Unarius Academy of Science
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A map of Unarius centres worldwide
|Headquarters||El Cajon, California, USA.|
|Leadership||Council of sub-channels|
|Key people||Ernest Norman, Ruth Norman, Thomas Miller, Louis Spiegel|
Unarius is a non-profit organization founded in 1954 in Los Angeles, California and headquartered in El Cajon, California. The organization purports to advance a new "interdimensional science of life" based upon fourth-dimensional physics principles. Unarius centers exist in Canada, Japan, Nigeria and in various locations in the United States. Membership is unknown.
Unarius is an acronym for "Universal Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science". The founder, and subsequent "channels" and "sub-channels", have written books filled with channeled dissertations from alleged advanced intelligent beings that exist on higher frequency planes. Over 100 volumes have been published since 1954.
From the period of 1954–1971, when Ernest Norman still controlled the organization, the organization defined "the mission" as the bringing in of the interdimensional science of life in the books channeled by him. In the period of 1972–1993, while Ruth Norman guided it, the organization experienced renewed growth and public awareness. "The mission" became bringing Unarius to the masses. Ruth Norman granted interviews, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and The David Susskind Show and kept very up-to-date technologically with video productions and a studio built in the late 1970s, when such equipment was still in its infancy. Unarius video productions began appearing on Public-access television cable TV stations all over the United States.
Unariuns believe in immortality of the soul, and that all people have past lives. They also believe that our solar system was once inhabited by ancient interplanetary civilizations. While they seem to have similarity to the Aetherius Society or to Raëlism, as they emphasize "space brothers" who will come from the stars in 33 spaceships to improve humanity, these beliefs are not held by all Unariuns and in fact, are discounted by many as contradictory to true Unariun principles.
Founder Ernest Norman writes in his book, The Truth About Mars, that the Chinese evolved from ancient interstellar migrants who began colonizing Mars a million years ago. They are reported to have returned to Mars, where they live in underground cities, after being attacked by natives of the Earth. A group which had become separated did not return with them and this group branched off and formed the various Asian racial genotypes.
Ernest Norman claimed to have been a child prodigy. His father was a physician from Scandinavia. Ernest claimed to have read all his father's books eagerly, self-educating himself alongside his formal schooling. Ernest claimed he was born with an abnormally large cranium and as a child already wore an adult size hat. Ernest also claimed that as a child, he performed to family, neighbors and teachers unexpected feats such as moving a heavy rabbit hutch using Archimedean principles and small logs, building radios and winning arguments with parents and teachers at an early age. Claiming to possess psychic ability, he claimed to have told women of their loved one's whereabouts and often deaths during the World War II years of 1942–1945. When this practice of describing fatalities allegedly lowered morale at war plants where he worked, he left and started to give lectures of his own philosophy in theosophical churches during the mid to late 1940s.
Ruth Norman was the oldest of eight children, born in 1900. She took many jobs early on to help support her family. She had purchased a motel, run a restaurant, worked at a cannery and worked in numerous other professions during her first fifty years. By the early 1950s mystics at a psychic convention she attended told her that she was being followed around by long-bearded wise men carrying books and that she would help bring in these books in her future. This same thing had been told to Ernest by other mystics at this same convention and when the two met and later married, within weeks, Ernest began to produce, by channeling, the first Unarius book, The Voice of Venus. Ruth was later known within the group as both "Ioshanna" (1972–1979) and "Uriel" (1980–1993).
The formation of the mission in February, 1954 by Ernest and Ruth Norman led to the publication of the "Voice Series" of books. "The Voice of Venus" was authored by Ernest and is a channelled work. He claims it was not channeled in any special meditative, trance-like state or in a darkened room, but spoken normally and recorded on tape. Norman generally held modern spiritualist and theosophical movements and practices to be backwards and less enlightened. The work describes communication from Mal-Var of Venus who gives a tour of the Venusian capital. In the work, Venusians are described as having "energy bodies" and living in a higher vibratory plane that would be invisible to a human were he to stand in the middle of the capital city known as Azure. The planet Venus and its culture are said to be more spiritual than that of the Earth and that more advanced Earth-dwellers visit and study on Venus when they sleep. Healing wards for human suicides, alcoholics, the mentally impaired and similar human wreckage exist in Azure and these souls are treated with positive energy and light to help them reincarnate with greater integration.
The Voice Series consists of seven books:
- The Voice of Venus
- The Voice of Eros
- The Voice of Orion
- The Voice of Hermes
- The Voice of Muse, Unarius & Elysium
The seven books describe the seven planes of Shamballa, which are claimed to exist outside the conventional atomic spectrum and are spiritual or non-physical worlds. Each plane has a specialty in the teaching of advanced principles, for the betterment of an individual's progressive evolution from life to life.
