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Atompunk Spirituality: The Church Of All Worlds

church of all worlds

You may have read Robert Heinlein’s Stranger In A Strange Land. It’s a seminal work of science fiction, one of the most influential sci fi books of all time. So influential, the reading of it inspired a pair of college students in 1962 to found what would become one of the biggest neo pagan religions in the world.

church of all worlds stranger in a strange landIn the book, a man, Mike, who has been raised by Martians returns to Earth as an adult and experiences culture shock. Furthermore, raised with Martian philosophies, he comes with many concepts of a more self actualized way of being, founds a religions and of course gets martyred. It put the word “grok” on the map: “Hey man, i grok that”. This is archaic today but the word was in heavy usage back in the 60s and 70s. The religion Mike found is all about the Hindu “Namaste”: seeing and acknowledging the god in each other. Free love and lots of casual, polygamous sex abounds, which in 1962 was a big deal as the hippy movement hadn’t really risen from the beats yet. This book influenced the free love ideal of the late 60s quite a bit.

Heinlein’s portrayal of sex has at it basis the conviction that the Judeo-Christian fixation on purity, celibacy, faithfulness within marriage, and legitimate offspring is ultimately wrong; it inevitably results in sexual jealousy, possessiveness, negative perceptions of those born out of wedlock, and punitive sanctions against women who seek to escape these patriarchal bonds.”

A water ritual, a sharing of water, is used in the story to create a bond between people and Mike’s religion is set up as a series of small nests. All of these things became reality when the fictional Church Of All Worlds was created in actuality as well as other additions we’ll mention in a moment. The most important aspect of the Stranger In A Strange Land religion that must be noted is the idea that through a great understanding, personal awakening and a deep, devotional attitude, a person could break free of the patriarchic chains of western thought and reach an enlightened, self actualized state. This is the prime inspiration that began The Church Of All Worlds.

In 1962, two guys, Richard Lance Christie and Timothy Zell became close friends at  Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. They were into ESP experimentation and the ideas of Abraham Maslow, a renowned American psychologist.

Maslow’s work talked at length about the concept of self actualizing. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms. believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her full potential, to reach a level of “self-actualization”.  He described what a self actualized person was like:  “reality centered,” able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also “problem centered,” meaning that those treated life’s difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships.Self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions. Maslow noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted themselves, others and the world, and also had faced many problems and were known to be impulsive people. These self-actualized individuals were very independent and private when it came to their environment and culture, especially their very own individual development on “potentialities and inner resources”

Abraham Maslow

Then these two friends came across the book Stranger In A Strange Land, which illustrated these concepts to a T.

They held a water ceremony where they dedicated themselves to self actualization, political and social change. They declared themselves a waterbrotherhood and named themselves Atl, after the Aztec word for water. The group grew to 100 members. They theoretically accepted any and all religious paths. ” The only sin was hypocrisy and the only crime in the eyes of the church was interfering with another person.”

In 1968, Timothy Zell decided to take Atl further and established the Church of All Worlds formally as a religion. This was not appreciated by all the Atl members and furthermore, Timothy began heavily stressing forms of earth worship, preaching about the Gaia hypothesis which he claims to have realized independently of James Lovelock, who is credited with creating the concept. The Gaia hypothesis posits that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system involving the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydrospheres and the pedosphere, tightly coupled as an evolving system. The theory sustains that this system as a whole, called Gaia, seeks a physical and chemical environment optimal for contemporary life.

c11

In New Age terms, this is  interpreted to mean that the earth is a single, complex, living, conscious, evolving organism in which humanity is a part of the greater body.

The formation of an official church and this move into paganism splintered the Atl and split Richard Christie and Timothy Zell.

The new Church Of All Worlds however did magnificently. A key ingredient in its success was a self published magazine it began producing in 1968 called Green Egg. Green Egg became THE magazine on neo paganism, in fact putting the very word neo-pagan on the map. As the hippy movement blossomed, the new age movement began, alternative spirituality started looking to paganistic ideas and practices (that is, forms of nature worship), Green Egg was at the center of it.

church of all worlds

In addition, Zell became passionately interested in esoterica and ritual magick. Ritual magick would become a life long passion.

church of all worlds

In 1973 Timothy Zell met Diana Moore who went by the name Morning Glory. The two fell in love, Morning Glory divorced her then husband and married Timothy. Timothy then changed his name to Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and the two lovers new aged the fuck out.

