UFO Conjectures

Thursday, October 22, 2015

St. Paul and George Adamski

The New York Review of Books [November 5th 2015, Page 21 ff.] has reviews by G. W. Bowerstock of four new books on the Christian “saint” and Jesus promoter par excellence.

The books cover Paul’s political theology and stratagems, along with his contradictory stance on Jews and gentiles.

We all know that Paul had (allegedly) an experience on the road to Damascus whereupon he was (ahem) confronted by a resurrected Jesus who asked him why he (Paul) was persecuting him (Jesus).

This delirium (sensorial and persecutionis) was brought about by the guilt (I conjecture) that Paul felt after his “complicity in the stoning of Stephen in Jerusalem, the first Christian martyr, as reported in the Acts of the Apostles.” [NYRB, Page 21]

Paul, like Jesus, had schizophrenic tendencies, as Nietzsche intuited and elaborated upon in a book by Abed Azzam [Nietzsche Versus Paul, Columbia University Press, 2015].

My point here is that the episode is a bit like the meeting George Adamski had with his Venusian “friend” Orthon, that blossomed, like Christianity, into a mythos based upon a derelict mind-set, a neurological or psychological malfunction.
Paul made a career of his delirium just as Adamski did, one greater than the other but both sprouted by malfunctioning minds, not actual events.

(The Roswell incident is another example of furibundum delirium but that for another time.)

Madness in Civilization by Andrew Scull [Princeton University Press, 2015] covers the panoply of mental illness that has stricken humanity “from the Bible to Freud, from the madhouse to modern medicine.”

That Paul was “insane” (temporary or otherwise) is a given (for thoughtful persons).

That Adamski was also insane, in a like manner, is also a given (for thoughtful persons, even those who think Adamski was merely a conman).

Ufology, the “religion” of slightly off-kilter UFO buffs, is just as tainted as Christianity; the difference being that ufology is relatively harmless, whereas Christianity has become a generant  blight on humanity.

Paul and Adamski, two sides of an insane coin -- one causing great harm, the other making a phenomenon foolish.

N.B. Paul painting by Giordano, Adamski/Orthon photo from PhilipCoppens.com



  • Rich, you have a penchant for pushing the envelope:)

    I get your theme for comparing Paul with Adamski, but at least Paul established the initial Church (for lack of a better phrase), yet sadly, the Church has drifted away from the intent of Jesus and the original apostolic fathers. This intent was lost in all of the past miss-characterizations and intentional slight of hand concerning the adulteration of the original manuscripts of the gospels and epistles.

    Adamski's theology is self-evident and has influenced no one of importance nor has it shaped the events of history.

    I agree in part, that Paul more than likely suffered from a psychotic fugue state on a few occasions whether it be a variant of schizophrenia or a form of epileptic aura pre-seizure activity. If he were schizophrenic, then its traits did not hamper him in his efforts, yet may have been the vehicle to propel him to theological greatness.

    Paul was obsessed with the Resurrection of Christ. That was the focal point of his self-appointed mission as this is well borne in his numerous letters. As Bart Erhman had written, Paul was playing the short game for he truly believed that the second coming would occur during his lifetime. I somehow believe that Paul never expected that the apparatus of the Catholic Church would be built on his foundation thus leaving Peter out in the cold. This would have been a foreign concept to Paul.

    One wonders how many "prophets" we have locked up in the psychiatric wards.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • Thanks, Tim:

    As I thought I noted, Adamski's "playfulness" didn't count for much.

    Paul, however, made a mess of things, inadvertently or not. However, I do think he thought he might be instrumental in creating a Jesus sect (Pagan/gentile-oriented.). He became anti-Jewish (Gnostic as Pagels tells us) because of his guilt-ridden actions on behalf of his "religion."

    Theological greatness? I have to disagree. Theological catastrophe more like it (as I see it).

    Both he and Adamski were impelled by similar mind malfunctions....similar not identical.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • Rich, I respectfully have to disagree with the notion that Paul was a theological catastrophe formulating a "mess" of Christianity. The "mess" as I see it would come sometime later with the movement becoming a doctrinal bureaucratic theocracy as formulated by the numerous councils as if they themselves had been touched by God and the Messiah...laughable, but true in my humble common man thought.

    And this mess was further propagated by Augustine and Aquinas as well. Luther and Calvin receives no pass on this as well.

    Tying this into the theme of your post again demonstrates that Adamski, fractured mentally, was no more than a passing fad...a human hula hoop or slinky. And yes, I'm aware that you more or less consigned him to the fringe lunatic bin.

    With your's and my knowledge of true schizophrenia, how many have you run across that were a micron's difference between insanity and genius? I came across one for sure when doing my psychiatric nursing clinicals at the VA's Jefferson Barracks Hospital, St. Louis. That three month study was enlightening and has stuck with me for all of those years.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • Yes, Tim, the divide between genius and insanity is a small one.

    Of course, you're right, the Christianity was subverted by the Church fathers, long after Paul.

