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The Aetherius Society
| The woo is out there|
|Aliens did it...|
|... and ran away|
The Aetherius Society is a UFO (sort of) based religion that was founded in 1955 by the late George King and operates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and three African nations. It claimed about 650 members as of 1993. The UK UFO News suggested it had 10,000 people on its UK mailing list around 2000.
- 1 Mostly harmless?
- 2 George King
- 3 King's titles
- 4 The Cosmic Masters
- 5 Operations
- 6 Supposed evidence
- 7 Bad astronomy
- 8 Odd products
- 9 Publications
- 10 European headquarters
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
- 13 References
Interestingly enough, there has been little to no criticism of The Aetherius Society. While most who've ever heard of it consider it utterly ridiculous bollocks, and others note that before setting up the society, "Dr." King was a mere taxi driver, intent on berating and challenging passengers about their spiritual health, they seem quite nice people, and there has still never been a major event nor criminal action that can be attributed to The Aetherius Society. Though most people, no doubt, think it's pretty fucking weird. Despite the small number of actual members, they are quite active on Meetup.com promoting talks related to Aetherian topics.
The society preaches an easily-recognizable melange of New Ageish philosophy. Their blend of 1950s era anti-nuclear campaigning and yoga makes the group's message increasingly plausible in a post-Fukushima age where you can't swing a dead, irradiated Hello Kitty and not hit someone carrying a yoga mat.
George King was born in Wellington, Shropshire to George and Mary King. His mother was said to be psychic and his family was "imbued with occult inclinations". In the 1930s, King belonged to a number of occult groups.
King was big on meditation. Really big. In fact he studied yoga for 10 years and up to 12 hours a day until he became so in tune with terrestrial knowledge that he became a "Knower".
As King tells it, he was sitting alone in his London apartment one day, fooling around with god knows what, when suddenly out of the blue a voice, using the pseudonym "Master Aetherius", commanded, "Prepare yourself! You are to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament"'. He states that although he was initially shocked by this statement, coming from thin air and all, he knew he had heard it due to his mastery of all terrestrial phenomena.
Several days later an unnamed yoga master, whom King knew was alive and well in India, appeared by walking through the locked door of his apartment and taught King exercises in order to bring him closer in touch with the Cosmic Masters who would soon use King as the "Primary Terrestrial Mental Channel".
Followers of King refer to him as Dr. George King. Followers also claim him as Reverend George King and Sir George King. There seems to be no evidence this former taxi driver ever received an accredited degree that would allow him to properly call himself "doctor". Randi notes "none of the three titles are verified".
The official Aetherius Society seems to have dropped most title claims (notably Sir) except for the doctor title. The society does not document the source of King's doctorate, despite claiming to have carefully archived King's transmissions. David Barrett, in A Brief Guide to Secret Religions, states King received his doctorate from "the International Theological Seminary of California, a degree mill with no accreditation". An early version of the Wikipedia entry on King offers the unreferenced claim that "His followers address him as Dr. George King but the doctor's title was conferred to him not by any university on earth but by spiritual sources." For a time, King also seems to have claimed to have received a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degree. In the USA, this is generally an honorary degree. However, in the UK it's usually considered a degree above Ph.D.
Knighthoods and nobility
A look at the society's site from the Wayback Machine has a rather richer list of titles and honours. The Society appears to have stopped making claims of knighthoods and princeships around 2005.
Many online non-Aetherius Society sources still refer to King's official biography from the 1990s and early 2000s. The Aetherius Society page at The World Religions & Spirituality Project at Virginia Commonwealth University lists him as:
- "Sir George King, OSP, PhD, ThD, DD, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Aetherius Churches, Founder President of the Aetherius Society." He also boasted other honorary titles, including Prince Grand Master of the Mystical Order of St. Peter, HRH Prince George King De Santori, and Knight of Malta. Certificates of these various degrees and titles are displayed at the Society’s Temple in Hollywood, California.
His Prince Grand Master title was awarded from the Mystical Order of St. Peter, which "was set up by Dr. George King after a Mystical Communion he had with no less a Being than Saint Peter." The Mystical Order of Saint Peter has a cherished past stretching back to the mystical epoch of 1981.
