Spiritual Guru Bentinho Massaro Folds "Ancient Aliens" Style ET and Nazi Conspiracies into New Age Belief System
I’ve often noted that the professional ancient astronaut theorists on the History Channel often sound like they’re trying to start a cult. Sometimes it’s good to remember that there really are people who use ancient astronaut theories to start cults, or a reasonable facsimile of one. I’m sure most readers are familiar with the Raëlism movement, which came to prominence decades ago when whey claimed that ancient astronauts had directed them to engage in human cloning. But I had never heard of Bentinho Massaro, a Millennial New Age guru in Sedona, Arizona, until I read an exposé of his cult-like movement in a Medium.com article yesterday. Frankly, I thought it was fake news until I researched Massaro and discovered that he is a real, ridiculous New Age guru with an ideology that combines a strange mixture of Theosophy, Eastern mumbo-jumbo, ufology, and world domination.
THE GODS NEVER LEFT US:
THE LONG AWAITED SEQUEL TO THE WORLDWIDE BEST-SELLER CHARIOTS OF THE GODS
Erich von Däniken | 256 pages | Career Press | 2018 | ISBN: 978-1632651198 | $17.99
Earlier this month, ancient astronaut theorist Erich von Däniken released his latest book, The Gods Never Left Us (Career Press, 2018), which his publisher billed as the first direct sequel to Chariots of the Gods in fifty years. This seemed like hyperbole to me since several of his earlier books were also termed sequels. Perhaps the publisher was inspired by Jurassic World to make a “direct” sequel that ignored the existence of previous, less popular sequels. More likely, they were simply hoping that some marketing puffery would attract readers who will have forgotten about all of the other three dozen books the author produced
Rice University Religious Studies Scholar Claims Renaissance Painting Shows Unknowable UFO Mystery Beyond Human Knowledge
Jeffrey J. Kripal is the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University and ought to know better when it comes to studying the role of space aliens in ancient history. Anyone who has risen to such a position, and who has written about the role of the paranormal in the sacred, ought to have a bit of conception of the difference between the scientific and the supernatural, and between the plausible and the implausible. And yet in the recent edition of Edge Science magazine (No. 31, Sept. 2017), Kripal has an article, taken from his new book Secret Body: Erotic and Esoteric Currents in the History of Religions, rehashing the infamous claim that a gray splotch on a Renaissance painting of the Madonna and child is a flying saucer occupied by space aliens. He wants to accept all of the ufological evidence but sidestep the problems with claiming alien intervention by proposing that an unknowable “entity” manifests as shiny metal discs.
I have been steadfastly ignoring the news reports promoting the Rev. Barry Downing’s new book about UFOs in the Bible, but the number of them is getting ridiculous. The capper came when Mysterious Universe’s Paul Seaburn promoted the book as though it were a fresh and exciting take on the ancient alien claim. This is silly for a number of reasons, not just because Downing appeared on Ancient Aliens years ago to deliver the same message, but because his current book is a virtual rewrite of his first book on the subject, published in 1968! The claims are mostly the same, and they weren’t original then either.
Tom DeLonge Appears on Joe Rogan's Podcast to Talk UFO Truth, But Instead Admits His "Secret" Knowledge Comes from Old Paperback UFO Books
Last Thursday musician and UFO enthusiast Tom DeLonge appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience in order to promote To the Stars, Inc., his for-profit technology and entertainment company currently soliciting investment from the public to pay back the company’s massive financial obligations to DeLonge and to fund its explorations into science fiction and fringe science. Basically, it amounted to DeLonge telling Rogan that he knows all sorts of cool stuff but won’t tell anyone until he gets paid.