church of all worlds

In 1976 the two began almost a decade of traveling, adventure, and living in various retreats and in a school bus they converted to a mobile home. They founded the Ecosophical Research Association (ERA) in 1977 at a ranch northwest of Ukiah, California to investigate arcane lore and legends of cryptids such as Bigfoot and mermaids. Their wandering years ended in 1985 when they took up permanent residence at Coeden Brith, initially for the purpose of raising “unicorns” created from horn surgery on baby goats. The ERA sponsored a Mermaid expedition to Papua, New Guinea in 1985 and a later ERA project involved the May 1996 world-wide ritual to draw upon and re-activate the Oracle at Delphi.

church of all worlds

Their marriage was an open one. Morning Glory’s relationship with Zell developed into a polyamorous one made up of three people from 1984 to 1994, including Diane Darling.[7] When this arrangement ended, Zell and Morning Glory bonded with others to make a marriage of five and sometimes six. The group took the collective surname Zell-Ravenheart, and lived in two large homes.

church of all worlds

The Church experienced a large drop in the 80s, time’s a changin’ of course, but picked back up in the 90s, becoming especially popular in Australia. In 2001 Green Egg ceased publication and in 2004 the Church’s Board of Directors decided to terminate the Church of All Worlds due to financial and legal struggles.

However, In January, 2006, due in large part to the efforts of Jack Crispin Cain, CAW was reestablished with Zells again assuming a leadership role. In 2007, Green Egg, returned to publication in an online format. The “3rd Phoenix Resurrection of the Church” continues to the present. Morning Glory passed away on May 13, 2014 but Zell is still alive, living in  Sonoma County, California and to some extent still touring and lecturing.

church of all worlds

 

Naturally, the Church of All Worlds is online. You can check it out here.

Issues of Green Egg since its return in 2007 are also online and can be found here.

That’s it, my little pretties. Drink Deep and May You Never Thirst.

 

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Atompunk Spirituality: Unarius

UnariusAfter the explosive heyday of new sects, cults and alternative forms of spiritualism that was the 1920s and early 1930s, particularly in the Western United States, things calmed down a bit WWII rolled around and everyone was kept busy slaughtering each other.

In Christianity, Pentacostalism kept raging strongly, but for more alternative forms of spirituality it wasn’t until the 50s that things saw a new boom. As the post war western world settled down, the 50s produced a new wave of groups and movements the vast majority of whom took various precepts of Theosophy left over from the original Victorian movement and all added a brand new twist: Aliens.

Aliens were the rage. If you were in a new, alternative spiritual movement in the 50s, there were aliens involved in your theology, and that was certainly true for today’s group: The Unarius Academy of Science.

The Unarius Academy of Science is quite vehement they are not a religion, but are in fact Interdimensional Science, the precepts of which have been delivered by higher energy beings (from Venus as well as others) and channeled by their founder Ernest Norman.  Unarius is an acronym which stands for UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science.

Unarius

Ernest Norman was a traveling psychic medium who put grieving WWII widows in touch with their dead husbands. In the early 50s he met a woman named Ruth whose dead husband had left her a restaurant chain. Their pairing changed their lives. They married within weeks of meeting each other. Ruth loved Ernest’s alien theosophy shtick and soon he had at his disposal the means to self publish some books written while channeling the aliens who were giving him advanced knowledge about the seven planes of Shamballa, which exist outside the conventional atomic spectrum and are spiritual or non-physical worlds. Each plane has a specialty in the teaching of advanced principles, for the betterment of an individual’s progressive evolution from life to life.

The planes’ specialties are:

  • Venus – Healing
  • Eros – Science
  • Orion – Education
  • Hermes – Philosophy
  • Muse – The Arts
  • Unarius – Leadership
  • Elysium – Devotion

The first book, The Book of Venus, describes communication from Mal-Var of Venus who gives a tour of the Venusian capital. In the work, Venusians are described as having “energy bodies” and living in a higher vibratory plane that would be invisible to a human were he to stand in the middle of the capital city known as Azure. The planet Venus and its culture are said to be more spiritual than that of the Earth and that more advanced Earth-dwellers visit and study on Venus when they sleep. Healing wards for human suicides, alcoholics, the mentally impaired and similar human wreckage exist in Azure and these souls are treated with positive energy and light to help them reincarnate with greater integration.

Unarius

The books began to attract interested people and soon the movement was off on its way.

The great part about all these groups formed in the 50s and beyond is that sooner or later they got around to filming various self promotional videos. These are of course gold.

Here is the Unarius worldview in self funded video form. You are welcome.:

When Ernest died in 1971 his wife Ruth took over and things got even wackier. The theosophical back pinnings of the movement got replaced with more and more aliens and more and more alien channeling stories. Ruth began publishing books describing her channeling of alien beings. She changed her name to Uriel after a channeling revealed a lifetime lived in ancient Atlantis with the name Uriel and began dressing… in a bizarrely lavish fashion.  Alex Heard, in Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels In End-Time America quipped of her that she was, “a true American original who combined the couture sensibilities of a drag queen with the joie de vivre of a Frisbee-chasing Irish Setter.”