A UFO wiki claims "In 1980, King was also dubbed 'Sir George King' by His Royal and Imperial Highness Prince Robert Khimchiachvili, the 74th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta." According to the New York Sun, "From 1970, Prince Robert M.N.G. Bassaraba de Brancovan-Khimchiachvili-Dadiani ran a bogus Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta from his faux-marble apartment (filled with equally genuine Louis XV furniture) at 116 Central Park South. If you had a passage fee, he had a gong for you, and hundreds of men and women with more money than sense each paid him up to $30,000 for his phony knighthoods." Khimchiachvili and two associates were later convicted of wire fraud.
Prizes and honours
The Aetherius Society claims King won the "Prize of Peace and Justice" from The International Union of Christian Chivalry. The society notes "previous recipients of this prize include Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, and Albert Schweitzer." This group does not appear to exist; only one other person in a Google search makes any claim of membership with the union. Richard Quezada claims "Member of the International Union of Christian Chivalry" and also lists himself as "A Mentor of The Aetherius Society".
The official Aetherius Society notes King received a "Grant of Arms by Her Majesty's College of Arms in London, England." The talk section of the Wikipedia article on King a user notes that a "Grant of Arms - is something you apply for, not conferred on you." Another user comments (on the "grant of arms" as well as some Freedom of the City title claim):
There have been some changes to the later years section which seem a bit biased - implying that being awarded the Freedom of the City of London or being Granted Arms are sorts of awards; both are things that anyone can apply for - although one might wonder about the kind of person who thinks it's worthwhile doing ...
The Aetherius Society journal Cosmic Voices claims in 1986 "Freedom Of The City of London and Freeman of England - High Honours Bestowed upon Our Master". Another researcher on King's Freedom of the City of London award notes:
A photograph of Dr Sir George with other Society members: Commander Sir Watkiss, Dame Iris Lawrence et al standing outside the Guildhall bears witness to this. Curiously, like their Master, none of these dignitaries is listed in the current edition of Who's Who. And the nature of Dr King's services to humanity is least. What could he have done to have been made a Freeman of the City of London? A telephone call to a City librarian solved this mystery: not a lot. In fact, the charming young lady behind the information desk in the Guildhall Library informed the author that she too is a Freeman of the City of London, as no doubt is the local barber, the man behind the counter in the sandwich bar and Uncle Torn Cobbley and all.
Freemen apply for the Freedom themselves (and about 1800 per year so do) and usually pay a 'fine' for this. There is a Freeman title that can be bestowed and is considered an honour. However, it is not clear if King simply applied for the designation or it was given to him as an honour.
Another user in the talk section notes:
...I remember walking past the Aetherius Society "European HQ" (a shop in the Fulham Road in the 1980s) where his photograph was labelled "Lord George King" - but that only lasted a few days, it may be that someone complained about pretending to be a Lord; only Lord Voldemort and Lord Darth Vader have got away with that!
Diana G. Tumminia's Alien worlds: social and religious dimensions of extraterrestrial contact provides much additional insight into the grandiose titles and honours followers claim were conferred upon King. Amusingly:
...King was crowned by His Royal and Imperial Highness Prince Henri III Paleologue (apparently King's cousin), who bestowed upon him additional orders and titles.
King claims in his book The Age of Aetherius that he received the 1981 "Minister of the Year" award from the International Evangelism Crusades. This group was started by the late Frank E. Stranges, who also wrote The UFO Conspiracy — a UFO believing preacher would award "Minister of the Year" to another UFO believing preacher. In 2006 the group awarded Minister of the Year to Julie Stranges, Frank Stranges' wife. International Evangelism Crusades' standing in the US religious community seems to be lacking. Stranges was also the president of the International Theological Seminary of California, the diploma mill insitution that awarded King his Ph.D.
The society's current King biography notes King was a Chaplain of the American Federation of Police. The organization's full name is "American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens". Anyone who is a concerned citizen appears to be able to become a member for $45. Charity Navigator gives this organization its lowest ranking (1 star). Several police organizations have warned that solicitations by the American Federation of Police are possible scams: in 2004, it raised $3.2 million from donations, spending $2.25 million on their own expenses and $521,803 on actual charitable services.
