1 A first draft of this English translation was fortunately prepared by the staff of the Centre for the Study of New Religious Movements at the Selly Oak Colleges in Birmingham, and here I owe much gratitude to Fr. Ralph Woodhall S.J. and to Dr. Simon Smith. I would also like to express special thanks to Simon Shields and Fred Milligan for proof-reading and constructive criticisms. Special thanks have to go to Valerie Donner from "The Ground Crew [Project]" for her positive feedback and support, and to Bil El Masri: both gave me their permission to use some of the GCP's "old" Internet files (cf. section 3 of my text). I would also like to thank the "Andromeda Group" for a permission to use two web-posted "channelings" (cf. note 76). «

2 Cf. G.Trompf (ed), Cargo Cults and Millenarian Movements. Berlin/New York 1990, 1f, and the article "Apokalyptik / Messianismus / Chiliasmus", by H.G.Kippenberg in the Handbuch religionswissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe II (1990), 9-26 (esp. 11f). «

3 "The term millennium has been typologized in modern social scientific scholarship to denote any perfected, blissful and trouble-free order of life in the future" (G.Trompf, Cargo Cults, 1). «

4 Cf. G.Trompf, Cargo Cults, 10f. On the other hand, there are also Cargo-cults without such a millenaristic component, i.e. without the expectation of a total and ultimate change of life. «

5 G.Trompf, "The Cargo and the Millennium on both sides of the Pacific", in his Cargo Cults, 35-94 (38f). «

6 Cargo Cults, 39. «

7 The term "cargoism" as a concept (regardless of its collective incorporation) is used here to denote those marketable and industrially produced consumer goods or commodities which receive a more than mundane significance and are therefore endowed with an aura of numinous meaning, which transcends their factual economic value. For this use of the term, cf. G.Trompf in his "Introduction" (Cargo Cults, 10-15). «

8 This topic forms a central belief in most UFO movements and it has been widely spread -- especially by the publications of Erich von Däniken. It forms, however, not only a part of the real UFO faith but it is also a favorite motif in the 'fictional religion' of contemporary science fiction literature and films. In R.Zelazny's Lord of Light. New York 1976 (11967), for example, a group of astronauts start to rule and to cultivate an entire planet mainly by adapting the roles of several numina from the Indian pantheon and by using technologically far superior capacities and supernatural powers in their government of the planet's people. «

9 G.Trompf in Cargo Cults, 39. «

10 See on this aspect John A.Saliba's essay "Religious Dimensions of UFO Phenomena", in James R. Lewis (ed.), The Gods have landed: new religions from other worlds. Albany 1995, 15-64. Many aspects of UFO mythologies (e.g. on anthropogenesis and evolution) seem to combine "the religious quest for absolute answers with the objectivity of scientific certainty" and thus tend to appear as secularised or scientised myths (49, 53-55). Cf. already E.Benz, Neue Religionen. Stuttgart 1971, Chapter 7 ("Ufologie -- Die Religion von den Planetariern und fliegenden Untertassen"; 113-124): according to Benz, there is a quite common readiness for ufological reinterpretations of religion in contemporary Western society and culture, since the belief in space aliens or "planetarians", who supposedly "inspired the great achievements on this planet in the past, and who are the alleged future saviours of mankind", is always propagated and "suggested as a normal and obvious constituent of our modern scientific worldview" (124). «

11 For example, already in the well-known social-psychological study When Prophecy Fails by L.Festinger, H.W.Riecken und S.Schachter (Minneapolis 1956), dedicated to a small UFO movement of the fifties, it can be seen that it is nobody else but the Jesus-figure of the theosophical-esoteric tradition who appears to the medium "Mrs.Keech" under the name "Sananda": he gives instructions concerning the imminent destruction of the world and the deliverance of the 'chosen few' via space ships (36ff). Within the context of UFO faiths today, this Sananda-Jesus is still much quoted and often "channeled" as a spiritual teacher of the world; he appears on many Internet-sites (e.g. "") and publications of UFO believers. A recent German example for the latter would be W. & Th.Gauch-Keller, Aufruf an die Erdbewohner. Erklärungen zur Umwandlung des Planeten Erde und seiner Menschheit in der Endzeit (Ostermundingen, 1992), a free brochure to be obtained directly from the authors or from many UFO groups and publishing-houses; cf. here 53-55 on "Lord Sananda". «

