78] See Hopkins (1987) 299-300; Strieber (1987), 216-22; Mack (1994), 23, 27; 116; Bullard (2010) (a psychosocial comparison with folklore), 197-200; Clark, Jerome, The UFO Encyclopedia: The Phenomenon from the Beginning, 2 Vols., Omnigraphics Inc., 1998, 6.

[79] See Harner, Michael. The Way of the Shaman, HarperOne, 1990, and Cave and Cosmos: Shamanic Encounters with Another Reality, North Atlantic, 2013.

The Risen Goddess vs. the Burn



Techne is a Greek word meaning skill or craft. Plato and Aristotle both used it as the definition of something done well. An athlete or carpenter both must possess techne for performing their activities. Their means and methods would be their technology, which can be taught.

In the broader sense, there is a technology to anything that is effective in creating an aimed-for change in the world.

The skilled use of language to entrance people, whether by poetry or storytelling, is a primordial techne. So are the performances involved in ritual psychodrama.


Imagine a 2000 year-old nightclub that holds an annual rave. At this rave, the people must abide by rules set by the MCs and bouncers. After, the ravers swear that they’ve lost their fear of death when they witnessed something inside a place called the ‘White Cave.’ It is only something a person can experience for oneself; it can’t be explained in words. And anyway, once you’ve experienced it you’re not supposed to talk about what happens in this White Cave. Discussing what occurs in the White Cave could even bring exile or prison.


A festival like this occurred, between 1600 BCE and about 400 ACE, in a small town called Eleusis fourteen miles outside Athens, Greece. That’s roughly 2 millennia of yearly events. Some scholars date it even earlier, and its first performances as far back as 2500 BCE, giving it another millennia of life. Some trace its roots to the Minoan culture.

Historically, the event was presided over and managed by two families, the Eumolpides and Keryces, who passed down overseeing the event for dozens of generations. The families were secretive, and did not share the magic they had perfected that could inspire identical experiences in the pilgrim-participants. Imagine the skill they must have honed over centuries by observing the effects of their event on the Athenians and others who made the trek, fine-tuning every aspect from the food and libations and music and dance to the setting and stagings, the timing of dramatic events that merged audience with performance….

The Eleusinian Mysteries was a mass ritual, willingly undergone by the people, highly anticipated, and technologically designed to transform the audience’s souls. Everyone across the ancient Mediterranean were permitted to attend, slave and free citizen alike, except “barbarians” (those who couldn’t speak Greek) and murderers. One could not attend the Greater mysteries without first attending the Lesser, which were preparatory. All hostilities including war maneuvers were suspended for the period of the festival.

The event at Eleusis had a painstaking structure to it, all based upon the tale of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, her mother Demeter’s grief and subsequent wanderings clothed as a mortal, and her tenure as a governess for the son of Triptolemos, a prince of Eleusis.

Participants fasted beforehand, and had to ritually sacrifice a pig in Demeter’s name and ritually cleanse themselves in the Illisos River. The pilgrims called upon Iakchos (Bacchus) as they walked the Sacred Road to Eleusis that originated in the Athenian cemetery.

At the pilgrims’ arrival at Eleusis, the Eumolpides family abided by a three-part program: the dromena, which were ritual actions that started with the Lesser Mysteries.

Second, on the grounds near the Telesterion temple, was the legomena: ritual vocalizations by the hierophants and the priestesses who mixed the sacred kykeon brew and distributed it to the crowd in a procession and elaborate dance.

By this point, the thousands of celebrants had been seated or stood within the Telesterion. The kykeon worked fast, apparently, causing vertigo and cold sweating.

At this point, objects were supposedly displayed by the hierophant in a wooden shrine inside the Telesterion. A pilgrim was a mystes (one with closed eyes) before this revelation, an epoptes (witness) afterwards. This was the culmination and transformative event.

In some accounts, the simple display of alphi, an ear of barley, was the final revelation.

But such a mundane depiction surely could not be a psyche-shattering event, even under the kykeon’s spell?

It is still a mystery to us today.


Who were the Eumolpides and the Keryces families?

In order to know that, we have to know the myth.[1] Persephone was upon a hillside in Nysa, picking flowers with the daughters of Oceanus.[2] Mother Earth and her brother Zeus and Hades conspired to create the most beautiful narcissus flower to seduce Persephone’s senses so Hades could abduct her. With Persephone beguiled by it, Hades roared forth from the earth on his chariot and swept her away into his chthonic land of the dead.

Realizing her predicament, and that her father Zeus had conspired, Persephone ate nothing and paid no mind to the splendor of the dark kingdom.


Demeter searched the fields for her daughter, then the earth. After discovering the truth from Helios, She despaired and wandered the earth as a crone and ended up at the Virgin’s Well at Eleusis. There She met the four daughters of Triptolemus, who convinced Her to meet their mother Metaneira. Impressed with the “old crone,” Demeter became governess to the king’s son Demophon. When offered wine, She refused it, as she considered it the transmuted body of Dionysus, who was suckled by the maenads on the same Nysa field where Persephone had been abducted (for this reason wine was strictly forbidden during the Mysteries).[3] Instead She asked for a drink compounded of barley, water, glechon (mint or pennyroyal) and other herbs (unfortunately, the only copies of the Homeric hymn are missing 22 lines here with the rest of the formula which would become the basis of the sacred kykeon drank at the Eleusis festival). Still morose, an old woman named Iambe-Baubo cracked blue jokes until Demeter laughed and broke from Her melancholy.

Every day in secret She fed the baby Demophon ambrosia and did rituals over him, intending to make a god of him. One day Metaneira caught Demeter baptizing the child in the hearth. Enraged, she discharged the disguised goddess. Demeter threw off Her human vestments and shone forth and condemned Metaneira and humanity for their ignorance of the spirit of the holy, condemning Demophon to not only a mortal life but a short one. She demanded Triptolemus build a temple to Her near the Rharian plains. He did this and there Demeter sat, still grieving the loss of Her daughter—and refused Her duties to fertilize the crops with Her thought and substance, causing a terrible famine for all of humanity.

Now, Her husband Zeus got word of this and, angry over the mortals’ inability to praise Him properly due to the ecological disaster, like any egotistical tyrant, sent goddess after god after messenger to convince Demeter of Hades’s worthiness as husband to Persephone. Demeter sent them all packing. Finally Zeus sent Hermes to King Hades to communicate His concern for humanity’s future—and that Hades should let go of Persephone at once. Persephone was overjoyed. Hades cautioned her that she would have to return to his kingdom sometime. She agreed—“sure, whatever!” Her appetite back, Hades offered her a few pomegranate seeds, four of which she ate.


Hermes swiftly returned to Zeus with the news.

Demeter was jubilant on seeing Her daughter emerge. Immediately She asked if Persephone had eaten any food while in captivity.[4] She told her mother the whole story. Demeter wept: Persephone would have to spend four months of each year with Hades beneath the earth. So Demeter spent four months in mourning, Her spirit withdrawing from the living landscape to give us winter (or, more exactly, the 4-month drought season of ancient Greece).

But always the joy of the mother-daughter reunion brought back the fertility of the earth.


King Triptolemus was the patriarch of the Eumolpides family and builder of Demeter’s temple, whose structure She revealed to him in detail. From the Eumolpides clan came the hierophant of the Mysteries; their name means “of good voice.” Thus they were the cantors of the ceremony, those who taught the crowd the chant and summoned by incantation the presences of the gods and goddesses. The hierophantides to this singer were females chosen from the Eumolpides to attend the women aspirants. The hiera (the sacred objects to be displayed in the innermost place of the Telestrion) were solely under protection of the Eumolpides family.

The Eleusinian Mysteries_13.jpg

The Keryces, another royal Eleusinian family, were subordinate to the Eumolpides. The Keryces clan supplied the hereditarily-titled dadouchos, the processional torch-bearers. From them also came the hierocceryx, the bearer of tidings who enacted Hermes’s role as messenger, making the proper initiatory decrees and often enjoining the participants’ silence during certain intervals of the journey, in honor of Demeter’s grieving silence.

The phaidantes could come from either family. They were charged with maintaining and transporting the holy statues and vessels, including the huge numbers of kraters used to distribute the kykeion substance.

There were other ranks, involving those who carried the mystic fans, spread incenses and holy waters, the spondophoroi who proclaimed the sacred 10-day war-truce, the fire watchers, the flautists and singers, and the melissae (“bees”) who most likely watched for infractions of the rules and generally mingled with the initiates, who were under the control of the nine governors (archons) the leader of whom was called the Basileus.

All the family members wore purple robes, myrtle wreaths, and diadems (as we’ll see this color may have significance with regard to special properties gleaned from the grain).


But what was that revealed to the mystes at the climax of the ritual?

One aspect was the revelation of the true identity of Triptolemus, who spread the word throughout the world of how to properly cultivate the grain. It had to have been something awe-inspiring that involved fire, grain, and a holy, supernatural violation of the sensory world that, combined with the participants’ heavily altered states of consciousness by means of the kykeion drink, overwhelmed the witnesses (who became epoptae). Scholars Carl Ruck, Albert Hofmann, and Gordon Wasson believe the secret ingredient may have been a special local variant of ergot, a mold that grows on wheat and barley and presents as tiny purple bulbs. The Eumolpides may have found a way of diluting the rust’s toxic properties, leaving only the psychoactive lysergic acid to be mixed into the kykeion—a powerful hallucinogen.[5]

Still this leaves the hierophants’ display in the Telestrion as a cypher. Was it a vision of burning wheat that wasn’t consumed by the flames? A Demeter and Persephone bearing wheat stalks who moved, untouched, in the huge bonfire? An image of the risen goddess made of flaming wheat that didn’t burn? Were the masters of ceremony able to control forms of electromagnetism or even plasma discharges endogenous to the Eleusinian geology in some manner? We don’t know.

In any case, the Rites of the Mysteries had the deepest possible meaning for the participants. It fulfilled a deep spiritual need of the populace, to have their fear of death purged, to feel the reverence of Gaia-Demeter and Her cycles, and to revere Her back, to cohere socially and spiritually with a random group of persons of all types stripped of societal rank, to achieve greater social cohesion via a long tradition,[6] to implant the seed of faith in the Goddess of nature both literally and metaphorically.

There was no limit for an individual’s number of attendances, and some persons went many times.[7]

The Mysteries were the original “mass programming” of a society. The Eumolpides took this responsibility seriously and acted accordingly; they were caretakers of the souls and potentially the fates of the participants. No duty could be greater in Greek society, not even war.[8]

And look at us now.

As religion scholars Mircea Eliade and Rene Guenon emphasized, there has always existed the profane space of public life, with its governments and taxes and bloody conflict, then a boundary, and beyond this boundary the sacred space where ecstasies and revelations and renewals of life and spirit occurred. They emphasize that these are sacred spaces where nothing is accidental and everything contains meaning, in distinction with secular places where accident and chaos reign. The Greeks were geniuses in contextualizing both of these realms and creating psychodramas that continuously re-created both of these “worlds” and their boundaries. In the sacred space, microcosm and macrocosm mixed in a both inner and outer hieros gamos, or sacred marriage. Hierophants are always needed to preserve the continuity of the sacred, whether the shamanic initiation, the ordination of a Christian priest or Jewish rabbi, the induction of the Sufi or imam, a Buddhist monk, etc.

Over the past four centuries, the sacred has been profaned and the profane blurred into the “sacred” of the new public temple, mass media. The meaning that enlivened sacred symbols in general has vanished along with the traditions supporting them. The forms of ritual survive, severed from their metaphysical context and transpersonal meaning. The need for catharsis lives as always in the human psyche, but is now “satisfied” through movies and television, music and concerts and raves. Adolescents and teenagers often end up having to spiritually initiate themselves into adulthood through self-inflicted hardships, whether they are conscious of their motivations or not, with dangerous drugs, anti-social and anti-authoritarian power-acts, and gang hazings/actions.

This is partially because the ritual forms that once structured life-transitions have died.[9] Traditional societies still separate the young who are on the cusp of full societal membership and amplify their liminal status through harrowing rituals in the wilderness. The elders do their best to induce a near-death experience in the adolescents through psychodrama involving drugs, masks, fire, and burials. Those who not only survive these hazings but do so fearlessly are marked for leadership in the tribe. Potential shamans are also sometimes discovered in this process.

As adults, we’ve got the weekend. Thanks to the labor movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, the inhumane “free market” capitalist wage slavery was reduced from six/seven days a week to five, with two consecutive days off. Twelve-to-sixteen hour workdays were reduced to eight…By emotional need, our society has preserved the bacchanal on a weekly basis; it is a two-day celebration of not having to work for one’s right to exist and subsist. Drunkenness (which we can call, as Victor Turner put it, “anti-structural consciousness”) and the events it unleashes are celebrated. Freedom from our nasty archons and their system is celebrated.


How are we programmed today, and what is the nature of the programming?

Television, film, radio, internet permeate the “developed” world and attempt to imprint a monoculture that merely reflects the values of capitalism, namely, a token individualism (liberty), a bogus nod to egalitarianism, “material progress” in housing, medicine, farming, entertainment delivery systems, and weaponry to protect it all.[10] Collectivism (in the Mysterious form induced in the epoptae) and capitalism cannot coexist large-scale in the population of a country like the USA. What at one time were living myths and their symbols have been converted into commodities that the Hollywood machine uses to produce thrills and chills. Very rarely are socially unconscious “collective complexes” and ideas presented;[11] the number of industry filmmakers consciously trying to resurrect/induce a feeling of uncanny wonder inside us, as a form of initiation to a greater reality, can probably be counted on one hand.

We have all been reduced to Sisyphus. Prometheus is reserved for the elite scientific class. The wonder and mystery of life has been tamed or “othered.” We are compelled to seek it out. It’s out of reach, existing only in so-called “undeveloped” traditional cultures (hence the flourishing ayahuasca and iboga tourist industries). For the majority of us, anomalous experiences for which neither psychiatrist nor priest nor scientist is equipped to counsel us may irrupt our workaday lives and cause a transformation; it is only then that the realm of the accidental/secular realm we largely inhabit is expanded and violated by the numinous/sacred.

Second, the mass media attempts to program us into a more or less permanent state of fear and vigilance. Some may think this is at least partially a government attempt to control the nation’s emotions and thinking, and there may be some truth to that. It is more certain that the economic laws of news dissemination (advertiser dollars) favors the networks leading their broadcasts with sensational and trauma/fear-inducing stories. It’s no mistake that pharmaceutical companies buy most up the advertising time on network and cable news; what they are purveying is a nice little setup for inducing mass neurosis. Foremost on their menu is catastrophe, from local fatal car accidents up to natural disasters and mass shootings. “If it bleeds, it leads the broadcast.” Terror attacks are a boon to ratings and thus advertiser revenue. The latest alarming health study is the daily bread. The goal, whether it’s inadvertent or purposeful, is to induce either mild trauma or a disorientation in the populace, making them psychologically malleable to other messages—such as the notion that the government will sincerely give you the truth, facts, assistance, protection.

To sum it all up, the populace is emotionally primed to feel helpless at this onslaught of natural disaster, terrorists, disease, etc.

Obviously, a daily diet of mass media does not create a psychologically healthy individual. With thousands of hours from birth to age 30 it creates a mildly traumatized psyche—easy material to mold. This may or may not be the “conscious program” of the networks; it certainly is for the network and print’s true masters, the government who feeds the “experts” the facts for your consumption.

We could easily trace the roots of profanation back to the Enlightenment critiques of Comte and Locke and Paine and Jefferson. Our society is Janus-faced with regard to religious or spiritual transformation. It takes a special kind of person to face the expanses of “personal freedom” after a transformation occurs and create from it a new persona. It takes an even more special person to face the void of “total freedom” and hold their consciousness/ego together enough to create a self anew from the shards of a fluxing world. Humanity is in a non-optimal cognitive passage of its evolution to live in such nihilism—or only a very few strong individuals, as Nietzsche pointed out. And Nietzsche didn’t have the producers/boosters of this scientific/media imaginary and its “only atoms and void” hucksters in mind as his Ubermensch. In a capitalist society with free-for-all religious values, prefab culture will step into the spiritual void and the entertainment-industrial-complex will fill it.[12]


The closest thing we’ve got is Burning Man, a constellation of pathologies that is the opposite (or even an unconscious parody) of the Eleusinian Mystery, born of frivolous libertarianism, techno-utopianism/dystopianism, and “artistic freedom.” As Hunter Thompson quipped in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, “The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on a Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the Sixth Reich.” Thompson was speaking of kitschy Vegas decadence, but it applies perfectly to the Nevada salt flats 514 miles north of Sin City, 45 years later. He lived in the real Burn world every day of his life, without the make-believe trappings. The “express yourself” Burning Man ethic performs an inverted totalitarianism, seemingly “free” but fascistic nonetheless: appear different or die—you’re not welcome on the playa otherwise…Envisuate as an individual and simulate your atomistic bubble, no matter what extreme of bad/no taste, or go fuck yourself…At the end of the week, the big Man effigy is incinerated in some pseudo-mystical echo of the “cremation of Care” ritual done by the “elites” at the Bohemian Grove saturnalia, where the pasty white guys who think they rule the world torch their worries away in front of a big talking owl.[13] How technopagan!

In the past decade, the true Burners who’ve been to the Nevada playa from its 1993 beginning have complained of the Silicon Valley billionaire types showing up by the dozen, and millionaires by the hundred, co-opting the anarchist TAZ vibe, each bringing their own private entourage and cities-within-Black Rock City. Really a damn shame, innit; if you want free expression in this new society, this new TAZ, you are going to now live by their rules, and be prepared for it to be bought and sold in the marketplace. Single BM tickets now run in the thousands of dollars, and are block-bought ahead of time in private by the big-money boys (and it is 99% boys) with connections before the public tickets hit the market.

Where are the sacred rites of passage to be found? Today’s seekers make trips to South America to drink ayahuasca in both ritual and non-ritual situations by people advertising themselves as shamans (or simply guides). Many innocent people have been burned by this “industry” in many ways: financially, mentally, spiritually by charlatans. See this, this, this and especially this.

