Talk:UFO religion

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Title[edit]

Couldn't the title and the entire subject of this article perhaps be considered POV? If these groups wouldn't agree with this classification, isn't it POV to group them as such? We should cite sources for every grouping made in this article and phrases it as "X source defines Y group as a UFO religion". Tfine80 17:16, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

The expression seems to be widely used, and it has no obvious pejorative intent. It is IMO entirely acceptable to use it here.#fhmit# 22:25, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The defintion is reasonably objective and usable. Venus Copernicus (talk) 18:45, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Nation of Islam[edit]

Should this should also be included as it has as one of its beliefs that there is a "mothership" that will destroy the white devil? This might be a UFO but as there are technically no "aliens" related to this ship, some may object. --ScienceApologist 19:33, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for giving me a "WTF?" moment. :-) I think it's worth mentioning, certainly. -- ChrisO 19:44, 7 February 2006 (UTC)


To whom it may concern, I feel as editors of this website we have the responsibility to hold accuracy with the utmost sincerity. With that said, the Nation of Islam does not fit into the definition of a UFO religion. My reason for this statement is because a UFO religion is defined as, "any religion in which existence of extraterrestrial (ET) entities operating unidentified flying objects (UFOs) are an element of belief." As someone who has extensively studied the NOI, I absolutely know that they do not believe extraterrestrials (meaning beings from another planet) operate UFOs. In fact, they preach that the operators are humans, from Earth, which disqualifies them from being extraterrestrial. Therefore this definition does not apply to them. For that reason they need to be removed from this page. Thank You RashidanScholar127 (talk) 18:02, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Nation of Islam[edit]

I agree. Categorizing a valid religion such as Islam with UFO religions, which are typically considered to be BS religions, seems iffy.

"Valid religion?" What is a "valid religion?" I've never seen one. Flyingsaucerism is surely no more preposterous than stories of thunder-gods on mountaintops, or demigods who rise from the dead and heal the sick. Flying saucer cults are ridiculous, yes. But surely no more and no less ridiculous than Christianity or Islam.

Hum, sorry for what I gonna said, but Christianity, Judaism and Islam are religions where their faith is based in a "non-Terrestrial God". The 3 Abrahamic religions could be "valid" religions, but believes in an "Alien God". JC 12:40, 28 Feb 2008 (PST)

First, "non-terrestial" is NOT "extra-terrestrial" AT ALL. Spiritual versus material is one thing. Earth versus the fifth planet of Antares is what we are talking about in this article. And "Nation of Islam" is NOT "Islam" or at least is hardly mainstream Islam. I don't know anything about the mothership thing, but if they mean it the way most people do, then yes, they fall under the category of UFO religion. Venus Copernicus (talk) 18:44, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The X-Files[edit]

Yeah. Ummm, is that Mulderism religion real, or did someone just make a pretty big joke? I'm sorry if I am offending a real Mulderian.

I can find no sources for it aside from that one website. Joke or not, it's a vanity entry and I'm tossing it. wikipediatrix 15:25, 9 April 2006 (UTC)


The Ashtar Command[edit]

someone care to make an entry on them here? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kyn (talkcontribs) 08:47, July 1, 2006 – Please sign your posts!

Done. ∞ΣɛÞ² (τ|c) 09:48, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Invader Zim[edit]

In the episode, Attack of the Saucer Morons, of Invader Zim they parody UFO religions when Zim crashes his ship in the middle of one's convention, Should this be listed in the article? --68.224.37.19 03:22, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

I suspect confusion...[edit]

"A publication produced at this time that received some press attention was titled "How to build a U.F.O." and purported to describe an interplanetary spacecraft built out of materials such as old tires."

There may have been an actual publication titled "How to build a U.F.O." that purported to describe an interplanetary spacecraft, but I suspect with the reference to "materials such as old tires" that, at the very least, this publication is being confused with Earth Ship: How to Build Your Own, a how-to book produced by Heaven's Gate. Despite the title, it's not a how-to on building an interplanetary craft but rather a style of architecture which used recycled tires as a major component.[1] -- Antaeus Feldspar 17:15, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

LDS should be included[edit]

Some of the lesser known but significant teachings of Mormonism involve extraterrestrial Gods and supernatural beings inhabiting celestial bodies. --NEMT 07:18, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I agree, their beliefs do involve life on other planets. Anyone willing to discuss this? If nobody disagrees, I shall write a section about LDS in the article. --AirLiner (talk) 22:44, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Is it a major tenet, as the defintion of UFO religion has been set? Or is it just a random belief? If the pope says there is probably intelligent life on other planets, would that make Catholicism a UFO religion? I think it's interesting to note Mormonism (never knew that!), but not in keeping with the article's intention. Venus Copernicus (talk) 18:33, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Speaking as a member, it is a side belief. It follows somewhat logically from other tenants. However, it is not incorporated into our practices, nor is it something that the rest of the religion relies upon for truth. That being said, I have not explored the LDS church as I should have. It is a 'lesser known' teaching outside the LDS church simply because it's not as important internally as one might think when first hearing it. GildedBear (talk) 01:41, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

LDS shouldnt be included, we believe in extraterrestrial life but seeing as it is only spoken in 1 sentence, it does not immediately conclude we believe in UFO's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.224.96.254 (talk) 19:45, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