The site does not appear to have any official way to apply for a position as a chaplain and does not provide any list of official chaplains. The late Stranges, who awarded King the 1981 "Minister of the Year", appears to be one of the few people besides King to claim to be a Chaplain of the AFP. The AFP does have a National Chaplain position on its advisory board. According to private email correspondence with a spokesperson for the AFP "we only appoint and utilize one Chaplain". There is no chaplain title awarded other than National Chaplain. The National Chaplain serves for one year and this position is automatically renewed until either party agrees to terminate the relationship. The last two national chaplains were Catholic priests. While it's possible that, at some point, the American Federation of Police decided a UFO cult leader would be make an excellent National Chaplain, it does seem implausible given their known track record of appointing Catholic priests. In correspondence, the AFP spokesperson indicated they did not maintain a list of past National Chaplains and the original founder had died, and institutional memory died with him.
The organisation did, however, operate a diploma mill:
"The [American Federation of Police] was a really sleazy outfit," says Nelson, now the Times's Washington bureau chief. "They had this thing, the National Law Enforcement Academy. They were giving out phony degrees all over the country. You'd pay some money, do some token course work, and be presented with this thing that was represented as some sort of great academic achievement. It was just bogus."
The Cosmic Masters
The Cosmic Masters are a group of spiritual beings from higher planes of existence on other planets. Only King may speak with them – which is unfortunate given he died in 1997. Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus (who now, according to the society, lives happily on Venus) were all connected to the Cosmic Masters. The Cosmic Masters tell us that the Earth is soon to go through a great transition. The following are quotes from Cosmic Master Mars Sector 6:
"Today you stand in the valley of decision…"
"The Goddess, Terra, must shortly take Her rightful Place in the Cosmic Scheme of evolution. This will mean a reduction in the intensity of the ionosphere around Terra and a resultant high rise in the potency of Cosmic Rays actually reaching the surface of this Planet. This will mean that only those of sufficient development will be able to withstand this Cosmic bombardment.""SERVICE and CO-OPERATION are the keynotes which will enable mankind to put right these conditions. Indeed, mankind upon Terra has the greatest opportunities ever offered to any other lifestreams in the whole Solar System at any time since its inception;for man upon Terra has fallen so low that the climb back could be far more glorious than any yet accomplished since the inception of this Solar System."
"Therefore it is obvious that Terrestrial man must sort the wheat from the involved chaff. This is logic."
"Terrestrial man faces many problems in the interim period. He faces the possibility of war brought about by the scheming few, who have successfully trapped the unthinking majority by their insidious conditioning campaign."
"He faces disease which is now prevalent upon the Planet."
"He faces the direct result of another's greed, another's lust for power, another's wrongful control…"
"These things do men face this night."
"These things can all be put right by man if he decides, this night, to throw his God given Energies into the channels of construction, away from the channels of destruction."
Another Cosmic Master, known cryptically as You Are Responsible, states:
"Abandon nuclear energy completely… Nuclear energy should not be touched at all by you because on the whole the motives of the governments of Terra are quite wrong."
This is damning information straight from the ceiling and into King’s frontal lobe. When asked about why the Cosmic Masters do not land openly and all of humanity can bathe in their collective intelligent, peace and wit King has a message, received from the Cosmic Masters, that explains all that away so there’ll be no more questions, OK?
King has stated his
cult religion is focused on the improvement of mankind. As the Cosmic Masters give him information about current events, upcoming disasters and whether he left the iron on or not, he is in a prime position to develop mankind’s spirituality. Before it’s too late.
The three main operations the society is involved in are called:
- Operation Starlight
- Operation Sunbeam
- Operation Prayer Power
This operation was directed to King in 1958 and took three years to complete. King was commanded to climb 18 peaks so he could act as a channel in order to charge these peaks with spiritual energy using his elevated yogic state. These mountains are now free for all to climb and send out their own energies. However which peaks he actually climbed are not listed on the website.
Operation Sunbeam had grand design. The "logic" of this mission was that the energy already put into the 19 mountains of Operation Starlight (that is not a typo by the way, Operation Starlight states 18 while Operation Sunbeam says 19. Go figure, eh) and shield it from Mother Earth so as mankind can take it for itself. King created a battery in which to store this energy and release at times of global trouble.
