Freedom of religion is undoubtedly a must-have in this day and age. Individuals should be free to manifest their beliefs and worship whomever they want. However, this fundamental human right has given birth to a number of insane cults. We knew that a number of UFO religions existed but we had no idea there were so many. And some of them are downright insane.
I AM Activity
Considered the earliest UFO religion, the I AM Activity emerged in the early 1930s, after its founder Guy Ballard allegedly encountered the fabled Comte de Saint-Germain while hiking on Mount Shasta. Ballard and his wife Edna were advised by St. Germain to spread the word so that people could become enlightened beings.
You see, the I AM Activity believed in the existence of a group of Ascended Masters, humans who became highly advanced spiritual entities after being reincarnated multiple times. Among them were St. Germain, El Morya Khan, Maitreya and Jesus Christ. Ballard himself was halfway through becoming an Ascended Master. In previous lives, he had been an Egyptian priest, a French musician and, of course, George Washington.
At its height, the Activity had almost a million followers and it was open to the general public, free of charge. Donations were accepted and called “gifts of love.”
The Ascended Masters channeled their teachings through Ballard, who recorded them in a series of books under the pen name Godfré Ray King. Classy.
When Ballard passed away in 1939, his wife took over the role of divine messenger until her death in 1971. Today, the I AM Activity is ruled by an Illinois-based Board of Directors who claim to have 300 branches worldwide.
The Urantia Foundation
This one isn’t exactly insane but it does present some unconventional information. Their seminal work is The Urantia Book, also known as The Fifth Epochal Revelation. The text is actually an interesting read, merging together aspects of science, religion and philosophy. It focuses on discussing the origin and meaning of life in general and human life in particular. The book has been called “a rich and complex moral narrative, equal parts Tolkien and Saint Paul.”
It was published in 1955 but its origins are somewhat obscure. As the story goes, it was written down by two Chicago physicians, William and Lena Sadler. The information itself had been transmitted by a group of celestial beings through a sleeping medium, “a hard-boiled businessman, member of the board of trade and stock exchange.”
Sadler himself did not believe in the paranormal and had even written a book in which he exposed fraudulent mediums.
When he showed his notes to a group consisting of friends, colleagues and former patients, they showed an interest in asking these ‘celestial beings’ a series of questions about everything. The collection of questions and answers became The Book of Urantia.
In case you were wondering, Urantia is Earth.
This one is properly crazy. It was founded in the late 1980s by a man called Dwight York. Since the 1960s, York had founded multiple equally crazy movements, centered on black Muslim supremacy, pseudo-Islamic and later conspiracy and UFO themes. Dwight legally changed his name several times and went by dozens of aliases. He sometimes claimed he was a living god, encouraging his followers to worship him.
On other occasions, he said he was an alien master from the planet Rizq. He was quoted as saying: “We have been coming to this planet before it had your life form on it.[…] In order to get here I traveled by one of the smaller passenger crafts called Sham out of a motherplane called Merkabah or Nibiru.”
He later withdrew these affirmations, stating “I am not the Lord Adonai, Jesus Messiah ‘The Christ’; nor am I a holy man, nor a preacher. I am a Master Teacher, a guide.”
Here are some of his religion’s highlights:
- “White people are devils – always was (sic), always will be.“
- The different races evolved from different primate species. For example, Caucasians are the result of cross-breeding between baboons and orangutans.
- Nubians are a brown race because their original (read: alien) green color rusted in Earth’s atmosphere and the magnesium in their melanin was replaced with iron.
- There are more than 70 species of Greys and 16 species of Reptilians here on Earth.
- Human fetuses go through Grey and reptilian stages during development. If they are born prematurely, they will remain Reptilian or Grey.
- The Christian term “rapture” refers to the return of raptors (dinosaurs, really?) who will feed on the sinful white flesh.
You get the idea.
In 1993, York moved to Georgia where he built an ancient Egypt-themed complex called Tama-Re. As a fitting end to his story, in 2004, Dwight York was sentenced to 135 years in federal prison for transporting minors across state lines, child molestation and racketeering. His case was the largest in the U.S. both in terms of number of victims and incidents.
This UFO doomsday cult was established in Chicago sometime in the 1950s. Their founder, Dorothy Martin had received messages from beings from the planet Clarion called “Guardians”.
The Guardians communicated with Martin through automatic handwriting, telling her the Apocalypse would start on December 21, 1954. She and her followers were prepared for rescue, having given up all their worldly possessions. The date came and passed and the world continued to exist.
Shortly after, Martin received another message saying that the world had been saved through their faith. The group disbanded after being made fun of in the media and Martin spent her next years in Peru. But such talent cannot go to waste so she returned to the U.S. in 1965, settling in Arizona and under the name Sister Thedra she founded another sect called the Association of Sananda and Sanat Kumara.
The messages kept on coming until her death in 1992.
Tempelhofgesellschaft (Temple Society)
Let’s shorten this one to THG, for obvious reasons. THG was a splinter group of neo-Nazis who took the idea of Aryan origins several steps closer to crazy. Their ancestors originated elsewhere in the universe.
The cult was founded in the 1980s by a former German policeman with ties to the far right network. The very far right.
They distributed pamphlets detailing how the Aryan race had first come to Atlantis from a star system called Aldebaran. They had acquired this information by translating ancient Sumerian manuscripts. Or so they claimed. Since their race was of extraterrestrial origins, it had the noble mission of world domination, paying special attention to the Jews.
And they believed they had the upper hand since the Aryans of Aldebaran drew their power from the vril energy emitted by the mystical Black Sun.
Also, according to their teachings, an Aldebaranian space fleet is heading for Earth as we speak. When they get here, they’ll join forces with the Nazi UFOs still hiding in Antarctica and establish the Western Imperium.
And you thought Jehovah’s Witnesses were weird.