Jung, James Hillman, and many others have explored the inner worlds that seem to slumber within us and find expression in dreams, visions, and the work of artists. But something like the Eleusinian Mysteries supposedly occurs only once, historically speaking. It is described as the product of an early human “diaphany,” as philosopher Jean Gebser put it, that is, a “making clear” of the relational structure of Greek and perhaps Paleolithic consciousness to itself and embodied into a sprit-affirming ritual.

Can such a diaphany occur more than once and be encoded once again in a mass form? Gebser thought not. Is calling the Eleusinian Mysteries historically unique just a form of “chronocentrism” based upon our conception of history as a unidirectional story? The Mysteries were a religious narrative for all of humanity (despite the prohibition of non-Greek speakers and murderers, anyone else was welcome). Was the Telestrion revelation an eternal form of revelation, or was it bound to place and time and the Hellenic consciousness structure, as Gebser, Hegel, and many other historians would have it? A ritual doesn’t last for two millennia without its being a singularly profound phenomenon in human history, whose structure and content had enormous influence to this very day. Gebser stated that our “aperspectival” age, in which a diaphanous understanding of the very conditions for historical forms has freed us from those conditions, a present in which space-time has become irrelevant, has freed us. Free to invent a new kind of collective experience.



[1] The myth is far, far older than the high Greek culture: “Dionysus was not the only Greek deity whose tragic story and ritual appear to reflect the decay and revival of vegetation. In another form and with a different application the old tale reappears in the myth of Demeter and Persephone. Substantially their myth is identical with the Syrian one of Aphrodite (Astarte) and Adonis, the Phrygian one of Cybele and Attis, and the Egyptian one of Isis and Osiris. In the Greek fable, as in its Asiatic and Egyptian counterparts, a goddess mourns the loss of a loved one, who personifies the vegetation, more especially the corn, which dies in winter to revive in spring; only whereas the Oriental imagination figured the loved and lost one as a dead lover or a dead husband lamented by his leman or his wife, Greek fancy embodied the same idea in the tenderer and purer form of dead daughter bewailed by his sorrowing mother.”

(The Golden Bough, James George Frazer, pg. 405)

[2] The etymology of this place involves the inebriates associated with Dionysus and his female acolytes the maenads, pgs. 97-99.

[3] Demeter was associated with the fields of barley and wheat that were cultivated through an ancient transmutation (the cross-breeding of wild grasses); Dionysus was associated with the cultivation of the vine and its fermented transmutation into wine. Scholars have surmised that ancient Greek wine contained about 14-20% alcohol content, although they had no words for alcohol or distillation. Their great veneration for wine was due not to the intoxication alcohol alone provided, but the spices, unguents, and other herbs mixed into the fermented “syrup.” Stimulants, entheogens, or even opioids could end up in a wine mixture. Depending on the local customs, pure wine could be extremely dangerous to drink. The hosts of house or public symposia assigned a person the task of determining the amounts of water added to dilute the wine and even the length of time a toast-sip would take. Any more than four “doses/cups” of even diluted wine could bring on psychosis or sickness—hence the notorious reputations of the maenads, Dionysus’s female acolytes who would become frenzied on their retreats into the wilderness when they drank the essence of their god. See Ruck, Carl P., in The Road to Eleusis, pgs. 50-57.

[4] Eating the food of an “Otherworld” and a resulting enchantment or captivity by its denizens is a universal mytheme, one that has survived especially in European and Anglo fairy lore.

[5] See their study The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries.

[6] Of course we’ll have our killjoys here saying “its true purpose then was to perpetuate the patriarchal war-machine that was Athenian society by defusing its citizens’ attitude (fear) towards death in a huge mind-control operation.” Fair enough. But I would retort that this was not its central purpose but a side effect; this ritual was so old it

[7] The 1st Century mystic philosopher Apollonius of Tyana was infamously turned away from attending because everyone thought him a sorcerer; this wandering “priest of no religion” was already so learned in various spiritual techniques that he shrugged off his expulsion, claiming he already knew everything about the Eleusinian Mysteries anyway (which could very well have been true, given his immense knowledge and well-attested ESP abilities). This blow-off, of course, did not enamor him any further to the proud Athenians!

[8] One might cynically say that the social and legal precedence of the Mysteries over concurrent Athenian military actions was due precisely to its removal of the fear of death—it could make the polis’ potential young soldiers immune to mortal terror on the battlefield.

[9] When did traditional rites of passage at puberty or in early teen years conceived as simulated “near-death experiences” or spirit journeys die off in the “West”? Mithraic cults survived into the 5th century. We could consider military induction techniques the closest our society comes to how the ancients practiced it.

[10] As originally envisioned, this freedom from want was supposed to allow people to have more time free to think, to develop themselves spiritually or culturally or artistically. As John Adams wrote to Abigail, “I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematicks and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, musick, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelaine.”

[11] I might here note Jordan Peele’s film Get Out and its inspirations Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, and on another level Frankenstein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

[12] This is the central thesis of Daniel Bell’s classic The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism: If a capitalist society’s culture is driven by the same unfettered business ethic as its economic sphere, that culture (defined as anything unnecessary and produced “to no purpose” other than entertainment or edification) will ultimately undermine the “Puritan work character” that built America.

[13] Incidentally, Burning Man has been slagged by many as a racist event, whether by socio-economic “accident” that its type is a college-educated tech industry/liberal arts trust fund baby (minorities are simply “underrepresented” in this category) or just plain “I wouldn’t feel welcome” by non-whites.



Two Abuses of the Renaissance Sage’s Eros-Magic: Part 1. Hermes T. vs. Aristotle: What is the Origin of Transhumanism?


Two Abuses of the Renaissance Sage: 1. Hermes vs. Aristotle: What is the Origin of Transhumanism?

       Many conspiriologists, following writer Michael A. Hoffman, like to kick around the phrase “the alchemical processing of the masses,” and claim to see the claw-prints of ancient secret societies on all contemporary pop culture and political events. Hoffman and others like Alex Jones rant about the Masonic/Illuminati programming that readies us for the “it shall be” and “it must be” of transhumanism, which is the ultimate goal of the secret scheme: to make humans into gods (and others apparently into food for those gods).

The use of alchemy and magic as descriptors is not metaphor to these people. Although it’s easy to draw a parallel between the CIA-Pentagon’s secret body augmentation/mind control/propaganda labs and that of the alchemist or magician, many like Hoffman go further and posit that events such as the Kennedy assassination and 9/11 are “alchemical psychodramas” meant to traumatize and imprint mind control schemas upon the American soul.

Judging by what passes for “the truth,” what once were genuinely “fringe” beliefs 25 years ago has become a paranoid worldview for perhaps millions of Americans.

The origination for these ideas goes back millennia. We could speak of the anti-Mason movements of the mid-19th century, or Adam Weishaupt’s Bavarian Illuminati conspiracies of the 1760s-90s, but the genesis of psychological imprinting/priming of which Hoffman and others speak is supposedly ancient, and originates in the Mysteries that emerged from the Neolithic.



Its modern incarnation encompasses the past six centuries. As the story goes, the humanism of the Italian Renaissance originated in rediscovered ancient texts that spurred a revival in “natural philosophy”—a concept which grew to encompass a double meaning, science and magic.

This new learning eventually superseded the Scholastic model of the universe used in the Roman Catholic monasteries. In the 1460-80s, the Florentine Medici family bought and translated the ancient Greek texts obtained from scholars fleeing the sacked Byzantine capital, Constantinople. This influx had a double effect: some of the texts bolstered belief in the existence of angels, that had already been codified for the Catholic masses by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and his study of Pseudo-Dionysius’s The Celestial Hierarchy.

But some of the new texts also laid the foundation for undermining ten centuries of Nicaean doctrines. The Aristotelian-Dionysian classifications that informed the medieval “Great Chain of Being” doctrine—that a naturally hierarchical cosmos had been created only once, ex nihilo, by God—were especially affected by these textual discoveries.[1]


       In opposition to the Aristotelian scheme, Plato’s mysticism was strengthened by new, independent sources via the Egyptian/Hellenistic Hermetica that the Medici purchased. The texts raised Plato’s Egyptian-Pythagorean theogony to a near-unimpeachable status in intellectual circles. Scholars had found the Catena Aurea (Golden Chain).[2] This was the esoteric lore concerning self-transformation and transcendence that had been passed down from adepts from the time of ancient Egypt.

The figure of the sage Hermes Trismegistus symbolized this tradition. The Greek/Arabic Hermetic writings purchased by the Medici family book-buyers were, over the next century, translated and elucidated by Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, and Tommaso Campanella.

Opposing the dominant Roman Catholic-Aristotelian view of creation, these scholars came to view humanity as unfinished as opposed to fallen from a paradise (Pico entirely abandoned this view and recanted, but was put to death nevertheless for heresy).

The Hermetic tracts Poimandres and Asclepius that had been discovered proclaim that it is possible that humanity may become “whole beings” and possess powers co-equal with God. Pico wrote his Oration on the Dignity of Man in 1486 using this idea; the tract is a blueprint for secular humanism, albeit through a mix of Neoplatonism and a proto-existentialism.[3] Humanity’s Golden Age existed in the remote past, yet processes for achieving apotheosis were still available by using theurgic ritual to channel the stars’ and planets’ energies and evoke daimonic assistance in the task.


       Ficino developed a Christianized Hermeticism, while Pico chose a Jewish-Christian Kabbalistic method for humanity’s return to Godhood. Giordano Bruno entirely rejected the Christian worldview in favor of Egyptian alchemical/astrological religion. In 1600 the Inquisition torched him believing in an endless universe populated by innumerable worlds—or at least consensus history views it so.

There is much more to the reasons for his execution.

Essential to Ficino and Bruno’s view were the ideas of imbuing images in one’s imagination with vast emotional and psychic force, binding them to the unconscious and one’s anima (soul). Ficino viewed Eros as the prima materia or ever-present element behind all phenomena; this belief became near-dogma for the Florentine Academy of 15th and 16th century.

Eros may be characterized as the resting state of ensoulled beings; all living things possess an unconscious “self-love” that causes them to act in self-preservation in myriad ways and through sexual passion both heighten one’s sense of being and “reproduce” the self.

But for humans, sexual Eros can be very dangerous. The ancients’ conception of spirit (pneuma, “breath”) was axiomatic to Ficino’s magic; pneuma was the medium through which visual impressions passed. Drawing upon the Greek Stoics’s idea that the cosmos was all pneuma in varying degrees of tension, the individual’s hegemonikon (heart/governing principle) vibrated a pneumatic beam to its object(s) and “bound” itself with it/them. This created an impression upon the hegemonikon/heart that at times could be an eidetic image (phantasia kataleptike) of the object. These images could then be imbued, according to Ficino, with very strong mental and emotional “chains of association,” increasing the images’ (phantasia) power within the soul. Eros is normally conceived as the life-force/drive, and acts in everything from sexual vigor to sublimated forms of energy that lead to the creation of art and society’s structures.

The very effortlessness of sexual attraction is a signature that it is primordial Eros magic. The visual impressions of the beloved remain, unbidden but active, in the mind. Here they can be transformed into a higher Eros or fester into complete obsession. A very dangerous situation indeed; we think of “crimes of passion” and the extreme phenomenon of narcissism, a hegemonic-image that has unconsciously made of the world an extension of its damaged self and demands constant recognition of that self. This “black magic” is done by individuals who are spiritually lost and cannot recognize how their own hegemonikon has been captured by images of its own feeding/making. As scholar Ioan Couliano points out,

Circulating through the same pneumatic passage in which contagion of the blood is spread are images that, in the mirror of common sense, are changed into phantasms. When Eros is at work, the phantasm of the loved object leads its own existence, all the more disquieting because it exerts a kind of vampirism on the subject’s other phantasms and thoughts. It is a morbid distention of its activity which, in its results, can be called both concentration and possession: concentration, because the subject’s entire inner life is reduced to contemplation of one phantasm only; possession, because this phantasmic monopoly is involuntary and its collateral influence over the subject’s psychosomatic condition is highly deleterious.

       Interestingly, the love object plays a secondary role in the process of establishing the phantasm: it is only a pretext, not a real presence. The true object, omnipresent, of Eros is the phantasm, which has taken permanent possession of the spiritual mirror. Now, this phantasm represents a perceived image that has gone beyond the threshold of consciousness, but the reason it has assumed such obsessional dimensions lies in the deepest part of the individual unconscious. We do not love another object, a stranger to ourselves, Ficino thinks (Amore, VI, 6), thus anticipating the analytic psychology of Carl Jung. We are enamored of an unconscious image.[4]


       But Eros is a malleable force as well and can be channeled to many uses. We can all understand these dynamics, how the beloved “infects” the imagination of the lover. As Couliano points out, the beloved can become far more than is “presented” by the simple reality of their presence. Active imagination is always at work, whether conscious or not. The unconscious may take over, leading to obsession that may entirely swallow the personality and lead to madness, the heroic fury of heightened existence:

“(Ficino writes) The lover carves into his soul the model of the beloved. In that way, the soul of the lover becomes the mirror in which the image of the loved one is reflected”….That entails rather a complicated dialectic of love, in which the object is changed into the subject, ousting the subject who, tormented by the anxiety of prospective annihilation due to being deprived of his state as subject, desperately claims the right to a form of existence.

       The phantasm that monopolizes the soul is the image of an object. Now, since man is soul, and since soul is totally occupied by a phantasm, the phantasm is henceforth the soul. It follows that the subject, bereft of his soul, is no longer a subject: the phantasmic vampire has devoured it internally. But it also follows that the subject has now grafted itself onto the phantasm which is the image of the other, of the beloved. Metaphorically, therefore, it can be said that the subject has been changed into the object of his love.[5]

What results is obsession with an internalized, living image of the anima or animus that is always existent within the soul but now finitized, active, and intensified.

At a deeper level, there is a dialectic to this narcissism. The self’s inner image of itself is incomplete, because it does not “possess” that love object (that non-self or other) for which it yearns.[6] But in Couliano’s sense the “Western” ego/self unconsciously senses it must not ever possess it, for that would be utter self-destruction, given that the other must have autonomy in order to embody its numinous nature. This autonomy would be denied it were it assimilated or fully possessed by the ego. On the other hand, the other is apotheosized, elevated precisely because of its numinous nature. So instead of attaining it directly, the ego/self must be transformed to become worthy of this “object” infecting its inner landscape; the self must become more than it presently is in order even to meet it. This requires a synthesis, and that synthesis may be achieved through theurgy and magic. This internal ideal is, in both alchemy and magic, an asexual being because it is beyond the mundane embodiment in “given,” incomplete creation. By means of a sort of secular via negativa, we could say the human ideal is not mortal, not intellectually limited, not prone to disease, not prone to sin, not gendered, not sexed, not limited by 5 senses, etc.—all the qualities of the human, all-too-human. With this erasure comes the birth of a new being with unimagined (and perhaps unimaginable) qualities. It follows in a positive sense from that it would exist beyond the laws of physics, including perhaps time’s arrow and the entropy the arrow signifies, etc.

The problem is, as always, the supposed mind-body or spirit-matter split and how one aspect of our being affects the other one. The Renaissance sages, following their Neoplatonic forebears, found a way around this apparent contradiction.

As Ficino and Bruno learned by studying the ancient texts, a magician could use this natural procedure of Erotic fixation, amplify it with intense concentrated meditations, then reverse it and imbue physical objects such as talismans, amulets, candles, shields, pens, or paintings with this emotional/psychic power.

By these means Ficino and Bruno revived the ancient tradition of statue-animation. This, too, used angelic/astrological/planet-invoking processes, most of which date back to Sumeria, Akkadia, Babylon, and Egypt—and probably long before.[7] A transmission route can be traced from Egyptian funerary and resurrection practices on through Hebraic merkavah and hekhalot (“throne” and “chariot”) meditations to Iamblichus’s Neoplatonist theurgy and into the magic revived by Ficino; at least they all share a very strong family resemblance. All involved invoking angels/daimons, ethereal beings that inhabited both the physical world and the liminal space between the physical and the incorporeal. Eros binds them all together, and becomes the clay in the magician’s hands. The sages exploited the liminal realm, the third term, the penumbral that resists Aristotle’s excluded middle and rigid classificatory systems. Humanity’s finite nature and incompleteness becomes something amenable to transformation.

For the most part, the Florentine Academy’s “Christianized” hermetics was entirely in line with the goals of Iamblichean, Platonic, Hebraic, and Pythagorean practice: to contact the higher worlds via the daimons/angels, uplift the human practitioner of magic, and gain a vision of or even henosis (subsumption) with God. To imbue a statue with celestial/stellar energies was to create both an object of contemplation and, more importantly, a launching point for absorption to the higher spheres.

These procedures, along with those outlined in the Arabic grimoire Picatrix and remnants of the 5th-Century Greek Magical Papyri, were gathered in Cornelis Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy (1531), which remains the largest compendium of Neoplatonic magic ever written.

And of course, statue-animation (i.e., idolatry) and binding spells that involve daimons are the foundation from which the Abrahamic religions censure all forms of magic (except that of the miracles inspired by Jesus and Mary in Catholic Christianity’s case, and those of the Talmudic sages in mystical Kabbalism). The ancient Hebrews censured depictions of YHVH and speaking the name of God; Muhammad went further and condemned even depictions of human beings as sacrilegious. But in Judaism we find the mystical traditions of Kabbalah and a representation of the All as the Tree of Life, and in the latter we discover many Platonically-inspired geometric designs on mosques and illuminated Quran/hadith texts, as well as the Arabic script itself as being divinely imbued.



Then there was the alchemical tradition. When these tracts were disseminated in Latin it gave emotional impetus and new material for the lone magicians and alchemists to practice “hidden arts.” Although it is an ancient global project, the Westernized varieties of alchemy are concerned with attaining the “Philosopher’s Stone.” The consensus view is that this amounted to achieving the elixir vitae, or immortality for the human soul/spirit of the practitioner through chemical/pharmacological means, or through the production of a kind of spiritual substance within the alchemist’s body that preserved itself. Central to the alchemist’s view also is the idea of a prima materia; what we see around us are merely emanations, mixtures, or “masks” of this singular substance.[8] The four elements Earth, Water, Air, and Fire and the base metals/materials of which they are comprised in varying degrees could be wedded together to produce quintessence, a fifth element that possessed the desired emergent properties, one quality of which is indestructibility because it “shares more closely in the nature of the prima materia” of which everything is ultimately made. Metals were considered double-natured, because they could be melted to liquid and fused together. Mercury was “king of the metals” because it naturally possessed both solid and liquid properties and an inherent coherence even when separated into drops of any size. No other element had this quality, so mercury was of central importance in transmutations.