The planes' specialties are:
- Venus – Healing
- Eros – Science
- Orion – Education
- Hermes – Philosophy
- Muse – The Arts
- Unarius – Leadership
- Elysium – Devotion
These books authored by Ernest Norman, along with The Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation, which were a series of 13 lectures given in 1956 and later compiled into book form with seven advanced lesson courses, constitute the early teachings and beliefs of Unarius. The Voice Series books are written with famous past Earth denizens acting as the tour guides for these various planes.
Origin of name
Classification as a religion
Unarius, as an organization, is strongly opposed to its common classification as a religion. Ernest Norman presents the case against religion in several books, most notably The Infinite Contact, copyrighted in 1960, which describes in detail the origins of Christianity as rooted in Mithraism, Zoroastrianism and assorted ancient belief structures. Norman agreed with Karl Marx that religions were "the opium of the people" and yet also claimed to realize that many individuals were still at such a point in their evolution where religions still served a positive purpose and kept them from harming their fellowmen. Unarius calls its content and activities teaching "interdimensional science".
Principles and beliefs
Practicing Unariuns hold the following beliefs:
- Everything is energy.
- Energy is never created or destroyed, it merely changes form.
- You are energy and the energy that comprises you is never destroyed, it just changes form.
- You, as a form of indestructible energy, possess a soul that has recorded data from past lives.
- All that is currently happening to you has their origins in past lives and past actions.
- To progress one must record more positive actions than negative actions.
- Negative acts must be compensated for by positive acts.
- Various strata exist (outside of physical worlds) where beings of higher and lower nature reside.
These are the primary principles as explained by Norman in The Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation, Copyright 1956, 1960 Edition.
For the practicing Unariun these are the most important aspects of Unarius. Although the group is generally known for its predictions regarding flying saucers landing on Earth, Ernest L. Norman stressed these scientific core understandings as the key to personal development and mastery over material circumstances and in one instance derided flying saucer chasers as just another manifestation of people pursuing an "escape mechanism".
With the death of co-founder Ernest in 1971, the mission was continued by his wife and partner Ruth. New Sub-Channels now authored the books with her. The two sub-channels, Thomas Miller and Louis Spiegel, are credited on a number of the organization's books starting in 1972. After a channeling revealed a lifetime lived in ancient Atlantis with the name Ioshanna, she adopted the name Ioshanna during this period. Altogether she claimed more than 50 previous lives.
The organization moved its base from Glendale, California to El Cajon, California where a teaching center with a Grecian-style motif was opened in 1975. Before this time, from 1954–1974 meetings were held in Ruth Norman's home or at public meeting facilities. In El Cajon she became well known for driving a blue 1969 Cadillac Coupe d’Ville adorned with airbrushed depictions of spaceships with a large metal flying saucer on the roof; the car remains with Unarius and is driven every year in the annual El Cajon Mother Goose Parade.
In 1972 the channeled messages referred to "33 worlds of an interplanetary confederation". These worlds all had various problems and by communicating with Ioshanna, many of their hang-ups were solved or on the way to resolution. It was during this time that Louis Spiegel first channeled a message predicting a landing of spacecraft to greet Ioshanna in 1976. The other sub-channel, Thomas Miller, disagreed with this channeling and a schism opened up between the two. When the landing failed to materialize it was explained that this scenario was a negative "past life reliving" and the channeling was contaminated by Spiegel's lower sub-conscious self.
As a result, a number of Unariuns were skeptical about the future predictions of a spacefleet landing, also channeled by Louis Spiegel. Many Unariuns felt that these predictions undermined the original mission of Ernest Norman and a falling out occurred. Circa 1980 Thomas Miller, the primary sub-channel, left the organization, leaving Louis Spiegel as the only sub-channel. From this point forward, ever more activities revolved around these predictions. Ruth Norman, now 80, participated less and less in the goings on at the center and so Unariuns turned primarily to Louis Spiegel (aka "Antares", "Vaughn" and "Charles") for guidance and instruction.
In the early 1970s a "Conclave of Light" celebration was staged at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego, California and repeated yearly at different venues, and after 1975 at the Unarius center in El Cajon, California. In October 2012 they will stage their 29th "Interplanetary Conclave of Light" which will include a visit to the Jamul landing site, the release of white doves and 90 minutes of “mental communication with the Space Brothers.”
Unarius generally has two types of students: the followers of Ernest Norman's original texts and works and those that believe in every channeling that occurred after his death. The latter group is often blamed by the former for the ridicule and mockery the organization has received by the general public since the early 1980s and more so in the Internet age for the conversion of the group to a "flying saucer group."