    A book I just got today (from Daedalus) -- The Invention of Jesus: How the Church Rewrote the New Testament by Peter Cresswell -- makes your points vividly, but also the author wrote this, "... a character [sic] described variously as Saul or Paul in the New Testament, made a serious effort to ingratiate himself with the movement. Saul saw the uncompromising messianists as a powerful group, a means of further his ambitions." {Page 10].

    Cresswell goes on to write that Saul/Paul, in his use of the Greek language and machinations, created Christ out of the idea of the Jewish messiah, and cemented the concept of a religion for his followers that would not be seen as anti-Rome. [Page 11].

    There is so much more to indict Paul that my premise is substantiated, without need of the complicitous early Church fathers, Constantine, or Augustine and Aquinas.

    Paul was the prime mover.

    Now, as for Adamski, his "photos" and stories took ufology into a realm of craziness from which it has never recovered.

    The similarity to what Paul did with religion is palpable, even though Adamski's "movement" was thwarted a little faster than Paul's effort.

    But Adamski as spoiler is significant, only not in a profound way. After all, flying saucers and UFOs lack the transcendence that the Church of Christ seemingly has.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • I had to search my personal library and found my copy of "The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception" by Baigent and Leigh. Chapter 16, Paul-Roman Agent or Informer? would be of interest to you. This is based on R.H. Eisenman's theory that Paul may have been put in place by Rome to subvert the movement and shift the emphasis away from traditional Judaism by bringing the gentiles into the fold.

    I'll lay low and allow others to opine.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • I hate conspiracy theories, Tim, but think this one is interesting.

    And I'm a JFK conspiracy junkie.

    (So maybe I don't hate them at all.)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • Rather than compare and contrast Adamski and "St Paul", what about the New Testament and the Roswell Mythos?

    For one, they're both based on witness testimony. Paul's visions were his claim to being a witness, too, just like the Apostles.

    Best Regards,


    By Blogger Don, at Thursday, October 22, 2015  

  • Rich, I largely agree with you, especially on Christianity. But everybody is going to argue about Paul, I do agree with you that unconscious guilt appears to be responsible for his turn-around and his 'salvation'. There is a book you may be interested in, written by the late Jewish scholar Hyam Maccoby, 'The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity'. Basically his thesis was that Paul was not originally Jewish, but converted to Judaism before adopting and helping to invent Christianity. Maccoby argues that Paul appeared to lack a real knowledge of Mosaic Law. Naturally Maccoby's thesis is controversial, and most scholars appear to disagree with this notion (obviously who cares what Christian apologists think, I mean non-Christian scholars). I myself don't necessarily think Maccoby is right, I remain undecided. I don't think we will ever or can ever know. But it's an interesting thesis, from an important Jewish scholar.

    Adamski comes across as a trickster, I find him fascinating, and unlike Paul I see him, like many UFO nuts, as essentially harmless. I even have a soft spot for him.

    By Blogger Lawrence, at Friday, October 23, 2015  

  • Don:

    I've done the Roswell/Christian thing a few times.


    The Paul story is open to number of interpretations, all interesting and possible.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, October 23, 2015  

  • Lawrence: "...everybody is going to argue about Paul..."

    True. We can avoid that by stipulating to "St Paul", as commonly known, and not attempting to divine a bio of a person about whom we know nothing (disputes about who was, or if there had been, a Paul/Saul of Tarsus, is a NT analogue to MJ12 or Mogul disputes on Kevin's blog).

    But then we are comparing a character in a book, "St Paul", to a real person, George Adamski. The matter of 'directionality' requires wondering whether Adamski was influenced by our cultural image of "St Paul".

    The idea that one might encounter the Divine in the wilderness, seems to occur all through both Testaments, which is why, I think, Adamski's vision occured in the desert and not at Hollywood and Vine.

    The characters, "Jesus" and "St Paul" have schizophrenic qualities. "St John" (of the Epistles) has paranoid qualities. Religion and madness have often been linked. Some Contactees got their scripts from the Bible, sometimes even venturing into KJV English.

    Remember the Reptilian on X-Files:

    Lord Kimboat: Roky - ROKY! Be thou not afraid. No harm will come unto thee!

    Best Regards,


    By Blogger Don, at Friday, October 23, 2015  

  • It was through the story of Paul that the Jesus ben Pandera/Pandira/Pantera was combined with the Logos of Philo (and others) into a Super-Jesus. And quite frankly, Paul could have been just a fictitious character in this layered Gospel creation 'hoax'. The extra-Biblical proof of Paul's existence is scant at best.

    There was a philosophical argument ('Gaunilo’s Perfect Island' addressed it much later) which essentially argued that the perfectly existing is superior to the merely mental perfect. So a god that exists is superior to a god which is only imagined. This was considered convincing by the thinkers of the period, and thus we have this hybrid concoction of the Jesus(Joshua)/Logos.

    You may well be calling 'insane' a fictitious creation/person. Even though his 'insanity' was necessary to the story's plotline and overall purpose of religious syncretism.