"A UFO religion or UFO cult is an informal term used to describe a faith community whose belief in the existence of extraterrestrials and/or UFOs is a central component of its religion and practice"
In Mormonism, it is taught that if you live appropriatley enough you can go to the "Celestial Kingdom" where you are a deity that governs your planet. This is actually quite a significant teaching and does involve practice. Therefore I think that the section should stay.
Despite its significance it is quite an obscure doctrine so I think this also good for Wikipedias purpose as an encyclopedia.
Oh and the Catholic Church is not a UFO religion for acknowledging the belief in extraterrestial life. Catholics have been pondering the existence of aliens for hundreds of years. The Church has in fact acknowledged the possibility of extraterrestial life though, but it has nothing to do with practice really, and acknowledging a possibility is not really something very significant.
--AirLiner (talk) 01:15, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Scientology should be included[edit]

Anyone who's read the story of Xenu cannot see Scientology as anything other than a UFO cult. Serendipodous 14:27, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Duh! Add it. It doesn't matter if only 10% of Scientologists even know about it. The Xemu/Xenu mythos is the BASIS for all the upper levels, contrary to the various contradictory things they tell the uninformed public. Venus Copernicus (talk) 18:38, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Inaccuracies regarding Scientology section[edit]

While I seriously disagree with the inclusion of Scientology since it is definitely not a so-called "UFO religion" (neither is Mormonism), it is obvious that arguing with anti-Scientologists about these kinds of articles is pointless, since they have very little first-hand knowledge of the belief system aside from what hearsay they find on the Internet.

That said, I corrected some serious issues regarding the OT III story. By this point, no anti-Scn has any excuse for misleading people about what this is all about since Touretzky's OT III page has been on the Web for years and years and contains the entirety of the story. In addition, the word "alien" is never mentioned by Hubbard in ANY of his lectures - in all the thousands of lectures Hubbard has given, he has used the word "alien" only once and that was in reference to an immigrant. Anyone who claims Hubbard is talking about aliens had better produce some concrete evidence that shows he explicitly uses these terms. I guarantee you that you will not find such evidence because it doesn't exist.

If you listen to Hubbard's key lectures on "space opera", it is obvious he believes human beings have existed on other planets in other galaxies and universes. This doesn't mean he believes that they were alien creatures or little green men. He refers specifically to human beings who look exactly as we do, except perhaps that they were generally taller. Also, he makes mention of "doll bodies" (robot or cyborg bodies operated by spiritual beings). Furthermore, some of these "extraterrestrial" societies (he never uses that term either) such as the Marcabs exactly mirrored modern-day Earth civilization.

In other words, Hubbard believes human history on Earth is simply a dramatization of past events that occurred in other civilizations, a notorious example that has been spread on the Web being that Jesus Christ is an implant and that the actual person who claimed to be Jesus on this planet was simply dramatizing the implant. According to Hubbard, all religions with the sole exception of Theravada Buddhism and the Gnostic faiths are the result of implants.

These beliefs are radically different from what is typically associated with so-called "UFO religions" like the contactee groups, Raelians, Solar Temple, etc. You will not find any support for those kinds of ideas in any Hubbard lecture or book. Laval (talk) 11:33, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

And for those who are still confused, Xenu was never categorized as an alien. In case you still don't get it, he was a human, as were all members of the Galactic Confederacy. Whether you regard these ideas as crazy, stupid, or whatever, this is Wikipedia and the anti-Scn people need to refrain from ridiculing these beliefs on Wikipedia or misleading people by using inappropriate jargon. Laval (talk) 11:35, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Also, the word "thetan" does NOT mean an "alien spirit." The word "thetan" is Hubbard's specialized term for a spiritual being (instead of using bastardized terms like spirit or soul) - in other words, you (yes, you!) are a "thetan". It has nothing to do with aliens, extraterrestrials, or anything like that. It is exactly the Scientology equivalent of the Hindu "atman" and is derived precisely from the Vedic understanding of the spirit. Laval (talk) 11:39, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

"Mormonism" section is OR IMHO[edit]

Unlike the "Scientology" section, which at least purports to offer supportive citations from the mainstream of the literature on the subject; "Mormonism" consists of an editor interpreting material and presenting a claim based on what appears to be a personal opinion. Unless supporting references are provided from *reliable* sources (conspiracy websites don't count) I believe that this section should be removed from the article. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 21:43, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

UFO Religion Definition[edit]

This article needs a good, precise, and cited definition for UFO Religion. It seems that an obvious choice is a religion centered on UFO's, however do the practicers of these religions all worship flying machines? I think a more suitable definition is a religion centered on extraterrestials, or a religion which teaches that extraterrestials exist. What are your thoughts?--AirLiner (talk) 06:29, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

It's always a good idea to post new topics at the bottom of a talk page, many times they can get lost in the shuffle otherwise. By all means, a properly cited formal definition of "UFO religion" would be more than welcome in the opening paragraph, I'd suggest that quoting either Partridge, Lewis or Tumminia, or all three with references would be great. However, unless a proper citation can be provided in support of the notion of including the Mormons in this article, they'll have to go. It's not up to us as editors to make the sort of interpretive decisions you're implying, unless a specific citation from a reliable source can be provided that indicates that they belong in this category, Wiki policy is clear, they should be excluded. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 09:37, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

