It’s like the universe is conspiring to make my case for me. I realize that sounds far too much like something that one of the ancient astronaut theorists at the Contact in the Desert meeting, which ended yesterday, would have said. But how else to explain the convenient way David Wilcock, who believes he is the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, managed to reinforce the case I’ve made over the past few days about the anti-government, anti-science, anti-intellectual themes behind alternative history?
According to the Hi-Desert Star, Wilcock told the Contact audience that
Reality is a facade that is crumbing. What is behind that facade is something that threatens the power structure. You are here at a historic event and the foundation stone is being laid. Get ready for the cosmic reveal.
UFO “historian” Richard Dolan echoed the same claim:
Disclosure coming from the government would be forced and full of spin and lies. Their house of cards will fall with citizen disclosure, and there is a potential for the radicalization of society, a global federalism that encourages collaboration.
The theme continued with Michael Salla, the inventor of “exopolitics” who claims to have knowledge of aliens named Anitac and Antarel, who are perky and “upbeat”:
Many extraterrestrials value peace and friendship with humanity. Anyone can engage in citizen-based diplomacy by being willing to raise their consciousness to unity consciousness. But be prepared for great change, as Earth’s ascended beings will take leadership roles.
Ascended beings sound a bit too much like the extraterrestrial Ascended Masters of Theosophy for my taste. Old lies never die, they just move higher up the cable dial.
Jason Martell agreed that the government is hiding the truth, saying that a “political backup” (whatever that means) is responsible for NASA’s refusal to tell “the truth” about alien intervention.
The power structure: government, academia, corporations…take your pick. Whatever flavor of paranoia you favor, it can fit into the widespread panic that shadowy elites are not just in control of your life but actively hiding the truth from you. Clearly, this reflects the complexity of modern society and the alienation many feel from the structures of power, which impact our lives from afar. Unable to understand how society actually functions, it becomes reduced to a conspiracy by powerful elites keeping us from our alien destiny. By revealing this truth, their power will evaporate and you, the powerless Everyman, can finally take your rightful place among the chosen. Yes, you, the lowly middle-class worker drone who hates big government and thinks that PhDs want to keep you oppressed, you too can commune with aliens and stick it to the Man.
You’ll recall, of course, that I have repeatedly discussed the way that ancient astronaut ideas are sort of a mirror-image of creationism, reacting to the same crisis many feel about the decline of mainstream organized religion during the twentieth century. For creationists, this resulted in a fluorescence of fundamentalism, a sort of cultural revitalization movement that pushed for a more extreme version of traditional faith. For others, New Age spirituality took the place of the traditional religion. Thus, the Disclosure Project’s Steven Greer accidentally made perfect sense when he explained UFO investigations not as a question science but of faith:
The problem is a spiritual crisis, and the solution will be spiritual as well. Contact will not be made looking down the barrel of a laser-guided missile system.
According to the newspaper, the crowd of believers “cheered” as Greer began discussing spiritual questions. That anecdote about says it all: Ancient alien believers are looking to satisfy spiritual, not intellectual, needs; it is a faith beyond fact, at which point the aliens simply become the gods they were first proposed to replace. The functional difference between Hermes and a Grey as psychopomp, or between Thor and a Nibirunian as protector of the innocent vanishes. And as with faith and myth, no fact can undo belief.
The newspaper article concluded with some depressing news: Ancient Aliens, the movement’s flagship program, will return with new episodes next month.
The most interesting thing, I think, was Giorgio Tsoukalos’s confession that he wanted nothing to do with the “Aliens and Bigfoot” episode of Ancient Aliens (S04E03, March 23, 2012). In my review, I noted that the producers had repurposed old Tsoukalos interview clips and manipulated them to make it sound like he believed Bigfoot was an ET. Now we know why. Tsoukalos now admits that he does not believe any such thing—the producers, who routinely misrepresent mainstream scientists’ words, even manipulate his words to craft their bizarre narratives! The producers, Tsoukalos said, plan the episodes based on what they perceive to be “audience interest” in topics such as the Bigfoot-ET connection.
Consider this final line from Tsoukalos, as reported by the newspaper:
“Other people on the episode are living this stuff,” Tsoukalos said with a smile. “We should teach acceptance, not just tolerance.”
No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. Is he saying that ancient astronaut people need to just accept any hypothesis, like alien-Bigfoot conspiracies, because someone in their movement proposed it? Is he saying that he isn’t as true a believer as the “other people” who live and breathe aliens?
Whatever he tried to say, it only reinforces the notion that “alternative” approaches to history are an unhealthy mixture of religious longing, political paranoia, and profit.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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