A UFO religion is any religion in which the existence of extraterrestrial (ET) entities operating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) is an element of belief. Typically, adherents of such religions believe the ETs to be interested in the welfare of humanity which either already is, or eventually will become, part of a pre-existing ET civilization. Others may incorporate ETs into a more supernatural worldview in which the UFO occupants are more akin to angels than physical aliens; this distinction may be blurred within the overall subculture. These religions have their roots in the tropes of early science fiction (especially space opera) and weird fiction writings, in ufology, and in the subculture of UFO sightings and alien abduction stories.
Some adherents believe that the arrival or rediscovery of alien civilizations, technologies and spirituality will enable humans to overcome current ecological, spiritual and social problems. Issues such as hatred, war, bigotry, poverty and so on are said to be resolvable through the use of superior alien technology and spiritual abilities. Such belief systems are also described as millenarian in their outlook.
UFO religions developed first in such countries as the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and Japan as the concept presumes the cultural context of a society technologically advanced enough to conceive of ET as such and one in which religion of any kind is not discouraged or suppressed. The term "flying saucers" and the popular notion of the UFO originated in 1947. The 1950s saw the creation of UFO religions, with the advent of the purported contactees.
The Aetherius Society was founded in the United Kingdom in 1955. Its founder, George King, claimed to have been contacted telepathically by an alien intelligence called Aetherius, who represented an "Interplanetary Parliament." According to Aetherians, their society acts as a vehicle through which "Cosmic Transmissions of advanced metaphysical significance" can be disseminated to humanity. These "transmissions" were recorded on magnetic reel-to-reel tape by persons present during each "telepathic transmission" as George King sat in a state of "Samadhi" and the "transmission" was "delivered" via his own voicebox. In 1956 and 1957, and on occasion before a public audience, several of these "transmissions" forecast flying saucer activity in specific parts of the world on certain dates (You Are Responsible! Aetherius Society 1961). Shortly after these dates, newspapers, such as the Sunday Times and The Daily Telegraph, reported sightings which coincided with the dates and locations forecast in these "transmissions". As a spiritual teacher, George King taught certain yoga practices, spiritual healing, Eastern mantra and "dynamic prayer"—tools for spiritual self-advancement and service to the world—which the Aetherius Society is principally based upon.
Founded in 1979 with the publication of SubGenius Pamphlet #1 by Ivan Stang and Philo Drummond, the Church of the SubGenius has been known as a "parody religion" due to its extensive use of comedy and parody. In spite of this, the organization claims over 10,000 followers worldwide who have paid $30 to become "ordained SubGenius ministers", and it has been embraced by many skeptic and atheist groups. With the publication of The Book of the SubGenius in 1983, the Church of the SubGenius prophesied that its founder, J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, was in contact with an exterrestrial race called the Xists ("X-ists"), and these Xists were scheduled to launch a worldwide invasion of Earth on July 5, 1998. (See also: X-Day (Church of the SubGenius)) The day of the scheduled invasion came and went without an appearance by the Xists, but church members remain unconvinced. The church now holds annual "X-Day" celebrations on July 5 of every year. The church also claims that its members are not entirely human, having descended from the Yeti.
The Heaven's Gate group achieved notoriety in 1997 when founder Marshall Applewhite convinced 38 followers to commit mass suicide. Members reportedly believed themselves to be aliens, awaiting a spaceship that would arrive with Comet Hale-Bopp. The suicide was undertaken in the apparent belief that their souls would be transported onto the spaceship, which they thought was hiding behind the comet. They underwent elaborate preparations for their trip, including purchasing and wearing matching shoes and living in a darkened house to simulate the long journey they expected to have in outer space.
The Nation of Islam subscribes to the belief that UFOs are man-made machines that are piloted not by extraterrestrial beings, but by humans. It is believed that these machines will have a hand in the Day of Judgment. Its late leader Elijah Muhammed claimed that the biblical Book of Ezekiel describes a "Mother Plane" or great "Wheel". Elijah reported in his books that his mentor, Wallace Fard Muhammad, claimed that there was hidden technology on the Earth which selected scientists all around the world are secretly aware of. Fard explained that he had had a huge "Mother Plane" or "Wheel" constructed on the island of Nippon (Japan) in 1929. The movement's current leader, Louis Farrakhan, describes the "Mother Plane" thus:
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Motherplane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day but a pillar of fire by night. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the original scientists. It took 15 billion dollars in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel. America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this mother wheel which is a half mile by a half mile (800 by 800 m). This Mother Wheel is like a small human built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.
