UFO Conjecture(s)

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Roswell Religion

One can equate the Roswell incident with The Jesus Incident by merely reflecting on the similarities of both myths.

A (relatively) minor event, the crucifixion of a Jewish prophet/radical, in Jerusalem during the reign of Augustus Caesar became a monumental religious movement 60 years or so after that crucifixion is duplicated by a (relatively) minor Roswell incident which also became a monumental ufological movement 31 years after that incident.

The Jesus crucifixion was extrapolated by Saul of Tarsus (ST. Paul) and the Roswell incident was extrapolated by Stanton Friedman.

Of course, others broadened both incidents but Paul and Friedman were the primary proselytizers of the incidents under consideration.

In the history of Christianity, witnesses from hearsay have provided the core of the religious movement, just as the witnesses to Roswell have provided the core of that story, both not reputable enough to be seen as providing proof or truth for the events to which they are tied, but used by those hoping to further a belief system steeped in those flawed witness statements.

Christianity was founded upon oral traditions and remembrances of witnesses just as Roswell has been founded upon remembrances of witnesses, both devoid of actual fact or evidence for what is being proclaimed; each steeped in faith and misplaced mental fervor.

To this day, Christians accept the flawed Gospels that underlie their religion, and Roswellians accept the flawed ufological “documentation” that underlies their mythos.

An example of the Roswell acolytes and those who do not believe (the Roswell atheists) can be found at the current posting by Kevin Randle, in comments.

The Roswell believers are emboldened by the “evidence” that has been mustered by the many Roswell apostles extant since 1978, while the Roswell atheists strike back with arguments based in commonsense and reality.

The believers function on the basis of Faith; the atheists practice unbelief based upon what they see as failed documentation of a Roswell alien crash, with alien bodies.

The believers are hoping for a Roswell second-coming (May 5th) just as Christians await the second coming of Christ – a little overdue, but still within a possibility for the faithful.

Roswell is, at this juncture, a matter of faith and faith only, as nothing has come forth to prove the core of the myth: that an alien craft crashed near Roswell and spewed forth extraterrestrial beings.

But then Christianity, at this juncture, also awaits proof that the being upon which that religion is based will return or his alleged Godhood will be proved once and for all by confirmation of the stories told about him, all of which have be shown to be fraudulent.

Religion is an iffy proposition by any standard of scientific procedure or academic thinking,

Just so is Roswell.

But Faith is a mighty thing, taking hold of human sensibilities and mental acumen to the detriment of truth and actuality.

And thus it is with Roswell, just as it is with Christianity.

RR

15 Comments:

  • Rich, happy Easter, or to use the old greeting among we lapsed Catholics, "He has risen."

    Enjoyed your comparison regarding your blog post. Sadly its a good comparison depending on one's point of view, yet one can hope.

    As far as Roswell's new "holy relics," PAX Roswell!

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Sunday, April 05, 2015  

  • And a joyful Easter to you, Timothy.

    (I think my Jesuit teachers would not be happy with my comparison.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 05, 2015  

  • Rich:

    I’m glad you brought this up—I was thinking about asking you to support a discussion on this topic.

    However, I think your attempt to equate belief in a traditional paternalistic, messiah-based religion (i.e., Christianity) with a belief in the reality of the Roswell incident in particular or in the reality of UFOs in general (as is sometimes done) is somewhat off the mark, even while I acknowledge the superficial similarities you delineate.

    For sure, both sides in the “debate” (including yours truly) have dug in to positions that they hold with obvious emotional intensity. This emotional intensity is a certain psychological indicator that the matters under debate are of deeper concern than formal, abstract intellectual propositions. In the several years that I have been reading and writing on these blogs, I don’t think I’ve seen one single mind changed by strength of argument.

    But not all beliefs that are held for deeply emotional reasons qualify as “religion”. Using my understanding of Joseph Campbell’s definition, to qualify as a religion a belief system must satisfy 3 functions; it informs the individual about the nature of physical reality (“God created Heaven and Earth”…etc.), it informs the individual where he/she fits into a social structure (“honor you mother and father”, “thou shalt not steal”…etc.), and it informs the individual about where he/she stands relative to the transcendental (“God is omnipotent and omnipresent”, “God can see into your heart”….etc.) Campbell, of course, adopts a Freudian or perhaps neo-Freudian understanding of this pattern as coming from a deep seated emotional need to impose patterns on what would otherwise be a cacophonous hodge-podge of sensory input.

    One of his major contributions, of course, was identification of the Hero as the quantum that propagates belief systems, by representing and exemplifying the values of the religion.

    He thought religions come from the same place as dreams which is why—in his view—it is as difficult to deliberately and synthetically create a new religion as it is to predict which dream you will have tonight. This lack of predictability is, in fact, a discriminator between “real” religions and “fake” religions. My view is that the vast bulk of UFO reports do not conform to the Campbell pattern and therefore do not constitute the emergence of a new religion. There are rarely heroes and rarely any obvious attempt to transmit what could be called a complete belief system. In most cases, UFO experiencers end up just walking away scratching their heads and wondering what just happened. To the extent that they have a personal interaction, they come away feeling like lab rats.

    To be sure, there have been crass attempts to cynically create fake religions around the UFO theme. George Adamski and the RAELians come immediately to mind. One could even argue that the Scientologists are an attempt to cash in on this opportunity. In my opinion such crass attempts are easily identifiable from “real” religions (i.e. belief systems that arise from the collective unconscious) by the fact that they always seem to focus on keeping the founder supplied with a steady supply of money and nubile women.

    In my next post, with your permission, I will go into what I think the source of the deep emotional divide between Roswell believers and non-believers is.

    By Blogger Larry, at Sunday, April 05, 2015  

  • Larry,

    I look forward to it.