The early eighties brought about the development of a video production studio and the marketing of Unarius videos through public-access television cable TV channels all over the nation. From a public relations standpoint Unarius made big inroads during this period, with new centers being opened up in the United States, Canada and Nigeria. During this period the public identity of the organization changed from one which was teaching a "metaphysical science of life" to that of a "flying saucer group."
Ruth Norman, after several falls and surgeries in the late eighties, had more limited physical contact with the students and members but was "psychically" communicating with them on a day to day basis. Louis Spiegel assumed leadership in the organization when Ruth Norman died in 1993. Another small schism occurred wherein many students left the organization because they disagreed with the channelings of Louis Spiegel, particularly one which referenced that it was time for "Uriel" to return to the inner and seemed in complete opposition to previously expounded Unariun principle, wherein "brothers" never engaged in interfering with or predicting future human activities. Many Unariuns perceived such as a power-grab against the aged and mostly bed-ridden Ruth Norman and as a "negative reliving" and Unarius lost many students who became "home-study students" because of their opposition to Louis Spiegel and what were interpreted as a series of false, negative channelings.
Ruth Norman has been criticized for her flamboyance and costumes worn in later years. Alex Heard, in Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels In End-Time America ISBN 0-385-49852-7, quipped of her that she was, "a true American original who combined the couture sensibilities of a drag queen with the joie de vivre of a Frisbee-chasing Irish Setter."
With 2001 having come and gone, and no space fleet landing having occurred, Unarius as an organization demonstrates both a returning to its roots and the principles, books and works of Ernest Norman, while simultaneously demonstrating a belief in a future landing by extraterrestrials to assist humankind. With the passing of Louis Spiegel in late 1999, the organization has formed a small council which shares leadership and management responsibilities.
- Hillinger, Charles (April 13, 1977). She's betting flying saucers will pay call. Los Angeles Times
- Zeller, Benjamin E. (2009). Apocalyptic thought in UFO-based religions. In Kinane, Karolyn and Michael A. Ryan, eds. End of days: essays on the apocalypse from antiquity to modernity McFarland, ISBN 978-0-7864-4204-1
- Bloom, Barry M. (July 29, 1993). Ruth Norman, 92; poet, humanitarian, cosmic visionary. San Diego Union-Tribune
- Unarius Light Newsletter, 1978–80
- Noriyuki, Duane (April 7, 1997). "Age of Unarius; El Cajon Group Believes UFOs are Coming to Them in 2001". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Although often spelt Unarian other in sources (using the standard English suffix -ian), the word is invariably spelt Unariun on the Academy's website (see the "External links" section below).
- Norman; The Truth About Mars, 1956
- Norman; Biography of Unarius, 1975
- Norman; Bridge to Heaven, 1969
- Norman; Voice of Venus, 1956
- Norman; The Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation, 1960
- Granberry, Mike (October 26, 1986). "Unarius Students Await Dawning of a New Age". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Unarius Light, 1975
- Schmidt, Steve (September 17, 2012). "David Moye, La Mesa's wizard of weird, works the wilder side". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- Norman, Miller, Spiegel; 33 Worlds Speak to Earth, 1972
- Unarius Light, 1976
- Unarius Light, 1980
- Unarius Light, 1981–88)
- Unarius Light, 1983
- Unarius Light, 1991–1993
- Unarius Light, Online Edition, 2000
- Reece, Gregory L. (August 21, 2007). UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture. I. B. Tauris. p. 213. ISBN 978-1-84511-451-0.
- Diana Tumminia, "How Prophecy Never Fails: Interpretive Reason in a Flying-Saucer Group" Sociology of Religion 59.2 (Summer 1998), pp. 157–170
- Tumminia, Diana G. When Prophecy Never Fails: Myth and Reality in a Flying-Saucer Group. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005, 240 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-517675-9
- Ernest L. Norman;(1956). The Pulse of Creation Series (Voice of Venus through Voice of Elysium) Unarius Science of Life.
- Ernest L. Norman;(1956, 1960). Infinite Contact. Unarius Science of Life.
- Ernest L. Norman;(1956, 1960). Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation. Unarius Science of Life.
- Ernest L. Norman;(1960). Tempus Invictus. Unarius Science of Life.
- Ernest L. Norman;(1960). Tempus Procedium. Unarius Science of Life.
- Ernest L. Norman;(1956, 1960). Infinite Perspectus. Unarius Science of Life.
- Ruth E. Norman; Thomas Miller; Louis Spiegel; (1973) 33 Planets Speak to Earth. Unarius Publications.
- Ruth E. Norman; (1975). Biography of Unarius Unarius Publications.
- Various authors; (various monthly from 1974–1995). Unarius Light Newsletter Unarius Publications.