The Good News of Star Visitors, Part I

By Kenny Smith 

In an earlier essay for Religion Nerd, The Arrival of Extraterrestrials on the American Religious Landscape, we noted that the idea of ETs has played a role in American religious cultures–from physical and telepathic contactees to fundamentalist preachers–since the mid-20th century.  For the former, ETs are akin to elder brothers and sisters offering advice to a younger, less mature human civilization struggling with atomic weapons, existential anomie, and social and ecological decay; for the latter, they are demons the Bible has warned us about, hoping to lure the faithful away from God.

As we move further into the 21st century, we asked, might it be the case that the ET motif is likely to be taken up by a wider range of religious/spiritual traditions? From a Black Hebrew/Israelite prophet awaiting the coming of “the angels of YAHWEH,” to a Catholic priest happy to baptize ETs “if they ask,” to a psychotherapist offering a questionnaire measuring the degree to which we have been genetically “upgraded” by Star Visitors, there are examples that suggest this might be the case. 

Of particular interest right now is Dr. Richard Boylan (the former psychotherapist and university lecturer from Diamond Springs, California, mentioned above), founder of the Star Kids/Star Seeds Project. Boylan has recently, and quite publicly, stated that open relations with Star Nations, a broad coalition of Star Visitor peoples (this name is said to be preferred over “ET”), is imminent. “Dec. 31, 2010, 11:59 pm, EST,” he writes, “is the official Deadline for the U.S. Government to make a formal Official Public Acknowledgment that Star Visitor Contact and Communication has occurred.”(1) To make certain that the U.S. government actually goes through with it,

Star Nations will begin a series of massive, dramatic, unmistakable set of displays-of-presence by large flotillas of starcraft presenting themselves low enough in the sky overhead as to be quite visible to people. These massive displays will be focused on the skies over the United States because the U.S. is the major one hold-out country to have not yet come clean with its people about UFO reality and Star Visitors contact. (1)

For anyone interested in alternative spiritual movements, this is a wonderful opportunity to watch as Boylan and his loosely-connected, and largely on-line spiritual community, adapt as these expectations unfold, however they happen to turn out.  

Some may be surprised by the admission that I don’t claim to know how Boylan’s predictions will turn out. Frankly, this is one feature of the academic discipline of “religious studies” I particularly admire: we bracket out our own views (as much as possible) in order get at the perspectives of those we study, whether Buddhists, Baptists, Wiccans or what-have-you. To get some sense of the importance of bracketing, consider the following example, which comes from recent American political/religious production.  

During the presidency of George W. Bush, some highly conservative Christians worried that Bush might in fact be the anti-Christ, and that his rise to power might signal that the draconian horrors of “the end times” were upon us. More, they often saw photographs such as that above, in which Bush and others close to him were said to be signaling their satanic allegiance by symbolically portraying the “horns” of the devil with their raised hand gestures, as evidence of this view. Of course, had we asked those in the picture what they intended, we would have learned that they were attending a Texas Longhorns football game, and that this hand gesture is a traditional sign of Longhorns fandom.(2)

In more recent years, similar portrayals of Barack Obama have been evident. A number of websites took statements in which Obama expressed sympathy for Islamic traditions as evidence the he might be the anti-Christ.(3) This past summer, a Missouri billboard equated Obama to despotic tyrants such as Adolph Hitler, among others. If we take these as accurate descriptions of the religious/political worldviews of Bush or Obama, we end up learning not about Bush or Obama, but about someone else’s opinions about Bush and Obama.

At the same time, a careful study of any movement begs for an interpretive effort. We may want to compare it to other religious or spiritual expressions, past or present, place it in the larger historical context in which it emerges, relate it to other cultural dynamics going on at the time, such as economics, politics, the lives of ordinary people, philosophy, the arts, entertainment, technology, and so forth. Indeed, there are many different interpretive windows through which we might view, and understand better still, the movements we study. Obviously, this second level of study (good description being the first) can come into conflict with how those we study see themselves – they may not, for instance, be friendly to the idea that their teachings play out key themes in American cultural history. My first goal, though, is to tell a version of Boylan’s story (the larger story into which his current expectations fit) that he would find at least reasonably accurate, and that might make his teachings intelligible to outsiders.

