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An Extraterrestrial Religion’s Take on Christmas — Holodeck the Halls?

Christmas is actually in March, the star of Bethlehem was an alien spaceship and Jesus was an extraterrestrial being from Venus. If you find yourself nodding your head in agreement, then you’re probably a member of the Aetherius Society – a religion based on those and many other unusual and disparate ideas whose Executive Secretary and chief public relations person, Richard Lawrence, upended the traditional Christmas story recently for MyLondon. How did these beliefs originate and what kind of carols do they sing in March – Holodeck the Halls? ET in the Manger?

“I wouldn’t call him an alien, I’d call him a great cosmic intelligence. But yes, alien if you’d like. I believe he came from Venus.”

Lawrence begins by giving a very brief intro to the Aetherius Society. It began in 1954 when George King of Wellington, England, claimed he heard a voice informing him he was about to become “the voice of Interplanetary Parliament.” A week later, an unnamed swami allegedly entered his locked apartment and taught him telepathy – a skill he used to communicate with Aetherius, a “Cosmic Master” living on Venus. Other Cosmic Masters he claimed to communicate with were Jesus and Buddha. King organized a group of people to join him in these telepathic communications and that became the Aetherius Society. The organization is now worldwide and considered to be a syncretic religion combining aspects of millenarianism, New Age teachings, UFO religions and others. (You can learn more about the Aetherius Society on their website.)

“Based on the Bible, the Star of Bethlehem was witnessed by three wise men whom one would take to be very credible witnesses. It guided them to a specific place. It couldn’t have been a star, they don’t move. Meteorites don’t hover. It had a pattern, it was an alien ship.”

The interview with MyLondon focuses on Aetherius beliefs about Christmas. Combining the Christian Nativity story with the telepathic teachings King received from Venus, Lawrence explains that Jesus arrived not as an about-to-be-newborn on a donkey but as a passenger on a ship from Venus – an event witnessed by three “very credible witnesses” – something biblical historians themselves have been unable to confirm.

“It was actually March 15, and we know this for two reasons. Firstly it was told to Dr George King in the compacts. But there’s another aspect to that, clues in the Bible itself. For example shepherds watching their flocks by night couldn’t have been doing that on December 25. It would be a spring thing.”

Not exactly a spring scene.

Lawrence then throws a little paganism into the mix. Many religions and cultures prior to Christianity celebrated the vernal (spring) equinox in March, when nature start thing over again with new crops and young livestock – a more suitable time for shepherds to be tending their flock, not in the middle of winter. To help indoctrinate polytheistic “pagans” into monotheistic Christianity, its leaders regularly adopted and adapted ancient ceremonies into their own. It sounds like King and his society did the same. Lawrence also adopts a little of the ancient astronaut theories that events in the bible like unexpected or unusual clouds, stars, fiery chariots in the sky, etc. were actually spaceships described by people with terms they understood. Those ships didn’t just come from Venus — the Society believes Sri Patanjali, Sri Krishna, Confucius and Lao Zi came from other planets.

The interview is limited to Aetherius Christmas teachings for the Christmas season, but anyone curious on the society’s other tenets can read any of Richard Lawrence’s many books. While often ridiculed, as other New Age and UFO religions are, the Aetherius Society comes across as a friendly and caring group just looking to spread its messages of altruism, community service, naturism, spiritual healing and exercise. Its members are concentrated in London, Los Angeles (its two headquarters) and New Zealand.

No, they don’t have any extraterrestrial holiday carols and their teachings aren’t much stranger than most religions. So, in the spirit of the season, we hope they enjoy the anniversary of whatever day the spaceship arrived.

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Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.
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