The Urantia Book[edit]

This is an except from a letter written by the Marian T Rowley, Secretary-General of the Urantia Brotherhood, on August 31, 1960 to a member of the Washington Saucer Intelligence who was attending a saucer convention in Chicago. Rowley writes, "...The point that I shall try to make very clear is that The Urantia Book is a book on religion, a revelation intended to enlarge our cosmic viewpoint and show us that we are only a small part of a very large universe; and the main theme is the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, and the whole thing leads up to the enlargement and an enhancement of the life and teachings of Jesus. The Urantia Book has nothing to do with space ships or saucers. It does not validate them, it does not disprove them, it simply takes no notice of them. Any study groups which are formed must not be integrated with space age groups. As a group, our business is solely religion, but any individual many become involved in any outside activity -- and I'll read the quotation along this line. We'll encourage study groups and help them in all ways possible if they keep the study on The Urantia Book." See historical document at http://www.ubhistory.org/Documents/BK19600901_RowleyM_02.pdf

It is befitting that the Urantia Book be removed from this wiki. Just because an instructor teaches school and plays golf in his or her leisure time does not mean that the school is affiliated with golf course.


71.138.164.30 (talk) 12:05, 10 May 2009 (UTC)hershberger

I'm unable to locate any mention of the Urantia Book in this article at the moment. Please explain what you're referring to. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 14:59, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Move UFO Religion Content to the ExoTheology page[edit]

I was very suprised to see that a normal theological term like Exotheology had virtually nothing written under it on WikiPedia, and yet this derogatory term "UFO Religion" is loaded with information.

It seems to me both pages should be reconstructed. The legitimate content of Exotheology should be on that page, perhaps with an occasional reference to the use of a slang term called "UFO Religion". I mean really, a relgion about UFO's? They are physical objects, space ships. This is condescending to the concept that extraterestrials may have visited and influence earth and relgion. It's like calling Christianity the "Cross Religion", because it is all about the Cross. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mallonaj (talkcontribs) 15:09, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Also, it seems to me that List of UFO religions is a bit redundant with the list shown on this article. As an additional note, could the movement started by Steven M. Greer also could be considered an UFO Religion (seminaries and "investigator" rendez-vous where everyone pays an expensive fee to spend a night summonning the aliens)? 66.11.179.30 (talk) 22:29, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Church of the SubGenius[edit]

I note that this has been added, removed and added again. Would this be worth raising an RfC to resolve or should the inclusion criteria be changed, though defining what might be a "valid" "religion" in this context may be highly problematic.—Ash (talk) 00:05, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Personally, I think a RFC might be an interesting exercise here. In my opinion, defining what constitutes a "real religion" is outside the mandate of what Wikipedia is about according to our policies; we're not here to substantiate a final conclusion regarding the potential truth claims of the religious "validity" of given groups, our only concern is whether or not a particular claim can be verified through the use of reliable references. I contend that the Church of the SubGenius fails in that regard, reliable references can easily be put forward to show that it constitutes a "parody" or "mock" religion, but I'm unaware of any acceptable source that categorically claims it to be an actual "religion"; this is not the case with the other groups mentioned in the UFO religion article. The onus for providing reliable references before allowing the inclusion of potentially controversial material to an article is clearly on the editor who is adding that material, not on the person challenging its inclusion. The only potentially reliable source that I've ever encountered that appeared inclined toward including the Church within a truly "religious" (or I should say an "irreligious") category was an unpublished 1996 MA thesis from the University of Virginia department of sociology,[2] in which the Church of the SubGenius is categorized as a form of "audience cult". In the past, I've attempted to add that thesis as a reference to the SubGenius article itself, and it was rejected by other editors as an "unreliable source" because it was "unpublished". If reliable sources are available that can substantiate that the Church is in fact an actual religion, which is the case with the other groups included in the UFO religion article, I'd be more than happy to change my mind on this issue, if they can't be found, I don't see why we should be making the Church of the SubGenius a special case in this instance. Either claims for inclusion can be substantiated or they cannot. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 04:26, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with having an RfC and the limitations of policy, but disagree with your conclusion about onus -- for the same reasons that List of Christian denominations has (after much discussion) boiled down to a list of organizations who at some point have self-defined themselves as Christian. Consequently a "reliable source" in this instance may be a new-age or cult association that happens to define themselves as "christian" on their website (and I note SubGenius defines themselves as a religion and a UFO religion on their website, see FAQ and UFO cult party). The reason for this rather weak definition is that there is no "official" definitive way to judge which type of organization is a denomination as there is no authority that rubber-stamps an organization in this way.—Ash (talk) 08:43, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

RfC Church of the SubGenius[edit]

Should the Church of SubGenius be included on the UFO religion article as a self proclaimed UFO religion which is at the same time a self proclaimed fake?—Ash (talk) 08:48, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Resolved