The International Raëlian Movement has been described as "the largest UFO religion in the world." Raëlians believe that scientifically advanced extraterrestrials, known as the Elohim, created life on Earth through genetic engineering, and that a combination of human cloning and "mind transfer" can ultimately provide eternal life. Past religious teachers, like Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad, are said to have been sent by these scientifically advanced extraterrestrials to teach humanity. The Elohim are said to be planning a future visit to complete their revelation and education of humanity.
Raëlian Priest Thomas said on this topic, "The difference between Raëlians and Heaven's Gate and Jim Jones etc., is that the others destructively believed in a God who would give them a better life after death, just like most believers in a monotheistic religion do today, and hence the risk for suicide chasing afterlife rewards … as Raëlians we want the best right now in our life, who would want to die now in that scenario with all those pleasures to enjoy? Raëlians believe in enjoying life now, with happiness and laughter."
Scientology has been discussed in the context of UFO religions in UFO Religions by Christopher Partridge, The Encyclopedic Sourcebook of UFO Religions by James R. Lewis, and UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture by Gregory Reece. Stories of extraterrestrial civilizations and interventions in past lives form a part of the belief system of Scientology. The most well-known story publicized and held up to ridicule by critics is that of Xenu, the ruler of the Galactic Confederacy who is said to have brought billions of frozen people to Earth 75 million years ago and placed them near a number of volcanoes, and dropped hydrogen bombs into them, thus killing the entire population in an effort to solve overpopulation. The spirits of these people were then captured by Xenu and mass implanted with numerous suggestions and then "packaged" into clusters of spirits.
Scientology teaches that all humans have experienced innumerable past lives, including lives in ancient advanced extraterrestrial societies, such as Helatrobus and the Marcabians. Traumatic memories from these past lives are said to be the cause of many present-day physical and mental ailments. Scientologists also believe that human beings possess superhuman powers which cannot be restored until they have been fully rehabilitated as spiritual beings through the practice of "auditing", using methods set out by Hubbard in his various works.
According to Hubbard, a thetan (the Scientology term for a soul) has a body. When that body dies the thetan goes to a "landing station" on the planet Venus, where they are re-implanted and are programmed to forget their previous lifetimes. The Venusians then "capsule" each thetan and send them back to Earth to be dumped into the Gulf of California; whereupon, each thetan searches for a new body to inhabit. To avoid these inconveniences, Hubbard advised Scientologists to simply refuse to go to Venus after their death.
Founded by Ernest L. Norman and his wife, Ruth, in 1954, the Unarians are a group headquartered in El Cajon, California, who believe that, through the use of Four-dimensional space physics, they are able to communicate with supposed advanced intelligent beings that allegedly exist on "higher frequency" planes. Unarians believe in past lives and hold that the Solar System was once inhabited by ancient interplanetary civilizations.
The Universal Industrial Church of the New World Comforter is a UFO religion founded in 1967 by Allen Michael.
In 1947, Allen Noonan was a pictorial sign painter in Long Beach, California, who that year claimed to have an encounter with Galactic Space Beings. While painting a signboard he said he was beamed up into a Mothership. He then changed his name to Allen Michael. He claimed to have physically encountered a flying saucer in 1954 at Giant Rock in the Mojave Desert of California. During the Summer of Love, he began the One World Family Commune with a vegan restaurant on the northeast corner of Haight and Scott streets in San Francisco, California, called the Here and Now. 7 similar restaurants followed. His communal group lived in two large houses during the early 1970s in Berkeley, California. In 1969, the commune established a vegan restaurant in a much larger space on Telegraph Avenue and Haste Street in Berkeley and the name of the restaurant was changed to the One World Family Natural Food Center. They published a vegetarian cookbook called Cosmic Cookery. There was a large mural on the side of the restaurant painted by Allen Michael that had written above it the phrase Farmers, Workers, Soldiers Unite — The People's Spiritual Reformation 1776–1976! The farmer was holding a pitchfork, the worker was holding a hammer, and the soldier was holding a gun, and they had their arms around each other's shoulders. Above the three were three flying saucers coming in for a landing. In 1973, Allen Michael founded "The Universal Industrial Church of the New World Comforter" and published the first volume of his channeled revelations, The Everlasting Gospel. In 1975, the church headquarters and the vegetarian restaurant relocated to Stockton, California. Allen Noonan ran for president of the United States in the 1980 and 1984 elections on the Utopian Synthesis Party ticket.