Unarius

Her channeled messages referred to “33 worlds of an interplanetary confederation”. These worlds all had various problems and by communicating with Uriel, many of their hang-ups were solved or on the way to resolution.

The group also came up with the idea that trauma inflicted during a past life was causing you suffering in this one and thus would enact Psychodramas, acted out plays by which you could relive the event and over come it. The events would be seen by Ruth (Ioshnna).

For instance, Uriel might decide that a certain Unarian had been a murderous space captain or an evil sea serpent in a past life. So the group would do these semi-improvised and somewhat elaborate plays, that were designed to “drastically relive” these past lives, so that the Unarian follower would be freed from their karma (more or less). In the one with the sea serpent, they literally videotaped it next to a swimming pool and several people got into a crappy aquatic dragon suit fashioned from floating pool furniture and innertubes and swam around as the rest of them held a trial and passed judgement on the “creature.” A lot of their psychodramas had the trial by jury aspect to them

In the mid 70s, a notable Unariun named Louis Spiegel first channeled a message predicting a landing of spacecraft to greet Uriel in 1976. The other sub-channel, Thomas Miller, disagreed with this channeling and a schism opened up between the two. When the landing failed to materialize it was explained that this scenario was a negative “past life reliving” and the channeling was contaminated by Spiegel’s lower sub-conscious self.

As a result, a number of Unariuns were skeptical about the future predictions of a spacefleet landing, also channeled by Louis Spiegel. Many Unariuns felt that these predictions undermined the original mission of Ernest Norman and a falling out occurred. Circa 1980 Thomas Miller, the primary sub-channel, left the organization, leaving Louis Spiegel as the only sub-channel. From this point forward, ever more activities revolved around these predictions. Ruth Norman, now 80, participated less and less in the goings on at the center and so Unariuns turned primarily to Louis Spiegel (aka “Antares”, “Vaughn” and “Charles”) for guidance and instruction.

Unarius

The group has built landing sites for the variety of spaceships that have promised to land and deliver them, but it has never occured. The group is still in existence today and can be found right here.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Atompunk Era Spirituality: The Aetherius Society

Aetherius Society

Atompunk in theory encapsulates the 50s into the 70s, and fringe spiritual movements from the 60s are in abundance. But i don’t consider hippy type counter culture to be necessarily Atompunk. One could argue that a lot of the cosmic consciousness ideas going around even including some of Timothy Leary’s ideas on the 12 steps of cosmic consciousness are intrinsically tied to “the atomic age”  and the new vistas the space race was inspiring.

I’m going to consider how much of 60s counter culture would theoretically fall under Atompunk (in my opinion at least) but in the meantime, we’ve done our Victorian Spirituality, we’ve done our Dieselpunk Era Spirituality, welcome one and all it’s time to start up Atompunk Era Spirituality.

We begin with some 1950s groups. Atompunk Era spirituality is when all the ideas passed down from Theosophy and Spiritualism started to get aliens attached to them. Welcome one and all to The Aetherius Society.

The Aetherius Society began with George King.

In the 1940s King started to become interested in yoga. In 1954, about 10 years into a serious yoga discipline a disemobied voice suddenly called ot him while he was along in his apartment. This voice, “Master Aetherius” cried “Prepare yourself! You are to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament”‘.

Several days later an unnamed yoga master, whom King knew was alive and well in India, appeared by walking through the locked door of his apartment and taught King exercises which enabled him to receive psychic transmission from Venus. Blavatksy’s Great White Brotherhood concept once again resurfaces, although King relabels them the Cosmic Masters, and they inhabit the higher planes of other planets. The Cosmic Masters of course wanted to use King as the “Primary Terrestrial Mental Channel” to transmit teachings to the sad little people of Earth.

Aetherius Society

The Great Cosmic Masters contain some of the same tropes the Great Masters always do,  Lord Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, and Count Saint-Germain, although King added some new space members,  Master Aetherius, Goo-Ling, and Mars Sector 6.

“George King has been described both as a “mystagogue” , or as someone “who performs magical and/or sacramental actions to promote salvation”. He can also be described as a psychic, mystic, or spiritual healer. After receiving the command to become a channel for the Cosmic Masters, King claimed to have mastered many of the various techniques of Yoga, including Raja, Gnani, and Kundalini, all of which led him to consciously attain the state of Samadhi.