Alchemy means controlling the processes of change, whether it’s transforming elements through a hierarchy of levels by manipulating spiritual essences, or changing the consciousness of the practitioner’s biological processes and ultimately their aging process.[9] The most elaborate alchemical procedures involved the practitioner observing astrological strictures and undergoing ritual purification before the Great Work proceeded. As with Ficino’s and Bruno’s image-magic, specific planets’ and stars’ powers were invoked for specific operations. The goal was not only to affect bio/chemical change but alter the spiritual essence of the elements by way of the alchemists’ will and the “gods” of the elements they used—putting them in service to the alchemist.

Secrecy was always imperative to ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sage alike. The rabble was not only considered unworthy of such knowledge, it was feared that the secular use of such techniques could be disastrous (and for the same reason, the secular authorities feared and condemned the alchemist, who theoretically could mint as many gold coins as desired, debasing the currency). So purity is a quality consistently stressed throughout the tradition, which is achieved through prayer, fasting, chastity, and cleanliness. The magician-alchemist dealt with angels and demons, spirits and elementals, demigods and gods. Opening portals to the higher or lower worlds was serious business.[10]

This did not prevent adepts from organizing themselves into secret societies and using particular rituals to psychologically affect individuals (which was the goal of most of the rituals of the Greek Magical Papyri and many Solomonic magical texts). It was a small step to believe the same processes could also be used to transform humanityif not in its material bodies, then in its emotions, thinking, opinions, and social relations. This is the central tenet to conspiracists’ views on the matter.

It is certain that Giordano Bruno and the Rosicrucian tracts of 1614 boosted this societal prospect. As Couliano points out, Bruno’s essay “On Binding in General” (or “On the Chaining of Chains”) describes how the magician can manipulate the pneuma-images absorbed by both individuals and groups to do their bidding through sympathies and the prima materia of Eros.[11] Carl Jung believed transformation of the practitioner’s soul via individuation (the conscious incorporation of its repressed complexes) was alchemy’s ultimate goal, if only unconsciously for the alchemist, through the materials and rituals.[12]

What is the difference between a magician bending a single person’s will to theirs, and the Erotic channeling of a crowd or a nation’s collective will to the ends of a mad Elite? Or the creation of a manikin through astral influence and charging? These practices are only a few steps away from robotics, artificial intelligence, or the creation of MKULTRA “zombies” after all—right? It only requires the adjustment of outlook from magic’s spiritual power to a hardcore physicalist stance. The same ends by other means. Or does it?

Perhaps we should ask the wizards of Madison Avenue, and the AI gurus of MIT, DARPA, and Alphabet?


       When we combine the ideas of Ficino and Bruno’s Eros magic with the alchemical program, plus a scientific-humanist Elite bent on transforming our concept of the “human,” we get the paranoid belief-system to which millions subscribe today. Couliano alluded to this in his book in a very oblique manner (and some say that was why he was mysteriously murdered).

Although many conspiriologists see alchemy and its life-extension goals as the philosophical and practical beginning of transhumanism—and we can see how this is at least a possible rationalization—it is only plausible because of the physical aspects to its program, i.e. transmuting the elements, and by analogy transmutation (or perhaps just mutation) of the alchemist’s body, whether it be for longevity or the gaining of “superhuman” powers…By extension, according to the conspiracists’ thinking, the process implies a long-term project to transform humanity as a whole into another kind of being, as imagined spiritually in the writings of the 15th-16th century Florentine Academy and implied in the Rosicrucian tracts of 1614-18.

The Rosicrucian writings describe their members as “invisible healers.” In addition to healing diseases in the manner of shaman-physicians (by accessing the “otherworld” for help), these mystic physicians could be said to be performing theurgistic feats to convert their patients into adherents to their “new religion,” and set them on the path to spiritual perfection. This is called “perfectibility,” and its practitioners Perfectibilists.[13]


       The principles and structure of the first Freemasonic Grand Lodge of England chartered in 1717 would expand outward throughout Europe and America. The organization preserved both the esoterica of the Renaissance/Rosicrucian alchemists such as Heinrich Khunrath, Michael Maier, Robert Fludd, and John Dee, but also material from “Solomonic” grimoires; the latters’ contents can be traced back to the Egyptian-Greek magic papyri of the 2nd century CE via the Hygromanteia.[14] Many groups split off from this Grand Lodge and there’s evidence that Masonic fraternities far predated its 1717 public establishment. The fraternity’s secrecy spawned rumors of concealed atheism and political machinations. The former charge is entirely spurious, but the latter is true to an extent (as far as the German chapters go). As the empirical sciences spread, the “science of the spirit” was taught by degrees in the Lodges; a man could thus be a scientist by day and a mystical epopt by night.

This double-face is what brought the Lodges under public censure, despite the fact that freedom of worship was a core Freemasonic tenet and the dignity of humanity as free beings, first expounded by Pico della Mirandola in Florence, was the underlying ethos of the American and French Revolutions. The connection between the Florentine “free thinkers” and the Masons’s beliefs vis a vis the struggles against monarchy and arbitrary tyranny cannot be under-stressed.

Although Masonry’s goal is to spiritually transform its members, primarily in the death/rebirth rituals of the first three grades of Master Apprentice, many scholars see Freemasonry as an extension of Rosicrucianism, or as Rosicrucianism’s evolved form, or an alternate public front for a very secret society. The great financial wealth of many of its members and their philanthropic activities, which include the underwriting/endowing of think-tanks and medical programs (some with an openly transhumanist bent) is seen by conspiriologists as proof of the long-term project to transform certain members of society into what amounts to demigods; all the transhuman research is done “under cover” of extending existing medical techniques to relieve existing diseases.

What can actually be accomplished with secret medicine goes much further, these conspiricists say, pointing to NIH, DARPA, the Rockefeller Foundation, the thousands of subcontracted medical research facilities across the globe.

But we have a problem here with distinguishing between a) the existence of a secret program, which undoubtedly openly exists as “normal science” looking to cure disease and slow the aging process, b) the technological means to carry it out, which is equally probable, c) the psychological motivation of its technical practitioners, i.e., are they covertly bound to certain institutions and expected to deliver certain results for select clients? d) and most importantly, the end-purpose of such a program.

As the techniques of nanotechnology and genetic manipulation mature, they may move from quantitative organic changes to qualitative changes, as explored in my previous essays. When humans begin toying with the molecule and the chromosome and the gene we are dealing with very unpredictable results and a range of unintended consequences—just like our toying with the atom did. Market forces supposedly ensure that delivery of new medical miracles to the public be swift and uncluttered by moral subtleties…But of course it never happens that way, does it: recouping R & D costs is always given as the reason for astronomical prices for new treatments, despite the fact that in most cases taxpayer dollars were used to fund such studies through government NIH subcontracting.[15] Only the super-rich can afford the most avant-garde treatments that cost millions a year to deliver. Religious-conservative members of the American Congress are rhetorically outraged over the use of embryonic stem cells in disease research, etc., but the secular humanist/transhumanist subtext is that we must have no illusions that other countries, namely China[16] possess no such scruples as we do, and they will be the ones to push ahead in the biological race to immortality. If you doubt, consider this:

But to give the conspiracists some weak credit: Excluding the popularity of Shelley’s Frankenstein, what by the early 20th century was a marginal literary genre called science/speculative fiction has now become a 360-degree cultural bestiary. In other words, at this point transhumanist propaganda of all degrees of acceptance or critique is ubiquitous, and has almost “normalized” visions of a future humanity that just five decades ago would have been considered horror shows.

No doubt humans are intrinsically fascinated with our abilities to magically change our selves, our destinies, our capabilities—and equally fascinated with our penchant to fuck up everything we touch. Culture has reflected this from the beginning of recorded history in myth and history. So, according to the conspiriologists, the body-augmentation work goes on in secret military and private sector labs whose fingerprints are seen in published papers that do get mainstream coverage: DARPA works on “supersoldiers” who possess pharma (and possibly genetic) alterations for enhanced hearing and vision and drugs that can keep them awake for days without deleterious effects.[17] Since World War Two, arms races both real and ginned-up have been the norm between the US military industrial complex and other countries. The armed forces are always the beneficiary of breakthroughs because “national security” ensures the Pentagon and its vast network of subcontracted labs and university research receives billions to further their secretive aims.

In any case, this split between viewpoints on the original source of transhumanism seems to depend on how one views humanity: as a finished product, set for all time (as the Abrahamic religions and Aristotle’s Lyceum academy saw it) or unfinished/able to transcend by its own efforts the physical, mental, and spiritual bonds entailed by our “thrownness” into the world, as Plato, the Neoplatonists, and Florentine Academy saw it. One professing creation ex nihilo by God will see humanity as the property of God; one seeing emanation as the human matrix will see us as properties of God, blinded and unable to change our state of existence without special and hidden knowledge and techniques.


Generally, humanism came to mean the belief that humanity can be studied, and through that study, its behavior altered to conform to a “higher ideal” of its own choosing.

       Who does this choosing for the masses is another matter.

Secularism became synonymous with a rejection of any power perceived as higher than humanity’s intellect and aspirations, as seen in the Enlightenment’s philosophes and science’s embargo on morality in favor of “value-free” research. It is in this wider sense that transhumanism is defined—but we must never lose sight of the source of this vision of improvement or perfectibility in the alchemists’ visions.

The alchemists’ quest to “return to the cosmic origin” is a noble one. The creative, eternal force of God/Tao/Ungrund still exists, shattered by embodied nature into the “ten thousand things” of Lao Tse, or Jewish alchemist Maria the Prophetess’s axiom “from the one comes two, from the two the three, and from the three, the all (completion).”

The alchemist and Neoplatonist seek reunion with the One by various reversal and reuniting procedures for vision, guidance, and elevation, an intensification of being, a heightened sense of interdependence and connection with the Creator and Creation. In this, alchemy is ultimately a spiritual program in which salvation from the bonds of materiality may be said to be the goal—and not particularly the augmentation of the body’s existence.

No such lofty program exists for the transhumanist, it seems, except more—more of everything, pleasurable experience, edification, learning! Perhaps in their extended longevity and enhanced mind they will stumble across the reality of the eternal, a preexisting condition that operates always and everywhere, encoded into the cosmos’ very fabric. One can only hope.



[1] The ethical concerns of the resurrected “pagan” philosophers allowed morality to be purged of supernatural origin. Instead, with the “new instruments” of skepticism and Socrates/Plato’s elenchus, nature’s workings could be revealed through observation, experimentation, and logic. By the 18th century, the French philosophes promoted the idea that humanity alone possessed the means and methods to determine its behavior and morality and the scope of its knowledge.

[2] Strictly, this name refers to St. Thomas’s exegesis on the four gospels; but Thomas was himself an adept and alchemist, and it has come to mean an occult tradition passed down though time.

[3] Three centuries later, G.F.W. Hegel would extract a “dialectical movement” from natural and human history that would supposedly end in self-transparent Spirit—and the Prussian democratic state. His student Feuerbach would strip theology from the Hegelian equations, creating the philosophical bridge that allowed Marx to build his materialist story of human cultural evolution. In all three eschatologies, the emancipation of humanity from nature was destined to occur, whether by Spirit coming to itself or the dawning consciousness of the workers’ conditions and their rectification (in Marx’s case). All of these end scenarios are dark reflections of the popular but theologically irregular monk Joachim de Fiore’s vision of an Earthly Paradise under divine love (the Age of the Holy Spirit) that he espoused in the 13th century.

[4] Couliano, Ioan. Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, University of Chicago Press, 1987, pgs. 30-31.

[5] ibid, pg. 31.

[6] You might say human history is the story of how we fill this lack, over and above the meeting of material needs; the monk and nun seek communion with the transcendent by any name, the shaman fulfills the spiritual needs of the community by the results of their astral journeys,

[7] These formalized procedures most likely originated with prehistoric shamanistic animation of dolls constructed for healing or harming purposes.

[8] This brings us to the Neoplatonists’s many formulations of reality, which is why alchemy is tied up with ancient Egypt by way of Plato’s supposed initiation there, and the Neoplatonist’s obsession with a “ladder” of being one could ascend to achieve the One.

[9] The most ancient forms of alchemy were Chinese and were concerned with exiles for longevity sought by emperors. See Levenda, Peter, Stairway to Heaven: Chinese Alchemists, Jewish Kabbalists, and the Art of Spiritual Transformation.

[10] I suppose they viewed their secret knowledge as akin to the blueprints for a hydrogen bomb circa 1930, as if Leo Szilard, Teller, Einstein, and Fermi had concealed from governments through (seeming) absurd symbolic codes the method for building the heinous device.

[11] Couliano, (1987), pgs. 87-143

[12] It is also possible that the chemical fumes that were produced as a byproduct (barring those that would damage or kill of course) induced altered states of consciousness in the alchemist and, by way of the psychokinetic powers unleashed, assisted in the physical transformations of the prima materia.

[13] This was the name used by the 18th-century Bavarian Illuminati sect under the Jesuit Mason Adam Weishaupt, but it has gained traction as a term for anyone sporting the attitude of limitless change for humanity through technology, whether physical or spiritual.

[14] See the works of Stephen Skinner on the history of the Solomonic tradition.

[15] See Dr. Marcia Angell’s The Truth About the Drug Companies: How they Deceive Us and What to Do About It for the full story of medical-industrial complex chicanery.

[16] The very land where alchemy is said to have originated during the unification of the first Chinese state by Tai Yu the Great in the 20th century BCE.

Two Abuses of the Renaissance Sage’s Eros-Magic, Part 2: Mind Control: Ioan Couliano and a Vision of the Internalized Archon

Wrong line

Never allow anyone the luxury of assuming that because the dead and deadening scenery of the American-city-of-dreadful-night is so utterly devoid of mystery, so thoroughly flat-footed, sterile and infantile, so burdened with the illusory gloss of “baseball-hotdogs-apple pie-and-Chevrolet” that it is somehow outside the psycho-sexual domain. The eternal pagan psychodrama is escalated under these “modern” conditions precisely because sorcery is not what “20th century man” can accept as real…

–James Shelby Downard and Michael A. Hoffman II


Many millions of people believe we are more or less living in The Matrix, an illusory reality in which our minds are imprisoned in bodies by “archonic” forces whose motives are less than philanthropic. The idea that the earth is flat has recently become a marginal fad; apparently none of its proponents are familiar with how gnomon shadows differ in length at noon, which can be proven with a phone call to friends in another daylit city…Tens of thousands of Americans (maybe more) sincerely believe “crisis actors” play both the victims and relatives of victims in mass shooting and terror events, funded by the Bond villain George Soros and other globalist-leftists bent on disarming the populace. Perhaps hundreds of thousands believe that the UN’s “sustainable development” plan Agenda 21 is a nefarious, full-spectrum plot to strip cities of autonomy, despite the fact that it’s a non-binding agreement and has no lawful status anywhere in the US. Millions of evangelical Christians think a conspiracy exists in public education and the entertainment industry to make their children gay or bisexual.


Here’s a truism: It’s natural for people in a society to exhibit fear at the possibility of losing control, whether it’s a loss of their “destiny,” a loss of life-narrative, or loss of self-determinative identity. In America, the WTO, NAFTA, GATT and other trade agreements led to the evisceration of many industries as corporations moved manufacturing elsewhere. There is no longer any job security—and with that, one’s identity as a productive citizen. To conspiracists, your acquisitive desires, which persist despite your job loss, are not your own, but the capitalist culture-makers’ mind-control machine, that has colonized your mind from birth.

When people compensate for these existential fears by believing their self is being manipulated—or has been created wholesale, even—by forces determined to use it and throw it away like packaged goods, we should not judge them too harshly, because there’s a case to be made that their agency has in fact been compromised…just not to the degree of their brains floating in vats.


Truism: Trust in government has steadily eroded since the late 1960s. A direct and expanding line wends through the era of the JFK Warren Report to the Pentagon Papers to Watergate to the 1975-77 CIA Senate hearings to Iran-Contra to 9/11[1] to every “whatever-gate” since. With each revelation comes a further confirmation that the US government harbors enemies of humanity, and the American people and their freedom specifically.

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The right and the left have their own versions of this evil scheme: the right, that transnational think-tanks such as the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations have put in the fix on the American way of life for the benefit of the Elite; and the left that simple Republican Brand® greed has ended up doing the same. Both have their version of industrial society as a restaurant in which you and I are on the only items on the menu.

On the right, critics since the 1960s have condemned the depictions of “aberrant” behavior in movies, music and television; to them, portrayal alone signals normalization (and even endorsement) of behaviors…The left hammers both cultural conservatives and evangelical Christians for imposing their morality on the rest of the population via legislation, boycotts, etc.

Yet both sides in the culture wars have endured enervation in their long fights. Call it outrage fatigue.

Just the way the Power That Be want it, naturally. The PTB are playing the Big Game for the long haul.

Both sides have also their own versions of what constitutes cultural conditioning—programming—and what it means to be programmed. Analyses of herd psychology had its popular heyday in the years after World War Two, when we were given barbarous lessons in what groupthink can achieve via the Nazis and the USSR under Stalin.

This diagnosis of our enemies’ pathology was expected; to turn the critical-historical eye upon America and pathologize the “winner’s” culture was both unexpected and outrageous. But turn some eyes did, in the works of C. Wright Mills, Lewis Mumford, and the Frankfurt School expatriates. The conformity of the “organization man” and the “authoritarian personality” and Mr. Type A got a fierce pummeling in the 1950s, and the conservative-liberal establishment didn’t like it one bit.

The young Boomers took these critiques to heart before attempting to eat their own left-leaning mentors in the mid-to-late 1960s.