The Universe People or Cosmic people of light powers (Czech: Vesmírní lidé sil světla) is a Czech movement centered around Ivo A. Benda. Its belief system is based upon the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations communicating with Benda and other "contacters" since October 1997 telepathically and later by direct personal contact. According to Benda, those civilizations operate a fleet of spaceships led by Ashtar (sometimes written Ashtar Sheran) orbiting and closely watching the Earth, helping the good and waiting to transport the followers into another dimension. The Universe People teaching incorporates various elements from ufology (some foreign "contacters" are credited, though often also renounced after a time as misguided or deceptive), Christianity (Jesus was a "fine-vibrations" being) and conspiracy theories (forces of evil are supposed to plan compulsory chipping of the populace).
The Theosophical-influenced guru Benjamin Creme of Share International claimed that the Messiah figure he referred to as Maitreya, who, he taught, will soon declare himself publicly, is in telepathic contact with the space brothers in their flying saucers. Creme subscribed to the view that Nordic aliens from Venus pilot flying saucers from a civilization on Venus hundreds of millions of years in advance of ours that exists on the etheric plane of Venus. These flying saucers are capable of stepping down the level of vibration of themselves and their craft to the slower level of vibration of the atoms of the physical plane (Creme accepted George Adamski's UFO sightings as valid). According to Creme, the Venusians have mother ships up to four miles long. It is also believed by the Theosophists in general as well as Creme in particular that the governing deity of Earth, Sanat Kumara (who is believed to live in a city called Shamballa located above the Gobi desert on the etheric plane of Earth), is a Nordic alien who originally came from Venus 18,500,000 years ago. The followers of Benjamin Creme believe there is regular flying saucer traffic between Venus and Shamballah and that crop circles are mostly caused by flying saucers.
The Ascended Master Teachings are a group of religions based on Theosophy. In the traditional Ascended Master Teachings of Guy Ballard and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, no mention is made of UFOs or flying saucers. However, the Ascended Master Teachings teacher Joshua David Stone in his teachings began, beginning in 1993, to refer to Ashtar, believed by some UFO enthusiasts to be the commander of a flying saucer fleet called the "Ashtar Galactic Command" that operates near Earth (manned mostly by Venusians), as a Master along with the more traditional ascended masters. He continued to include "Ashtar" on his list of ascended masters that he mentioned he received dictations from when speaking at his yearly Wesak Festival Mount Shasta gatherings that began to be held in 1996. Stone also taught that the Master Jesus, under his "galactic" name Sananda, sometimes rides with "Commander Ashtar" in his flying saucer fleet.
A neo-Nazi esoteric Nazi Gnostic sect headquartered in Vienna, Austria, called the Tempelhofgesellschaft, founded in the early 1990s, teaches what it calls a form of Marcionism. They distribute pamphlets claiming that the Aryan race originally came to Atlantis from the star Aldebaran (this information is supposedly based on "ancient Sumerian manuscripts"). They maintain that the Aryans from Aldebaran derive their power from the vril energy of the Black Sun. They teach that since the Aryan race is of extraterrestrial origin it has a divine mission to dominate all the other races. It is believed by adherents of this religion that an enormous space fleet is on its way to Earth from Aldebaran which, when it arrives, will join forces with the "Nazi Flying Saucers from Antarctica" to establish the Western Imperium.
The New Message from God claims that aliens are on Earth to take advantage of imminent, global environmental collapse: "Humanity is now facing competition from beyond the world, intervention from races beyond the world who seek to take advantage of a weak and divided humanity, who seek to benefit from the decline of human civilization."