    For me the advocacy of Roswell, not UFOs in and of themselves, resembles the advocacy of Christianity, as I've posted.

    It's not a theological view, which I've posted previously at the RRRGroup blog and elswhere.

    But a view of blind faith that the common folk have, in the Jesus incident and the Roswell incident.

    You look at UFOs and Roswell as a scientist, whereas those, exampled at Kevin's blog look at UFOs, and especially Roswell, as an ET validity, based upon the oral witnessing and traditions that have evolved since 1978, via Friedman and others then, and Rudiak presently; Rudiak a true evangelical, with acolytes.

    That's the gist of my posting.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 05, 2015  

  • In the Middle Ages, it was common to create hoaxed religious reliquaries and I would think the bendable metal, and the mummified alien would fit neatly into this category. Then there is the fashioning of Icons and I would think both the faces of the aliens and the classic sucer are such symbolic images that are also comparables. Then you have the sacrificial king who would be the savior of the world by way of enlightening us, and one could say these would be creatures sacrificed themselves to come here physically. Then there is the narrative mythology or story line ….one could stretch this a bit and say the slide images are somewhat of a resurrection. Then you have the priests of the Temple which in our day, as in those days, consider the knowledge gained from such would be saviors to be a threat hence killing off the story line by way of a conspiracy.. I think it is a 21st Century mythology that like so many have common elements that come from the majority religion of this Christian country….

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 06, 2015  

  • Also..a second coming is inherent in the myth of hard shell craft returning to be enmeshed in a hope for a return and a vanquishing of the occupants death.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, April 06, 2015  

  • Larry, regarding your statement on George Adamski, and strange (to me) linking of him with Rael and Scientology -

    Please could you explain the source/s of your knowledge that George Adamski was primarily concerned with a 'steady supply of money and nubile women.'

    I have read a lot of Mr.Adamski's written work, and listened to his lectures. Your characterization of him doesn't fit with what I've read and listened to of him over the course of many hours of my life.

    Only one person that I'm aware of who was acquainted with Mr.Adamski, ever said anything to suggest that he was much interested in money making - Ray Stanford. However, Mr.Stanford made a claim about George Hunt Williamson that is almost certainly refutable, probably based on his misunderstanding of a situation caused by negative bias on his part. Something about GHW taking money from people for one of his books, with the book not being received. The money was likely passed on to the publisher, and there WAS a very long delay in one of GHW's books being sent out by Ray Palmer.

    Larry, I very much look forward to you putting me right (perhaps) about George Adamski by explaining why you made the statements you made.

    Larry wrote:

    'To be sure, there have been crass attempts to cynically create fake religions around the UFO theme. George Adamski and the RAELians come immediately to mind. One could even argue that the Scientologists are an attempt to cash in on this opportunity. In my opinion such crass attempts are easily identifiable from “real” religions (i.e. belief systems that arise from the collective unconscious) by the fact that they always seem to focus on keeping the founder supplied with a steady supply of money and nubile women.'

    By Blogger Daniel Transit, at Monday, April 06, 2015  

  • > it informs the individual where he/she fits into a social structure

    Larry makes a good distinction here. The Roswellians (and some other UFO factions) tend to behave more like a cult than a religion. Cults don't tell you where you fit in the existing social structure, cults split you off from society, tell you society is bad; then the cult can create its own social structure, even its own reality.

    The existing social structure is hiding the truth, but we few cultists have access to secret knowledge, to revelation from above! Society may go so far as to make us martyrs (or threaten our military pensions, at least), so we must remain steadfast, no matter what! We are surrounnded by unbelievers, etc. Look at this hopelessly blurry memo -- those open to the truth can read the hidden message! But the infidel cannot! Did you see the words we told you to see? Then you have passed the test! Your faith is strong!

    (There is no end to this so I'll just stop.)

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Tuesday, April 07, 2015  

  • > In the Middle Ages, it was common to create hoaxed religious reliquaries

    I like that analogy! I may have to riff on that in the future, when the situation calls for it.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Tuesday, April 07, 2015  

  • Daniel: I have to admit that I was getting most of my information about George Adamski from Wikipedia, and I was referring to the comment attributed to him from "Watch the Skies: a Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth", by Curtis Peebles, in which George supposedly says he "had to get into this saucer crap". To me, that says it was a "fake religion" and purely a business proposition to him. I don't know how much money he actually made, but generating a revenue stream was clearly one motivation for him. He was clearly making up a story as he went and kept elaborating on it to keep his followers hooked.

    I don't know about the "steady supply of nubile women" for George, but I have heard many stories about how Rael routinely and systematically propositioned his female recruits. Likewise, there are similar stories about Scientology luminaries.

    I consider all three--Adamski, Rael, and L. Ron Hubbard--as examples of individuals who made up elaborate belief systems not because they necessarily believed them themselves, but for the deliberate and cynical purpose of manipulating other, gullible individuals into serving their (Adamski, Rael, and Hubbard) interests.

    By Blogger Larry, at Tuesday, April 07, 2015  

  • Great post, Rich. My goodness, what a depressing thought that Stanton Friedman is 'our' St. Paul. I've seen Friedman's slide show. I hope Paul's was better.

    Eric

    By Blogger Eric Wargo, at Sunday, April 12, 2015  

  • I find this statement profound.. The existing social structure is hiding the truth, but we few cultists have access to secret knowledge, to revelation from above!

    By Blogger Samantha Dalrymple, at Monday, April 13, 2015  

  • Why is it that ...

    By Blogger Samantha Dalrymple, at Monday, April 13, 2015  

  • Samantha...

    You were saying?

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 13, 2015  

  • @Samantha

    You find my sarcasm profound? That's a nice compliment.

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Monday, April 13, 2015  

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