Operation Prayer Power
Operation Prayer Power is "truly Love in action" according to the society. After managing to modify the prayer battery from Operation Starlight, King was able to create a prayer battery. Every week, hundreds of people charge the prayer battery using powerful prayers and mantras. This collective energy is able to solve all the worlds ills.
- Holdstone Down, North Devon, England, charged by Master Jesus
- Brown Willy, Cornwall
- Ben Hope, Sutherland, Scotland
- Creag-an-leth-choin, Strathspey, Scotland
- Old Man, Cumbria, England
- Pen-Y-Fan, South Wales
- Carnedd Llywelyn, Gwynedd, Wales
- Kinderscout, Derbyshire,England
- Yes Tor, Devon, England
- Mount Baldy, California, USA
- Mount Tallac, Northern California, USA
- Mount Adams, New Hapshire, USA
- Castle Peak, Colorado, USA
- Mount Kosciusko, New South Wales, Australia
- Mount Ramshead, New South Wales, Australia
- Mount Wakefield, New Zealand
- Mount Madrigerfluh, Switzerland
- Le Nid D'Aigle, France
- Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa, charged by Saint Goo-Ling
Total 19, 17 charged by Dr George King
Members of the Aetherius Society will occasionally give public talks where they claim to have irrefutable evidence of George King's claims. The so-called irrefutable evidence consists mostly of claims that King knew X before it was public knowledge. Since he could not have learned this from any conventional means, he must have learned it from space aliens. His alien sources ("cosmic intelligences") are variously called Mars Sector Six and Aetherius (a kind of cosmic Gandalf the White). Four incidents are typically put forward:
The Windscale Accident
In October of 1957, England’s first nuclear power plant (Windscale) had a fire. The government claimed the accident was not serious. King, however, claimed the Cosmic Intelligences told him (on October 29, 1957) "the scientists were not in any way giving a true account of the results of the accident". Documents released in 1989 showed the government, in fact, did not give a true account of the accident. The government’s 1957 secret report was prepared the day before King’s Cosmic Intelligences report. How could King have known the accident was worse? The report was secret. He must have gotten it via an alien transmission!
First, a bit of history. In the late 1950s, the UK wanted the US to see it as a responsible nuclear partner. It did not want to seem like a nation that doesn’t know what it’s doing with nuclear technology. And it wanted access to US research instead of having to recreate it from the ground up. It's key that all the Aetherius Society claims is King claims the government wasn't giving a true account. You don’t need to be in contact with all-seeing space aliens to suggest any government in any nuclear disaster, especially relating to a weapons program, isn’t going to tell the full story. Water is wet.
Was King (a decidedly anti-nuclear campaigner) the only one questioning the veracity of government claims? Would the British tabloid press not question the government account during the course of the accident?
This page gives a couple transcripts of contemporary news reports. The Whitehaven News on October 11 reported some troubling findings (18 days before King's "transmission"). The paper reported there “…came disturbing reports from the monitoring vans which were touring the district testing vegetation and air “. This was 18 days before King’s supposed message from the Cosmic Intelligences.
It certainly sounds like there was enough alarming news to make anyone with a strong anti-nuclear stance consider the reality on the ground wasn’t matching the government account. King could easily have been repeating what he read in the newspaper. There is zero evidence King had special knowledge that was not being floated in the local press.
Members like to note the timing of King’s revelation and the government document seemed too close to be mere coincidence. King's cosmic transmission came one day after the government report was secretly released. Unfortunately, members do not consider how many degrees of freedom are involved in suggesting a “hit” is too improbable to be coincidence. If King came up with it three days before or a month after, would they still be calling this a hit? If the publication date of the document wasn’t a good match, maybe the date the government experts first convened the panel is a hit. Or when they adjourned is a hit. It’s very easy, retrospectively, to find any two data points that correlate in some loose fashion.
The Russian incident
On April 18, 1958, aliens called Mars Sector 6 and Aetherius informed King that there was a nuclear accident in the Soviet Union and hundreds of people were killed. It would have been worse but the aliens used some kind of technology to suck up large amounts of the radiation (enough to kill 17 million people). Below is the complete text of the transmissions from King's You Are Responsible!
'Mars Sector 6'
- “Owing to an atomic accident just recently in the USSR, a great amount of radioactivity in the shape of radio-active iodine, strontium 90, radio-active nitrogen and radio-active sodium have been released into the atmosphere of Terra.”
