UFOs and the Kingdom of the Cults

It’s no wonder that there’s been a rise of cults looking to interpret UFO phenomena through a religious lens.[1] Some examples of such groups include the Aetherius Society, the Raelian Movement, and the Unarius Academy of Science. In the following discussion, I’ll briefly explore the core beliefs of each cult and wrap up with some key biblical insights.  

The Aetherius Society

The Aetherius Society, a popular UFO cult, presents itself as a spiritual pathway to enlightenment. Its members profess to collaborate with the “Ascended Masters” in order to bring about a New Age of peace and enlightenment in the world. These Ascended Masters are believed to be historical figures who have completed their human journey and transcended to higher realms of existence. With a voluntary desire to assist less evolved individuals, they strive to elevate humanity to their exalted state.

George King established the Aetherius Society in 1954. While residing in London, he received communication from a “cosmic brotherhood” of Ascended Masters, who proclaimed him as the chosen one to be the voice of the “Interplanetary Parliament.” His divine calling bestowed upon him the title of the “Primary Terrestrial Mental Channel,” through which profound revelations would be channeled.[2]

One of these Masters quickly imparted advanced yoga instructions to King. Through this initial encounter, King formed a deep connection with the Ascended Master Aetherius, who is believed to dwell on planet Venus—an alleged celestial sphere associated with profound spirituality.

King reportedly had an encounter with the Ascended Master “Jesus” in 1958. According to the story, Jesus chose to reside on Venus after his resurrection and ascension. He formed connections with other esteemed religious figures like Buddha and Ramakrishna. The Aetherians believe that Jesus is one of the Great Masters and not the exclusive Son of God. This Master Jesus granted King the first chapter of his Aquarian Age Bible. Additionally, King continued to receive messages from Master Aetherius, which he shared in a magazine called Aetherius Speaks.

King affirms that the Cosmic Masters are genuinely committed to assisting humanity. “The Cosmic Masters have been given permission to increase their help to mankind. To help mankind help himself and to guide us towards the New Age.” The Masters strive to impart “cosmic knowledge” to humans and enhance their “spiritual energy.”[3] This imperative arises from the looming peril of humanity self-destructing via atomic warfare. 

The Space Brothers, also known as the Ascended Masters, diligently watch over us, ensuring our protection from our own self-destructive tendencies. Not only that, but they also advocate for the safeguarding of our beloved Mother Earth and all her precious life. 

There are ten core beliefs that form the foundation of the Aetherius Society[4]:

  1. There is indeed advanced intelligent life residing on other planets.
  2. Extraterrestrial spacecrafts, intelligently operated, visit Earth with the purpose of benefiting humankind.
  3. Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and other prominent religious leaders had extraterrestrial origins, and their purpose for visiting Earth was to offer assistance to humanity.
  4. Spiritual progress necessitates the act of serving humankind.
  5. Every human being possesses a divine essence, a spark of God.
  6. It is essential for followers of different religions to cooperate with each other, as all major world religions fundamentally promote the same teachings.
  7. Karma and reincarnation are divine laws. Karma pertains to the spiritual debt that a soul accumulates as a result of the positive or negative actions it performs in its current or past lives. When one gathers good karma, it leads to a rebirth in a more desirable state. Conversely, amassing bad karma can lead to a rebirth in a less preferable state.
  8. The earth serves as an interactive classroom on the fascinating journey of life, guiding us back to the divine source from which we all originated. The process of merging with this divine source may span across multiple lifetimes, each offering valuable lessons and growth opportunities.
  9. Mother Earth is a vibrant, living entity that pulsates with energy and breathes with life.
  10. The entire universe is a battleground where the eternal clash between good and evil takes place. This epic conflict extends across both the ethereal realm, known as the astral plane, and the physical world. Advancing from one planet to another, these opposing forces traverse the vastness of space in their spaceships. “Because Terra [earth] is so underdeveloped spiritually, it could become easy prey and fall to an all-out assault by the forces of evil, led by a group with the ominous sounding name of the Black Magicians. What saves planet earth from destruction is the constant and repeated intervention on her behalf by the space masters.”[5]

There are four key objectives that the Aetherius Society aims to achieve:

  1. Spreading the teachings of the Cosmic (Ascended) Masters is their primary goal.
  2. They aim to create favorable conditions that enable contact with extraterrestrials.
  3. They assist New Age aspirants in their spiritual development through the practice of yoga and other spiritual disciplines.
  4. They seek to engage in advanced metaphysical missions alongside the Cosmic (Ascended) Masters to benefit both earth and humanity.