This allowed King to communicate with beings from other spiritual energy spheres. In this state of consciousness, he was able to receive teachings from the Cosmic Masters that the Aetherius Society believes will guide humanity as a whole to spiritual enlightenment. King is acknowledged as the “Primary Terrestrial Mental Channel for the Cosmic Masters.” His full title in the Society is “Sir George King, OSP, PhD, ThD, DD, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Aetherius Churches, Founder President of the Aetherius Society.” He also has other honorary titles, including Prince Grand Master of the Mystical Order of St. Peter, HRH Prince George King De Santori, and Knight of Malta. Certificates of these various degrees and titles are displayed at the Society’s Temple in Hollywood, California.

After receiving his call to channel, King gave up his research and materialistic pursuits in order to publish The Cosmic Voice, which included a transcript of his communications with the Cosmic Masters. He also began giving lectures around England describing his spiritual experiences. On May 21, 1959, BBC broadcast King while he was in a Samadhic trance, allowing a huge audience to witness his yogic skills (Aetherius Society n.d.b). In June, 1959, King expanded the Society to the U.S. and established a center in Hollywood, where, in 1963, The Aetherius Society was incorporated as a non-profit religious, scientific, and educational organization.”

As we see, Scientology’s cosmic story was, like The Aetherius Society, the 1950s new trope gift to the next wave of spiritualities.

Aetherius Society

The group’s beliefs include many of the usual: life after death, special place in the cosmic hierarchy as one of the Great Cosmic Masters, and survival if not reversal of the coming catastrophe of the human race destroying themselves through technololgy without sufficient spiritual maturity to handle it.

The Great Masters concept is very, very central. “The Cosmic Masters are believed to be far more technologically and spiritually advanced than human beings. They have, therefore, been able to build spacecraft that avoid detection by radar and telescopes until they choose to let their presence be known. According to the Society, this has happened repeatedly through recent history. Society members explain that extraterrestrials can decrease their vibratory rate at will and assume physical bodies as easily as they can increase their energy levels and dematerialize. When asked why the Masters choose to visit us, the Society responds that they are benevolent beings who wish to guide humankind in its evolution. They define the evolution process as the journey back to God the Creator. Once a soul masters its lessons on Earth, it leaves the cycle of rebirth and moves on to a more subtle and lasting body. This is described as an inward journey toward the “Spark of God” within us (Aetherius Society. 2006d). Not only do these extraterrestrials act as spiritual guides, they also protect the human race from both internal and external forces. Members of the Aetherius Society believe that the Cosmic Masters actively prevent ecological disasters, as well as cosmic warfare, and that there are flying saucers hovering constantly around the Earth guarding us from evil and warning us about imminent attacks . At one point, the Cosmic Masters went so far as to devise an invisible barrier around the planet to shield it from destructive forces. Despite their efforts, however, Earth is believed to be presently under attack by “The Black Magicians” who wish to enslave its inhabitants

Aetherius Society

Also of great importance though is the Law Of Karma:

“One of the central beliefs of the Aetherius Society is the Law of Karma (Aetherius Society 2006k; cf. King 1962b), namely “the law of consequence with regard to action, which is the driving force behind the cycle of reincarnation or rebirth in Asian religions” (Bowker 1997: 535). Members of the Aetherius Society believe that humankind is severely out of karmic balance and, therefore, is teetering on the brink of total self-destruction, an event which they believe has taken place twice before on Earth. The first catastrophic fall occurred in what is known as Lemuria, or Mu, and was followed by the fall of Atlantis. Before our existence on Earth, members of the Society believe that humankind lived on a planet called Maldek, once found between Mars and Jupiter. The Aetherius Society teaches that this planet was destroyed in a global war which left only an asteroid belt in its wake.

“In Operation StarLight, King climbed to the tops of eighteen out of nineteen Holy Mountains (Aetherius Society 2006j) where he transmitted a charge of spiritual energy from the Cosmic Masters. These mountains are described as “spiritual energy batteries” that cannot be discharged or depleted and are, therefore, a continuous source of blessing to those who climb them. They are powerful psychic centers and the Aetherius Society organizes regular pilgrimages to them”

Aetherius Society

In a nutshell, what makes the Aetherius Society such a good starting place for Atompunk Spirituality, is that it is classic Theosophical tropes, having survived and thrived all the way from the Victorian Age, honed through a repetition you find in group after group after group. The Aetheius Society takes it and makes it Atompunk. They bring aliens into it, new to that moment, but about to become a MAJOR player in alternative spirituality.  Planetary symbolism become far more than astrological concepts, they make it part of the new space age consciousness.

Popular science fiction of the day swooned over daring exploits on other planets such as Mars and Venus and King was right there, with visions of alien civilizations on those planets and others. Popular tropes such as the magnetic pole shift and Planet X or Planet Nibiru where in their infancy, and King was right there, helping to popularize some of the notions that would become mainstays of later beliefs systems.

Because you know i love you, here is actual footage and an interview with King himself.

The Aetherius Society is indeed still around today. You can find them here.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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