The spectre of the UFO, as popularized by shows such as The X-Files, has brought an astonishing slant to the face of modern religious practice. But what motivates the fantastical and sometimes sinister beliefs of UFO worshippers? UFO Religions critically examines some of the fascinating issues surrounding UFO worship - abduction narratives, UFO-based interpretations of other religions, the growth of pseudo-sciences purporting to explain UFOs, and the responses of the core scientific community to such claims. Focusing on contemporary global UFO groups including the Raelian Movement, Heaven's Gate, Unarius and the Ansaaru Allah Community, it gives a clear profile of modern UFO controversies and beliefs.
Contributors Acknowledgements Foreword INTRODUCTION 1. Understanding UFO Religions and Abduction Spiritualities PART ONE OBERSERVING RELIGIONS 2. Scientific Creationism: A Study of the Raelian Church 3. When the Archangel Died: From Revelation to Routinization of Charisma in Unarius 4. Opening a channel to the stars: the Origins and Development of the Aethrius Society 5. Legitimating Suicide: Heaven's Gate and New Age Ideology 6. The URANTIA Book 7. Ansaru Allah Community 8. From Extraterrestrials to Ultraterrestrials: the Evolution of the concept of Ashtar 9. UFO Faith and Ufological Discourses in Germany 10. The Finnish UFO Tradition, 1947-1994 PART TWO UNDERSTANDING NARRATIVES 11. UFO Religions as Cargo Cults 12. Alien Doubts: Reading Abduction Narratives Post-apocalyptically 13. UFO Beliefs as Syncretistic Components 14. Apocalyptic and Millenarian Aspects of American UFOism 15. Attitudes Toward Religion and Science in the UFO Movement in the United States 16. Jung on UFOs 17. The Psychology of UFO Phenomena