As we will see below, there are both resemblances and notable differences between the Aetherius Society and the Raelian Movement, a cult that offers an entirely distinct perspective on UFO phenomena. 

The Raelian Movement

The story of the Raelian Movement begins with a French race car driver and journalist, Claude Vorilhon, who claims to have had a high-octane encounter with extraterrestrial beings in 1973. This encounter changed his life, and, it is claimed, the course of human history. His name was changed to “Rael” by aliens.[6] These otherworldly visitors informed Rael that his purpose was to share their message with Earth.

The supposed history leading up to this encounter is said to have origins stretching far into the past. As described in Raelian literature, Rael (Vorilhon) was said to be born as a unique being with a human mother and an extraterrestrial father. In the aftermath of the atomic bomb explosion in Hiroshima in 1945, a group of advanced alien scientists referred to as “the Elohim” reportedly selected Marie Colette Vorilhon to be the mother of Rael. On December 25, 1945, the Elohim allegedly transported her aboard a spacecraft and impregnated her. They then erased her memory of the experience in order to avoid causing any psychological imbalance. Rael, the result of this extraordinary union, came into the world on September 30, 1946.

Vorilhon’s first encounter with aliens occurred during his adulthood. According to him, these extraterrestrial beings were four feet tall, had long dark hair, almond-shaped eyes, and olive skin. Rael claims that these beings entrusted him with a message, deeming him the chosen one to spread “the greatest message ever revealed to humanity.” He was to become an apostle of a new world order. The message he received answered the profound existential questions that have plagued humanity throughout its existence: Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? “This message is the final chapter of all the world religions, it is the key which enables everyone to understand that what we thought was god is in fact people just like us but more advanced, who love us very much and have been waiting for us to reach a stage where we can finally understand them.”[7]

The Origin of Life on Earth. The aliens disclosed to Rael that humans were “implanted” on Earth by advanced extraterrestrial scientists known as the Elohim. According to Rael, the term Elohim refers to “Those who came from the sky.” Allegedly, these Elohim scientifically fashioned humanity from inert chemicals using DNA within their laboratories. In essence, the book of Genesis depicts the true account of how aliens from another planet orchestrated the creation of life on our planet.

The extraterrestrial being that appeared before Rael conveyed to him, “We were the ones who made all life on earth; you mistook us for Gods. We were at the origin of your main religions. Now that you are mature enough to understand this, we would like to enter official contact.”[8] The Elohim reportedly “maintained contact with us via prophets including Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, all specially chosen and educated by them. The role of the prophets was to progressively educate humanity through the messages they taught, each time adapted to the culture and level of understanding at the time. They were also to leave traces of the Elohim so that we would be able to recognize them as our creators and fellow human beings when we had advanced enough scientifically to understand them.”[9]

Rael’s Task. Rael claims to be the last of 40 prophets—each of whom was crossbred between the Elohim and human women. His role as a prophet is to warn humanity about the “Age of Apocalypse” that began with the detonation of the first atomic bomb in 1945. Now, we are faced with a critical decision. We can either destroy ourselves with nuclear weapons or embrace a collective shift in consciousness that will enable us to tap into the immense scientific knowledge of our extraterrestrial ancestors.

The Secret of Eternal Life. The aliens will reportedly deliver to us the secret of eternal life, which involves cloning. “Cloning is the secret of eternal life. Cloning will make the life of people better by curing genetic diseases.” Indeed, we are told: “Denying the existence of God or the soul, Rael presents as the only hope of immortality through science, and to this end members participate in four annual festivals so that the Elohim can fly overhead and register the Raelians’ DNA codes on their machines. This initiation ritual, called ‘The Transmission of the Cellular Plan,’ promises a kind of immortality through cloning. New initiates sign a contract which permits a mortician to cut out a piece of bone in their forehead (the ‘third eye’) which is stored in ice awaiting the descent of the Elohim.”[10]

While all this may seem ludicrous to Bible-believing Christians, it is crucial to bear in mind that Satan actively endeavors to blind the minds of unbelievers, diverting them away from the genuine Jesus and the authentic gospel that brings salvation.