Truism: It is human nature to seek scapegoats; they’re much easier to use than to uncover the convolutions of events that explain why things have turned the way they turned out. To have a system as scapegoat is even easier. One has to employ tight arguments and an evidence-chain as systematic and far-reaching as what is attacked, otherwise the critique is just unfalsifiable hot air.

Today, it seems, a statement’s unfalsifiability has become not just tolerated, but almost a virtue. You can just abandon reason altogether! This is partly because the production of knowledge has become nearly transparent. It thus suffers under the burden of an infinite regression of sourcing:

Where’d you get that fact from?…Uh-huh.

And who funds them?…Of course!

And what’s the funders’ ideological bent?…Just as I thought: it’s (all-caps) fake news!

Under normal circumstances, laying bare the epistemology of facts/factoids in this manner would be a welcome development. People deserve to know how news is made and what sources politicians use to make their arguments and policy.

But to accept the “chains of evidence” for policies yet neglect the workaday methodologies used by both sides in the think-tank wars is dangerous. The social sciences are in crisis; even some of the foundational theses in psychology, economics, and sociology have been discovered to be gerrymandered or outright false.[2]

Knowledge has become shaky. The impartial and disinterested patina of High Science is very impressive to the public, until the sausage-making of High Science itself comes under study and the sociology and politics of scientific publishing and peer-review are shown to be driven by $$ and some very invested egos. Legitimate vs. illegitimate process has become equated with legitimate vs. illegitimate knowledge, and rightly so. This dichotomy directly impacts us in the realms of medicine/pharma use, the “vaccine wars,” GMO food production safety, etc.

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In our new era of source scrutiny, if only one link in the knowledge process is “tainted,” the whole edifice is then seen as tainted. The most glaring and touted example, just noted: The funding pool for scientific studies is a finite resource, and will be fought over in any field of enquiry. This means science is not immune to the market economics of capitalism.

Thus all knowledge becomes suspect as having either been purchased by a corporation for a specific result or produced solely to generate further scientific journal citations, and thus more funding or tenure-track for those academics willing to risk falsification of results in order to GET A SECURE JOB in a very insecure economy.

The long, cooling shadow of the Frankfurt School’s deconstructions of the “capitalist superstructure” once again is palpable. You can make the choice right here: believe there’s a conscious conspiracy to engineer mass consciousness towards technocratic solutions and cull the herd via compulsive high-tech science “cures,” or you can view bogus scientific studies as the product of market forces and a collapsing social structure as the truth behind the Ongoing Crisis.

But the foregoing is what we might call how the content of news is made. There’s also its form of its delivery; and to the psychology of its economic foundations—advertising revenue—we look back to the early decades of the 20th century, when Pavlov conditioned his dogs with the bell to salivate on command and Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays took Siggy’s obsession with sex and bent the public’s frustrated sexual desires into a surrogate—material acquisition—thus birthing one of the advertising industry’s mightiest axioms. T.H. Huxley took Darwin’s big idea and told us we were only hairless simians; Marx told us we were economic hairless simians seeking freedom from wage slavery; Einstein told us it was all relative; Pavlov made the economic hairless simians function like cause-and-effect machines, and Bernays bound up those causes and effects with the Eros drive his uncle had propounded.

Truism: this prison planet worldview smacks of ancient Gnosticism, particularly the two schools of Valentinus (100-160 CE) and Basilides (100-145? CE). Both believed the universe to be a botched creation of a lesser deity, YHWH, who through hubris broke with the Eternal and compounded a cosmos of matter and entropy, a mockery of the Pleroma (holy plenitude) and the principles that governed that distant heaven. The stars and planets of our cosmos are the true governors (archons) of individual human fates, and humans are utterly bound into an “invisible” evil prison from which only knowledge of Sophia and the Divine Spark within can save us.

Cue Morpheus and the two pills.

Gnostic cosmos


The prison idea first began, perhaps, with Plato’s cave-myth 2,400 years ago. And some strains in Hindu mysticism posited that everything was a single ever-changing illusion, which Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment “emptied” of essence in the 5th century BCE.

In the European legacy, we’ve endured Descartes’s thought experiment involving a trickster demon creating our subjective reality (and its 20th century variant, the “brain in a vat,” which still labors on in The Matrix). Within the past decades we’ve had Daniel Boorstin’s idea of the “pseudo-event” replacing meaningful discourse in American politics, and Jean Baudrillard’s ideas of the simulation being the coin of post-industrial communication.

Some arcane variants of this prison idea propose that mass literacy changed the human population’s neural patterning on a large scale, making it easily amenable to manipulation.[3] This assumption makes it possible for some critics to posit that literacy limits the thinkable and stunts our emotional intelligence or intuition/intuitive powers; the linearity of our cognitive ego-constructs therefore belabors our unconscious perception of others’ verbal inflection, cues, body language, scents, etc. The strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis—that vocabulary and syntax can limit semantic conceptualization—continues to live on in conspiracists’ diatribes via the charge that Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is a form of subtle mind-control. The deterministic hypothesis also lives on, albeit of a deprogramming kind, in Alfred Korzybski’s General Semantics.

More radical critics of modernity elevate traditional, oral cultures over the literate. The “noble savage” is alive and well and can be found hawking ayahuasca ritual tours for $2,500 a pop in South America.

On the other hand, media theorist Marshall McLuhan claimed in the 1960s that the “West” was entering a post-literate age, and that image-based mentation (as opposed to alphabetic-linguistic) was actually on the rise.[4] With the proliferation of television, movies, personal computer, and Internet consumption, it’s hard to argue against McLuhan’s hypothesis. Iconography has returned via memes, emojis, acronyms, IM shorthand, computer gaming, corporate logos, YouTube videos…

Computer world

But if we go back 530 years to the Italian Renaissance we discover an obsession with images and symbology comparable to today’s. The Hermetic scholars Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno concerned themselves with images’ ability to form and bind thinking by means of “infecting” the human imagination.[5]

Images are static upon the page, but they can become living things in the mind. Ficino and Bruno constructed magical systems using phantasia that “imprinted upon the human soul.” These images inherently used our natural imagination to enliven them with unconscious mental affect. The binding element was Eros, according to Ficino and Bruno. The love of self is bound up with the love of other in an erotic-somatic sense (sexual love), but the archetype-eidos of Eros precedes all manifestations of it in the individual’s world; this is a pure affirmation of the Platonic conception of Ideas as filtered through the Neoplatonists such as Iamblichus.[6] For Ficino, Eros is the background upon which any archetypes can operate at all, for even the sensations of horror and revulsion and hate (emotions tied in with Jung’s shadow archetype in depth psychology, for instance) are at the deepest level founded upon “self-love” by way of the need for the preservation of both body and mind.



To understand the ecology of Renaissance magic we must understand parts of the Stoics’s philosophy and its winding path to the Renaissance scholars via the Neoplatonists of the 1st-5th centuries CE.

The Stoics of the 3rd century BCE believed in a universe composed of one primary substance, the pneuma (breath, spirit/soul, “wind”). The pneuma of the universe was steered by the cosmic hegemonikon (controlling center/mind) and its Logos (reason), which had created everything by means of varying the degrees of pneumatic tension of each entity.

The universe was a pneumatic continuum in differing degrees of boundedness or “tightness.” All objects and their qualities, potentialities, appearances were pneumatic phantasms.

Human beings were considered somewhat unique because their own hegemonikon, centered in the heart, could control one’s actions, emotions, and thoughts by means of its share in the logos—and this also structurally reflected the cosmic hegemonikon’s logos.

Thus the microcosm of the human being reflected the macrocosm of the universe.

The Stoic theories of phenomenology and epistemology were complex and interrelated. Since all is pneuma, the world’s tightly constituted object-appearances (phantaston) would ripple through the less-dense air to impinge upon the eyes, ears, skin, etc. These would impress themselves upon the hegemonikon as images (phantasia) with a sort of physical weight.

Our hegemonikon would thus gradually become filled with images of the world; language was simply a prop to arbitrarily label things and actions, but even in this arbitrariness it could create an intelligible system of relations.

Propositions of language could be true or false to the phantasia inside a person’s hegemonikon, depending upon the disposition of the outer pneuma-phantaston at a given instant (this theory anticipates Wittgenstein and Russell’s logical atomism by 2,300 years).

Agreement between the phantasia within and the outer world led to truth. For instance, “the cat sits on the mat” is a proposition whose truth depends upon 1) what time it is uttered,[7] 2) the agreed-upon existence and appearance of cats, mats, the act of sitting, and 3) the presupposition of both an observing human hegemonikon and the cosmic hegemonikon that in principle underwrites the truth of the entire scene. The proposition can be spoken in any one of the world’s 6,000 languages; every one of them is phonetically arbitrary but possesses a deep structure independent of language that is a direct revelation of the cosmic hegemonic logos (in this, the Stoics anticipated Chomsky’s theory of transformational grammar by 2,300 years also).

So the phantaston-to-phantasia has efficacy: it affects the disposition of the human hegemonikon in a physical manner. Much papyrus was used and ink soaked in disputations over the reality or non-reality of the lekta (“meaning”) of linguistic propositions, but being proto-epiphenomenalists, the Stoics waved away lekta as a side effect of spoken vibrations or written words. They were more concerned with the fact that the impressions could be true or false to the will of the cosmic hegemonikon (obviously, this dismissal was a huge inconsistency in their philosophy).

Their belief in pneumatic resonance and agreement between the soul (another way of saying hegemonikon) and the world soul was the important part.

For this agreement there was a special class of experience: the phantasia kataleptike (unshakeable impression/irreproachable image). The Stoics would class certain sense-experiences with this phrase, but classing it such would be dependent on conjunction of phantaston, the personal hegemonikon’s physical disposition (e.g., if we have a high fever or have ingested hallucinogens then we cannot completely trust our concurrent sense-impressions as kataleptic), and the cosmic hegemonikon. That is to say, there must be an alignment between the outer, objective world, the observer’s state of mind, and the will of God. As scholar Ioan Couliano put it,

For the Stoics, the functional relationship between the cardiac synthesizer (hegemonikon) and the pneuma was clearly determined: the hegemonikon “is like a receiving post to which all impressions received by the senses are communicated.” On the other hand, the Stoic philosophers also develop a theory of phantasms produced by the hegemonikon. For Chrysippus (the greatest philosopher of the Stoa, who clarified their doctrines), the clear representation of the sensory object formed in the cardiac synthesizer is called phantasia kataleptike or “comprehensive representation” and leads naturally to a rational adhesion (synkatasthesis). The main difference between Aristotle and the Stoics consists in the fact that the latter think the pneuma is the soul itself, whereas the former believe it to be only a kind of ethereal intermediary between the soul and the physical body. That is why the Stoics conceive of fantasy, according to Zeno and Cleanthes, as a “stamp upon the soul,” a typosis en psyche.[8] (explanation added).

To align one’s hegemonikon entirely with that of the cosmic hegemonikon was the Stoics’s ethical goal; by aligning oneself with its “will,” one could accept all that occurred in life with equanimity, tranquility, and preserve the integrity of one’s piece of the whole, our personal hegemonikon.

By this route, an individual could at least attain towards the state of the Stoic sage, a person who has done the will of God/Cosmos. At death, the coherence of this pneumatic logos-entity could survive for a time before dissolving itself into everything, like a drop of water into the pneumatic sea. This condition depends upon the clarity and tranquility of the soul, in a striking parallel to Vedantic and Buddhist state of samadhi:

Later, Epictetus is to state that phantasms are influenced by the state of the pneuma that receives or conceives them. He resorts to a comparison: “just as houses at the edge of a body of clear water are reflected in its limpid surface, so also are external objects reflected in our psychic pneuma, with the obvious result that they are influenced by the present state of the pneuma.” In order that the image is reflected in the mirror of the pneuma may be precise and faithful to their subject, the pneuma itself must be tranquil and pure. So it is that Epictetus, continuing and developing the moral preoccupations of the Stoics, combined them with the doctrine of spirit: to have a clean pneuma, a well-polished cardiac mirror, becomes the equivalent of being virtuous. Here Stoicism find itself in the company of the whole Platonic tradition, whose most important practical outcome is to obtain, by a suitable technique, the separation of the soul from the body so that the former may not be sullied by the latter. Beginning in the second century A.D., a technique of this kind is known as theurgy, which primarily designates a purification of the soul for purposes of soothsaying in the benefic exalted magic but also for pursuit of a better posthumous destiny.[9]



Theurgy may be defined as ritual action intended to make contact with another sphere of existence by utilizing forces higher than the human to elevate one’s consciousness and being to that same level. It is the framework of magic as we know it.

Many Romans adopted the Stoic philosophy as a living ethic. Its ideas survived and flourished in Hellenistic Alexandria, where hundreds of cults and religion battled each other for adherents as the Roman Empire disintegrated. The religion of Mithraism utilized Stoic astronomical dogma as one basis of its beliefs.[10] Plato’s Academy survived and adopted distinctly Stoic elements. As Couliano notes,

Credit for having synthesized in an original fashion the Platonic, Aristotelian, and Stoic elements that make up the theoretical basis for Renaissance magic is due to Synesius of Cyrene, who, having been a disciple of the Neoplatonist martyr, Hypatia of Alexandria (d.415), ended by converting to Christianity and becoming a bishop…That is why the theurgic preliminary to any process classified among the practices of spiritual magic will be “cleansing one’s pneuma” or hegemonikon, or a “cleansing one’s heart”…While theurgy assumes the place of honor as far as (the Neoplatonic follower of Plotinus) Iamblichus is concerned, Synesius holds the pneumatic synthesizer responsible for soothsaying and magic…We have already seen that Epictetus compared the pneuma to a basin filled with water, a liquid mirror. Plutarch of Chaeronea is the first to speak of a “pure mirror,” nothing more. For Synesius this double-faced mirror provides the opportunity for two parallel surfaces to meet on neutral territory. In so far is it is the intermediary between the intelligential world and the sensory world, this mirror, if perfectly clear, will make it possible for inner judgment to contemplate the world above epitomized by the reasoning part of the soul, and will give the latter the opportunity to perceive and to judge the sensory objects whose image is transmitted to common sense through the external senses.[11]

We may then say, following Couliano’s thought, that the theurgy of the Neoplatonists is a clarification into practice of the Stoic program of achieving hegemonic purity, plus methods of aligning oneself with the gods or God.

In the Platonic hierarchy of truth, an artist’s representation of reality lay at the bottom and the Form of the True at the top, in the realm of Forms. His dialogue Timaeus presents an Egyptian-influenced vision of the virtuous souls’ destination in the stars at death. Intermediaries between the heavenly world and human beings were daimons, beings that delivered messages, portends, and prophecy, most of the time while a person was in a altered state of consciousness.

But even these living meldings of “phantaston with phantasia” had their corresponding perfect Forms in the Otherworld:

Since the phantasmic synthesizer affords the possibility of an encounter with a world peopled with divine powers, and since, according to Platonic dogma, this world is homologous to the intelligential world, there is a way of acting upon the synthesizer to invoke numerous presences. This invocation, resulting in the company of gods and demons, can be carried out by using certain substances, forms, and colors to which the higher beings are sensitive.[12]

This is the basis of ceremonial magic as it was known in the Renaissance. It is only in Eros that we share with everything, much like the pneumatic relation between person and cosmos, that we are also a part of the daimons (the intermediaries invoked by theurgy), and they of us. They slumber in our consciousness, and awake in our dreams. They invade our conscious life and speak in daydreams.

To control and strengthen these manifestations is the goal of the magician, and these spirits each are stamped with qualities that one can come to know through study and the imaginative faculty. Magicians intone chants physically through the pneuma, make physical images using pneumatic phantaston that resonate with higher powers, and internalize the resulting forces by means of pneuma.

A text called On Radiations by Iraqi philosopher Al-Kindi (801-873 CE) is the source of a theory that, when wedded with Stoic ideas of the pneuma, produces a full account of how magic physically, emotionally, and spiritually operates:

The fundamental idea of (On Radiations), only one among the 270 that the historiographer al-Nadim attributes to its author, is that each star has its own nature, which it communicates to the surrounding world by means of rays. Now the influence of stellar radiations upon terrestrial objects changes as a function of the mutual aspects that the stars and the objects produce. Besides, (pre-existing) substances receive the qualities of rays in different ways according to their intrinsic properties, which are hereditary (whence it is apparent, for instance, that the son of the king will have a natural disposition to rule and the son of a laborer to follow his father’s calling.)

Al-Kindi believed that in addition to the stars, the elements emitted rays. Thus everything compounded of the four elements emanated its unique presence. This was a novel idea:

According to al-Kindi, we find ourselves in the midst of an invisible network of rays coming from the stars as well as from all earthly objects. The entire universe, from the most distant stars to the humblest blade of grass, makes its presence known by its radiations at every point in space, and every moment in time; and its presence, of course, varies according to the intensity and mutual influence of the rays of the universe, so that there cannot be two things truly identical to one another. Besides the psychic emotions (joy, sorrow, hope, fear) are also transmitted to the surrounding world in the form of invisible radiations, which also mark their changes, according to the arrangement of every (pre-existent) substance.[13]

The Stoic idea of fate as determined by initial conditions plays a part as well, a binding force for individuals and all objects.


Ficino’s and especially Bruno’s “Art of Memory” play the primary role in the creation of externalized phantasia (or as the Indians and Tibetans call them, tulpas). The “memory theater” was a mnemonic system meant to enshrine the associative constellations between the stars, the elements, colors, seals, herbs, properties etc. in the mind of a magician and combine all of them into unique sigils as a sort of shorthand formula for their recollection, activation, and projection. Based upon “tagging” the parts of a building or room with individual ideas, these associations could be internalized and became living presences in the magician’s psyche. A “walk” through one’s memory palace could then instantly call up an entire rite. The magician was to meditate upon these walks for hours, for days at a time, Erotically imagining them as the architecture of both psyche and the world-psyche. In this way they could eventually be projected outward physically via the pneuma or vibrated through it in coherent form towards a target, creating the desired situation, whether it be love of a person, the death or sickness of a person, to find treasure, etc., from combinations of the symbolic-sigillic elements. The magician’s control over their personal hegemonikon’s phantasia could use the intervening pneuma between itself and the Cosmic Hegemonikon to either evoke a pre-existent “familiar helping spirit” or physically form a daimon with which to communicate and do their bidding.