12 Basic sources are E.P.Hill, Ashtar -- In kommenden Tagen ... Alarmierende Botschaften von Weltraum-Piloten. Wiesbaden/Göttingen 61990 (Americ. 11956), and Tuella, Projekt: Welt-Evakuierung. Diktiert vom Ashtar-Kommando. Wiesbaden/Göttingen 31989, as well as a huge amount of similar publications (K.Veit, W. & Th.Gauch-Keller, and others). A sorted list of present Internet-resources for the so-called Ashtar Command can easily be obtained with a search-engine like Webcrawler (""). A collection of relevant publications (and modern 'classics' in German translation) is found at the Turmalin-Verlag in Gütersloh (the successor of the Ventla Verlag, Wiesbaden). The newest channeled "instructions" by Ashtar are furthermore published by UFO groups like the "Santiner-Kreis" in Berlin ("Schritte zur Vorbereitung auf die Evakuierung" etc.), sometimes in the magazine UFO-Nachrichten (cf. below). «

13 In the fifties the growing belief in UFOs was mainly triggered by American publications like Donald E.Keyhoe (Flying Saucers from Outer Space) and George Adamski & Desmond Leslie (The Flying Saucers Have Landed; a German translation appeared 1957 with the title Fliegende Untertassen sind gelandet). Carl G.Jung commented on this new faith from a psychological perspective already in 1958 with Ein moderner Mythus. Von Dingen, die am Himmel gesehen werden. Zürich & Stuttgart, 21964. «

14 Cf. the comprehensive study by E.Benz, Außerirdische Welten. Von Kopernikus zu den Ufos. Freiburg 1990 (the original title was Kosmische Bruderschaft. Die Pluralität der Welten. Zur Ideengeschichte des Ufo-Glaubens. Freiburg 1978). See also B.Gladigow, "Andere Welten -- andere Religionen?" in F.Stolz (ed), Religiöse Wahrnehmung der Welt. Zürich 1988, 245ff (with a differing title in the table of contents); S.Golowin, Götter der Atom-Zeit. Moderne Sagenbildung um Raumschiffe und Sternenmenschen. Bern 21980 (11965) «

15 There is a strong inclination towards and wide reception of UFO beliefs in contemporary New Religious Movements. A really detailed religio-historical study of the various traditions that reappear and merge in these UFO publications of individuals and groups is therefore still a desideratum of modern scholarship. There is an extensive and very valuable anthology by J.R.Lewis (ed), The Gods have Landed: New Religions from Other Worlds. New York 1995 (with detailed references and extensive comments on the literature!). -- Among others, cf. the chapter on "Die UFO-Bewegung" in K.Hutten, Seher, Grübler, Enthusiasten. Stuttgart 141989, 761-795; M.Rothstein, "The Family, UFOs and God: A Modern Extension of Christian Mythology", Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 (1997), 353-362; J.E.Porter, "Spiritualists, Aliens and UFOs: Extraterrestrials as Spirit Guides", Journal of Contemporary Religion 11 (1996), 337-353; several reports on the present scene can also be found in the journal Materialdienst of the Evangelische Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen in Berlin). «

16 A relevant 'enlightenment' and 'education' in this respect is the aspiration of the UFO-Nachrichten (formerly Wiesbaden, now Obergünzburg) founded in 1956 by Karl L. and Anny Veit: the journal informs about new UFO sightings or channeled messages from the star fraternity, and interested readers can contact the various meeting places, seminars and groups listed. There is also an Internet-version of the UFO-Nachrichten at "". «

17 This is a quote from the online-document "vt100596.htm" , which can be found under the rubric "Transcripts of Two Recent Videos" on the Internet-homepage of "Heaven's Gate" (the video is of October 5, 1996 and carries the title "Planet About To Be Recycled -- Your Only Chance To Survive: Leave with Us"). Currently, there are still several "mirror-sites" of this groups's homepage on the Internet (easily accessible through www-search-engines). «

18 W.Schmidt, in his "UFO und Astro als mörderischer Mechanismus", Materialdienst (EZW) 60 (1997), 185-187, suggests such a basic continuity between the cosmology of "Heaven's Gate" and the apocalyptic scenario of such UFO groups who live in anticipation of the final "cleansing" and impending transformation of earth according to the messages from "Ashtar" and similar members of the star fraternity. «

