Over the past two seasons of watching Ancient Aliens, I came to realize that the skeptical attacks on the evidence for extraterrestrial presence in the deep past have made an impact. The current ancient astronaut theorists have all but abandoned flesh and blood aliens, and with them the ancient astronaut theory in its classic form. Instead, today we have a freeform neo-Paganism that all but begs the reader or viewer to worship the aliens as actual gods.
Consider this astonishing passage from the conclusion to Philip Coppens’s The Ancient Alien Question (2011):
Now ask yourself this: If the aliens are (a) non-corporeal, (b) supernatural in nature, and (c) not physically present on this plane of existence, in what way do they differ from the traditional idea of polytheistic pagan gods? How does an ancient astronaut theorist downing hallucinogens to contact the “metaphysical” aliens in a quantum dimension differ from the shaman guzzling ayahuasca to meet the gods in the spirit realm?
This is something I noticed especially in the Ancient Aliens episode “Aliens and the Undead” in which Coppens, along with David Childress and others, more or less told viewers that the aliens were gods living in a special quantum dimension that is essentially heaven and that if we are all good ancient astronaut theorists, then the quantum alien energy beings will take our “consciousness” (read: souls) across the energy bridge to the quantum dimension (read: heaven) to live with them in blessed harmony forever and ever, for theirs is the power and the glory, amen.
The aliens have ceased to be anything but the very gods they were proposed to replace, and the members of the current generation of ancient astronaut theorists are huckster prophets abetting a duplicitous religious revival. At least L. Ron Hubbard was honest enough to admit that his ancient astronauts (and their salvation-for-sale) were a substitute religion. Coppens should be honest enough to just say what he means: He thinks the pagan gods are real and that if we think really hard then Zeus or Marduk or Thor will come down out of the sky and give him presents.
terry the censor
9/2/2012 08:54:49 pm
I doubt Childress believe that. More likely, he thinks he needs a theory that takes in the maximum amount of ancient data, figuring this makes his theorising seem more credible -- regardless of how incoherent the theory become as a result of his lack of discrimination.
terry the censor
9/2/2012 09:08:55 pm
Pardon, I meant Coppens.
9/3/2012 02:12:15 am
Oh man, aliens are so much more fun than gods. I want real flesh and green blood aliens. This is a bad turn.
9/4/2012 05:40:06 am
I've met many "para-whatevers" over the years and, naturally, they're all "ancient astronaut" or "aliens" believers. All of them, and I mean literally all, that I have met were completely uneducated in anything to do with science in any way whatsoever. They'd just make up whatever they want, or believe anything else that is made up and "mystical" to fill in the gaps. Definitely "god of the gaps" syndrome there.
I think this is a way to get more readers and followers of the AA theory. Many people into this neo-spiritualism paranormal revival are fascinated by the AA theory, but most who are into the New Age or have a spiritual worldview based on a nominal Judeo-Christian mindset have a problem with angels or religious/spiritual figures being labeled 'aliens'. So therefore this turn widens the market and is an attempt to synthesize these opposing viewpoints within the paranormal subculture.
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