The Unarius Academy of Science

As if all the foregoing was not bizarre enough, things get even more bizarre with the Unarius Academy of Science. “Unarius” is an acronym for UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science. This unique group was established by the late Ernest and Ruth Norman in 1954. According to the Academy’s members, one day UFO starships will initiate contact with the Earth. To accommodate their expected arrival, over 60 acres of land have been acquired in the beautiful mountains of San Diego, California.[11]

Ernest and Ruth Norman’s journey into the world of the occult began in 1954 when they first crossed paths at a psychic convention. Prior to this encounter, Ernest had immersed himself in spiritualist churches, where the living communicated with departed souls. On their very first meeting, Ernest unveiled a mysterious psychic reading to Ruth, revealing that she had once been the heroic pharaoh’s daughter who saved Moses from certain doom in the bulrushes. As their connection deepened, Ernest shared a profound revelation claiming that they had also experienced a previous incarnation as Jesus and Mary Magdalene.[12]

Using clairvoyance, Earnest boasted about receiving psychic “transmissions” from not only Mars and Venus, but also from other “spiritual planets” such as Eros, Orion, Muse, Elysium, and Hermes. These transmissions unveiled the existence of advanced learning centers on these celestial bodies, inhabited by Ascended Masters who sought to share their profound knowledge with adept psychics like Ernest. A particularly notable teaching of Unarius is that during sleep, students can have extraordinary out-of-body experiences and embark on “astral travel” to these revered centers on other planets, where the great Masters bestow their wisdom.

Golden Age Imminent. Based on the transmissions received by Ernest, members of Unarius eagerly anticipate the imminent arrival of extraterrestrial beings. According to their beliefs, this otherworldly encounter will mark the beginning of a utopian society, characterized by heightened levels of logic and reason. These enlightened beings, referred to as space brothers, are said to possess advanced knowledge and will bestow upon humanity various technological marvels. Unarius also teaches that these extraterrestrial starships will land one on top of another, forming a magnificent tower-like structure. These saucer-shaped vessels, originating from 33 distinct worlds, will allegedly extend an invitation to humanity to join them in the Interplanetary Confederation.

The flying saucers described by the Unarius Academy of Science have a massive diameter of five miles. Unarius literature boasts that each of these ships will bring a cohort of 1,000 scientists to our planet. In total, this means an assembly of 33,000 interplanetary scientists will grace Earth with their presence. Their mission? To toil tirelessly for the betterment of humankind.

Technology Will Solve All Problems. Each level of the saucer tower will reportedly be dedicated to a distinct field of science, immersing visitors in the wonders of various scientific domains. The technology harnessed by these extraterrestrial scientists supposedly holds the promise of resolving all of humanity’s economic and social challenges. As a result, earthlings will be liberated from the burdens of mundane livelihoods, enabling them to wholeheartedly embrace knowledge and uplift humankind. An innovative method of learning will allegedly emerge, featuring “techno-caps” that individuals can wear to effortlessly absorb the contents of an entire book each night. 

Atlantis Recovered. Prior to landing in San Diego, the alien starships will reportedly land in the Bermuda Triangle on a submerged but soon-to-rise land mass that once was home to Atlantis. We are informed: 

The ships are expected to land first in the Bermuda Triangle. One of their first benevolent acts will be to recover the libraries of Atlantis and Lemuria. The contents of these libraries, said to be on thin metal plates somewhere in the debris of the sunken continents, will be given back to the Earth people. The Space Brothers have plans to train technicians with this knowledge in order to build crystal and gold computers and other wondrous technology.[13]

Atlantis, the mythical lost continent, is believed to have submerged due to a catastrophic event. The realm of mystery and magic is teeming with references to Atlantis, often portraying it as an exceptionally advanced and enlightened society. In some circles, speculations have even arisen, suggesting that this “vanished civilization” might have been comprised of extraterrestrial beings.

Perfect Peace and Harmony. When the alien space brothers arrive, they will teach human beings the way to perfect peace and harmony. “They will speak from their experiences to end hatred and disease.” Wars and suffering will cease. “It will be proof for the skeptics. It will be rapturous, and it will be heavenly.”[14]

Healing for Everyone. Unarius literature promises that these otherworldly scientists will construct a grand university and medical center accessible to everyone, free of charge. The celestial brethren will offer humans cutting-edge healing devices designed to delve into their past lives, bringing forth healing in the present.