- 'The Master Aetherius, from Venus:'
- “All forms of reception from Interplanetary sources will become a little more difficult during the next few weeks because of the foolish actions of Russia.
- "They have not yet declared to the world as a whole, exactly what happened in one of their atomic research establishments. Neither have they declared how many people were killed there. Neither have they declared that they were really frightened by the tremendous release of radio-active materials from this particular establishment during the accident.
- "Because this accident took place, we will most certainly have to use a tremendous amount of energy, which should be used in a very different way. We should not really have to expend this amount of energy clearing away dangerous radio-active clouds from the atmosphere of Terra.
- "However, because of Divine Intervention, we are able to use enough energy in this direction to save about 17,000,000 lives, which otherwise would have been forced to vacate their physical bodies.
- "Such were the far-reaching repercussions from this accident that we were given permission by the Lords of Karma to intervene! However, although we are at the moment intervening on behalf of Terra, in this direction, certain damage has already been done to large land and water masses!"
No one but those in the Soviet Union knew about the accident. The world did not find out until Zhores Medvedev defected to the west and exposed the story in the New Scientist in 1976. As it turns out in September of 1957 there was a nuclear accident in the Soviet Urals. How could King have known about something the world was clueless about until a couple decades later?
You will note that in the two transmissions the society claims are remarkable hits no dates, times, or locations are given beyond an undated accident in the USSR. The USSR was a pretty big place. Is getting a hit on “at some point the Soviets had an accident” really a remarkable hit? It’s a pretty safe bet the Soviets had a few nuclear disasters as they entered the atomic age.
The major problem is the New York Times and other papers carrying UP stories were abuzz on April 13-14, 1958 about a possible nuclear accident in the USSR:
Soviet Catastrophe Reported
- Copenhagen, Denmark, April 13 UP — Berlingske Tidende, Denmark’s biggest newspaper, said today the recent Soviet nuclear tests had to be broken off because of a “catastrophic accident”. The newspaper, quoting information reaching Copenhagen through diplomatic channels from Moscow, did not define the nature of the reported accident, but said it caused radioactive fallout over the Soviet and many neighboring states to increase to the danger point.
King made his prediction April 18, 1958 (four or five days later). It seems plausible that King was simply able to read the day’s headlines about such speculation. Did King get this information from an alien or newspapers?
In April 1986, King was ostensibly told by the Cosmic Intelligences to take some unprecedented action in preparation for a disaster. He was told to activate a "special radionic apparatus" a bit less than 5 hours before the Chernobyl disaster began on April 26, 1986. Devotees operated these radionic devices at "an unprecedented level for several days".
The argument here seems to be “We were doing something we’ve never done before and something unusual happened in the USSR. So our unusual activity is evidence we knew that disaster was coming.”
This is classic post-hoc reasoning. Something odd happened. So we look for something odd we might have done before, find something, and then make a connection. But we forget all the other times we were doing other odd things and nothing odd happened within some undefined space of time.
And, sure, doing something with this radionic device five hours before the accident seems like a hit but the society gives us no information how often they ran this device. Do they do it every other day? Every week at a regular schedule? One needs a lot more information before one can call it a “hit”.
The society also seems to be impressed the device was used for an unprecedented length of time. More than a day was never done. Unfortunately, the times don't really add up. They started running the device two days before the Soviet announcement. However it was a day before the April 28 announcement that there were reports of unusual radiation that many assumed at first was a Swedish nuclear accident. So it seems they were not into their record activity until they knew about a possible nuclear disaster (day 2 people assumed Sweden, day 3 the USSR fessed up). Since they believed it would help, they’d keep it going.
One should also note the claimed transmission did not specifically mention a nuclear disaster or a specific time frame. Followers claims the transmission warned to "prepare for an imminent catastrophe" and "an emergency situation was about to occur upon Earth".. King claims the transmission came 8:30 am PST on April 25th, 1986 while he was in Utah. Between April 24 and April 25, US newspapers like the NY Times carried worrying reports of volcanic eruptions in Alaska. Was King's vague transmission claim a guess that the Alaska volcano might be a repeat of the Mount St. Helens (1980) disaster? This 1977 BBC documentary has a portion about King. King has his followers "charging" a prayer battery. King states the "prayer power battery" was being charged because a transmission told him about a period of "emergency" from October 23 - December 11. This emergency period was presumably for 1977. Later King reveals the battery was being charged in advance of a looming earthquake. Clearly the society was concerned about natural disasters as well as nuclear disasters. As well, King states the prayer battery has an antenna and the released prayer "energy" can be guided to any part of the world. No source by the society notes the April 25-26 activity was directed at the Soviet Union.
