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.
I’m no expert in New Age movements or cults, so I can’t say whether his movement meets the definition of a cult, but I will say that yoga practitioner Be Scofield, a self-described queer/trans writer, presents a devastating profile of Massaro that is well worth reading. In it, Scofield describes Massaro as verbally abusive, sexually manipulative, and spiritually bankrupt, with excerpts from his YouTube videos and from interviews with his followers to support these claims. However, it’s important to remember that Scofield is not an unbiased observer, and her yoga advocacy comes into direct conflict with Massaro’s quasi-Eastern New Age teachings, so it is possible that Scofield has case Massaro in a more negative light than he deserves. For example, Scofield criticizes Massaro for advocating, crudely, that followers separate themselves from their families. She quotes him this way:
Fuck your relationships. They mean nothing. Let them go, let them go. Don’t give a fuck about your family. Don’t give a fuck about your children. Don’t give a fuck about your parents. Don’t give a fuck about your partner.
As crude as these words sound, they are hardly unprecedented in “spiritual” circles. It’s basically a vulgar paraphrase of Jesus, whom Massaro believes himself to have surpassed in “density.” Christ, speaking in Luke 14:26, said the same thing: “If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower. You must love me more than your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters—even more than your own life!”
Scofield also oversteps a journalist’s role by attempting to prove Massaro has mental problems.
That said, if the evidence that Scofield collects is even half true, Massaro is running a cult. I’m not sure there is a positive light to shine on Massaro’s behavior, but I don’t know all the details.
For our purposes, the most salient feature of Massaro’s New Age movement, and his Trinfinity Corporation’s plans to construct a city for his followers, is its utilization of the same stew of conspiracy theories that Ancient Aliens star David Wilcock uses in his “spiritual” teachings, which he terms the “ascension mysteries.” Like Wilcock, Massaro embraced the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and like Wilcock, he has made disturbingly positive noises about Nazi Germany, and connected it all to a cosmic alien conspiracy. And worst of all, both men also fantasize the movies are a secret source of conspiratorial information about space aliens. Here is Massaro, as quoted in the article:
We have bases on the moon, a bunch of slave colonies on Mars that have been mining the asteroid belt, we have been colonizing galaxies of our solar system, we haven’t needed fossil fuels for the last 80 years because we have anti-gravitic mechanisms…The Nazi’s won the war. The US government gave up their control, their governance so we would not be exposed to free energy devices. If free energy gets released, and we’re [Trinfinity corp] working on it, it changes everything. We’ve had free energy for 80 fucking years.
I can’t help but think that the similarity to Wilcock’s uniquely bonkers teachings may not be coincidental.
One small detail amazed me: Somehow parlor tricks are still fooling people. Here is one of his followers praising his magical powers: “I’ve watched him control the weather a lot of times. We’ll be at a party and I’ll be like ‘Bentinho these clouds are not good, it looks like rain. Within ten minutes they’re gone. He does it all the time. I’ve watched him move objects on tables. I’ve seen him multiple times change weather or move clouds.”
The weather trick is an easy one; the weather is changeable enough that it becomes easy to claim credit, especially when one has checked the radar and the forecast ahead of time and can guess what’s coming. It’s hardly worth commenting on.
But the mention of moving objects on tables reminds me so much of a guy I knew in college who claimed to have magical powers derived from his study of Eastern mysticism. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this at some point in the years I’ve written this blog. We were in the same cultural anthropology class, taught by a neo-hippie, the kind that wore patchwork skirts and far too many beads. Well, she fell for the schtick hook, line, and sinker, and indulged him in his disquisitions on how his mystical powers allowed him to manipulate reality. He claimed to be able to move objects with the power of his mind, and he would demonstrate this to the class. He set a pencil, an empty soda bottle, and a folded piece of paper on a table and caused them to shoot across its surface by pointing at them. I distinctly remember the professor and many of the students rhapsodizing over this display of mystical power.
I didn’t buy it, and I remember that the first thing I asked him is why he had to point at the objects if he was using his mind. He told me that he needed to “focus” the energy. I didn’t buy that either. It took me the whole weekend after his little demonstration, but I taught myself to duplicate his magical feats. The key was realizing that the pointing wasn’t what it seemed. He appeared to be pointing but in fact he was subtly sweeping his arm, creating a breeze that blew the objects.
I got pretty good at it—better than him in fact. I could also do Yuri Geller’s spoon-bending trick, well enough to fool people who hadn’t seen it before. I performed these feats of mystical wonder for the class and explained how it was done. The other guy claimed that even if I did it mechanically, he used mystical powers, and he said he could levitate. Many of my classmates believed him without proof, but I asked him to show us. But of course levitation can only take place alone, at night, with no one watching. Even the dumb ones started to realize that maybe he was making this stuff up.
I can still do the magic movement trick, but I don’t do it very often because the snapping motion needed to create enough of an air current creates terrible pain in my elbow if I do it too much.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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