To what uses these creations were put was up to the purity of the magician’s hegemonikon.

The architects of our subconscious bestiary today are not so pure—or so say today’s conspiriologists.



Of course, systems such as Ficino and Bruno’s were dismissed, debunked, and plowed under by the empirical sciences from roughly 1650 to the present. Modern empiricism, born from Hobbes, Rousseau, and Locke’s ideas of the human mind as a blank slate, matured through the positivism of Comte and the Encyclopedists (Isaac Newton’s nocturnal alchemical and Hermetic studies became an untidy historical secret until recently).

But as Couliano revealed, the system of eidos-image/emblemata/logo, Erotic binding, and “infection” of the mass imagination goes on today through media that was unimaginable in scope and sensible power by the Renaissance magician…but still recognizable in its purpose: control of humanity, by means of stimulating physical and psychological change in individual millions of hegemonika.

Human desires can be channeled by means of Eros and imagination. As PR guru Edward Bernays touted, “sex sells!” Capitalism demands you be dissatisfied with both your body and mind, and presents a million puerile cures.

Hypnotic association of the soul/psyche with one’s physical body lay at the heart of this spell. Our science hammers into us from birth that we are only atoms and void (much like the first beliefs of the Epicureans and the Gnostics). Our agency, via Eros, is tied up with this body-identification, having been rehearsed over our formative years, making our separating any deeper self from the association very difficult.

The magic that was meant for the sage’s personal illumination has been used to bind us.

As noted in Part One,

1) the techniques of magic and alchemy were kept secret by practitioners because public revelation of them meant the methods would be put to secular uses and disaster/enslavement would inevitably result.

2) We are in the midst of disaster(s); therefore,

3) secret techniques of magic and alchemy have been used by secular forces to bring us to this point (“secular forces” who nevertheless are purported to covertly believe in some “ancient religion,” whether it is worship of our “Sirian/Lyran/Vegan alien masters,” the Egyptian Ennead, Sumerian/Akkadian gods or demons, etc. and are doing these beings’ bidding until they return to earth).[14]

Many conspiracists throw around this invalid, messy syllogism. One could well argue the second proposition is false, or that the first is not a necessary truth at all (mass knowledge of the mysteries does not result in disaster, and it is safe for all to know about them), or, most cogently, that the frickin world doesn’t need the forces of perverted magic to become a disaster or tyrannous hellhole.

The paranoids are ignorant or disparaging of “mainstream” history, psychology, sociology, the history of natural magic and alchemy, information theory, complexity and chaos theory, game theory, etc.—the list could go on. Conspiracists such as David Wilcock, David Icke, Michael Hoffman, and Chris Knowles accept the conclusion/a worldview and then look for the evidence of secret societies manipulating events to fit. Improbable coincidence or synchronicity is usually invoked as the marker, both that one has stumbled upon something occultly important (to fit one’s worldview), and as the signature of the secret “game masters” trying to communicate their staged events’ meaning to the “enlightened” few.

The sense that one’s personal agency has been compromised, that one is a prisoner in either body or socially or societally, is purely subjective and dependent upon one’s unique psychological history. This fact is usually to always suppressed by the conspiracy-monger. Yes, we are processed and yes we are manipulated, to certain degrees, but the efficacy of that processing is never predestined or assured. It is possible to be exploited by the Powers that Be, but one only has to critically study the capitalist methods of consent-creation, fear-induction, and the responses many individuals have as individuals to see that the gilded bullshit is perceived by many as just that: gold-plated turds.


[1] 9/11 was not just “the most horrendous terrorist attack in American history”; if you’re going to say that, you must simultaneously say it was also the most horrendous bureaucratic intelligence failure in American history, entirely avoidable, and belongs on the list of catastrophic, trust-eroding scandals.


[3] This too has a precedent in Plato’s philosophy: he decries the reliance upon what we would call “book learning” instead of dialoguing and thinking itself as superior forms of philosophizing, which had a different connotation back then. With advances in understanding epigenetics, it is now hypothesized that the ability to comprehend text may be passed on genetically (in distinction to Noam Chomsky’s Platonic idea that language-comprehension is an inherent human property).

[4] With the rise of the personal computer, the internet, and “peak television,” it’s hard to argue with him. Iconography has returned via memes, emojis, acronyms, shorthand, computer gaming,

[5] I am going to frankly ignore cognitive science findings on human’s imaginative ability because 1) scientists do not use “imagination” in the sense the Stoics, Neoplatonists, medieval philosophers, and Romantics did, and 2) they have no agreed-upon idea how a modular-memory concept of imagination might be explained by the brain-area and algorithm-modeled approach they use.

[6] Iamblichus’s elevation of Eros was also inspired by the cosmology of the Chaldean Oracles, who viewed it as the binding force.

[7] Although strictly, time did not exist for the Stoics; since all was one living being ultimately, everything was in process and stages of transformation. The pneumatic vibrations of the cosmos at any given time determined the events that would follow any given instance. They were obsessed with emanations from the stars and seven classical planets that determined fate.

[8] Couliano, Ioan. Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, University of Chicago, 1987. Pg. 113

[9] Ibid, pg. 113.

[10] David Ulansey believes the ultimate mystery at the center of the Mithraic cult is knowledge of the equinoctial precession, which was celebrated in the bull (Taurus)-slaying scene inaugurating the age of Pisces that the Mithraics lived under but was soon to end. This knowledge, Ulansey claims, came from Stoic astronomers of Phrygia.

[11] Couliano, pgs. 114-115.

[12] Ibid, pg. 115.

[13] Ibid, pgs. 119-120. Here we have a forerunner of ideas like the Akashic field and David Bohm’s implicate order in physics, but it is underpinned by some wild blend of Neoplatonic Oneness and Heraclitan flux, that is, a hieros gamos of chaos (the ever-changing intersectional networks) and stillness (the binding force behind the elements).

[14] This is part of the thesis of “William Bramley’s” infamous ancient aliens/Illuminati history book, The Gods of Eden, which in turn is based on the works of Zechariah Sitchin.

September 16, 1994: A Strange Encounter…

In 1994, something astounding happened in Ruwa, Zimbabwe at the Ariel middle school.

On September 16, at mid-morning break, several children saw two silvery disk-shaped objects skitter erratically across the sky. They vanished, then reappeared elsewhere in the sky, then descended into the trees and brush about 100 yards from the school, in an area consider “off-limits” (due to snakes and wildlife). The children were amazed and curious. Some 62 eventually watched the object over a fifteen-minute period. Two beings appeared, one “floating” across the top of the object, the other gliding towards them just above the ground. The younger children became terrified at the sight of their faces; the entities’ features matched descriptions of the classic grey “aliens.” One girl locked eyes with one of the beings and said she’d received a feeling or vision from those shiny black almonds: that the planet was suffering due to human environmental activities, and there would be a cataclysm.

This particular “vision” has been reported hundreds of times in encounter reports going back to the 1940s. In the 1950s and 60s it had to do mostly with atomic bomb tests. Since the abandonment of that abhorrent practice, these beings’ messages to “contactees” or “experiencers” have concentrated on environmental degradation.

Now, we would think that these kids wouldn’t be immune to conscious or unconscious cultural influences that conditioned them into perceiving these things as “aliens”, but for the fact that these children were, while having heard about UFOs, unaware of the very particular stereotyped beings and the associated catastrophic visions so-called experiencers have undergone. Their relative isolation from Western media is strong evidence that something real happened.

There was physical evidence as well, the type that deniers clamor for but when confronted with always spout mundane explanations. In this case, a large burned area where the children saw the saucer touch down and which subsequently upon which nothing would grow.

Harvard psychiatry professor John Mack, who had been investigating experiencers in the United States for five years when he heard of this event, wasted no time in traveling to Zimbabwe to interview the kids.

The 2-hour video below is haphazard and non-chronological in presentation. Its first segment is a group interview with the kids a year after the event (when it seems that cultural ideas learned in the interim perhaps had shaped their thinking in a minor way). One girl says she had nightmares in which the beings would come to take her away. Another girl mentions, since the experience, of having heard of the “missing pregnancy” phenomena investigators Budd Hopkins and David Jacobs extensively documented.

The second section is the interviews conducted by journalist Cynthia Hinds with the kids within four days of the sighting. These are riveting. This many children could not make up such a consistent story with all its details being virtually identical. The teachers testified to their terror and bewilderment just after it happened.

The long video above duplicates material in these two shorter ones about Professor Mack’s work and his investigation.

There are several things here I find interesting to ponder over:

“Ariel” is one of the traditional Hebrew archangels.

The “craft” landed in an area “forbidden” to the children—and just on the edge of it, which could be considered a “liminal” zone. Liminal places are considered magical in every culture. Classic examples are Celtic “fairy circles”, forbidden woods, haunted wells and abandoned houses (in djinn myths).


This is very similar to the Westhall High School sighting in Australia on April 6, 1966, when three silver saucers landed in a paddock just off school property then took off, leaving swirled and flattened imprints in the vegetation. Children in Broad Haven, Wales, saw a UAP and its occupants in February 1977. That area known as the “Broad Haven triangle” has been the center of UAP and paranormal manifestations for decades.  

All the children agreed that the beings were dressed in shiny black, skin-fitting suits. Several children said that one of the entities had long black hair. The children raised in local tradition were terrified, because they associated the beings with tokoloshe, bad spirits whose depictions in Zulu art eerily resemble the greys.


This is considered one of the best UFO/UT encounters that has ever occurred, due to the number of witnesses, their continued sticking to this story to this day, and the improbability of contamination of their testimonies by detailed “Western” media accounts of these encounters. But we have hardly heard about it.

1973-74: The Weirdos Connect…A Sirius Problem

“Sri Krishna Prem, the wisest man in India, sat on the floor of his little mountain-top ashram showing me pictures from medieval alchemical books. He pointed to the design of a man standing naked with devil on one shoulder, angel on the other. He said, ‘When you understand that, you can go on to the next lesson.’”

–Timothy Leary, the Starseed Transmission, 1973



1973-74 was a weird time for many in the counterculture—no, really: an extraordinarily daft period of high strangeness.

Neuroscientist Dr. John C. Lilly (1914-2001) was responsible for one of the greatest iterations of an old myth during our time. While floating in an isolation tank and under the influence of the hallucinogen-anesthetic ketamine, Lilly had visions of two, we might say, “strange attractors” that exist in our futures, inevitably pulling us towards one or the other: our destruction by a “Solid State Intelligence” (SSI), or assistance in our evolution by the ECCO, or “Earth Coincidence Control Office.”

The computer mainframe in The Matrix? That’s basically the SSI, a mindlessly reproductive artificial intelligence that will (in one of our futures, several hundred years hence) reduce the conditions on the earth’s surface to that of a super-cooled air conditioner by keeping humans corralled under domes and blasting the atmosphere into space. It will move our orbit to a more congenially low-temperature distance for it to function. The SSI will eventually destroy humanity as a burden to its self-preservation, figure out a way to blast the earth entirely out of the sun’s orbit, and search the galaxy for other SSIs.

Through the ECCO’s communications, Lilly believed there are already multiple SSIs wandering the galaxy searching for “brothers” (aka the Borg), the sole remnants of once great civilizations that apparently took the wrong pill.

The most nefarious meme here is that at this moment our own earthbound SSI, via its extraterrestrial “mentors,” is influencing human behavior and thinking into constructing it, and the alien SSIs are helping it along—and that their project is on schedule.[1]

Many transhumanists have conjectured the possibility that high technology is “using” humanity to advance itself into an super-advanced state or even sentience (talking to you, Kevin Kelly) and we’ll meet it halfway (hello, Ray?). Thanks to the Internet, the SSI is already well along on the path to integration, both physically and by psychologically priming us for its rise.[2] Letting AI engineering programs design “shortcuts” for their own software that work but computer scientists have difficulty reverse-engineering to understand how they work isn’t helping matters. (Welcome, Skynet!)

As our societal course seems to be moving (if we don’t blow up in World War 5), we will cede more and more of our everyday operations to computers and their brute machine extensions and one day wake up wondering how did I end up in this prison camp with no kill switch? (Hail Colossus!) After all, we’ve already turned over knowledge acquisition and collation, many medical diagnostics/procedures, stock trading, manufacturing, quality control, electrical and nuclear grids, transportation, surveillance, and combat operations to AI systems. This encroachment will only increase, of course, as it increases profits both for the Silicon Valley overlords and mechanization-amenable businesses. As Kevin Kelly said, the more areas we turn over to these machines, the more incentive there is to automate the remaining aspects of our social, economic, and scientific activities. So we can have extra time.

Extra time to what…? Entertain the devil?

We put AI to many tests to see if it can surpass human skills. It has succeeded in those rule-based games such as chess and Go, which are already designed with an algorithmic basis. But to make an AI that can learn a human language, understand context, and construct sentences appropriate to those contexts in order to have a meaningful conversation is decades away—if ever. According to AI scientist Nick Bostrom, we have about 50 years before computing power will approach the processes of the human brain.[3] And that is no guarantee it will be able to do the ten million things of which a mind is capable.


On the other hand, before encountering the SSI, John Lilly had earlier contacted the ECCO—a transdimensional “cadre” of beings that has been (and is still) attempting to communicate with humanity through coincidence—or more properly, synchronicities—since the dawn of history. His own life had been saved by coincidence, convincing him of the ECCO’s reality: on an isolation tank-ketamine trip, the floatation water had been way too hot. Lilly attempted to climb from the tank, but just after the K fully kicked in. He lost all sense of his body. A colleague who had a sudden need to talk to him at that moment called, and Lilly’s wife found him near death in the tank. She had learned mouth-to-mouth resuscitation only days before. His life had seemingly been saved by two fortuitous events.

Only persons with more evolved attention/sensitivity have noticed the ECCO’s clues: psychics, those who encounter “strange beings,” UAP and their occupants. The ECCO are trying to advance us spiritually, apparently so we don’t have a need for the SSI. Lilly’s scenario amounts to a contemporary version of the devils/angels whispering on our shoulders–but talking to us backwards in time, from our own future.

Lilly had experimented with LSD and various entheogens in the tank throughout the 1960s, but ketamine was his darling. He used heroic amounts of it then began shooting it several times every day. He contacted the ECCO more and more on these trips, and established a permanent telepathic channel. He attempted to warn President Gerald Ford of the SSI threat. It was only when an assistant attempted twice to have him committed, then his K sources dried up, that he gave it up to devote his life to his wife. And dolphins.


In 1971, parapsychologist Andrija Puharich hypnotized psychic Uri Geller and through him supposedly made contact with a space intelligence called “Spectra” that Geller claimed had granted him his PK/psychic powers. This was an echo of events Puharich witnessed some 18 years earlier, in Maine on New Year’s Eve 1953, when he and eight other shadowy intelligence/military community-connected individuals contacted an extraterrestrial intelligence named “M” through an Indian medium named Dr. Vinod. This M spoke for “the Nine Principles,” a group of what Theosophists call “Ascended Masters” or spiritually advanced beings.

Contact with the Nine was reestablished in June 1953. There was talk of ascension to “Brahminship” for those persons present at the séance—and also to be bestowed on other, unnamed persons. Puharich would from then on believe these extraterrestrials were causing synchronicities and generally influencing certain humans—much like Dr. Lilly would find of ECCO 19 years later. In 1956, Puharich supposedly met a couple in Arizona who had been channeling the Nine as well—and as proof of this sent him transcripts of the original channeling session in Maine on New Year’s Eve.

In 1973, Puharich created Lab Nine in upstate New York, where associate James J. Hurtak begins to channel the Nine. Hurtak will go on to become a New Agey guru concerning Elizabethan mage Dr. John Dee’s Callings or “Keys of Enoch”, the angelic/demonic language that Dee’s scryer Edward Kelley channeled in 1589. Puharich also established a “secret school” for children at Lab Nine, calling them the “Space Kids” or the “Geller Kids“, in order to develop their psychic powers for contacting the Nine. Who these kids were or where they came from has never been satisfactorily explained, and is extremely disturbing given the MKULTRA protocols of the 1950s to test LSD on orphans and “troubled kids” at places like Boys Town. Puharich was definitely involved on the fringes of the CIA’s mind-control studies from their beginning, in 1952.

The Nine, it turns out on Hurtak’s channelings, are the Ennead of Egyptian deities. Puharich publishes a biography of Uri Geller in 1974 telling the whole story. In the book he claims that when Geller asked physicist Saul Paul Sirag to look into his eyes to “see” Spectra, Sirag said that he saw Geller’s head appear as a hawk (Horus); Horus is connected to Sothis/Sirius in Egyptian mythology. Mostly the book concerns boosting the existence of the ET “Spectra” satellite claim and the Nine‘s existence. [4] Lab Nine lasts only five years, with a series of arsons and “CIA harassment,” which drives Puharich to Mexico and ends his unethical experimentation.

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John Lilly “contacted” the ECCO beings in 1973. 64 miles north of Lilly’s lab on the California coast, Robert Anton Wilson would take LSD on June 6, 1973, utilizing Lilly’s “subliminal” affirmation tapes that encouraged limitless mind. He followed these sessions with recordings of magician Aleister Crowley’s invocation of his Holy Guardian Angel. Wilson had been practicing yoga for years, and found that this acid experience, in which he lived “past lives” and experienced disembodiment, immeasurably increased his yogic powers of concentration. On July 22, Wilson repeated the same program, this time without LSD but doing Tantric sex rituals with his wife Arlen. The next morning of July 23, 1973 he awoke from a dream obsessed with the star Sirius. Throughout the day he consulted all his occult tomes for references, and even went to the library. He discovered that in ancient Egyptian tradition, July 23 is the day when Sirius exerts its strongest connection with earth and our consciousnesses. He came to briefly believe he had been contacted by ETs from Sirius, causing a dance with insanity and paranoia he called the “Chapel Perilous.”[5] In Aleister Crowley’s AA system of correspondences, Sirius’s number is nine.