There were eight significant quakes in the time frame indicated by King in the video. Although for all of 1977 there were about 3.75 significant quakes per month. So pretty much what one would expect for King's time frame. It is not a stunning claim.
Predictions About the Depletion of Ozone Layer
The Aetherius society claims King knew about the dangers of the depletion of ozone layer two decades before the problem was recognized in the 1980s. On an LA TV show on July 19th, 1960 King made the following "prediction":
"The ionosphere unit now surrounding your world which normally absorbs a large percentage of cosmic rays, will gradually be taken down so that the cosmic and ultra violet rays may bombard this earth in their full potency."
Members of the Aetherius society interpret this to be a prediction about the depletion of the ozone layer, which was detected in the 1970s (not the 1980s as alleged). However, the problem with this "prediction" is the cosmic intelligences that allegedly supplied King with advanced knowledge do not seem to know where the ozone layer is located. It's actually located in the stratosphere, about 40km below the start of the ionosphere. As well, the ozone layer only protects us from UV rays, not cosmic rays. Given King's stance against nuclear weapons, it's not difficult to believe King was expressing fears about high-altitude nuclear tests the USA began in 1958, two years previous to King's "prediction".
In short, if you want to call this a prediction, you have to accept:
- It makes no actual mention of the ozone layer, despite it being known and monitored since 1928
- It gets the location of the ozone layer wrong.
- It gets the function of the ozone layer wrong.
- It makes no mention of the danger CFCs posed to the ozone layer.
If you want to call this a prediction, you ultimately have to accept the cosmic intelligences have a very, very poor understanding of the Earth's atmosphere and were actually unwilling to tell King what industrial chemical humans should curtail production of. Odd, given they were happy to tell King to curtail nuclear power.
Life on Venus and Mars
What will strike many as the most unbelievable claim made by the Aetherius Society is their belief that there are intelligent aliens on Venus and Mars (with Jesus being one of the more prominent citizens of Venus). The idea that planets within our solar system support advanced intelligent life seems quaint today. We know Venus is hot enough to melt lead and is not a jungle planet. Mars is not a Dune-like world with sword-wielding Amazons riding lizards. But in the 1950s, intelligent life within our solar system was a feature of sci fi literature, TV shows, and movies. The contactee movements of King and George Adamski well parroted it.
King and Adamski both had the same message: nuclear energy is bad, Venusian reincarnation, and both claimed to have been flown around the solar system on space ships. Adamski’s contactee story, however, preceded King’s by two years (1952 vs 1954). Both had a message contemporaneous with the times and, oddly, the plot of The Day the Earth Stood Still which came out in 1951. The Day the Earth Stood Still was about a representative sent by a parliament of different aliens to warn earth of the dangers of nuclear technology. King's claim is he met a representative sent by a parliament of different aliens to warn earth of the dangers of nuclear technology.
Ufology has largely moved beyond the contactee movement, probably somewhat embarrassed by their unsophisticated claims later proven false by real space exploration. Adamski today is the poster child for the silliness of the times. Modern contactees are largely shunned by "serious" ufologists. Even as early as 1965, ufologist Jacques Vallée commented "No serious investigator has ever been very worried by the claims of the ‘contactees’."
In light of data obtained by actual space exploration (versus fabrications made up sitting in the lotus position) Aetherius Society members have had to somewhat retcon King's fanciful ideas about physical civilizations on Mars and Venus. They’re kind of spirit beings now. They live on a different “vibrational” plane of existence.
Examining King’s book You Are Responsible! (1961) where he records many supposed conversations with these Martians and Venusians we see passages like:
- “What is the temperature of those on Venus who use a physical body?”
- “On Venus…some of our younger ones eat and drink the juice from certain berries and the juice that’s given off by certain trees.”