This sect was originally a splinter group of the Brahma Kumaris and is known for a police and media scare in which an alleged attempt to commit ritual suicide took place in Teide National Park in Tenerife in 1998. Apparently, the 32 members of the sect believed that they would be collected by a spacecraft and taken to an unspecified destination.
According to material the group posted on its Internet site, the timing of the suicides were probably related to the arrival of the Hale–Bopp comet, which members seemed to regard as a cosmic emissary beckoning them to another world.
Angel hair or siliceous cotton is a sticky, fibrous substance reported in connection with UFO sightings, or manifestations of the Virgin Mary. It has been described as being like a cobweb or a jelly.It is named for its similarity to fine hair, or spider webs, and in some cases the substance has been found to be the web threads of migrating spiders. Reports of angel hair say that it disintegrates or evaporates within a short time of forming. Angel hair is an important aspect of the UFO religion Raëlism, and one theory among ufologists is that it is created from "ionized air sleeting off an electromagnetic field" that surrounds a UFO.Ashtar (extraterrestrial being)
Ashtar (sometimes called Ashtar Sheran) is the name given to an extraterrestrial being or group of beings which a number of people claim to have channeled. UFO contactee George Van Tassel was likely the first to claim to receive an Ashtar message, in 1952. Since then many different claims about Ashtar have appeared in different contexts. The Ashtar movement is studied by academics as a prominent form of UFO religion.Bounded Choice
Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults is a 2004 psychology book on cults by Janja Lalich. It was published by University of California Press.
Lalich had previously studied Heaven's Gate and the Democratic Workers Party for her doctoral dissertation entitled "Bounded Choice: The Fusion of Personal Freedom and Self-Renunciation in Two Transcendent Groups", and that research was incorporated into the book.Lalich's methodologies were influenced by the work of Anthony Giddens, Herbert Simon and Robert Lifton. Heaven's Gate, a UFO religion, was used as a model for analyzing the cult structure.Marion Harmon wrote that: "Lalich’s research culminated in a new theory to explain how the combination of ideology, social structure, and commitment constrains the choice of true believers."Chen Tao (True Way Cult)
Chen Tao (真道, or "True Way") was a UFO religion that originated in Taiwan. It was founded by Hon-Ming Chen (born 1955), who first associated it with UFOs and later had the group misrepresented as a New Age UFO cult. Chen was a former professor who claimed to be an atheist until he joined a religious cultivation group that dated back for two generations to the original female founder, Teacher Yu-Hsia Chen. But he broke with the group, headed by the third-generation teacher, in 1993 and created, with another fellow-cultivator, Tao-hung Ma, their own groups. It was later, when he broke with Ma and decided to move to the US, that new elements, such as the pseudo-scientific information of cosmology and flying saucers, as well as Christian motifs of the prophecy of the end and the great tribulation, etc., were introduced into the group.
In Taiwan, the group was originally officially registered as The Chinese Soul Light Research Association. When the group moved to the United States from Asia, it was registered in the US as God's Salvation Church and first relocated to San Dimas, California. Adherents moved to Garland, Texas, in 1997.Cosmic Circle of Fellowship
Cosmic Circle of Fellowship was a mid-twentieth century UFO religion that claimed to offer interdimensional travel through deep relaxation. During the 1950s, it became connected with the contactee movement, people who believed they had been in contact with extraterrestrial beings. The Circle was founded by a postman named William R. Ferguson.Elohim (disambiguation)
Elohim is a Hebrew word for "gods" and a name of the god of Israel in the Hebrew Bible.
Elohim may also refer to:
Elohim (gods), "Sons of El" in Canaanite mythology
Elohim, a species of extraterrestrials that created life on Earth in the UFO religion Raëlism
the Elohim, a race of godlike beings in the fantasy series The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. DonaldsonFiat Lux (UFO religion)
Fiat Lux (Latin for "let there be light") is a neo-revelationist UFO religion whose members are primarily located in the Black Forest of Germany.Fiat Lux (disambiguation)
Fiat lux is a Latin phrase from the Bible. It translates in English to "Let there be light".