19 This analogy is drawn in the first chapter, "The Cargo and the Millennium on both sides of the Pacific", of his Cargo Cults and Millenarian Movements (35-94). The following remarks to this movement in the text depend on his description (esp. 35-57), and the page-references in parentheses refer to this text. Trompf already announced another, more detailed study of the Sunburst community (cf. 78, note 11), but he told me in 1997 that so far he has not been able to conduct additional field-research to complete his inquiry. «

20 The idea of the sunken continent Mu (mostly identified with Lemuria) and its mythic history can be traced back to James Churchward (The Lost Continent of Mu, 11931, The Children of Mu, 11931, and other publications), who claimed to be able to "read" the old Mu chronicles with his inner eye (cf. Trompf, 44-46, and his detailed bibliographical remarks to the Mu tradition in the references, 80f). The concept of the lost continent Mu was already partly incorporated into the beliefs of the famous group around "Mrs. Keech" (cf. When Prophecy Fails, 42). «

21 Trompf traces this idea of four distinct races back to certain Hopi-myths to which Paulsen presumably had access (46). «

22 This idea of gaining access to unknown or secret energies is a standard topic of UFO faith and is manifested in various publications, as well as in many Internet discussions about "Free Energies" or so-called "Free Energy Devices". «

23 The old Internet address was "". The following remarks are based on my personal copy of these Internet data that (after the split of the movement) are now only partly accessible at the two new addresses referred to below, and in many cases they have been completely removed from the files at the moment (cf. Note 28!). «

24 Both parties on their own new Internet sites originally published different reasons for this split. The first statement by S.Nidle with the title "Every Coin Has Two Sides" (cf. was immediately followed by Valerie Donner's retort on Dec. 16, 1997, entitled "Affidavit of Truth". She strongly defended herself against embezzlement reproaches, but the document was then removed from the server, apparently because she did not want to get into an "Internet war" (cf. V.Donner's ".../updates/vdonner/120897.html"). «

25 Located in California; the Internet-address is "". «

26 Located in Hawaii; the Internet-address is "". «

27 According to the bio-sketch on the Internet ("bio.html" on the PAO-server), Nidle was born in New York on Nov. 11, 1946. This document traces Nidle's contacts with aliens back into his childhood; today's apocalyptic messages from the "Galactic Federation" are transmitted to him telepathically. «

28 The following details are taken from three 'old' GCP-documents: the file "landings.htm" written in 1996 by Bil El Masri (now a core-member at PAO), and the documents "A Message to Humanity From The Ground Crew Project" ("messhum.htm") and the more recent "Urgent Message to Humanity" (August 1997; "messhum2.htm") which were posted on the GCP homepage until the apocalyptic expectations reached a climax in summer 1997. None of these files have been web-posted again by any one of the groups, but under the latter title a video by S.Nidle is now offered through the PAO (cf. the PAO-file "lectad1.htm"). -- Note: Valerie Donner and Bil El Masri from the former GCP gave me their explicit permission (Oct. 1998) to make these files accessible again; they are now web-posted on my homepage at the University of Mainz (""). «

29 Earth is understood as a living being and is emphatically called "Mother Earth": "Planet Earth is a living, conscious being. She began her life in a much higher consciousness than that in which we know her today. In her original state, she was to be Heaven on Earth" (cf. the file "messhum2.html", similarly "messhum.htm"). Analogous conceptions can be found, for example, at "" and "". «

30 "The crippled will walk, the blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the distraught, lost and alone will be filled with joy." But the description in the file "landings.htm" goes further than this biblical imagery by adding: "You will quickly become telepathic". «

31 This is explicitly stated in "messhum2.htm". «

32 There is also a brief sketch of the mythic history up to the present situation at the edge of the millennium ("messhum2.htm"): earth was originally created to be "Heaven on Earth". But the "Supreme Creator" asked her to participate in a "divine experiment" entailing that "over 6 billion" [ i.e. 6 milliard] "enlightened souls from this and many other galaxies" be placed upon the earth to grow and mature spiritually under the conditions of this "third-dimensional realm". However, the experiment failed: the soul-seeds "began to lose touch with their higher consciousness", and eventually all life on this earth started to suffer and became "dysfunctional". Now, at the dawn of the millennium, "Mother Earth" is finally "transforming herself back to a state of Heaven on Earth". Cf. (with slight differences) the mythic sketch in "messhum.htm". «