In 1973, psychonaut and social irritant Timothy Leary would encounter alien intelligences while meditating and cooling off in Folsom jail, leading him to write the Starseed Transmission. Here is a heady chunk of that text:

Life is an interstellar communication network. Life is disseminated through the galaxies in the form of nucleotide templates. These “seeds” land on planets, are activated by solar radiation and evolve nervous systems. The bodies which house and transport nervous systems and the reproductive seeds are constructed in response to the atmospheric and gravitational characteristics of the host planet, the crumbling rock upon which we momentarily rest.

Evolution is concerned with nervous systems and the sexual attractive efficiency of bodies, the expansion of consciousness.

The human being is the robot carrier of a large brain, conscious of being conscious. A robot designed to discover the circuitry which programs its behavior. The nervous system is the instrument of consciousness. When mankind discovered the function and infinite capacities of the nervous system, a mutation took place. The metamorphosis from larval earth-life to a higher destiny. The person who has made this discovery becomes a time-traveler. A Psi-Phy entity. When Astronaut Mitchell saw the green jewel of earth against the black velvet expanse of interstellar distance, he became Psi-Phy. Ecology is a low-level distraction. Psi-Phy boy scouts picking up trash. The genetic goal is communication. Telepathy. Electronic sexuality. Reception and transmission of electromagnetic waves. The erotics of resonance. The entire universe is gently, rhythmically, joyously vibrating. Cosmic intercourse.[6]

Leary goes on to discuss the newly discovered comet Kohoutek and how it will be its brightest in the month of October, then complains about why there is no media coverage of this new object that was projected to come very close to both earth and sun. Paranoia sets in the text as he talks about it being a harbinger of some kind, involving Nixon’s fall or the murder of Watergate spook E. Howard Hunt, drawing parallels between Giordano Bruno’s execution for heresy in 1600 and the square-world-Air Force’s denial of the UAP/extradimensional intelligence’s reality.

Through some thoughtful exchanges with his fellow inmates, who’d read his tract, Leary comes to almost deifying the comet as a literal vessel of redemption or transformation, seeding our planet with new DNA that will allow communication with our cosmic siblings.

24 years later, another sudden cometary appearance will inspire the mass suicide of ET-worshipping cultists called Heaven’s Gate.

1973 is considered the “year of the humanoid” by mainstream UAP investigators, when two canonical encounter/abductions occurred in October: the Pat Roach family’s and the Pascagoula, Mississippi abduction of two fishermen, Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker. In addition, the Susan Ramsted, Leigh Proctor, and Dionisio Llanca abductions also occurred in October, 1973. Throughout this year, there were dozens of accounts of close encounters with UAP occupants. These space people were really plying their trade hard.


Ariel Teittleman: You ever heard of the Masada? For three years, nine hundred Jews held their own against fifteen thousand Roman soldiers. They chose death before enslavement. And the Romans? Where are they now?

Tony Soprano: You’re looking at ’em, asshole.




In February of 1974, writer Philip K. Dick would experience a revelation very similar to Wilson’s, Geller’s, Leary’s, and Lilly’s. He would spend the rest of his life coming to terms with and trying to clarify it. After having a tooth extracted under sodium pentathol, he ordered out for painkillers and was met at his door by a young woman delivering his medication. He found himself staring at her “Jesus fish” necklace and began…remembering things. He came to believe he was experiencing flashbacks/sideways of a previous/ongoing life as the persecuted Gnostic Thomas, the brother of Jesus. Further, he came to believe the Roman Empire has existed ever since the crucifixion either in a simultaneous reality, or as we experience “today” with our “modern” surroundings as a camouflage for it. At one time he was “struck by a pink beam” that filled his head with a cascade of information. During one eight-hour stretch he experienced the entire human history of art—and claimed to witness Soviet psychotronic scientists communicating with space intelligences from Sirius. He came to believe an alien satellite he called alternately “Zebra” or the Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS) had done this to him. He teetered on the brink of insanity, but having a rational mind wrote his way out of the Chapel Perilous in what many consider his best books: VALIS (1981), The Divine Invasion (1981), and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer (1982).

At the same time, scholar and Sinologist Robert Temple is working on final drafts of a book on the beliefs of Mali’s Dogon peoples. It was discovered that their dances, rituals, artwork and “mythology” all concern beings who they claim visited them long ago from a star that turned out to be Sirius. Encoded in their beliefs are facts about Sirius unknown until the mid-20th century, such as its possession of a dwarf companion sun, Sirius B, and the double star’s heavenly cycles. Temple connects their knowledge to sources in ancient Egypt–where the Ennead (Nine) are worshiped. Temple writes that the Nommo (the name the Dogon give the extraterrestrial tribe) are now in hibernation in a spaceship around Saturn, waiting to return to earth and the right time. Time is one of the things Saturn ruled over (“Chronos” in Greek). In 1976 Temple publishes “The Sirius Mystery” and is harassed by the CIA over it.

Temple’s original inspiration came in 1967, from one Arthur Young, inventor of the Bell helicopter, who 15 years earlier in 1953 had collaborated with Andrija Puharich on the original Vinod/Nine sessions in Maine.  

Something was in the aether.

So…As Temple labors on his book, Leary while meditating receives information on DNA being a cosmic communications system that is largely dormant for most humans; Lilly contacts the ECCO and is warned of the nefarious SSI while in an ongoing massively altered state of consciousness; Dick is contacted by VALIS/Zebra and told that we exist (or have existed, or will in the future exist) in a Black Iron Prison and that the Roman Empire Never Ended, and that VALIS is a part of a network of Sirian satellites meant to remove our blocked “screen memories” and open our consciousnesses; Wilson is contacted by Space Intelligences/Egyptian deities/his unconscious on the day Sirius is at its most powerful; and Geller/Puharich/Hurtak are contacted by the Nine/Spectra/Egyptian deities—all within one year, 1973, in which the world political order seems to teeter on the brink of institutional and social breakdown[7] and a spectacular series of UFO events occur, culminating in October when comet Kohoutek is its brightest.  Dick’s VALIS has been described as one node of an artificial satellite network originating from the star Sirius in the Canis Major constellation. According to Dick, the Earth satellite used “pink laser beams” to transfer information and project holograms on Earth and to facilitate communication between an extraterrestrial species and humanity. Dick claimed that VALIS used “disinhibiting stimuli” to communicate, using symbols to trigger recollection of intrinsic knowledge through the anamnesia, achieving gnosis. Drawing directly from Platonism and Gnosticism, Dick wrote in his Exegesis: “We appear to be memory coils (DNA carriers capable of experience) in a computer-like thinking system which, although we have correctly recorded and stored thousands of years of experiential information, and each of us possesses somewhat different deposits from all the other life forms, there is a malfunction—a failure—of memory retrieval.”

Back to Leary we go…

But wait, there’s more!

Sirius figures in a number of esoteric systems. Rodney Collin, author of the neglected masterwork “The Theory of Celestial Influence,” posits Sirius as our “Oversun,” that is, the star around which our sun revolves once roughly every 24,000 years—very close to the length of a full cycle of equinoctial precession. Collin’s system could be a measure of quasi-animism, in that energy currents exist everywher on many subtle scales, and that the generative powers of our sun in turn have been granted by that of Sirius. We are directly connected to the brightly twinkling distant furnace.

Collin was a disciple of Piotr Ouspensky, and thus G.I. Gurdjieff. Gurdjieff hinted at Sirius’s importance when he claimed a need to “bury the bone deeper” when writing his densely allusive “Beelzebub’s Tales to his Grandson” (1950). Several authors who knew Gurdjieff or were well-versed in his Work system claimed this was a pun on Sirius being known as the Dog Star and signifying the beginning of the dog days of summer (which originally signaled the beginning of the Nile’s flood season). This Sirius connection is considered by some as one of the secret keys to understanding the book. The ancient astronaut idea is central in “Beelzebub,” as the fallen angel is actually a space traveler on his way to be judged as he regales his grandson tales of the backwards-living and doomed beings of earth. He tells grandson Hassan of the sevenfold Ray of Creation and the 96 cosmic laws to which unfortunate earthlings are subject because of its moon’s influence.

Independent (apparently) of Gurdjieff and Collin, 70 years earlier the Russian Helena Blavatsky wrote of the cosmic influence of Sirius as a “third eye” in the heavens. This information was channeled by a Great Hidden Mahatma she telepathically contacted named Koot Hoomi.

In 1895, a strange man walked into 15-year old Alice Bailey’s house and told her she had a special place in the world’s salvation, and abruptly left. After a stint in India working in YWCA Soldier’s Homes and a failed marriage, she would read Blavatsky’s works in the 1910s, and becomes convinced her visitor was Koot Hoomi, Blavatsky’s astral contact and knowledge-transmitter. Bailey becomes a Theosophist in 1915, and marries Freemason Foster Bailey. In 1919 she contacts Djwhal Khul, “The Tibetan” and channels additional messages. The Theosophical Society regards her as an upstart and they are dismissed. She is told of the “Hierarchy of the Brothers of Light” or the “Great Council,” a variation on Blavatsky’s Great Hidden Mahatmas. Bailey’s are led by the “Lord of the World,” which is an ancient Hindu conception connected with the king of the subterranean realm of Agarttha who guides humanity through a council, telepathically contacting people and arranging coincidences for their meeting.

In her book Initiation, Human and Solar Bailey writes that the Tibetan Masters R and M are overlords of human evolution. Andrija Puharich (see above) apparently admitted to reading Bailey before meeting “Dr. Vinod” in 1952 and channeling the Nine; thus Vinod’s R and M are nearly identical. In Bailey’s system there are Seven Planes of the Solar System and the “Seven Rays.” (Gurdjieff would be teaching similar ideas at this time as well in Paris, about the Octave and the Ray of Creation). Puharich associate James Hurtak’s neo-Enochian system is nearly identical to Bailey’s as well.

Bailey also speaks of Sirius as a power center that transmits its mental and spiritual influence via Saturn—an idea also propounded by channel/medium Carla Rueckert who contacted the Egyptian deity Ra (one of the Nine gods/principles) in the Law of One series (1981-84). Ra says it is communicating to Rueckert from Saturn. Many an “extraterrestrial” being in UAP contacts say they are “from Saturn”. Absurd on their face as these contactees’ claims are, there is another interpretation that says they actually mean the “astral forms” of the planets and their moons, and are thus “way stations” for the ETs channelings…And don’t forget the Dogon people’s Nommo-gods asleep in spaceships around Saturn! Anyway, Bailey’s Tibetan claims that Scottish Rite Freemasonry is a version of the Sirian mystery school and performing its rites to the 33rd and highest degree allows one access to the Lodge of Sirius. The ninth level of Scottish Rite is called the “Elect of Nine.” The “Blazing Star” in all Masonic lodges is supposedly meant to represent Sirius. The “Nine Elect apprentice masons” to Hiram Abiff, mythical architect and builder of Solomon’s temple, are said in Masonic lore to have tracked Abiff’s murderers to a cave. The nine stars of Orion represent these Elect. Orion’s horizontal rise precedes the rising of Sirius in the sky.




[1] Here we have a version of Roko’s basilisk, minus its absolute determinism that the basilisk AI will “reach back in time” in its simulated universes to punish those who refuse to help it come into existence.

[2] Think you have free will? Try not logging onto the internet for a week, voluntarily, for any purpose.

[4] Levenda, Peter. Sinister Forces: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft Volume 1: The Nine, Trine Day Publishers, pgs. 242-248.

[5] Wilson, Robert A. Cosmic Trigger Volume 1: The Final Secret of the Illuminati, New Falcon Publications, 1977, pgs. 80-96.

[7] Roe vs. Wade sets off fundamentalist Christian crusades against it; domestic terrorists like the Weather Underground set off bombs on a regular basis; Wounded Knee is occupied; Pinochet takes power in Chile’ and, all in October, the Yom Kippur War, VP Spiro Agnew resigns in disgrace, the catastrophic OPEC oil embargo nearly wrecks the economy, and of course, the “Saturday Night Massacre” of the Watergate scandal.

Parmenides/Poimandres, “Alien” Messages and Mysticism

People from Elsewhere have always come to humanity bearing messages.

Sometimes their messages are symbolic, acted out like psychodramas. Sometimes they are epigrammatic, and at other times they exhibit a torrent of verbiage that would exhaust the best Talmud scholar. 

We are not alone, say most cosmologists and astrophysicists. The numbers are against it. But even if in the unlikely case we are “alone” evolutionarily in this universe, we still aren’t alone. There are Others, and from time to time they actually talk to us.

As John Keel once observed, if they’re extraterrestrials then they’re using the syntax of ceremonial magic and the vocabulary of apparitions to contact us–and that of mysticism, which can either enlighten or mystify, depending on the discerning consciousness


Parmenides of Elea was born roughly 515 BCE and died at an unknown date. Founder of the Eleatic School, he and his disciples profoundly influenced the technique of logical deduction in Plato and Aristotle’s work. Parmenides’s disciple Zeno’s ideas about motion and time-measurement, which result in paradoxes, still puzzle minds to this day.

According to Peter Kingsley, Parmenides became a priest of the sleep temples of Apollo at Elea and presided over a quasi-shamanic “revival” movement that betrayed the true nature of Apollo as a chthonic deity, not necessarily the solar one as received history has it. Prophecy has always been associated with Apollo–and its source as truth in Parmenides’s career originated in his spirit journey poem. 

Parmenides’s only surviving work is called On the Nature of Things. It takes the first-person form, and is composed of a preface followed by a revelatory vision of Truth by a Goddess (taken to be Persephone, who is always associated with the Underworld), then contrasts this vision with humanity’s “mere opinions” in its last part.

Only fragments of the poem remain, but most of the Goddess’ revelation section has been preserved. Additional supplementation has been gleaned from later philosophers’ discussions, mostly Plato and Aristotle, in which they give précis of Parmenides’s arguments or by actually using his syllogistic argument forms.

At the poem’s beginning a young male protagonist is taken into a chariot with a shining axle that spins. He meets “glowing maidens of the sun” who guide the vehicle’s mares into a subterranean area where a stone door opens.

Inside he meets the Goddess, who imparts to him eternal wisdom. Here are some samples of that philosophy:

Thinking and the thought that it is are the same; for you will not find thinking apart from what is, in relation to which it is uttered. (B 8.34–36)

For to be aware and to be are the same. (B 3)

It is necessary to speak and to think what is; for being is, but nothing is not. (B 6.1–2)

Helplessness guides the wandering thought in their breasts; they are carried along deaf and blind alike, dazed, beasts without judgment, convinced that to be and not to be are the same and not the same, and that the road of all things is a backward-turning one. (B 6.5–9)

The last quote is a tough one, but is taken to mean that people consider the states of existence and non-existence to be absolutely different, whether the states of life/death, an incremental process of extinction, or the notion that something that will be at a “future” time but now is not is self-contradictory. Non-existence, as such, is not something that can even be conceived of.

If the radical ontological condition “non-existence” cannot have either existence in an ordinary sense qua individual instances or a existence as a kind of (non)being—a concept with a referent —then all the gradations between the individual, the part and the whole, are also impossible.

The “backward turning” is a crude reference, I believe, to the process of entropy as conceived by our limited human minds as we remember how things once seemed to be, but are now not. That is, any difference between the present and the past is an illusion qua the awakened mind. But we are asleep and ignorant; the illusory differences are what we notice and take as real. The following backs this interpretation:

How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown. (B 8.20–22, my emphasis)

Nor was [it] once, nor will [it] be, since [it] is, now, all together, / One, continuous; for what coming-to-be of it will you seek? / In what way, whence, did [it] grow?

Neither from what-is-not shall I allow / You to say or think; for it is not to be said or thought / That [it] is not. And what need could have impelled it to grow / Later or sooner, if it began from nothing? Thus [it] must either be completely or not at all. (B 8.5–11)

[What exists] is now, all at once, one and continuous… Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike; nor is there any more or less of it in one place which might prevent it from holding together, but all is full of what is. (B 8.5–6, 8.22–24)

And it is all one to me / Where I am to begin; for I shall return there again. (B 5)

This is a radical vision of reality unlike anything the Greeks or the Western ancient world had encountered, and is as cogent an attempt to rationally explain or convey the sense of a mystical experience as anything any person has ever written. When one considers a philosophy of “timeless Forms,” it is no wonder that Plato was deeply influenced by Parmenides’s vision of Oneness and Being.

Parmenides’s Goddess’ notions are absolutely monist, but the type of monism is very difficult to pin down: it denies dualism in principle, so an idealism/physicalism split cannot exist within it. Given an ontology of pure physicalism or pure idealism, Her denial of time, space, and differing identity would hold given the premisses of either viewpoint. She allows that the One that exists eternally beyond all change is comprehensible to humanity, but this implies that a mind in ignorance of the One, either before experiencing the oneness or after experiencing the oneness, would at least be possible.

Yet the possible is impossible, because anything that can be thought, is—except that something not be.

But as we see, Parmenides’s vision differs from that of other mystics in that the Goddess supplies him with logical propositions that when subjected to further analysis result in paradoxes, revealing a limit to what the human mind can sensorily comprehend.

Our only recourse seems to be to embrace Her form of absolute monism: since nothing cannot be, therefore everything that can possibly exist, already does exist. It is simply our feeble human minds that cannot perceive this, through ignorance and limiting factors. There cannot be something that is now that was not before, or will come to be but does not exist now, therefore change—and time—cannot exist. “Becoming” is thus an illusion. The “present” presupposes division—a past preceding it, and a future proceeding or forerunning it—therefore it, also, cannot exist. All is one and everything, and for “all time.”

Parmenides’s ending doxa section on humanity’s flawed sense-formed impressions is almost entirely lost, unfortunately.


These metaphysical gymnastics would have no rival in their power to “deconstruct” our sense-perception of reality until the sutras Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna propagated in the non-dualist madhyamaka “no mind, no self” doctrine in 2nd century CE India—who also, legend says, received his teachings from a supernatural source, the Nagas (snake-deities)

Throughout the history of “mysticism” we encounter people who describe very similar ineffable truths that lie “outside linear space-time.” Some try to describe it in terms of the “ethereal fluid” of light, the One, the Ungrund (Godhead), etc.