The RfC closed after 12 days with a consensus to include the Church of SubGenius as being relevant to the topic of UFO religion, with the recommendation that its description is accurately based on reliable sources and that it is not implied that it is a UFO religion unless independent sources support that description.—Ash (talk) 13:04, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Support as the COTSG self defines themselves as "a religion devoted to Slack for the true Beautants"[3] and claim descent from the Yeti in turn created by Elder Gods which can operate using UFOs[4]. If organizations which self-define as a UFO religion were excluded on the basis that there are a lack of reliable sources to back up their claims or that some members at some point say the religion is a fake or a scam, then this article would probably have to remove several other UFO religions.—Ash (talk) 09:06, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
    • See Mark Dery (23 December 1990). "The Merry Pranksters And the Art of the Hoax". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-1.  and this press release http://www.prurgent.com/2009-01-05/pressrelease27255.htm as potential reliable sources.—Ash (talk) 23:55, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
      • The first source makes it clear that it regards the Church as a hoax, that concept appears to be its premise. The second is a self-published news release put out by a spokesperson of the Church itself. If we admit the criteria "that some members at some point say the religion is a fake or a scam" as valid, there wouldn't be any articles about any religions at all in Wikipedia, I'm not sure how that's even relevant here. Groups that can't be supported by any sources apart from themselves, shouldn't be in the encyclopedia at all. Which one of the "UFO religions" currently in the article do you believe is unsupportable in terms of independent external sources in that sense? cheers —Deconstructhis (talk) 00:44, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
        • When it comes to religions, every other source provided could say that a church is fake but so long as the organization declares themselves to be a religion in their own publications then Wikipedia does not take on the role of making any judgement (though, of course, we also tend to add plenty of the critical sources too). See the inclusion criteria on List of Christian denominations for this in action.—Ash (talk) 09:43, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • RfC Comment - Truth doesn't matter, reliable sources do. If reliable sources make such a description obvious, then it can reasonably be included. The above quote doesn't make it as clear as I would like, because Slack and Beautants aren't explained. There is a question as to whether it should be included in the detailed first section or the bullet-point second section. Without a clear idea as to how prominent this is within the COSG, I would tend to favor the second location, although I would clearly welcome evidence to support its inclusion in the first if there is a belief that it is significant enough to be included there. John Carter (talk) 14:56, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
473,000 Google results for 'UFO SubGenius' indicate that there may be some ties between The Church of the SubGenius and UFOs. [5] —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.102.34.191 (talk) 01:49, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

This article has quotes from Ivan Stang (Douglass Smith) alluding that the "joke" of the SubGenius religion is a questionable affair. My apologies; I couldn't find a link to the original real world newspaper.

SubGenius reverends routinely refer to the religion as a fake, but also say that the reason for saying that is to keep the "pinks" (normal people) guessing. The logic goes something like this: If people think the religion is a fake, then nobody will take it seriously and the religion can grow/expand without any kind of authoritative interference. A reverse logic, if you will. I'm in the process of gathering the needed citations for this explanation.

Also: Parody aside, from Wikipedia's own article on the Church: "In 1996, Rev. Stang and Steve Bevilacqua worked together to manage the corporate entity of the Church, the SubGenius Foundation Inc. Their efforts helped to bolster the Church's revival through the late 1990s and early 2000s, until Bevilacqua had to retire from Church management in order to support his wife, Rachel Bevilacqua (see Legal matters). The first X-Day gathering also took place at Brushwood Folklore Center in Sherman, NY in 1996, and the annual Church festival has continued there through the present day."

This refers to the church being a corporate entity (The SubGenius Foundation) and having regular yearly meetings (devivals).

I'm also in the process of digging up sources regarding the yearly Brushwood, NY devival "X-Day" festival, where SubGeniuses gather and wait for the X-ists to come every year in spaceships to destroy the world and shuttle them away into space.

http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/17966/ "Since its inception in 1953, Church founder J.R. "Bob" Dobbs has predicted that a fleet of flying saucers will arrive at the beginning of July to destroy the worldwide Conspiracy against the Church of the SubGenius, while all ordained SubGenius ministers will be rescued by escape vessels piloted by the Alien Sex Goddesses, also known as the Xists. The expected arrival date for the alien invasion is July 5th, 2007."