33 Quoted from "messhum2.htm". Cf. in "messhum.htm": "You will be able to create anything you want with your mind and the new technology that will be provided for you. [...] You will be able to live for hundreds or thousands of years. You will be completely healed of any thing that is now wrong with you". «

34 Quoted from "messhum2.htm". Still, all these "massive changes are being brought about by the grace of God. God is in charge here" (ibd.). «

35 Quoted from "messhum.htm". This new technology "will be beyond your wildest imagination" (ibd.). In a web-posted interview ("intrview.htm"), S.Nidle explained in August 1997: "We need ET help to make it through the next level, whether you look at it from a purely scientific level or a purely spiritual level. There is no other way around it. This way is the only way out. That is why people, if they would look at it even logically, would see that. So you just have to get off this skeptical game. You have to get off it and get with the program." «

36 On their homepage, the GCP even offered a T-shirt with this logo (picture-file "gclogo.jpg"). «

37 There is a real abundance of relevant sources on the Internet. The "Spiritweb" (main address: ""; regional mirror-site : ""), for example, posts many pages and links to UFO faith-topics like "Ashtar" (e.g. ".../Spirit/ashtar-command.html" or ".../Spirit/our-mission-athena.html") and other Space-Masters. In Germany, a similar facility can be found at "". Again, the use of search-engines like "" (for sites available in German) or "" (international) is strongly recommended, since they can help with an up-to-date ordered list of links for specific search-terms. «

38 In contrast to "light-workers" (spiritually highly concerned earthly souls), "star seeds" are souls who in mythical times have been brought to earth from other parts of the universe. Cf. the explanations available on the PAO-homepage ("starseed.htm" and "glossary.htm"). «

39 Cf. "landings.htm" and other GCP-documents. -- Similar ideas of gathering spiritual energy to change the state of the world can be found not only in esoteric and New Age-traditions, but also in other new religious movements. "Transcendental Meditation", for example, has always insisted on the purifying results of group-meditations ("1%-Effect", "Maharishi-Effect" or even "Global Maharishi Effect"); cf. "" or "". «

40 "How long?", Valerie Donner is asking in her GCP-poem "Time" ("gc072597.htm"): "Time is no longer what it seems. / From morning 'til night it changes its meaning. / An hour flies by and so does a day, / But waiting for ships can turn your hair grey. [...] How can we live with such crazy time? / Ships up there hovering and Mother Earth isn't so fine. / Time isn't what it used to be. / Maybe this is a part of setting us free. / The ships are coming - / But when, when, when??? / If you beam me up, Scotty, / I'll be your best friend." «

41 Cf. V.Donner in her GCP-poem "Spread the Word" ("gcrw092097.htm"): "Spread the word./ Spread it far and wide. / There is nowhere to run to. / There is nowhere to hide. [...] Inform humanity about the major changes to come. / Warn humanity -- beat the drum. / Tell everyone the end is near. / Our UFO's, angels and God are here. / Don't be timid; don't be shy. / There's too much happening on Earth and in the sky. / Gather together all of the forces of Light. / Let's do our work now and help things turn out right." «

42 For the relationship between cargo-hopes and exotic fascination, cf. K.-H.Kohl, "Cargo-Kulte in Melanesien -- Religiöse Heilserwartungen im kolonialen Milieu", in H.Wißmann (Hg), Zur Erschließung von Zukunft in den Religionen. Zukunftserwartung und Gegenwartsbewältigung in der Religionsgeschichte. Würzburg 1991, 167-183. «

43 For the origin, history and sociology of this movement, the publications of Robert W.Balch are of special significance; cf. his contribution to J.Lewis, The Gods have landed, 137ff (Lit.!). «

44 The Heaven's Gate-homepage (cf. "", "" or other mirror-sites still accessible on the Internet) shows an edited transcript of a video dated as of Sept. 29, 1996 ("vt092996.htm"; or "vg092996.htm" for a German version) which bears the title "Last chance to evacuate earth before it's recycled". -- In the following section I use my personal copy of these data, which I downloaded in April 1997. «