The hospital will allegedly introduce a revolutionary “Psychic Anatomy Viewer” to not only treat physical ailments but also to heal mental illnesses. According to Unarian science, uncovering information about past lives is key to achieving healing. The Psychic Anatomy Viewer acts like an X-ray machine for the “electronic body,” which refers to the electromagnetic memory of past-life karma held within our physical beings. By examining this electromagnetic memory, the machine can identify any “malformations” and determine when they occurred in a previous life. Armed with this knowledge, individuals can then release their troubles and move towards a more fulfilled life.

For example, if a person caused harm to another during a previous life on Atlantis, the feeling of guilt would still be present in their “electronic body.” According to Unarius, this could potentially lead to various illnesses, which would be cured by receiving this information. The Psychic Anatomy Viewer is expected to revolutionize healthcare, leading to the emptying of hospitals, prisons, and asylums. Additionally, drug abuse and alcoholism will become obsolete in the new era of scientific advancements.[15]

Therapy Available. Meanwhile, while we await the arrival of the extraterrestrial beings, the Unarius New World Teaching Center offers the opportunity for individuals to engage in past-life therapy. “For more severe or critical cases,” we are told, “‘Akashic’ readings are available to help the individual discover the originating cause for his mental or physical block.”[16] Occultists believe that our physical world is enveloped by a vast spiritual realm called “Akasha,” where every thought, will, and emotion of humankind is imprinted like a celestial tape recording. “Akasha” therefore constitutes a complete record of human history. Practitioners of Unarius psychotherapy allegedly possess the ability to access and read the Akashic Records. By so doing, they can obtain crucial insights to heal their clients’ past wounds.

A Christian Assessment

There is undeniably a wide range of peculiar doctrines associated with UFO cults. Instead of scrutinizing each religious claim made by each group, it seems more expedient and wiser to focus our critique on the overall perspective of these groups.  

Satan Is a Niche Marketer of False Doctrine

Satan, the ultimate master of niche marketing, has crafted an array of false ideas that cater to the desires of every individual in these last days. Within the realm of cults and various false religions worldwide, he offers a tempting selection of deceptive options to fulfill people’s diverse cravings.

Those who are intrigued by the idea of being a god may find solace in either the New Age movement or perhaps in Mormonism. If the concept of personal empowerment and shaping your own reality resonates with you, then the New Age movement might be the perfect fit. If you are seeking health and wealth, then the Word-Faith movement is the ticket. Alternatively, if you harbor a dislike for pain, suffering, and death, then Christian Science may offer a solution as it regards these things as mere “errors of the mortal mind.” If your curiosity lies in connecting with departed loved ones, then Spiritism may be the avenue to pursue. If, on the other hand, your interests skew towards the hedonistic side, then The Family (formerly known as the Children of God) might capture your attention, as this group is characterized by a permissive attitude towards morality. Are you enticed by the idea of experiencing multiple lives through reincarnation? If so, either the New Age movement or Hinduism might hold a certain appeal for you.

With each cultic group and false religion inspired by Satan, the objective is to distance people from the true God, the authentic Jesus, and the genuine gospel. It comes as no surprise that the Scripture urges Christians to be wary of Satan’s cunning schemes (2 Corinthians 2:11).

The UFO cults serve as yet another example of false religious groups that divert people from the truth of Jesus Christ and the saving gospel. It is crucial for us to remember the biblical warning that Satan can pretend to be an angel of light, attempting to deceive individuals (2 Corinthians 11:14). If Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light, he can also pose as an “ascended master.” This emphasizes the importance of heeding the wisdom found in 1 John 4:1: We must diligently “test the spirits.” The Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Samuel 23:2), serves as the ultimate litmus test for discerning the authenticity of various teachings. It is through this measure that the spirits can be truly put to the test.

All Forms of Occultism Are Prohibited

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 reveals that all forms of occultism are detestable to God. Back in Old Testament times, sorceresses were put to death—a penalty that demonstrates how serious the sin of divination was (and is) (Exodus 22:18). Leviticus 19:26 commands, “Do not practice divination or sorcery.” In Acts 19:19 we read that many who converted to Christ in Ephesus rightly destroyed all their paraphernalia formerly used for occultism and divination. Since occultism is featured in varying degrees in the UFO cults, we conclude that they are an offense to God. 