ETs as Star Visitors and Star Nations  

Boylan has spent considerable time and energy documenting what he understands the religious/spiritual orientation of most Star Visitors to be. He explains,  

The Star Visitor races who have commented on the concept of God… uniformly affirm that they, too accept the reality of what Earthlings call God. However, the God they affirm is not the anthropomorphic or patriarchal figure of many Earth religions, but more of a Supreme Source – a transcendent matrix of Consciousness, which underlies everything, and is that which gives essence and specificity to everything, which in turn is a partial manifestation of the Supreme Source. In more experiential terms, the Star Visitors have taken experiencers [those with have had first-hand contact with ETs] and shown them God. The experiencers typically described being in the presence of intense, overwhelmingly brilliant light from which emanates incredibly intense love, such that the experiencer feels lost in the infinite love.(4)

There is a good deal going on in this passage. Note, for instance, that for Boylan Star Visitors do not portray themselves as gods, but rather as having a relationship with God (or, more broadly the divine source) comparable in some ways to that of many human beings. Star Visitors, for example, are said to experience the divine as an overwhelmingly positive and embracing presence, something far greater than themselves.

At the same time, Star Visitor theology seems to differ significantly from much traditional Western religious thought. In fact, Star Visitors as they are presented here  blend two fundamentally different religious doctrines, theism and pantheism. Theism is a view common to many forms of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. This view emphasizes the transcendence of God, that is, God’s otherness, separation, or distance from the universe He created. From this perspective, God did not create the universe out of Himself, but rather “out of nothing” (ex nihilo) or out of some formless matter that was separate from Him. Thus, in strict theistic traditions, one does not correctly say “I am God,” but rather, “God might enter within me, if and when He so chooses.” In fact, in the history of the Western theistic traditions, those who have had experiences that lead them to declare, “I am God,” have frequently gotten themselves into terrible trouble with religious authorities.   

Pantheism is a very different sort of doctrine, which some scholars associate with nature-based religious cultures, and which has on occasion been articulated by some Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thinkers. This view, in essence, holds that God exists within all that is. Thus, the divine presence is found in all forms of physical matter (e.g., rocks, lakes, mountains, stars), human beings, animals, everywhere in the natural world, and most of within oneself. On this view, there is no place or thing that is not God, though there is little talk of God transcending or being more than the universe.

Star Visitor spirituality seems to put these two ideas together, holding that all things are ultimately formed out of the divine, but that this divine presence transcends even the entire physical universe. Philosophers of religion have called this pan-en-theism, and debated whether at least some human religious cultures, such as certain forms of Hinduism, might be panentheistic.

In any case, the psychological, social, and ethical implications of this view are noteworthy: while all things are made up of God, not all things are equally aware of this fact. Hence, some beings, and societies, typified by greater awareness and experience of the divine presence in and around them, are likewise characterized by greater degrees of compassion, altruism, and peacefulness; others, who may talk a lot about God but have little by way of consistent direct experience, are characterized by competition, greed, bigotry, coercion, fear, violence, warfare, and so forth. Contemporary human civilization, Boylan holds, is overwhelmingly defined by the latter, and Star Nations by the former. That is to say, Star Nations represent a more advanced, enlightened set of societies with not only vast intellectual and technological prowess, but access to greater levels of wisdom and care for all beings. As a rough analogy, one might recall the gentle, benevolent, but technologically advanced ET in the 1980s film, ET: The Extraterrestrial.

Star Nations are not, however, on Boylan’s telling, passive observers of the human drama. They have been intimately involved in the evolution of life on earth, and human beings especially. Long long ago, he teaches,

The Star Nations decided to accelerate evolution on Earth. They selected a promising Primate order representative to take reproductive material samples from, crossed it with some of their own DNA, and reinserted it in the primate mother, so that the resulting offspring would be more intelligent. After several iterations of effort, the Visitors around 275,000 years ago achieved a hybrid with a bit of their very high intelligence, a smattering of their highly-developed psychic abilities and spirituality, and sufficient dexterity and coordination to be capable of fashioning tools and intricate designs. In other words, they had achieved Homo Sapiens.(5)

In addition to shaping human biological evolution, Star Nations have worked to foster higher levels of spiritual development, and have done so by appearing among us as “The Avatars, major world religious leaders” such as Krishna, the Buddha and numerous Bodhisattvas, Zoroaster, Moses, Lao-Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, Bahá’u’lláh, White Buffalo Calf Woman, Quetzalcoatl, among many others.(6)  In this way, Star Visitors hoped to upgrade us culturally as well as biologically.

More, this story continues, human civilization has thus far seen three ages, each of which ended in utter catastrophe. In each, human societies grew corrupt and abusive, devolved spiritually, and were ultimately swept away by global disasters (such as fires, earthquakes, flooding, etc.), though in each case a small remnant survived to inhabit a new world and to begin the task of rebuilding. We currently live at the end of the fourth age, one typified by widespread abuses of power not only with regard to each other but also the earth itself.