More to come...Xister (talk) 07:46, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Support. First of all, the relationship between the Church of the SubGenius and UFOs is essential and detailed in the Wikipedia articles on the Church itself -- both in the main Church of the SubGenius article and the accompanying article X-Day (Church of the SubGenius). If the requirement of a "verifiable" reference means there has to be a published article about this, then try these:
And, of course, X-Day and the forthcoming alien invasion is described in detail in The Book of the SubGenius and its sequels, Revelation x and The Bobliographon.
As for the legitimacy of the Church of the SubGenius as a "real" religion:
Our religion is real enough to be persecuted, as the case of Reverend Magdalen, who had custody of her son taken away because of her participation at X-Day. That, though, is a different subject. I simply take objection to the need that we have to prove the Church of the SubGenius is a "real" religion, despite the fact that the same charges of legitimacy can be leveled against other groups on this list such as Heaven's Gate and Unarius. The Heaven's Gate folks went and killed themselves; yet at no time did anyone question whether they were a "real" religion. Likewise, Unarius has promoted itself as a genuine saucer cult, even though they've been considered to be blatantly fake...even to the point where "real" UFO experts go out of their way to avoid or condemn them because they're seen as too silly for "serious" UFo research. The Church of the SubGenius, on the other hand, comes right out and admits that we use humor in our faith...and for that, a lot of people look at us as a joke.
Okay, and UFOs aren't a joke? This is one of the main reasons why Scientology's critics like to cast that organization as a UFO cult (or "religion") -- the story of Xenu is so absurd and ridiculous that it strips away much of Scientology's legitimacy and claims of being a serious and honest "science." This is also the primary purpose of this very article: to bring together "weird UFO beliefs" and classify them all in one page so that people can look at them, laugh, and say, "Wow, that's strange. People really believe this stuff?" In this respect, the Church of the SubGenius is every much a UFO cult as Scientology. --Modemac (talk) 15:14, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, there is the question as to whether one has to be a "religion"" or simply a "religious movement". I note that one of the encyclopedias of new religious movements lists at least one group, ESP Picture Prayers, whose operation as described is strictly commercial. There is no clear indication that even the people involved necessarily give any credit to what they do. On that basis, I have to say that "legitimacy of belief" is not an inherent qualification for being counted as a "religion"" or "religious movement", partially because that is really kind of impossible to determine anyway. Being described as one in reliable sources has to be counted as enough, particularly considering that even religious movements which the organizers themselves might describe as fraudulent might still be believed by some followers. John Carter (talk) 15:28, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Cirt above, as those are the terms we use to determine whether something is or is not within the scope of any "type" of religion. However, I do also have a bit of a question. Have we come up with any way or location to describe those religions which clearly do believe in UFOs in some way which may or may not have been explicitly described as a UFO religion? I ask this because I have seen several such groups listed, and think that it may well be useful to have some location to include them. Even if their belief systems are not such that they can be called "UFO religions" per se, belief in UFOs is something that is I think clearly of encyclopedic value and something a lot of readers would probably be interested in being able to find out. John Carter (talk) 16:05, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps a List of religions with extra-terrestrial beliefs or an equivalent might be in order? With a suitably detailed inclusion criteria this might be fairly distinct from List of UFO religions.—Ash (talk) 17:44, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I could certainly agree with that idea, if such an article were to be created that is properly sourced to independent reliable secondary sources. Cirt (talk) 12:29, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

This article cites the complete story of X-Day, the church's beliefs regarding UFOs and also mentions the serious/joke conundrum. It seems a bit unfair that the actual statement "The Church of the SubGenius is a UFO cult/religion." has to be in an article that all but says exactly that. But I do agree with earlier posts that Wikipedia has to come up with an exact definition for this subject. That would be the place to start and would make classification straightforward.Xister (talk) 09:13, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Support The Wired article and the one from Guernica demonstrate that UFOs and aliens are indeed a part of the religion, which is the criteria for inclusion. I'd recommend adding it to the "UFOs in other religions" as it is worth mentioning but may be tricky to endorse as a good example of a UFO religion. (Emperor (talk) 03:54, 8 December 2009 (UTC))
  • Comment: As all of the above comments fail to provide independent reliable secondary sources identifying the organization as a "UFO religion", including it as such in this article would be a violation of WP:V, WP:NOR, and WP:SYNTH. This is not a matter of consensus, for that would then be Wikipedians determining what is or is not a "UFO religion". No, instead we should rely on what is identified as such in reliable sources. Cirt (talk) 12:22, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm unclear as to why Wired, as an international technology related news magazine, is not a reliable and independent source.—Ash (talk) 12:33, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, perhaps I was mistaken - does Wired identify this group as a "UFO religion"? Cirt (talk) 12:35, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
The article uses these terms: "Often described as "an anti-religion religion,"" and "According to church leader Reverend Ivan Stang, nearly half a century ago, "Bob" predicted that on 5 July, 1998 at 7 am, aliens in spaceships would descend on Earth and whisk all dues-paying SubGenii to eternal salvation." Other independent sources and publications from the COTSG above use similar phrasing to support a description of "UFO religion".—Ash (talk) 12:44, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully disagree. And that is reading a bit too much into something that the source does not say. And even so, Wired is not really a WP:RS source known to be an authority on the topics of religion, sociology, or psychology. Cirt (talk) 12:46, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
By the same argument a report in The Times or an article in Time magazine could be similarly discounted as they are not authorities in these subjects either.—Ash (talk) 17:17, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Especially so if they do not explicitly state an organization is a "UFO religion". Cirt (talk) 18:14, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support, but indicate it is a hoax, of course. Also, use third-party sources rather than sources from the Church itself. I respectfully disagree with Cirt's assertion that the external sources referenced in this section are not enough to establish categorization of the religion as one that is a UFO religion. ScienceApologist (talk) 17:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
And which sources are you relying on for this? Cirt (talk) 18:14, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
I think that the newswiretoday.com source, for one, is decent enough as far as this particular topic goes. WP:PARITY and all that. If there are more academic treatments of this topic then I'm willing to concede on the basis of WP:PARITY, but the article as it is currently written does not seem to indicate any reason to discard such treatments even though they are tongue-in-cheek. ScienceApologist (talk) 16:08, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That is a press release. Cirt (talk) 16:16, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
You're right. However, this article from the Nation is not: [10]. ScienceApologist (talk) 16:30, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see the relevant text there. Cirt (talk) 16:32, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
"Bulldada, Excremeditation, Acubeating and Stuporstition" by the Rev. Ivan Stang, leader of the Church of the Subgenius, author of High Weirdness by Mail and host of a syndicated radio show, The Hour of Slack: His widely circulated prediction--that, at 7 AM on July 5, 1998, Pleasure Saucers would descend to Earth as part of the great Rupture, taking away all those SubGeniuses who had paid $30 for the privilege--was totally unfulfilled. Now, though still in embarrassment mode, Stang put a retroactive spin on that failure: "We gave them the gift of disbelief. They ought to thank us for ripping them off. Scientology started out the same way, but they can keep a straight face. Are you prepared for 'pronoia'--being convinced that the whole world is out to make you happy?