The reader would be forgiven if he/she came away with the idea King claims Venus has aliens in physical bodies and there were trees and other plant life.
In You Are Responsible! King also claims to have traveled to Mars and described buildings, “longitudinal vegetation belts”, and Martian soil to be radioactive. No lander has found radioactive regolith on Mars. Astronomer Stuart Robbins has spent over five years staring at high resolution images of Mars and he’s never mentioned seeing vegetation. Or buildings. None of the physical evidence from exploration of Mars or Venus supports King's claims of what he saw on these planets. King probably never went to Mars or Venus.
Origin of the Main (asteroid) Belt
The Aetherius Society believes humans came to earth from another planet that we destroyed with runaway nuclear technology. The planet was known as Maldek and became the asteroid belt after exploding. The idea that the asteroid belt was a destroyed planet (from a collision) was an early hypothesis about its origins but that hypothesis was abandoned as it is not supported by the evidence. The objects in the asteroid belt largely just accreted in place. The lines of evidence for this run:
1) The matter in the asteroid belt is about 4% of the moon’s mass. Nowhere near a planet’s size.
2) There’s not enough mass to have accreted into a planet.
3) The gravity from Jupiter prevents the matter from further accretion.
4) Asteroid chemistry is inconsistent with having once been part of a planet.
Society members point to the work of the late Canadian astronomer Michael Ovenden as support for their claims of Maldek. Ovenden hypothesized in 1972 the asteroid belt is the remains of a planet.. However, Ovenden’s idea hasn’t gained any traction in forty years and is not supported by the evidence.
King’s Maldek claim oddly parallels the plot of a 1957 Japanese sci fi movie called The Mysterians. The movie is about aliens who came from a planet that was in the current asteroid belt but destroyed by nuclear weapons! Familiar? The Maldek “revelation” was transmitted to King on April 7, 1960. The Mysterians had its US release May 1959. King moved to America in June 1959. It is possible he either saw this movie or was made aware of the plot by an adherent in the USA and this was the inspiration for the claimed April 7, 1960 transmission.
King claims to have been told by his Cosmic Intelligences there is a 10th planet in the solar system. The Cosmic Intelligences seem not have been able to predict Pluto's demotion. This undiscovered planet will be a place for the "sorting of the wheat from the chaff". It's a way station for people not quite ready to enter Aetherian heaven. The head of the Toronto Aetherius society (on his Cosmic Warrior page) claims this Planet X has a "mass of about 5 times that of the Earth" and "is orbiting the Sun at a right angle to the known planets." This claim seems at odds with King's description in his book The Nine Freedoms where he states "this young primitive world is in the Solar System, orbiting behind the Sun following exactly the same trajectory as Earth and is thereby not visible."
King's notion that another planet can hide from us in an orbit that always places it behind the sun ignores the planet's gravity would have noticeable and unexplainable effects on the orbits of Venus and Mercury. The unseeable planet Vulcan was hypothesized as an explanation for the peculiarities of Mercury's orbit, which did not jibe with Newtonian mechanics. Einstein's theory of relativity solved the problem. If there was such a planet as King claimed, even if always exactly opposite the sun, astronomers would still be struggling today to explain the orbits of Mercury and Venus. These orbits are fully explained, however.
Aetherius society seem to take harbor in the notion of a 10th planet further out and the notion that the "irregularities in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune" give credence to the claim that such a planet exists. This is based on out of date knowledge. Measuring the mass of a distant planet isn’t easy. A small error in the mass can lead to incorrect orbits. The Voyager 2 mission eventually gave us a better measure of Neptune’s mass and therefore the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. This has been in the literature since 1993. Their orbits are fully explained. One does not have to invoke a Planet X.
The right angle claim seems to be used as an explanation why we cannot see a planet in our solar system five times the Earth's mass. Planet X is simply in a strange orbit at a right angle to the solar plane. Since we can see the full 360 degrees of the sky from Earth, there’s no orbit where such a planet could remain hidden from optical telescopes, unless it were extremely far away.
It would seem, unfortunately, that society members think they found scientific evidence to support their astronomy claims but failed to consider checking to see, thirty years later, if current data has overthrown previous hypotheses.