A fourth civilization-ending catastrophe is possible, but this time Star Visitor are upgrading human DNA once again, producing a new species, no longer Homo Sapiens, but “Homo Alterios Spatialis (Transformed Cosmic Human) and Homo Noeticus (Cosmic-Consciousness Human).” For this new and improved species, altruism, compassion, peaceful cooperation, keenly aware of the divine presence in all things, a significantly expanded intellect, and a vast range of psychic abilities (e.g., telepathy, telekinesis, energy healing, astral travel, invisibility, among many others.), come naturally.(7) Those upgraded as adults Boylan refers to as Star Seeds. Those born with upgrades are Star Kids. It is Star Kids especially that are said to represent the future of humanity, a new kind of human being capable of living peaceful, ecologically sustainable, humane lives.

Star Visitors are said to be actively engaged in (quietly) visiting and upgrading human beings not only in America, but across the globe, both genders, and all ages and cultures. Upgrades are available to any sincere human being, and Boylan offers a method of “outreach to Star Visitors,” by which anyone might gradually establish working relationships with them. He writes,

[G]o to a secluded quiet place, engage in serene, open meditation, then, after a bit of meditation, proceed to respectful humble telepathic outreach, sending a message of invitation to contact, expressing loving intentions and respect. Send as much from your heart as from your mind. There are, of course, no guarantees. But this process increases your chances. Also, be flexible. Their response might not be to fly overhead or to show up visibly on the ground. Be attuned to the possibility of invisible presence (sensed psychically), or to a very gentle whole-thought or visual mental impressions from them in your mind.(8)

Why are Star Visitors so careful and cautious, working “behind the scenes,” as it were, to quietly upgrade human DNA, often appearing as “invisible presences” who respond “telepathically”? This has to do with the political aspects of Boylan’s worldview. Human civilization, he believes, is fundamentally controlled by a shadowy (and quite dangerous) group known as the “Cabal,” whom Boylan describes as,

global-scale plutocratic manipulators who use their immense wealth, prestige and power to control governments and economies to perpetuate their stranglehold on global society. Among other evils this is the organization behind the UFO Cover-Up. This group is comprised of the most selfish, megalomaniacal, and sociopathic individuals… a kind of ‘parallel government’ to the official elected and appointed governments of the more developed countries.(9)

This political situation, he says, and the desire of Star Nations to guide the development of human civilization without “doing the work for us,” has lead to a more subtle and gradualist approach: rather than stepping in and imposing a certain kind of society upon human beings, Star Nations has chosen to gently nudge human evolution from within (literally), to the point where human beings no longer create the same kind of societies (e.g., those based on consumption, hierarchies of power, violence, and so forth). As the transition to Homo Alterios Spatialis becomes complete, earth culture will take its place within a much larger, and healthier, galactic civilization.

While all manner of objections and arguments may immediately come to mind – ones that parallel classical arguments in the philosophy of religion in interesting ways (e.g., Why did Star Nations not create us from the beginning Homo Alterios Spatialis and thus avoid centuries of violence and suffering?) – it is worth noting that, when viewed in light of his broader worldview, Boylan’s expectations for the remainder of 2010 do not seem unreasonable. In fact, if we start with his basic assumptions, the conclusion that Star Nations would eventually opt for full and open contact with humankind actually follows rather naturally from them, and his working relationship with them provides a means for discerning precisely when and how this would occur. The point here is that Boylan’s expectations for 2010 become reasonable or unreasonable depending upon the basic assumptions with which we begin.

Some might object that, if we actually used this approach, then all sorts of bizarre worldviews, even violent ones like those of Christian Militias and Islamic militants, would start to make sense to us; we would see the connection between their starting assumptions and conclusions and actions. From a religious studies perspective, though, this is precisely what we mean by “understanding the religious Other.” Importantly, this does not mean agreeing with that religious Other; instead, it means basing our beliefs, interactions, and critiques on a better understanding of them. The potential power of the improved understanding possible through this approach is evident in recent attempts by the U. S. military to employ anthropologists in an effort to better grasp and anticipate the linguistic and cultural worlds of those peoples (say, in Afghanistan) whose hearts and minds we hope to win.

As the remainder of 2010 unfolds, so too will our discussion of Boylan’s expectations. We’ll discuss some of his more specific predictions and interpretations of key events, and how they relate to different scholarly interpretive efforts. For instance, we’ll look at points of connection linking his expectations with those of other movements in American religious history who have also thought that human history would soon be interrupted by the arrival of profoundly spiritual realities (though not necessarily ETs), and what such movements suggest about the ways in which the human religious imagination works.   

Of course, if Star Visitors do arrive en masse, it will be a good time to be studying religion. Do they mark out sacred space, sacred time, myth, ritual? Do they have revivals, and if so, are we invited?



Filed Under: American ReligionFeaturedKenny SmithNRMs


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