45 This idea is reformulated many times in the group's Internet-files. «

46 This programmatic document is contained in the Online-Book-file "1-4.htm" and in "95upd96.htm" of the main page. Cf. for the following remarks also the thoughts on "Incarnating and Discarnating" in the file "a48.htm" in the group's Online-Book (appendix). «

47 Sometimes also referred to as "Next Level" (NL), "Kingdom of God" or "Kingdom of Heaven". The LAH is "genderless" and "created all this". «

48 Applewhite states himself: "In the early 1970's, two individuals (my task partner and myself) from the Evolutionary Level Above Human (the Kingdom of Heaven) incarnated into (moved into and took over) two human bodies that were in their forties. I moved into a male body, and my partner, who is an Older Member in the Level Above Human, took a female body. (We called these bodies "vehicles", for they simply served as physical vehicular tools for us to wear while on a task among humans. They had been tagged and set aside for our use since their birth.)" (cf. "1-4.htm" or "95upd96.htm"). «

49 One thousand earthly years are supposed to equal one LAH-day (24 LAH-hours). «

50 "a48.htm" in the Online-Book's appendix. «

51 The group-member Jnnody states in the file "a48.htm": "This is the only 'future' (life) that is available to humans, for periodically, the garden is 'spaded under' in preparation for another 'cycle' of a human civilization. At that time all those who have not been 'set aside' by the Kingdom of God will be part of the recycling or 'spading under'." «

52 Such a rejection is stated several times on the web-site. Cf., for example, in the group's Online-Book (here: "a35.htm") the following programmatic remark: "Many of the New Agers believe in spacecrafts, ascended masters, and so on. So, the space aliens lead them to believe that they have discovered some major metaphysical secret. These same space aliens promote the 'cosmic consciousness' -- encouraging New Agers to keep up with their tarot cards, their crystals, and their mantras -- though these games are no more significantly evil than those of any other religious practices. [...] This is a space-alien 'counterfeit' concept and nothing more than an artificial separation from the world. They attempt to find what they are looking for on the surface of this planet, thus creating another Earth-bound religion, by becoming a part of some Himalayan enclave. Unfortunately, no Himalayan/ascended master would be permitted to set foot in the Next Level, even as a beginner. No Member of the Next Level would consider himself a 'master', but continually seeks to be a better servant to the Next Level through his Older Member. And you can be sure that any religious movement that has you desiring peace on Earth or some approaching 'heaven on Earth' -- that has you desiring to stay on the Earth or in the human kingdom on any level, even in a monastic situation -- contains a 'misinformation virus', that is, a corrupted version of Next Level information. The Next Level wouldn't co-exist in the human kingdom any more than a human would choose to live in the restrictions of the horse world or that of the dog" (my italics). Further, cf. "3-3.htm" and "1-4.htm" in the Online-Book for another harsh refusal of esoteric-theosophical concepts like the "ascended masters" (which can already be found in H.Blavatsky) or of esoteric depictions of Jesus as just "some flowing-robed, peace-and-love manifestation of their artist's conceptions". «

53 This is documented in the Online-Book's file "3-3.htm", where the "New Age" concept of Jesus as being one of the "Ascended Masters" in the Himalayan Mountains is rejected with reference to the biblical temptation story - located "on a high mountain"(!) -- in Matthew 4:8-9. "In the same way, Ti and Do were similarly tempted by the forces of Lucifer, when in the early stages of their awakening, they were drawn into the study of Theosophy, with its teachings of the Ascended Masters, Blavatsky's materials, and the Mahatma's Letters. On more than one occasion, Ti and Do were offered the trap of positions of leadership and power in Luci's camp, one of which occurred atop what most New Agers consider the highest spiritual mountain in the U.S. [...]. Ti and Do recognized, just as Jesus did, that this was a ploy of Satan and did not come from their Heavenly Father." «

54 This can be found in "a35.html" (cf. already in the preceding footnotes the long quotation from "a35.html", with a harsh rejection of any "Heaven on Earth"-utopia). Other sources are "59upd96.htm" // "1-4.htm", "a52.htm", "a38.htm", and "vt100596.htm" // "vg100596.htm". «