    By Blogger Parakletos, at Friday, October 23, 2015  

  • Parakletos:

    This begs the question as to who invented Paul? The only one that I'm aware of would have been the author of the Acts as this is where Saul/Paul come into the picture. I'm still inclined to believe that Paul was real and hence an early, and later, influence on the church. I'm a sucker for tradition.:)

    Peter Kirby's excellent site Early Christian Writings deals with the Paulian controversy:


    Getting back to the comparison of Paul vs Adamski. Adamski's messenger from Venus was "plausible", and I say this for arguments sake, since Venus was a relatively unknown planet based on subjective interpretation of then known science. We had no idea that the planet's atmosphere was mostly sulfuric acid and a rocky surface whose surface pressure would annihilate anything living or artificial. Therefore, any current Adamskite lunatic can see the impossibility of Adamski's story.

    Paul's story at least is based on a real geographical location(s) that extends a degree of plausibility...depending on how one looks at the story.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Friday, October 23, 2015  

  • Tim:

    The fact that Jonah's journey took place in the belly of an Earthly while doesn't make it more plausible, does it? More plausible than, say, in the belly of an inter-galactic space creature...

    Of course mythos uses concepts that are familiar. And if Campbell is to be believed, mythos can't be created -- though it can perhaps be guided by the scribes.

    And yes, it does beg the question as to who wrote what's now attributed to 'Paul' -- and that can lead to interesting discoveries itself. My point on mythology is that people who CANNOT see the meaning of the mythology end up getting trapped in an historic understanding which they either reject entirely, or wrongly accept as historic fact. Nicaea denounced docetism as a heresy. But it doesn't explain why people were docetists so soon after the purported events laid down in that fantasy tale.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • P,

    The tale of Jonas in the belly of a whale, is symbolic, a literary metaphor. Similar to the story of Job, though God comes off looking apathetic at best. But the crux of the story of Job may well be the relationship between God and Satan with Job used merely as the catalyst.

    Paul is an oddity, an outsider who has more impact on the present day doctrine of Christianity than any of the other apostles regardless of the plausibility or not concerning his visionary experience enroute to Damascus.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • "St Paul", if there was an actually existing person behind the character, was the teacher of the bishop of Sinope who was the father of Marcion of Sinope. If "St Paul" was invented, then the inventor was Marcion (or his father).

    The Marcionites claimed another faction added stuff to St Paul's epistles. That other faction, the Roman church, claimed Marcion removed stuff from the epistles. It took awhile for all the epistles to make it into the official canon.

    No one has, over the past 2,000 years, resolved that dispute.

    Whether Marcion and his father actually existed is questionable, too (so for that matter is the existence of ben Pandera). We only know about them from writings, at the most optimistic, a few centuries after the purported events, and in a lot of cases, a thousand years or more.

    The historical question is: are the "copies" we have in a lineage from a contemporary original, or are they forgeries. My skepticism wants me to question whether a document was copied accurately over so many centuries, noting the ease of producing forgeries and the willingness to accept them as authentic, especially before modern science.

    I don't know enough about Adamski's life and work to compare his to "St Paul's". Taking the standard dating, Paul began as a missionary for the church in Jerusalem. His preaching appears "apocalyptic", then he has a dispute with the Jerusalem church, and says he had a vision of the risen Christ and that makes him an apostle as bona fide as the 'super apostles' in Jerusalem.

    "St Paul" had communities made up of gentiles and non-observant, hellenized Jews, who are 'turned off' by some Israelite tribal practices. Paul arranges a compromise with Jerusalem, but then drops the matter, forms his own church(es), spiritualizing the tribal stuff ("circumcision of the heart" etc), dropping the apocalyptic stuff.

    The "St Paul" of Acts cannot be synced to the "St Paul" of the Epistles. They are two different characters.

    At the end, he's like a pope of a hierarchic church (the Pastoral epistiles).

    Someone who knows Adamski's life well enough to say it fits the above pattern?



    By Blogger Don, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • Don:

    The book I mentioned and received the other day -- The Invention of Jesus by Peter Cresswell -- deals with the "original" copies extant (and not) of The New Testament in great scholarly detail.

    Those interested can find the book for $4.98 at Amazon or Daedalus, originally $19.95 (a 2013 copyright).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • RR:

    I looked on Amazon for it, and it didn't show up as $4.98. The best they showed for a new one was $10 and that's with another 50% for 'shipping and handling'. So $15 when you get done... I looked on Daedalus as well, and couldn't find it. I even used the advanced search and looked for "1780285469" to no avail.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Saturday, October 24, 2015  

  • For Daedalus, the search number is 53637, Parakletos.

    For some reason. Amazon's $4.98 pricing went away, since I saw it -- I checked to see if shipping might be cheaper than Daedalus.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 25, 2015  

  • RR:

    Thanks. The number I searched was the ISBN. And it came up with no hits. Now, your 'Daedalus Item Number' does pull up the book, but it's 'sold out'. Maybe that's why the ISBN didn't provide any hits. It does show as $4.95 on Daedalus -- which is probably why it is sold out. =P

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Sunday, October 25, 2015  

  • Yah, Amazon sold out too.

    You might look for it at Powell's.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, October 25, 2015  

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