Fiat Lux may also refer to:
Fiat Lux (band), a 1980s English synthpop band
"Fiat Lux", a poem by Lynda Hull
Fiat Lux, a science fiction novella by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Fiat Lux (UFO religion), a cult based in Germany
Fiat Lux (film), a 1923 Austrian filmHeaven's Gate (religious group)
Heaven's Gate was an American UFO religious millenarian cult based near San Diego, California. It was founded in 1974 and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, members of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group in a house in the San Diego suburb of Rancho Santa Fe. They had participated in a mass suicide; specifically, a coordinated series of ritual suicides, in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale–Bopp.Just before the mass suicide, the group's website was updated with the message: "Hale–Bopp brings closure to Heaven's Gate ... Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion – 'graduation' from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave 'this world' and go with Ti's crew."Interdimensional hypothesis
The interdimensional hypothesis (IDH or IH), is an idea advanced by Ufologists such as Jacques Vallée that says unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and related events involve visitations from other "realities" or "dimensions" that coexist separately alongside our own. It is not necessarily an alternative to the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) seeing as the two hypotheses are not mutually exclusive so both could be true simultaneously. IDH also holds that UFOs are a modern manifestation of a phenomenon that has occurred throughout recorded human history, which in prior ages were ascribed to mythological or supernatural creatures.Although ETH has remained the predominant explanation for UFOs by UFOlogists, some ufologists have abandoned it in favor of IDH. Paranormal researcher Brad Steiger wrote that "we are dealing with a multidimensional paraphysical phenomenon that is largely indigenous to planet Earth". Other UFOlogists, such as John Ankerberg and John Weldon, advocate IDH because it fits the explanation of UFOs as a spiritistic phenomenon. Commenting on the disparity between the ETH and the accounts that people have made of UFO encounters, Ankerberg and Weldon wrote "the UFO phenomenon simply does not behave like extraterrestrial visitors." In the book UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse published in 1970, John Keel linked UFOs to folkloric or supernatural concepts such as ghosts and demons.
The development of IDH as an alternative to ETH increased in the 1970s and 1980s with the publication of books by Vallée and J. Allen Hynek. In 1975, Vallée and Hynek advocated the hypothesis in The Edge of Reality: A Progress Report on Unidentified Flying Objects and further, in Vallée's 1979 book Messengers of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults.Some UFO proponents accepted IDH because the distance between stars makes interstellar travel impractical using conventional means and nobody had demonstrated an antigravity or faster-than-light travel hypothesis that could explain extraterrestrial machines. With IDH, it is unnecessary to explain any propulsion method because the IDH holds that UFOs are not spacecraft, but rather devices that travel between different realities.One advantage of IDH proffered by Hilary Evans is its ability to explain the apparent ability of UFOs to appear and disappear from sight and radar; this is explained as the UFO entering and leaving our dimension ("materializing" and "dematerializing"). Moreover, Evans argues that if the other dimension is slightly more advanced than ours, or is our own future, this would explain the UFOs' tendency to represent near future technologies (airships in the 1890s, rockets and supersonic travel in the 1940s, etc.).IDH has been a causative factor in establishing UFO religion.Korindo (Raëlian temple)
Korindo (Japanese: 光臨堂, also called Mirokubosatsu Korindo, Japanese: 弥勒菩薩光臨堂) is a Raëlian temple in Tako near Narita, Japan. It is the first such temple dedicated to the Elohim, and meditation.Korindo is a Japanese word that means "light coming from the sky". It is the first recognised Raëlian temple for about 1500 active members and promoters of this UFO religion, mentors, and over 50,000 followers of Raëlism from about 84 countries, and is situated in a village near Narita in Japan. In Asia, Japan dominates in proportion of the people who have faith in Raëlism. It is believed by the Raëlians that life on Earth was created by extraterrestrial scientists from space, in their own image and resemblance. Moreover, Raëlians further claim that it was a Sunday when Adam and Eve were brought into being by the Elohim.List of UFO religions
UFO religions are groups which deal with alleged communication between humans and extraterrestrial beings. Forms of communication include telepathy and astral projection. Groups often believe that humanity can be saved after being educated by the aliens as to how to improve society. Alien abduction belief can lead to formation of a UFO religion. I AM Religious Activity, founded in 1930 by Guy Ballard, is seen, according to one author, as the first UFO Religion, though Aetherius Society founded by George King has also been given this distinction. Scholars identify the 1947 Roswell UFO Incident as a key event within the history of UFO spirituality. Melodie Campbell and Stephen A. Kent describe Heaven's Gate and Order of the Solar Temple as among the most controversial of the UFO belief groups. Scientology is seen by scholars as a UFO religion, due to its Xenu cosmogony and the presence of Space opera in Scientology doctrine.List of new religious movements