55 The rather amicable term "Luci's camp" might well be an allusion to the so-called "Luci's Trust" (or "Lucifer Publishing Company", 1922ff) dedicated to the works of Alice A.Bailey. «

56 This central idea is repeatedly stated on the group's Internet-site. Cf., for example, in the two video-transcripts accessible on the main page. The welcome-page itself contains this message in a nutshell: "The joy is that our Older Member in the Evolutionary Level Above Human (the 'Kingdom of Heaven') has made it clear to us that Hale-Bopp's approach is the 'marker' we've been waiting for -- the time for the arrival of the spacecraft from the Level Above Human to take us home to 'Their World' -- in the literal Heavens. Our 22 years of classroom here on planet Earth is finally coming to conclusion -- 'graduation' from the Human Evolutionary Level. We are happily prepared to leave 'this world' and go with Ti's crew." «

57 "The final act of metamorphosis or separation from the human kingdom is the 'disconnect' or separation from the human physical container or body in order to be released from the human environment and enter the 'next' world or physical environment of the Next Level. This will be done under the supervision of Members of the Next Level in a clinical procedure. We will rendezvous in the 'clouds' (a giant mothership) for our briefing and journey to the Kingdom of the Literal Heavens" ("95upd96.htm" // "1-4.htm"). «


59 The bust of this apparently genderless humanoid being ("mkh.jpg") represents common, even topic traits of contemporary alien depictions (e.g. the alleged Roswell-pictures etc.). «

60 In the Online-Book ("465.htm") it is stated that "the world out there is so artificial, and therefore our judgment as humans was artificial, as we move into the transition of becoming babes in our Father's Kingdom, [...] we begin to lose the confidence that we used to have in the artificial. [...] So, you then say, 'It's working. I am dropping the artificial.' In other words, 'I'm not sold out any longer to the wrong side. I'm losing the programming.'" «

61 Cf. for the concept of a "Luciferian programming" or "Luciferian program" in this world Applewhite's declaration entitled "Do's Intro: Purpose -- Belief", in the file "dosintro.html" (or in "03.htm" of the Online-Book). «

62 In a section entitled "Religions Are Humans' #1 Killers of Souls" (Online-Book, "a35.htm") the group member Jwnody reassures that Luciferian space aliens engineered "'misinformation viruses' to contaminate human perception": all religions, therefore, contain only "corrupted files" and "distorted data". «

63 The body functions as a "container" for the "spirit". Or, in analogy to a computer, "the body is the hard drive or hardware, and the spirit is the software" (Online-Book, "a48.htm"). «

64 Cf. towards the end of the file "a-3.htm": "we [...] will be 'saved' [...] when the Next Level terminates this temporal, impermanent (if not holographic) existence". «

65 In this German TV-film ("Welt am Draht") a computer expert named Stiller, responsible for a far-reaching computer simulation of socio-economic realities, suddenly realises that his own world is only a 'virtual reality', only another simulation on the level of a 'higher' computer. Eva, a digital 'representative' from this really real level, helps him to get out of the programme: at the time when he is 'virtually' dying by force, Stiller's consciousness (or soul) is 'saved' onto the Higher Level Reality. «

66 In the Online-Book ("465.htm") one finds the remark: "Of course, Satan's side could say, 'Who's to say that as you move over here into the new computer and its program, that that isn't the artificial and the old is the real?'" «

67 Towards the end of the file "a52.htm". For a similar statement, cf. "6-9.htm": "This Next Kingdom Level created the physical world, as we know it, as a 'holographic classroom' [...]. That hologram is about to be 're-booted' -- canceled and restarted -- for its usefulness and serviceability as a classroom have come to an end." «

68 In opposition to the original "software package" from the true Level Above, there "is no 'sustainable future' to be found in this world", since all (other) religions have bought into a "death software package" chaining the human souls to earthly life ("a48.htm"). «

69 Cf. for example H.v.Stietencron, "Kalkulierter Religionsverfall: Das Kaliyuga in Indien", in H.Zinser (ed), Der Untergang von Religionen. Berlin 1986, 135-150. «