ScienceApologist (talk) 16:39, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Nothing there talks about identifying the organization as UFO or religion. Cirt (talk) 16:45, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that one. It looks to me like a pretty clear parallel. The "religious" prediction of Pleasure Saucers and the overt comparison to Scientology leads me to say that no original research is required to identify this religion as a UFO religion. Maybe I'm just too common sensical about it, though. ScienceApologist (talk) 16:53, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I disagree, that is really stretching it way too much. Cirt (talk) 09:24, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment: I had another look at the question at the top of this subsection: Should the Church of SubGenius be included on the UFO religion article as a self proclaimed UFO religion which is at the same time a self proclaimed fake? I would actually say I could support including a discussion and section on Church of SubGenius in this article, so long as it is made clear what it is, and that no independent reliable secondary sources identify it as a "UFO religion", and that inclusion on this article page does not imply it is a "UFO religion", merely closely related enough to the general topic that it warrants discussion on this page itself. :) Cirt (talk) 09:56, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Summary — Looking through the discussion over the last 12 days, there seem to be more arguments to include COSG in the article rather than removal and Cirt's final comment above appears a reasonable compromise on how inclusion can work without being overly contentious. Unless anyone feels a viewpoint has not been discussed sufficiently and would like to continue, I shall shortly close this RfC on that basis.—Ash (talk) 11:43, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Other organizations[edit]

All referred to from the Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., Lindsay Jones editor-in-chief, in John A. Saliba's entry on "UFO religions" written in 2005. On page 9433 - Association of Sananda and Sanat Kumara, Semjase Silver Star Center, White Star, Ashtar Command, Cosmic Star Fellowship, Solar Light Retreat, Extraterrestrial Earth Mission, and Mark-Age. On page 9434, Brotherhood of the Seven Rays, Cosmic Circle of Fellowship, Ground Crew, Chen Tao, Nuwaubians, and Planetary Action Organization. John Carter (talk) 17:11, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I think this sub-section of the article should be removed. Either a religion is a "UFO religion" or not. If not, then it should not be in the article. I note that some of the "religions" listed above are based on the existence of a website or a social network rather than any useful third party reliable sources. Being listed in the book quoted seems pretty weak as it is in the interest of such a publication to list as many as it can find; there is no guarantee that this list was based on any reasonable independent sources (such as national newspaper reports). Perhaps the inclusion criteria in the lead should be refined to something like "religions with a reported membership of 100 or more".—Ash (talk) 17:47, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