A new religious movement (NRM) is a religious, ethical, or spiritual group or community with practices of relatively modern origins. NRMs may be novel in origin or they may exist on the fringes of a wider religion, in which case they will be distinct from pre-existing denominations. Academics identify a variety of characteristics which they employ in categorizing groups as new religious movements. The term is broad and inclusive, rather than sharply defined. New religious movements are generally seen as syncretic, employing human and material assets to disseminate their ideas and worldviews, deviating in some degree from a society's traditional forms or doctrines, focused especially upon the self, and having a peripheral relationship that exists in a state of tension with established societal conventions.An NRM may be one of a wide range of movements ranging from those with loose affiliations based on novel approaches to spirituality or religion to communitarian enterprises that demand a considerable amount of group conformity and a social identity that separates their adherents from mainstream society. Use of the term NRM is not universally accepted among the groups to which it is applied. Scholars have estimated that NRMs now number in the tens of thousands worldwide, with most in Asia and Africa. Most have only a few members, some have thousands, and very few have more than a million. Academics occasionally propose amendments to technical definitions and continue to add new groups.Rael
Rael may refer to:
Raël (born 1946), UFO-religion leader of Rael Movement
"Rael", song by The Who from The Who Sell Out
RAEL Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory
"Rael", protagonist of the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on BroadwayRaël
Raël (born Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon, 30 September 1946), is the founder and current leader of the UFO religion known as Raëlism.
Vorilhon became a sports-car journalist and test driver for his own car-racing magazine, Autopop. Following a purported extraterrestrial encounter in December 1973, he formed the Raëlian Movement and changed his name to Raël (meaning "messenger of the elohim"). He later published several books, which detail the encounter with a being called Yahweh in 1973. He traveled the world to promote his books for over 30 years.Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist of religion and author whose primary research interest is new religious movements. Formerly a professor of religious studies at Dawson College in Westmount, Quebec, she is currently an Affiliate Professor at Concordia University, and is also the Principal Investigator on the four-year SSHRC-funded research project, "Children in Sectarian Religions" at McGill University in Montreal, where she teaches courses on new religious movements.The Seekers (rapturists)
The Seekers, also called The Brotherhood of the Seven Rays, were a group of rapturists or a UFO religion in mid-twentieth century Midwestern United States. The Seekers met in a nondenominational church, the group originally organized in 1953 by Charles Laughead, a staff member at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. They were led by Dorothy Martin from the Chicago area (also called Sister Thedra), who believed a UFO would take them on December 21, 1954. They are believed to be the first such group to exist. They were the subject of the book When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger; Laughead was given the pseudonym Dr. Armstrong and Martin given the name Marian Keech.Universe People
Universe People or Cosmic People of Light Powers (Czech: Vesmírní lidé sil světla) is a Czech and Slovak UFO religion founded in the 1990s and centered on Ivo A. Benda. Their belief system is based upon the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations communicating with Benda and other contactees since October 1997 telepathically and later even by direct personal contact. They are considered to be the most distinctive UFO religion in the Czech Republic.Following the mass suicide of the members of the cult Heaven's Gate in 1997, the Universe People attracted the attention of Czech media as a group with similar ideology and potential to commit similar acts. The probability of this development has diminished in later years (2004). On several occasions, the group also managed to appear in the Czech and Slovak mass media.When Prophecy Fails
When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World is a classic work of social psychology by Leon Festinger, Henry Riecken, and Stanley Schachter published in 1956, which studied a small UFO religion in Chicago called the Seekers that believed in an imminent apocalypse and its coping mechanisms after the event did not occur. Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance can account for the psychological consequences of disconfirmed expectations. One of the first published cases of dissonance was reported in this book.
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