70 Cf. the famous definition of an avatâra and his compensatory function (strengthening of dharma over against the increase of adharma) in Bhagavadgîtâ IV,7f. Analogous speculations about times of 'bad' dharma have been developed in the history of Buddhism. Cf. P.Hacker, "Zur Entwicklung der Avatâralehre", WZKSO 4 (1969), 47-70; A.Eschmann, "Der Avatâragedanke im Hinduismus des neunzehnten und zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts", Numen 19:2-3 (1972), 229-240; R.Seemann, "Versuch einer Theorie des Avatâra", Numen 33 (1986), 91-140. «

71 "a38.htm". «

72 On the Heaven's Gate homepage, cf. the three "Exit-Statements" (cf. the file "exit.htm" which was not available on all mirror-sites), as well as the reasons given for the final "Disconnect" in the section on "Our Position Against Suicide" ("letter.htm"), and Jnnody's "Incarnating and Discarnating" in the Online-Book ("a48.htm"). «

73 Cf. the following statement by Applewhite ("vt100596.htm"; cf. "vg100596.htm" for the German version): "I'm so happy, because my time is short here. If you come with us, your time here can be shortened. When Jesus left 2000 years ago -- or the one who was in Jesus, or when I left 2000 years ago -- only a very short time after that, Truth was significantly corrupted. So that no matter who tried to use the name of 'Jesus', or of 'Christ', or His information -- seeing it as true, seeing it as real, referring to what had been said of what it takes to come into my Kingdom -- that fell apart, that deteriorated, that became unimportant. It's a miracle that His Teachings can still be found in the gospels -- they're still there - you'd be amazed, you should read them again. Likewise this time, after I'm gone, when we leave, when we enter into my Father's spacecraft in order to go into service in His Kingdom, the Truth will deteriorate as fast as we depart. It will leave this atmosphere within a very short time" (my italics). «

74 ""; cf. "" (or other mirror-sites). «

75 The world as "holograph" or "holo-deck", the concept of LAH-souls as "Away-Team", all this carries the spirit of the science fiction-series "Star-Trek" which was enthusiastically watched by the group. So not only the last graphic of the sample-page (".../pro/graphics.htm") reminds of the starship Enterprise's holodeck, but the whole Higher Source-site is actually designed and portrayed in an interstellar space-setting. «

76 I found the reference to this group in the web-posted article "Beam me up" (April 9, 1997) by Florian Rötzer (cf. at ""). In his comments on the Heaven's Gate suicide he had included an Internet-link to the "Andromeda Group" (now outdated); the working address is currently "". I could still retrieve two files ("the39.html" and "hgbin1.html") with the alleged messages from the Hevensgaters ("channeled" by a member of the Andromeda Group as early as March 29, 1997 -- i.e. only three days after the discovery of the Heaven's Gate suicide!). -- Note: Thanks to the kind permission of the Andromeda Group a copy of these two files is now accessible on my homepage ("") at the University of Mainz. «

77 G.Trompf, Cargo Cults, 9. «

78 In his studies on Protestantism in Central America, Heinrich Schäfer has pointed out that these two variants of Christian millennialism can actually stabilise each other in a quite frightening way since they are producing a "de-facto-legitimisation of political powers and leadership". On the one side, within the framework of their pentecostal pre-millennialism, the "reigned people" of the lower strata accept their own inevitable condition as "victims", and the devastating socio-political realities as "necessary signs of the imminent end of the world" during The Great Tribulation. On the other side, and in the light of a neo-pentecostal post-millennialism, the "rulers" can reconfirm their power (or: power-in-a-state-of-crisis) anew by identifying every questioning of the current political order with the antagonistic forces of "Evil" (here: Satan released for one last time) and, thus, they can justify the ardent fight against these forces by joining in on the side of the superior "power of God". As a matter of fact, "the two religious systems are functioning like a class-overarching mechanism for the legitimisation of the status quo in society", concludes H.Schäfer, "Dualistische Religion aus gesellschaftlichen Gegensätzen", Wege zum Menschen 41 (1989), 52-70 (here: 67f). Cf., by the same author, Protestantismus in Zentralamerika: Christliches Zeugnis im Spannungsfeld von US-amerikanischem Fundamentalismus, Unterdrückung und Wiederbelebung "indianischer" Kultur. Frankfurt/M. 1992; and Befreiung vom Fundamentalismus: Entstehung einer neuen kirchlichen Praxis im Protestantismus Guatemalas. Münster 1988. «

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Copyright © Andreas Grünschloß 1998

First published in Marburg Journal of Religion