Josh Gates Walks Back Endorsement of Ancient Astronaut Theory, But Claims Ancient Achievements Cannot Be Explained
This week’s episode of Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials was really boring. It involved host Josh Gates listening to a group of Zimbabweans describe a mass UFO sighting that occurred in 1994, followed by a trip to Rendlesham Forest to listen to yet another iteration of the same routine set of mystery-mongering interviews with the UFO profiteers who have made a thirty-year career out of an alleged encounter with a spacecraft that has been debunked over and over again. We saw this a few months ago on Ancient Aliens (not to mention several times before), and the Science Channel, and Destination America, and some online articles, and practically everywhere UFOs are sold. Gates added nothing to the discussion except to give far too much credence to some fairly dubious claims, to the exclusion of reasonable explanations.
Chapman University Survey Finds Majority of Americans Now Believe in Ancient Advanced Civilization, While a Third Believe in Ancient Astronauts
Something bad is going on in America, and I’m not entirely sure whom to blame. For the past few years Chapman University has conducted a Halloween-themed study of paranormal and superstitious beliefs tied to Americans’ worst fears. Included in the survey questions were items related to subjects of interest to us: ancient astronauts, lost advanced civilizations, etc. The latest survey was released this week, and for the first time a clear majority of American now professes to believe in a lost Ice Age civilization similar to Atlantis. Across the board, fringe history beliefs reached new heights. People write to me all the time to ask why I bother to talk about “crazy” topics like aliens and Atlantis. I am flabbergasted to report now that it is because more Americans now believe in Atlantis than do not.
Last week the Travel Channel launched Expedition Unknown: The Hunt for Extraterrestrials, and in the second episode, “Ancient Visitors,” which aired last night, host Josh Gates got down to ancient astronautics and went in search of evidence of prehistoric alien contact on Easter Island, a popular location with the Ancient Aliens crowd. He also delved into to the panspermia hypothesis, another popular recent fixture of Ancient Aliens. As with the previous outing, there wasn’t much content, but it is probably worth noting the influence of History’s flagship show in that Gates refers to ancient astronauts as “ancient aliens,” the trademarked term popularized by his cable rival. The real news, however, occurred in the after show, when Gates and the production crew seemed to express their own belief in the ancient astronaut theory and their conviction that the past is essentially unknowable.
Jason Reza Jorjani's Efforts to Expand Alt-Right to the Alt-White End in Predictable, but Satisfying, Failure
Fringe history, ancient astronauts, and UFOs have a long history with Nazis. A recent booklet explored how some of the earliest UFO researchers (who also wrote ancient astronaut material under the guise of ufology) were connected to Neo-Nazi groups. Jacques de Maheiu was a Vichy official who later headed a Neo-Nazi group and Miguel Serrano literally worshiped Hitler. Frank Joseph headed the American Nazi Party, and even Chariots of the Gods, officially credited to Erich von Däniken, was in reality largely rewritten and edited by Wilhelm Utermann, a Nazi author and editor who worked at the Nazi party’s official newspaper. It’s pretty much Nazis all the way down
Since there was no new episode of Ancient Aliens this week, I am left with a bit of space to fill. Here in Albany, we’re enjoying some unusual summerlike weather on this first weekend of fall. I will confess to feeling a bit lazy, and the fringe history crew seems to be unusually quiet this week. I guess I could write about David Wilcock’s recent claim that unknown forces attempted to murder him by cutting his brake lines, but then I’d have to discuss his claim that this was related to alleged UFO contactee Corey Goode’s allegation that these same forces are responsible for Child Protective Services investigating his admittedly unstable household—after all, he pretends that he spends half his time traveling from his living room to outer space while his kids are presumably sleeping upstairs. (Nothing resulted from the investigation, according to Wilcock, and both men allege that one of their many enemies made a false report to CPS as a malicious attack on Goode.) But the whole thing is just so sad in light of Wilcock’s discussions of his mental health issues that I do not feel comfortable giving this story too much space. Wilcock, for what’s it worth, also now claims that the Jewish world conspiracy tried to recruit him as a double agent against Goode, through the offices of the Rothschild Jewish world controllers. It just gets sadder and worse from there, and the folie à dieux of Wilcock and Goode two depresses me greatly.
I'm an author and editor who has published on a range of topics, including archaeology, science, and horror fiction. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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