In 1600, at age 25, Lusatian cobbler Jakob Boehme had a vision while staring enraptured at sunlight hitting the edge of a pewter dish. He then walked out into his garden while “information” flowed into his mind, the “secrets of creation.” The experience was so ineffable he never spoke of it, until ten years later when a similar vision overtook him. Two years after this he wrote Aurora, and, encouraged by friends, published it. He went on to write a further ten books elaborating his vision of the importance of Seven and the Trinity to Christian ontology, echoing the philosophy of Pythagoras as to the “numerical” underpinnings of physical reality. Further, his works were flavored with pagan astrological-alchemical elements, such as the sevenfold planetary metals, their qualities, and the resultant “worlds” under which humanity was conditioned. This shows the influence of Paracelsus and Gnosticism by way of other Neoplatonic mystics, whom Boehme read while young. Boehme’s views on the origin of sin and redemption conflicted with accepted Calvinist-Lutheran theology and he found himself several times in the hot seat. His views on evolutionary principles based upon triads, the necessity of evil and its conquering to produce a higher reconciliation would influence G.W.F. Hegel’s elaborate view of history.

American “electro-alchemist” Cyrus Teed (1839-1908), who also described an encounter with a goddess during an experiment with electricity, claimed to have directly experienced Oneness and the idea that all matter is merely “frozen” energy decades before Einstein mathematically formulated it. Had he been a physicist, perhaps he could have put the discovery into equation form.

These mystical revelations are what Aldous Huxley called the “Perennial Philosophy.” All peoples in every era will rediscover it, as long as humans exist. As religion scholar Richard Smoley puts it in his book on Gnosticism:

Swami Vivekananda, the Hindu sage who brought the tradition of Advaita Vedanta to the West at the end of the 19th century, put it this way in a 1896 lecture: “He (the Atman, or Self), the One, vibrates more quickly than the mind, who attains more speed than the mind can ever attain, who leaving gods whom even the gods reach not, nor thought grasps—He moving, everything moves. In Him all exists. He is moving; he is also immovable. He is near and He is far. He is inside everything, he is outside every-thing—interpenetrating everything. Whoever sees in every being that same Atman, and whoever sees everything in that Atman, he never goes far from that Atman. When a man sees all life and the whole universe in this Atman,… There is no more delusion and for him. Where is any more misery for him who sees the Oneness in the universe?”

Elsewhere Vivekananda defines this principle as “Pure Consciousness.” Christ in the Gospel of Thomas alludes to a similar truth: “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the All. From Me did the All come forth, and unto Me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there” (Thomas, 77).

Again, in a literal sense this utterance is nonsensical. If you hack a piece of wood apart, you’re not going to find a tiny Jesus hiding inside. In all likelihood Christ is not speaking of himself either personally or theologically. He is speaking of this primordial mind or consciousness, which is that in us—and in all things—which says “I am.” Although rocks and stones are not conscious beings as we are, to some degree this primal awareness dwells in them also.[1]

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The incidence of spirit journeys goes back to the beginnings of history and probably far before. Perhaps one of the most famous is the poetic tract Poimandres, meaning “knowledge of Re” or Ra, or in some early translations the “Man-Shepherd,” which was a part of the Corpus Hermeticum translated from Greek into Latin by Marsilio Ficino in 1460s Florence. Its provenance was suspected as a forgery in the 16th century, then the work was rehabilitated by the discovery of 3rd and 4th century Gnostic scriptures referencing it. Traditionally, its author is supposed to be Hermes Trismegistus—the “Thrice-Great Hermes,” an Egyptian mystic priest and the most learned philosopher of the ancient world. The poem begins,

It chanced once on a time my mind was meditating on the things that are, my thought was raised to a great height, the senses of my body being held back—just as men who are weighed down with sleep after a fill of food, or from fatigue of body.

The narrator’s description of bodily suspension/paralysis is very similar to that of the classic astral journey of an out-of-body experience—or the beginning a contemporary UAP abduction. After ascending, Hermes meets a vast being calling itself the “Man-Shepherd” who requests him to ask a question. Trismegistus boldly requests knowledge of everything, including God. Hermes is shown the Man-Shepherd transforming itself into a vision of unending light, then the primordial separation and union of the elements:[2]

[Thereon] out of the Light […] a Holy Word (Logos) descended on that Nature. And upwards to the height from the Moist Nature leaped forth pure Fire; light was it, swift and active too.

The Air, too, being light, followed after the Fire; from out of the Earth-and-Water rising up to Fire so that it seemed to hang therefrom.

But Earth-and-Water stayed so mingled with each other, that Earth from Water no one could discern. Yet were they moved to hear by reason of the Spirit-Word (Logos) pervading them.

Hermes admits he doesn’t understand the vision. The Man-Shepherd replies that he, Poimandres, is the light, and mind, and logos (reason/intelligibility) that organizes all the elements. Mind is the Father-God; Poimandres exhorts Hermes to befriend the light and says by the marriage of Logos and Mind all things arise.

Then the being gives the narrator a penetrating, frightening stare.

Poimandres explains that God as Mind is both female and male brought forth another mind to birth form as seven rulers. This the traditional way of speaking of the seven governors or “archons,” the planets, who bind each human with the constraining spiritual and physical forces that create our fates. The narrator observes form uprushing to meet Formative Nature, and an equal movement of nature downward into spiritless matter:

Then the Formative Mind ([at-one] with Reason), he who surrounds the spheres and spins them with his whorl, set turning his formations, and let them turn from a beginning boundless unto an endless end. For that the circulation of these [spheres] begins where it doth end, as Mind doth will.

So in addition to the upward-downward axis of Mind and Matter interpenetrating all things, Poimandres shows Hermes spinning action or vortices as a fundamental principle to creation. This exegesis conforms to many other visions of creation. Then comes this:

But All-Father Mind, being Life and Light, did bring forth Man co-equal to Himself, with whom He fell in love, as being His own child; for he was beautiful beyond compare, the Image of his Sire. In very truth, God fell in love with his own Form; and on him did bestow all of His own formations.

         This passage would cause immediate split between Orthodox Christians and “pagans” or heretics—despite Luke 17:21, where Jesus proclaims God’s kingdom “is inside us all” (King James version). For some Gnostic schools and certainly Hermeticism, this passage would be a founding principle: God and Humanity are co-equal and reflect each other. But the raising of humanity only comes with the Great Work on oneself. This connection is made by means of what the narrator describes as the Enformer—or In-former, also referred to as God’s “Brother.” Apparently the Brother is a God-Mind-created demiurge that acts as mediator. Just as God falls in love with humanity, humanity asks to be In-formed with God, and it is granted. Thus humanity originally had the same powers as the seven rulers, and “broke through” the membranes of “downward Nature’s forms.” It is implied then that the archetypal human had powers equal to God’s at the level of Nature. Nature, under the aspect of the element of water, falls in love with this “God-Man” and they become lovers. Humanity now has a dual-aspect.

And this is why beyond all creatures on the earth man is twofold; mortal because of body, but because of the essential man immortal.

Though deathless and possessed of sway over all, yet doth he suffer as a mortal doth, subject to Fate.

Thus though above the Harmony, within the Harmony he hath become a slave. Though male-female, as from a Father male-female, and though he is sleepless from a sleepless [Sire], yet is he overcome [by sleep].

So the human is subject to the seven rulers’ influence, being composed of matter. Humanity sleeps; we are ignorant of this double-nature, and the immortal part that is its essence.

Nature embraced by Man brought forth a wonder, oh so wonderful. For as he had the nature of the Concord of the Seven, who, as I said to thee, [were made] of Fire and Spirit – Nature delayed not, but immediately brought forth seven “men”, in correspondence with the natures of the Seven, male-female and moving in the air.

         The human form, via Nature, “brings forth” seven aspects, each ostensibly mirrors or seeds of the seven governors. These are called Aeons, syzygies, or pairs equaling fourteen that the Valentinian Gnostics of the 1st-2nd Centuries claimed are the constraining forces the demiurge placed upon humanity. The goddess Sophia is considered the fifteenth, who could here in the Poimandres text be considered Nature itself as midwife to the “Brother” through which God-Mind created humanity.

But I recorded in my heart Man-Shepherd’s benefaction, and with my every hope fulfilled more than rejoiced. For body’s sleep became the soul’s awakening, and closing of the eyes – true vision, pregnant with Good my silence, and the utterance of my word (logos) begetting of good things.

All this befell me from my Mind, that is Man-Shepherd, Word (Logos) of all masterhood, by whom being God-inspired I came unto the Plain of Truth. Wherefore with all my soul and strength thanksgiving give I unto Father-God.

The tract ends with a prayer. As he says, Hermes’s tranquillized/paralyzed body allowed the mind to expand and experience direct contact with Poimandres.


The spiritual message of Parmenides, the writer(s) of Poimandres, and mystic visions are echoed by those spoken by UAP entities, especially the messages received by the so-called contactees of the 1950-60s. Since many of the latter have been suspected of fraud, we will concentrate instead upon the messages imparted to mediums/channelers, the “abducted,” and those who meet a “stranger” claiming to be from elsewhere—especially reports pre-1980 when the “greys” and their messages began to dominate the narratives. Most of the time, the Nordic-type of stranger gave these messages, but other creatures with a basic human appearance[3] also impart the same information:

Time doesn’t exist as we conceive it;

All is “one;”

Love is a universal principle that is creative in nature;

The untapped power of the human mind can make physical space travel unnecessary, or similarly, our vastly misguided understanding of space/time, were it corrected, would make interstellar space travel as easy as “thinking it;”

The vast majority of humanity is willfully blind to these universal truths.

The contactee/abductee is chosen because of their openness to these messages. Frequently they are told they are special and have a mission to perform in spreading the gospel.[4]

Some scholars believe Parmenides may actually have experienced such a spirit journey or vision-quest as a young man, and chose to present his revelation to the world in the contemporary iambic form. Whether he dreamt the vision, experienced an entheogenic state induced by a drug, or by way of his daemon doesn’t really matter; it is the poem form in which he presented it and his message’s content that is important to us.

But its opening section contains a few elements that are curiously resonant with imagery gleaned from “alien abduction” tales.

I have come across no mention of the Poimandres or Parmenides’s poem in relation to UAP and any contactee or abduction analysis literature. Although countless spirit journey stories exist in folklore and have been extensively examined, Parmenides’s ancient encounter and its aftermath (the founding of an enormously influential “Western” mystical philosophical school) has not yet been scrutinized in the light of it being a possible “alien” encounter. As I said, the evidence is scanty, comprising just the details in the prefatory section, and may seem ridiculous in comparison at first consideration:

The steeds that bear me carried me as far as ever my heart Desired, since they brought me and set me on the renowned Way of the goddess, who with her own hands conducts the man who knows through all things. On what way was I borne
along; for on it did the wise steeds carry me, drawing my car, and maidens showed the way. And the axle, glowing in the socket -for it was urged round by the whirling wheels at each end – gave forth a sound as of a pipe, when the daughters of the Sun, hasting to convey me into the light, threw back their veils from off their faces and left the abode of Night.
There are the gates of the ways of Night and Day, fitted above with a lintel and below with a threshold of stone. They themselves, high in the air, are closed by mighty doors, and Avenging Justice keeps the keys that open them. Her did the maidens entreat with gentle words and skillfully persuade to unfasten without demur the bolted bars from the gates.
Then, when the doors were thrown back, they disclosed a wide opening, when their brazen hinges swung backwards in the sockets fastened with rivets and nails. Straight through them, on the broad way, did the maidens guide the horses and the car, and the goddess greeted me kindly, and took my right hand in hers, and spake to me these words: –
Welcome, noble youth, that comest to my abode on the car…

Parmenides is certainly abducted by the maidens. The chariot-vehicle makes a piping or humming sound. The axle “glows in its socket,” powered by spinning wheels. Why does he give these particular details of the chariot’s and gates’ appearance? They must have been awe-inspiring (although the “gates” are most likely, symbolically, the two heavenly “doors” of Summer and Winter, when the sun ceases its seasonal rebound at the two solstices, traditionally associated with the constellations Cancer and Capricorn). In the priesthoods of several ancient Mediterranean cultures, these two celestial cessations/boundaries were considered the portals of souls into life and into the afterlife. They were available for kings to become “immortal amongst the stars.”

The maidens open these doors so Parmenides can enter a spaceless, timeless dimension where the Goddess awaits him.

I’ll let the reader decide how close contemporary abduction scenarios match Parmenides’s description, in at least a cursory way. The account, however, also echoes the hekhalot or “chariot ascent/descent” literature of the 1st century BCE-2nd century ACE Qumranites and subsequent Kabbalist traditions, which are almost entirely based upon Ezekiel’s visions of the “burning” chariots/thrones and four angelic beings that guided the prophet to heaven. Since Parmenides’s poem has roughly been dated 485-475 BCE, it postdates the writing of Ezekiel’s vision, which may have had an influence upon it, but precedes the Jewish mystical literature that involves a supernatural chariot.

The effect of Parmenides’s vision upon his life and subsequent career as a philosopher, lawgiver, and school founder is echoed in the experiences of “extraterrestrial” contactees and abductees; near-death experiences (NDEs) and some entheogenic substances also cause profound changes in consciousness regarding spacetime as illusory.

Parmenides was profoundly changed by the vision/experience and became a proselytizer. In addition to this effect, a monist philosophy very similar to Parmenides’s, in which human conceptions of space and time are declared “wrong,” is the most frequently preached material by the “space brothers” and the many-types of “alien” beings experiencers encounter. The shape of the existing poem fragments and our limited knowledge of the philosopher’s life can make only the barest outlines of a connection possible. Perhaps Parmenides wholly invented the preface in order to grant supernatural imprimatur to his philosophy. This is the received interpretation that has reigned for three hundred years’ worth of scholarly conservatism.

But perhaps this is not the case. His account undoubtedly contains shamanic elements: the trance state, the being “taken” by otherworldly beings to a simultaneously celestial and chthonic place, and finally a spirit/goddess who imparts knowledge to heal not the human bodies/souls, as does the shaman, but the minds of those to whom Parmenides will pass on his message.

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Carla Rueckert entranced in contact with Ra as Jim McCarty looks on

In 1946, a trance-medium named Mark Probert utilized at least a half-dozen controls to gain an understanding of the “ethereal plane” from which he divulged the origin of UAP. This was the beginning of an onslaught of channeling that involved extraterrestrial beings. 

The Law of One: The Ra Materials series is trance-channelings from 1980-83. Medium Carla Rueckert, ufologist Don Elkins, and Jim McCarty had worked at achieving psychic contact with UAP “occupants” for 19 years before these results were achieved. Rueckert would have to undergo a ritual procedure before each channeling session until contact was established with a cosmic collective “social memory complex” that called itself Ra (an echo of Hermes Trismegistus’s own Ra or “Re”?) While in the trance she spoke on many topics of which she had no conscious knowledge (although much of the material is couched in the Theosophical terms of Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey). Take for example these quotes from The Law of One[5]:

The Law of One, though beyond the limitations of name, as you call vibratory sound complexes[6] may be approximated by stating that all things are one, that there is no polarity, no right or wrong, no disharmony, but only identity. All is one, and that one is love/light, light/love, the Infinite Creator. (pg. 85)

The dissolution into nothingness is the dissolution into unity, for there is no nothingness (pg. 91)

I take Ra’s identity in the quote to mean the self-identity of the All. In other words, along with Vedanta philosophy, for Ra everything is Brahma (God/love/light) wearing an infinite number of masks (forms).


Most ufologists and debunkers alike dismiss alien contacts’ and abductees’ messages as “mystical blather” that anyone could make up. I disagree.

Firstly, the percipients who experience these revelations and attempt to pass on these messages have come from a wide social-economic spectrum, from illiterate “peasants” to materialist-minded physicians and physicists.[7] Many times they end up studying or becoming obsessed with metaphysics, cosmology, or occult teachings.[8] Many of the same “mundane” metaphysical observations were made during the Spiritualist movement 1848-the present by the “controls” for “great spiritual leader” figures who had passed on. There are at least two enormous works of individual and collective channeling, respectively Oasphe (1880-1882) and The Urantia Book (1924-1955) that present alternate cosmologies and historico-spiritual revisionism of the world’s religions. Inevitably the first tenet of these works is that “the true world is not how it sensorily and ideally appears to us.” Of course such a perennial message counters the monovision of “Newton’s sleep,” the 19th century Western physicalist view that persists in its dominance today. It is only in the bizarre findings of quantum physics that such an axiom finds parallel. With these messages we have Parmenides’s message echoing down the ages via Plato, then the Neo-Platonists, then the mystics of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam via the Hermetic tradition.

Second, the message of space-time being “One” is not blather in many interpretations of cosmological and quantum physics. It can especially be found in the idea of the Zero Point Field and physicist David Bohm’s conception of an implicate order that lies enfolded “beneath” or “behind” all phenomena…There is also Hugh Everett’s “many-worlds” interpretation of Schrodinger’s wave-function equations which has been receiving serious attention over the past decades. Were Everett’s conjecture somehow proven, it would imply Parmenides’s vision demonstrates an ontological truth: in a multiverse where everything that is even remotely possible actually does occur, there is no conceivable way nothing could exist qua the non-possible, and “becoming” would be a meaningless concept because all that is to be already is, and already has been.

Only a minority of human beings can truly grasp such a concept of “universal oneness” with their entire soul, usually after long meditation; it results in a “blow-out” (the literal translation of the word nirvana) of the mind and complete transformation of personality. We are conditioned from birth to think of “objective things” as separate from one another. These messages point to the beginning of the path to achieve this consciousness.

Cosmic evolution figures in channeled messages like Probert’s and Rueckert’s, and we are told that we humans are near the bottom of the evolutionary ladder due to our uncontrolled, even uncontrollable, thoughts and emotions. This existential situation, combined with our hierarchical social systems that concentrate political/military power as the binding element, are a time bomb for global self-destruction. So say the “Ufonauts” and any rational observer both. Our casual march into ubiquitous fossil fuel use and deforesting the planet simply so humans can possess “individual” dwellings shows our ignorance of the interconnection between inner and outer, system-boundary and the greater whole of which it is a part. The Oneness that Parmenides and the channelers speak of, were it felt by even a modest fraction of the world’s population, would doubtless through time change everything and reset our course.