I should indicate that I meant each of those listed are UFO religions, as defined by their inclusion in that source, and we base established we base status as a UFO religion on being called that by a reliable source. And notability, not established membership, is what we have to go by, because as I know from elsewhere some groups refuse to report or even estimate numbers, for whatever reason, sometimes because of a lack of any sort of official structure or membership. All those listed above are called UFO religions in that book, and their inclusion there, and often in one or more of the Lewis, Beit-Hallahmi, or Chryssides encyclopedias, among others, are sufficient to establish notability. If, however, there is comparitvely little content that can be generated, then maybe the best place to put that content would be this page, and turn the individually named page to a redirect here. John Carter (talk) 18:29, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with John Carter's position. If a given group is contextualized with other organizations that are defined as "UFO religions" in what are considered reliable sources according to our policies, if we wish to remain neutral on the matter they should be included in the encyclopedia, even if that consists of a simple referenced mention in an appropriate article or adding a redirect page. Restricting inclusion to only those groups which exceed an arbitrarily determined membership number imposed by Wikipedia editors is clearly outside our mandate. Our job is to go where existing reliable sources indicate it is merited. When we're dealing with a fringe topic from the onset, it also seems hopelessly arbitrary to me to restrict inclusion to only those groups where mention of them has been previously made in mainstream "national newspapers" and such. By definition, information regarding an "esoteric" subject matter such as the one being discussed here, is normally ignored by that type of source and is only available through specialized academic literature. Provided that the source is in fact deemed reliable and neutral according to our policies, I can't think of a neutral basis for excluding the material on that basis. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 19:31, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Sounds okay to me too, if the sources actually define a religion based on UFOs. I would however point out that the initial text above includes things like "Ashtar Command" on the list of religions (which is a channelling based group rather than a religion, though these channellings may be claimed as the basis of organizations such as "The College of Universal Wisdom" (which never claimed to be a religion)) and the text in the article includes "Avatar" which claims to be a self-development course (and its founder Harry Palmer has explicitly stated this is not a religion; as quoted in third party sources). Consequently I contest the way the text is currently expressed in this section and reliable sources need to be used correctly, rather than assuming that because a sequence of words can be found in a (probably internet based) search of encyclopaedia of religions that this means such organizations are religions.—Ash (talk) 00:06, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I would suggest in rebuttal, that we're completely reliant on reliable sources to make determinations about such things as what constitutes a "religion", it's not an "editorial" decision. We cite and paraphrase experts in a given discipline and then provide reliable references to support our "interpretations" of they're saying, thats all. Case in point. Raelians insist that they are not a religion, they reject "supernaturalism" and self describe themselves as "atheists". That's all well and good if we were *only* admitting their perspective on themselves as valid for inclusion, however, that's obviously not how Wiki works. Outside the Raelian movement, almost all neutral scholars specializing in the study of these groups, clearly label them as a "religion" and categorize them and study them as such. In my opinion we're bound to include both perspectives in an article about them in order to preserve neutrality, but we are in no way bound to rejecting scholarly claims that they *are* in fact a religion, simply because Raelians say otherwise. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 00:50, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm actually using the paper copy, not an internet version. I was looking for something else earlier and saw UFO religions as a separate entry, so decided it would be useful. And self-definition, like Harry Palmer's, does not override independent sources; in fact, independent sources trump self-description for groups, although not in direct BLPs, but descriptions of groups do not qualify under BLP. John Carter (talk) 00:58, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
So what is the name that independent sources give to the religion that members of Harry Palmer's organization worship, but don't call a religion, and how many members of this religion are there? I would have thought that third party sources should at least make this level of detail clear before inclusion in this article (at the moment there is none). I'd like to point out that (i) going on Palmer's training course does not make you a believer in a religion, so figures for his training course are not the same thing as religious membership (ii) a "UFO cult" is not the same thing as a "UFO religion", for example there is a definite "Dr Who cult" but it definitely is not classed as a religion.—Ash (talk) 06:12, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
What I am saying is that wikipedia's policies regarding original research do not allow us to make the distinctions you propose on our own. And regarding the point of Palmer's groups, we only report what the sources say. We do not make the decisions you are seemingly demanding of us, all we do is repeat what reliable sources say. What you personally think sources should do is more your concenr than ours. Regarding your other points, they may or may not be valid, but in most of the cases you present it really isn't our place to make those determinations. Again, we rely on what the reliable sources say. John Carter (talk) 14:18, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
You may have misunderstood my last paragraph, I was asking for sources to be added, so your re-statement that we rely on what sources say doesn't seem to make sense. I'll add a tag in the article to make this clearer.—Ash (talk) 08:14, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Zetatalk / Nancy Leider is not a religion[edit]

The only sources in this section are self-published. As the sources do the exact opposite of defining the group of supporters of the Planet X prediction as a religion (see http://www.zetatalk.com/info/tinfo19d.htm) this does not appear or claim to be a UFO religion but is a group of UFO believers. Unless anyone has a credible justification, I suggest it is removed from the article. Not everyone who claims to have been "channelled" by an alien is the founder of a new religious movement.—Ash (talk) 18:49, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I haven't been able to track down any independent sources for this organization either, but then again I haven't actually systematically attempted to find any in what are probably the most likely sources for these types of references; within academic literature on the subject, most of the time found only through a trip to a good library, not online. Because of the lack of plausible sources (at least so far) I don't have any basic problem in someone removing them from the article, unless or until someone comes up with supporting references. In my opinion, not everyone who claims to be in contact with UFOs necessarily or automatically founds a "new religious movement", but I'd argue that it's not our role as Wikipedia editors to make a final determination as to when that founding actually occurs, even if the person or group doing "the founding" openly denies that's what they're doing. That determination is arrived at by both the group making or denying the claim and perhaps just as importantly, mainstream reliable source generated by specialists in the study of the subject. To me, doing otherwise borders on non-neutrality and automatically excludes groups like the Raelians, who avidly oppose the label of "religion" and yet are almost exclusively described as one by mainstream sources. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 23:30, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
At this point, I would support removal myself. I haven't yet checked the Beit-Hallahmi or Lewis encyclopedias, and it may well be in one of them, but I can't verify that at this point. John Carter (talk) 00:00, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I note that UFO cult redirects to this article. As "cult" does not imply "religion" and there are plenty of sources that refer to Leider's organization as a cult, perhaps there should be a separate article on this topic?—Ash (talk) 09:50, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, "cult", in general does imply "religion". Let me check the articles for UFO religions in the various sources, which I probably won't be able to do until tomorrow at the earliest, and then see how they define the term. I think, based on what I remember, that a UFO religion is one which gives a prominent place to UFOs in some of the essential aspects of most religions, like creation, particularly of the human race, eschatology and the afterlife, and similar items. Let me check on the encyclopedia entries first though, and let me check to see if zetatalk is listed anywhere as a UFO religion. John Carter (talk) 19:00, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Let me clarify, "cult" does not always imply "religion". According to the OED it also means "Devotion or homage to a particular person or thing, now esp. as paid by a body of professed adherents or admirers". Consequently the common usage for celebrity cults, TV series cults, etc. A detailed article is available at cult.—Ash (talk) 19:10, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
As a stand alone word, you are right. The question is whether any UFO cults are not UFO religions as well. I suppose someone might say the Roswell, New Mexico story is the subject of a "UFO cult" without also perhaps speculating about what the aliens mean in some sort of religious or pseudoreligious context, but I don't remember having ever seen the phrase used in such a context.

