Alien Rapture

October 14, 2006 | By | 6 Replies More

This is going to seem ungenerous at best.  But.

Part of the difficulty in engaging someone over the issue of the “truth” of their faith can be frustrating, especially when they leave the path of the rational, the demonstrable, the philosophical, the metaphorical, often ending up with a claim that they personally have experienced something which convinces them utterly and until you experience it, too, blindness and deafness are all you have.  This actually ends debate.  Once the untestable assertion of personal experience–revelation, conversion, etc–enters into it, the possibilities of alternate explanations reduce to zero and there is no way to go on.

Or is there?

We have in this and the last century a phenomenon which is every respect is identical to the religious one in its assertion without evidence, only in this case we have current, realtime experiences which can be tested against reality.

Alien abductions. 

I won’t here rehearse all the stories–there are many, many books detailing the phenomenon, beginning with Incident At Exeter which chronicled the Barney and Betty Hill abduction that started the whole thing.  Now, in that book, written by their psychiatrist, the aspect of the situation that continually gets overlooked is that their doctor never confirmed what they claimed happened.  It remained for him a problem of extreme neurosis bordering on psychosis, complete with physiological manifestations.  Starting from that book onward we have a small culture of people who have “come to know” the aliens, and it follows the same pattern as people becoming members of cults, of embracing unsubstantiatable claims…it is a religious experience.

These folks can pass lie detector tests.  They are convinced.  There are charlatans out there helping them to remain convinced.

Yet they offer a valuable opportunity for testing their claims and seeing the phenomenon for what it is.  They have not a shred of material evidence to back up their beliefs, and in many instances they have alternate experiences which have clearly been reimagined by them as something other than what originally happened.  In some cases, there is psychic trauma, but for many it is the path of those who feel perpetually dissatisfied with life-as-lived who find a way to become “special”.  Their convictions are impressive…and pathetic.

One might ask–rightly–why the comparison is not obvious?  Simple.  The abductees are seen as crackpots by the culture at large.  There is no significant public space in our cultural self-image for what they claim and so they end up relegated to the fringes.  The more commonly embraced religious experience is well-grounded and built in to our culture.  In that instance, it is the questioning of it that has little space in the cultural psyche.

One time I had a conversation with some people, most of whom were Catholic (but it doesn’t matter, really), about David Koresh after his and his followers’ death in Texas.  Generally, these folks–all christians–dismissed Koresh as a crackpot.

“He claims to talk to god,” one of them said.

“Really,” I replied.  “Isn’t that exactly what the pope claims to do?”

All but one missed my point.  The one, eyeing me narrowly, said, “You mean it just matters how many people believed him?”

Well…

Whenever someone tells me that until I “experience god” I will never understand, I think of the abductees.  No, I think, I do understand. 

When the rapture comes, it will be in a spaceship?  That would  be cool.  Pity it’s just a fantasy.

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Category: American Culture, Culture, Psychology Cognition, Religion

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

Comments (6)

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  1. hogiemo says:

    Ok, let me get this straight. You think my faith is subject to the same verifiability of one which claims an alien abduction?

    I love it! I haven't been abducted by aliens but, in the absence of proof still believe in God. Whether any other has been abducted by aliens or chooses not to believe in God, I leave to their proofs.

  2. Ricky Koppel says:

    For a more succint version:

    "Religions are just cults with more members."

    Possibly Carlin, but I can't remember the source.

    One person I know simply loves to equate religion with unicorns. Neither have been seen, but people believe they may exist. The difference? We don't go killing our neighbors if they don't believe in unicorns.

    And personally, I find the unicorn much much more believable.

  3. Erika Price says:

    It goes the same way with sanity, too. We draw the line between eccentricity and insanity at what we find disturbing. If you look at any heated religious ceremony, or one of those terrible television evangelical programs, you will see people behaving in nearly psychotic ways. Popular consensus determines much about the way we choose to interpret the world.

  4. Dutch says:

    So if Zachria Sitchen is right and we are the result of

    genetic engineering from a predisposed bipedal homened,

    and the Sumarian culture was the fist contact with

    annanaki, or God who live with us , then that backs up the accounts in the bible of Eden or Edon, they were the first to have writing math and a precise mobile of solar system, then we are the Aliens nuff said.Not the best speller. The stories in the bible are all plagerized and

    how convenient is to have a savior, born of a virgin, died for our sins and rose again in three days. there are 32 others claiming that from Mythos to the spartan

    civilization. so what do we have as our God. Advanced

    well intentioned aliens or the story book, preachy kind

    taught to us in organized religion.

  5. Dutch says:

    PS I Know its a bit off subject but you all are talking

    about the truth and this is where I'm starting, to make

    sence of it all.

    Thank you for your patience

    Dutch

  6. L337ish says:

    I think the people who claim to have been abducted by aliens actually have a little more credibility than religious claims. The reason being, there have been many instances where very high ranking military officials, high ranking government staff, and other people putting their Ph.D's on the line to claim these stories. "The UFO Disclosure Project" is easily the best example of this. Some abducted also claim to have scars or marks left by their experiences, and while they do have markings, they obviously can't be proven.

    Based on what science has to offer about the universe and the nature of life, I would actually go so far as to say alien existence is not only a certainty, but probably connected to the reason we're on Earth. Honestly, I do think the rapture will be an alien return, but only to those who followed their guidance and lived in accordance with nature and the universe, just like their bible said.

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