Third, and tying into oneness, is the fact that humankind has fallen pitifully short of the ability to “love one’s brother” unconditionally as a creation of God just as one is. This non-duality between self and other is basic to mystical experience, and put into daily practice, leads to the dictum. Jesus of Nazareth’s command is both the simplest and most difficult task to attain for the majority of people, because it requires either a random spiritual-blowout (such as a born-again experience, NDE, or a UAP entity encounter) or intense, lifelong work on one’s psyche—pretty hard to come by outside a monastery.

Fourth, it cannot be denied that these types of Otherworldly messages have decisively helped steer civilization from the beginning of recorded history. Parmenides’s vision is a perfect example—or Moses’s, or Muhammad’s. The fact that they now recur in a high-technological context does not render them useless or banal. There are even fewer ears to “hear” and heed these messages than there were in Parmenides’s or Moses’s or Jesus’s times.

The debunkers of both UAP encounters and spirit-journeys always clamor for useful, physical evidence, such as a cure for cancer, or that some notorious mathematical or physics puzzle’s solution be given as proof of these Others’s advanced nature, but that would be an example of thaumaturgy—the “performance trick” warned of in countless spiritual traditions as a worthless frippery.[9] Thaumaturgic acts done by a “spiritual leader” have been traditionally condemned because they short-circuit disciples’ efforts at intellectual and spiritual growth; they always deflect the attention from oneself and lead to deification of the “magician” and place faith in that magician, in lieu of work.

Thus, when confronted with a request for proof of the experience from a UAP entity experiencer, the rationale given by the Others is always “we cannot interfere with your progress in any way.” This implies giving such knowledge would impede our efforts to self-overcome. These types of messages are anything but banal, but are only called such from a scientistic worldview.

[1] Smoley, Richard. Forbidden Faith: The Secret History fo Gnosticism, Harper One, 2007.

[2] Translated by G.R.S. Mead,

[3] These humanoids will always have something “off” about them: while basically homo sapiens in appearance, their eyes will be too large or small, or their skulls too big, or their arms too long, or their skin color greenish or bright red, etc.

[4] This very often turns out terribly for the percipient, especially if multiple “contacts” occur and the information granted is unquestionably believed. See Keel, John, Operation Trojan Horse, Anomalist Books, 2013, and Vallee, Jacques, Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults, Daily Grail Publishing, 2008.

[5] Elkins, Don and Rueckert, Carla. The Ra Material: Law of One: Book One, L/L Research, 1984.

[6] In the Ra nomenclature, a “vibratory sound complex” means basically “speech-conception.”

[7] “Dr. X,” a famous French physician, became obsessed with esoteric subjects after being physically healed by a UFO that appeared to him in 1968. See Jacques Vallee’s Dimensions and this In Catholic scholar Diana Pasulka’s 2019 American Cosmic, she details the story of two mainstream scientists’ interactions with “non-human intelligences” that not only changed their “physical signatures” but put them at the forefront of investigating the presence of “alien” beings interacting with humanity.

[8] William James: “James (1890 B), too, commented on the stylistic peculiarities of mediumistic communications: ‘If he ventures on higher intellectual flights, he abounds in a curiously vague optimistic philosophy-and-water, in which phrases about spirit, harmony, beauty, law, progression, development, etc., keep reoccurring. It seems exactly as if one author composed of more than half of the trance-messages, no matter by whom they are uttered’ (Vol. 1, page 394),” (my emphasis). Irreducible Mind, pg. 356.

[9] Even if the “entities” provided this proof via the contactee or abductee, debunkers would still probably claim it did not come from anything beyond an aberrant state of the human mind akin to those of mathematical prodigies. And of course the debunkers have no idea how these prodigies’ minds actually work and perform so astoundingly.

Hello, Ray, do you read me? Do you read me, Ray?

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       Google’s head futurist Ray Kurzweil, like Hans Moravec and many other transhumanists, goes on and on about one day digitizing and uploading his consciousness into a computer. But it’s highly unlikely to happen in the way he imagines.

Let’s use an extreme example: Ray Kurzweil by way of Victor Frankenstein. By “one free miracle” Ray’s consciousness has been successfully uploaded to an AI. His deceased body is frozen but samples of his DNA are preserved for the eventual “perfecting” of cloning techniques. His digitized mind has conversed for a century with fellow transhumanist scientists via a speaker box. He has had a library of information integrated with his “mind,” allowing him to solve many problems—mostly about how to get the hell out of this box of electrons and into a human form again. He finds the solution. His colleagues have finally been able to grow from his 100 year-old DNA a “perfect” specimen, a biological version of Ray Kurzweil into which his consciousness will be, by a “second free miracle,” copied and downloaded from the AI.

The clone, Ray 2, reaches the age of 21. By this time Ray 2’s neural systems have grown to an optimal level to receive Ray 1’s “mind.”

But this clone has acquired an entirely different set of life experiences than Ray 1. Perhaps he enjoys living his life just this way, without an overwriting of the knowledge and experiences he has uniquely gained.

Seeing this possible outcome ahead of time, perhaps until majority he has been sheltered from life, kept in a state of induced hibernation in nutrient-rich chemicals to prepare the way for the Great Implanting.

Right here there are ethical problems, of course. Barring the tremendous neurological difficulties to be surmounted in keeping a growing body in stasis, and more importantly brain, in optimal functioning while in suspended animation, what right do these scientists and the disembodied Ray have in inflicting a rewiring/reprogramming of Ray 2’s brain? Is he not, in an existential sense, the same as Ray’s monozygotic twin brother born more than a century later, and subject to the right to choose whether he accepts his photonic “brother’s” experiences and cognitive capabilities?

To be clearer: Can Ray Kurzweil 1, since he “owns” his own DNA, give consent to have a copy of his DNA, grown to personhood at a different place and time, subjected to the downloaded experiences of his original body?

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       Foreseeing this ethical thicket, let’s say Ray 1 will be compelled to have a battery of twins created, hoping one will freely accept the downloading. So let’s say one of them freely chooses to have their experiences overwritten/augmented by Ray 1’s life and thoughts. A preparation protocol is used to increase biological Ray 5’s neuronal connections to a level comparable to the mature, 30 year-old Ray 1. Perhaps a transition program is used to incrementally acclimatize Ray 5 to Ray 1’s intellect and memories, and vice versa. There may be several outcomes:

a. Ray 1’s copied consciousness will not be able to adapt to this new body due to some unforeseen medical complication. It will become a prisoner in a recalcitrant body. The period spent as zillions of ones and zeroes will have fundamentally changed Ray 1’s relation to and sense of embodiment. Ray 1’s consciousness will reject the embodiment in Ray 5, like an organ transplant is rejected. He will be screwed—a homunculus consciousness inside a physical being who may disobey his wishes. Not unlike a person with Dissociated Identity Disorder, Ray 5 will struggle with Ray 1 almost constantly. Advanced “smart drugs” may be able to chemically keep Ray 1’s (or Ray 5’s) “will” at bay, but this will hardly be a happy existence for either.

AI Ray will say, let’s try again….

b. Let’s say there is a super-advanced transition program that will acclimatize Ray 1 back into an embodied existence. Even still, this new body of Ray 5 occupies a different existence, a distinct timeline in space-time than his original 170-year old shell. Ray 5’s body has been exposed to different cosmic conditions—radiation levels, electromagnetic fields, nutrients, environmental toxins and consequent immunities, etc. Ray 5’s body is a holistic product of and at equilibrium with the interaction between his genes and the future environment, just as Ray 1’s body was 170 years ago. Ray 5’s body may, despite the preparation, reject the superimposed neuronal changes as a body rejects a transplant, as in A. This may be taken into consideration early on, and all of the clones’ lives lived in conditions as close as possible to simulating the conditions of Ray 1’s world—that of the world, generally, 170 years ago. There still may be laws as yet unknown that “fix” a person’s life conditions into a set of parameters that cannot be altered by the addition of something as complex as another person’s life experiences.

c. The downloading may be successful—at first. There may be eventual catastrophic decline or disruption to Ray 5’s cognitive or bodily functions, as in “Flowers for Algernon.” Nature always has tricks and fail-safes up her embroidered sleeves.

d. Indulging a variant of Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance conjecture, Ray 5 may actually naturally develop along the lines of Ray 1 both physically and mentally, and may even remember bits of his first embodiment. There may be a sort of memory encoded in the epigenetic changes Ray 1 went through in his 70+ years of life, and these left traces that unfolded in Ray 5’s development. This would make easier the superimposition of Ray 1’s consciousness.

e. The transplant may be entirely successful. Ray 5 will now become Ray 1 again at 21 years old, and Ray 5’s experiences integrated into him. With life-extension drugs having been perfected, he could live to 200 years old, until the next uploading/downloading occurs into another new body.

Additionally, perhaps computer engineers of the future (with AI Ray’s prodigious help) will be able to “perfect” an artificial body for him modeled entirely upon the reverse-entropic biological processes inherent in living beings. It will have a blank slate of artificial neural networks equaling the complexity (and perhaps copying) that of Ray’s organic brain. In this case, the download of AI Ray’s consciousness into this biomechanical manikin would seem more plausibly effective.

Again, the same results may happen on the AI Ray’s re-embodiment end: A single unforeseen glitch in translation could ripple through the system causing a crash; the interface may not achieve a robustness that allows his control of the “nervous system” and affect the autonomic systems. Back to the electron-stream.

The only way to know if any of this is possible, according to Kurzweil, is to try.

These are all assumptions based solely on a materialist/physicalist worldview.


A magnetic recording is an analog phenomena; the tape captures almost every sound vibration in the vicinity of a microphone by directly imprinting (interrupting) the steady magnetic field with a complex of wave­ signatures upon its surface. A digital recording on the other hand electronically “samples” the incoming vibrations thousands of times a second and reproduces it through a string of pulses represented as sets of ones and zeroes for each frequency or set of frequencies.

The analog recording concept theoretically applies to everything we can mentally perceive—a continuum of smooth, interdependent activity. But the scale of a phenomena or “bracketed” event matters when we describe it this way; we could call everything from the chemical elements and the larger biological forms they make up (like catalysts) analog forms, while a different conception of form exists at the subatomic level. Physicist Max Planck’s idea of a quantized change in energy from one state to another in electrons and photons implies discontinuities on this small scale, and this what is he meant by quantum—a self-­limited quantity.

But does the discontinuous “nature” or quality of this scale make subatomic events amenable to digital/binary modeling—and eventual copying—as Kurzweil and many transhumanist neuroscientists believe?

I don’t think so. Binary operations play a part in consciousness, but the larger chemical systems and organism in which they are embedded mediate the dualistic on­off processes of neuronal activity. Neurons considered from the quantum level function within a “flowing” analog environment of interdependence (and are subject to signal/noise degradation). The neuronal “fired/not fired” states cannot be viewed separate from the larger­scale systems. Every dendrite­-axon-synapse combination in the brain—trillions of them packed together—sits in a soup of chemicals and electrical impulses that defy quantization in their complexity. Our fastest and most yottabyte­heavy parallel processing computer systems still don’t come close to the complexity level of the brain. And they never will.

Transformation of the “analog phenomena” of an individual’s subjective sense of self into a digitized form seems to be the core of this kind of transhumanist project (although there are those who propose that there could be a “neutral substrate” made of purely disembodied information that can be translated and introduced into any type of form—silicon, crystals, light, liquids, even gases—and still meet a criteria of conscious and contain one’s “personality).[1] Claims that biological processes can not only be modeled as globally digital functions, but are digital phenomena are most often made with respect to neuron/synapse activity in the brain—but this is merely a specific metaphor run amok. But the use of metaphor has a history. It goes all the way back to the split between mind (soul) and body Descartes conjectured in his First Meditations; it is the idea that the biological half is purely mechanistic, like a clock.

One unspoken, perhaps unconscious core tactic of the transhumanist outlook—and even certain fields of science as a whole—is to remap the connection between a natural phenomena (origination) and a technological­-instrumental device (simulation), then reinscribe this established connection into another social domain by means of a handy metaphor.

The first phase is the simple one­ to­ one metaphor, as noted above with Descartes: biology is like, or mimics, a clockwork/machine.

As our machines have increased in complexity, and computing moved from analog to digital, allowing a thousandfold increase in power, it allowed modeling of biological systems and further, the possibility of seeing equivalence between the two.

Thus at the second phase, the metaphorical arrow of signification is double-headed and equalized: biology is no less and no more than a digital phenomenon. Thus the grounds for reversing the metaphorical signification are made possible. The ur-metaphor begins to shape the thinking of practitioners in cognitive science, neurology, and AI, then in a wide variety of disciplines—and can limit true thinking on a society­wide scale, be it from neuroscience to political science, from physics to economics, or from biology to sociology. The new “truth” begins to dominate thinking to such an extant as to obscure its origination point in the natural phenomena from whence it came. In this case, the latter has already been “enframed” into the condition Martin Heidegger called “standing reserve”—something whose tangible, unique, existence as an existent is “invisible” but is yet used as an instrument or commodity for a human, or humanity.

Here’s a specific example: a scientist or philosopher is discussing sensory systems or thought processes—the eye or the ear, and the brain’s operation—and casually reverses the arrow of signification on us the readers:

“The eye is a remarkable optical instrument.”


“The brain parallel­ processes a billion synaptic firings a second in its computation and algorithmic input-output.”

Such seemingly innocuous statements, made repeatedly over the course of the article or book, can gently abuse the “metaphor” until we begin to actually conceive the eye as an optical device or the brain as a computer. We then conceptualize the eye as a kind of device that evolved for the specific purpose of seeing. This is a wrong way to characterize it. “Seeing” as a phenomenon takes place within and is only a part of consciousness; consciousness includes the contents of “that which is seen.” The scientist’s narrow focus on a holistic event, as phenomenologists have attested, cannot be separated from the entire act of seeing. The “act of seeing” must be “bracketed” by the scientist as a specific type of biological activity limited solely to the mechanics of the eye for them to get away with the reversal. The boundaries of the act of seeing cannot be delimited as we commonly understand existence; we may use the term in a variety of ways, as related to visual phenomena or, as was explained by Plato, a metaphor to comprehend something abstractly. “Seeing” and “seeing-as,” as the Heidegger of Being and Time might have put it, are primordial to human being in any given situation, all situations of which defy conceptualization.

This is a difficult conceptual difference to convey, but it is vitally important. So let’s take a robotic example. An artificial device that is structurally identical to the eye will perform the function of translating photons striking an “outer appearance” and bouncing into its iris into identical patterns on an “inner screen” or representation of whatever impinges upon its outer surface—and its fidelity to those patterned photons is our standard of how well it performs its job as an eye (this “inner screen” or “theater stage” is the poor metaphor we have, by default, used for centuries). Yet we as observers of the overall isolated “seeing” system of the device have no way of fully measuring the originating phenomena at which it “looks”—the pattern of photons external to it that it is “looking at,” and the human eye’s own ability to encompass this same external area—to have a criteria of identity that is as exact and unambiguous as our scientist­writer would have us believe. Such a criteria of fidelity is entirely rough and depends, like it or not, on quantum phenomena in the eye, the optical center of the brain, and the “outer” world conceived as a bounded system subject to probability. The artificial eye we have constructed and are observing is an isolated system with reference only to capturing the patterned photons. Its fidelity and “what it makes of the scene” can in no way be known.

On a cultural level, this reversal of signification is taken as a given. It is deployed/disseminated from one discipline or profession of discourse into another and thus begins to shape the thinking of society on a wide scale.

Concepts from neuroscience find their way into politics, from business management to journalism, from biology to music, etc. None of this metaphor-making is wrong, per se; it is just that we should not literally believe any of it as real. The web of metaphors that is created is one that concretely literalizes them over time, and make their origination as metaphors a “trace” only, or effaced entirely.

It is quite possible that in time we will not be able to think outside our metaphors. Certainly it seems that scientists like Kurzweil cannot.

This is the situating matrix of transhumanist thought. It’s a short step from viewing biology as akin to “clockwork gears” to viewing it as a digital computing phenomenon. Everyone from neuroscientists to psychologists to physicists love to say Descartes’s radical dualism is dead, but it’s echoing pretty loudly in transhumanist talk of “uploading consciousness.” Bollocks!


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       Talk of uploading consciousness cannot but be based in the thorny debate over what consciousness is. It is still unanswered and perhaps unanswerable. Since some of the brain’s functions can be modeled digitally, it must be digital. Transhumanist rhetoric like Kurzweil’s thus assumes that it is “naturally” a digital phenomenon.

But let’s give him that the models can mimic the conscious behavior of a sentient being. Does mimicking require consciousness? If we say yes, does it imply there is a subject of consciousness behind the behavior? Not at all. We are back to the qualia mystery and philosopher Thomas Nagel’s “what is it like to be a bat?” question.[2]

Going further, let’s strike mimic and replace it with exhibit. “Mimic,” of course, is covered as a special form under the general concept “exhibit.” But the same problem confronts us, the age-old problem of “other minds” and we’re right back to Nagel’s questions. It wouldn’t matter if the model is digitally constructed or a “neurosoup” designed by nanoassemblers programmed to build a wet human brain in a vat.

We can allow that there are operations in the brain that are roughly algorithmic in function. We can also allow that there are brain operations that are like the binary of digital pulses. And we can combine these two phenomena into a synthesized model.

Suppose an advanced AI designs and builds a neurosoup brain that bypasses our human neural architecture, but its result seems to exhibit all the behavior of a conscious being. Through a vocal interface it can carry on conversations, has a sense of humor, can write poetry and even Simpsons episodes. The AI had in its “memory” all the necessary medical knowledge of the human nervous system but discovered “shortcuts” or ways to abbreviate functions in the natural design, the product of millions of years of evolution, and went ahead with dispensing with some of the architecture because it evaluated them as redundancies. The product appears to exhibit sentience, learning capabilities, and the self-criticality necessary for us to say it might possess consciousness.

We find we cannot reverse engineer the brain it built; we can’t comprehend the complex order of operations it performs, which appear different than the human brain.





[2] Nagel, Thomas, “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” from Mortal Questions, Cambridge University Press, 1991.