all major world-religions qualify as "UFO Reigions"[edit]

In reference to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:0XQ&diff=cur#re:_Adding_.27original_research.27_to_UFO_religion_article

Our addition to The "UFO religion" contained no "original research", merely the statement of the well-known and and universal-accepted fact that all major mainline religions are in fact "UFO religions" as much as, and in the same sense, are the minor cults mentioned in your article. Every single major religion in the world has as main article of faith that God (or Gods) live in the sky, usually on planets or around stars; and that such God (or Gods) visit our planet periodically in some sort of vehicle -- this is true for Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. etc.

As is well-known, the minor cults which likewise accept this premise, do so simply in imitation of the major world-religions. (If there may be any fault in doing so, it is primarily the fault of the major world-religions.) Is this not is a subject worthy of some discussion here, rather than arbitrary immediate deletion of any open mention of it.

The following is what had been artitrarily deleted :

  • "Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism :-

In these Indic religions, the UFO is known under the name "vimāna", and is often regarded as the vehicle in which the deities travel through the sky. Furthermore, the planetary deities (who are the principal deities described the Veda) are regarded as riding in chariots through the sky.

  • Judaism, Christianity, Islam :-

The UFO is known in the Bible as the "Chariot of fire" ridden by God through the sky. " 0XQ (talk) 20:14, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

My reply is copied and pasted from my own talk page in repsonding to what you're claiming here:
I'm willing to leave the final call on this to a consensus of opinion amongst a number of editors, which would probably be best served by discussing this on the article's talk page. I am strongly contesting your claim that there is an established "well-known and and universal-accepted fact that all major mainline religions are in fact "UFO religions""; I hold that this claim is patently unsupported conjecture and "original research" on your part. Regardless, this doesn't alter the status of the material you actually added to the article, which in my opinion, again, consists solely of a theoretical position that is based on personal interpretations of primary materials by the editor posting it; which is pretty close to the definition of "original research" itself. See WP:NOR. Before posting this kind of controversial material it's usually considered a good idea to discuss it first on the article's talk page, I'm hoping that's where you choose to go with this before re-adding it to the article. I'd be more than happy to discuss this issue with other editors in [this] forum. cheers Deconstructhis (talk) 20:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
The term is used in academic literature, and I believe based on my own reading of that literature that the term is used only in regard to cases which are clearly established to relate directly to the UFO/alien phenomena. The fact that a significant percentage of deities over history have been described as residing in a sense off-planet does not clearly relate them to the UFO phenomenon. While I think I have read somewhere something saying something roughly like the additions, they were not in this context. I know that the descriptions I have seen in the various encyclopedia of religion limit the term's usage to only groups which are clearly related to the concept of "UFO"s/aliens as that term is used in that subject area, and the older religions do not in fact generally meet those criteria. Yes, I know "Jesus is an alien" and the like are fairly widely held beliefs among some NRMs and specifically those groups which have been described in academic sources as UFO religions, but I do not remember seeing any of those sources describing older religions as UFO religions. John Carter (talk) 17:25, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
UFO is hardly being used in the literal sense of "unidentified flying objects" or worse yet "flying vehicles", as that would make the airline industry full of "UFO companies". When you try to apply a label using a meaning so large it includes all objects within a set (ie. all religions) the term is meaningless. The same goes for the word cult -- some say ALL religions or groups are cults, when in fact people use the term to describe some groups and not others, sometimes arbitrarily (making the term null as well), but some by specific criteria. The question is what we are trying to differentiate. Some religions have exrtra-terrestrials (NOT purely etherial entities mind you) as a significant part of their mythos or even worship (NOT an obscure mention). By such a distinction, some are UFO religions, while most do not even come close. Therefore, any argument that "all" religions are UFO-related is an unecessary obfuscation.Venus Copernicus (talk) 16:15, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Lede redaction[edit]

Reworked the lede to bring to a higher standard, redact the UFO focus, since Scientology is by far the largest and UFOs as such are no part of it. "UFO Religion" is the received term but actually UFOs don't dominate as portrayed. Lycurgus (talk) 02:42, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Jediism Is Not About UFOs[edit]

I never want to see that on the list again. Jediism is simply off the Jedi in Star Wars, which is an entirely authentic belief system, as George Lucas based it entirely off real world beliefs. Just like all of the languages and cultures in Star Wars are also based off real life languages and cultures, sometimes to the point of being an exact replica called by a fictional name. It has nothing to do with UFOs, or a belief therein. It may come from science fiction like Scientology, but it is nothing like Scientology, and is not about either E.T. aliens or U.F.O.s. Therefore, IT HAS NO PLACE ON A LIST OF UFO RELIGIONS! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.17.217.220 (talk) 20:03, 10 November 2012 (UTC)