Spirit Contact is Prohibited 

Not only is occultism off-limits, spirit-contact is also off-limits. Deuteronomy 18:10-11 is clear: “Let no one be found among you…who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.” Leviticus 19:31 instructs, “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them.” In 1 Samuel 28:3 we read that Saul rightly “expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.” Later, we read that “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD, and even consulted a medium for guidance” (1 Chronicles 10:13). Now, here’s the important point: Contact with the ascended masters is just a whitewashed form of spiritism. God says that such activity is off-limits. 

The “Space Brothers” Set Forth Demonic Deception 

Members of UFO cults claiming to receive revelations from space brothers are propagating doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1):

  • The messages consistently twist Scripture (or deny Scripture) (2 Peter 3:16). 
  • The messages deny God’s existence (Psalm 14:1).
  • The messages center on a counterfeit Jesus (Matthew 24:4,23-24; 2 Corinthians 11:4). 
  • The messages offer a false gospel (Galatians 1:8). 
  • The messages claim that all religions are equally valid (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). 
  • The messages promise a false human-centered and alien-centered hope for the future, not a God-centered hope (Revelation 21–22). 

It seems clear that demonic deception is at the heart and center of UFO cult theology.

Jesus is Not a Mere Ascended Master

Salvation cannot be found among the “ascended masters.” Jesus alone is the Christ who brings salvation. The Old Testament contains numerous prophecies about the coming of a single Messiah (such as Isaiah 7:14; 53:3-5; Micah 5:2; Zechariah 12:10). In the New Testament, the term “Messiah” is synonymous with “Christ” (refer to John 1:41). Jesus alone has fulfilled these countless prophecies, thus making Him the one and only Christ. He is the sole bringer of salvation to all of humanity. All others are imposters. 

Notice that whenever Jesus is acknowledged as the Christ in the New Testament, He never said, “You too have the Christ within.” Instead, He warned that others would come falsely claiming to be the Christ (Matthew 24:5). He warned of counterfeit saviors, counterfeit prophets, and counterfeit teachings. The leaders of the UFO cults are counterfeit prophets; the ascended masters are counterfeit saviors; and the theological beliefs embraced by the UFO cults are counterfeit teachings. 

Let us not forget what Peter boldly said: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The apostle Paul likewise affirmed without hesitation, “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus Himself definitively said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). 

Truly, there is no other path to salvation than through Jesus. 


The ideas presented by UFO cults may captivate our curiosity, but beneath their enticing allure lies a labyrinth of falsehoods. The portrayal of Christ by these groups not only distorts the biblical figure, He bears no resemblance whatsoever to the true Christ depicted in the Bible. Buyer beware!

  1. When I use the term cult in this article, I do not intend it as a pejorative, inflammatory, or injurious word. The word’s meaning is limited in scope, referring only to a group that claims to be Christian, or is related to Christianity, but in fact is not Christian because it explicitly or implicitly denies one or more of the central doctrines of the historic Christian faith. These include the doctrines of Scripture, God, Jesus Christ, humankind, sin, and salvation.
  2. See “Frequently Asked Questions,” Aetherius Society website: www.aetherius.org.
  3. See “Frequently Asked Questions.”
  4. See “What Is the Aetherius Society?” Aetherius Society website: www.aetherius.org.
  5. Sidney Jansma, UFO’s and Evolution (n.p., 1981), pp. 77-78.
  6. See “The History of the Raelian Movement,” Raelian website: www.raelian.org.
  7. “The History of the Raelian Movement.”
  8. “Quick Summary,” Raelian website: www.raelian.org.
  9. “Quick Summary.”
  10. See The Gods Have Landed, ed. James Lewis (New York: State University of New York Press, 1995), p. 107.
  11. Duane Noriyuki, “Age of Unarius,” Los Angeles Times, April 7, 1997, p. A-3.
  12. The Gods Have Landed, pp. 86, 88.
  13. The Gods Have Landed, pp. 90, 92.
  14. Noriyuki, “Age of Unarius,” p. A-3.
  15. The Gods Have Landed, pp. 90, 92.
  16. “Frequently Asked Questions,” Unarius website: www.unarius.org.

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