The Toronto branch of the Aetherius society claims "the Earth has begun to shift on its axis".. As evidence the Toronto Aetherius society points to the well known phenomenon of the magnetic declination:
The strength and direction of the Earth’s magnetic field is being closely monitored and this is known as 'secular variation'. Since the discovery of the North Magnetic Pole in 1831, its position has moved 1,100km and is moving at an increasing rate of 40km per year. This phenomenon is altering the Earth’s inclination on its axis.
The Toronto Aetherius society is trying to hammer various phenomenon to fit two King predictions in 1960:
The Great Change will manifest in an exchange—a difference in the position of the axis of your world. The poles will change places with the equator.
Then, will the Earth (as you call it) move on Her axis, change Her place in relationship to the Sun, and the new day will dawn.
Unfortunately they conflate the expected change in the magnetic pole with a change in the Earth's rotational axis. This silly claim can easily be dispensed with by pointing out thousands of amateur astronomers around the world have not noticed any change in the North Star's position.
What the e-meter is to Scientology, the Radionic Pendulum is to the Aetherius Society. The society claims the pendulum was designed by King and he was "a world renowned expert in the field of radionics".. The society supplies nothing to back that claim. If you are wondering how the devices works, King explains in an amazingly dull 82 minute lecture.
The society's official page on the pendulum does not make it clear what the device is used for other than wiggling it on the end of a string and getting yes/no answers. In 2010 the society published a flyer for the Mind, Body & Spirit festival in London that made claims that the pendulum was for use in:
- Heath diagnosis
- Finding allergies
- Selecting remedies and dosages
- Dietary requirements
- Developing intuition
A November 27, 2011 London meetup event listing offers a photograph that suggests how the device might be used to "Choose vitamin and mineral supplements". It would appear to be simple pendulum dowsing. The society does not explain how its US$16.95 pendulum is superior to one you can buy in a dollar store for, well, a dollar or just dangling a paperclip on the end of a string. The product page does note their pendulum is first lathed in the UK and then shipped to the other side of the world to be further lathed in New Zealand. That has to add some cost. It's not explained why this two step, multi country lathing arrangement is necessary.
The New Zealand branch has a workshop on its use. They proclaim the pendulum is a "great tool for health diagnosis". The society likens its operation to dowsing rods. At their $50 a head workshop you can "learn to diagnose vitamin and mineral requirements" with the radionic device.
The American Cancer Society notes radionics is an older term for what is known now as "Electromagnetic Therapy". It states:
There is no relationship between proven medical uses of electromagnetic energy and the alternative devices or methods that use externally applied electrical forces. Available scientific evidence does not support claims that these alternative electrical devices are effective in diagnosing or treating cancer or any other disease.
You are Responsible!
You Are Responsible! is a book by King, based on his experiences in the late 1950s and early '60s as an alleged UFO contactee. The book contains many messages, which King claimed were telepathically transmitted to him from alien life on Mars and Venus.
The book is in two parts. Part 1 details King's claims of traveling to Venus and Mars and witnessing advanced civilizations on both planets as well as foliage and vegetation belts. King reveals Jesus was from Venus. Part 1 also touches on the subjects of Yoga and telepathy. The final chapter of part 1 recounts a claim by King that he took part in a space war between Martians and evil aquatic aliens on a world called "Garouche". King claims Garouche is located on the opposite side of the galaxy.
Part 2 King recounts alleged "transmissions" he claims he received from space aliens, notably "Aetherius" and a space alien called "Mars Sector 6". Through recounting these supposed "transmission", King alleges space aliens warned him about the dangerous of nuclear technology, the need to educate Christians about the supposed truth of reincarnation, karma and reincarnation. Some of these transmissions followers have interpreted as prophetic and have attempted to match them with events known post hoc.
Unlock Your Psychic Powers
One of King's acolytes, Richard Lawrence (who was Executive Secretary for Europe of The Aetherius Society), wrote a fantastic book called Unlock Your Psychic Powers. It's a how-to for hearing voices in your head and doing what they say — how to induce something very like schizophrenia in yourself. Top stuff!
The society's "European Headquarters" is located in a small storefront shop at 757 Fulham Road, London SW6, UK.
- The Aetherius Society - Thoroughly confusing home page.
- A possible communication with the Cosmic Masters?
- Toronto Aetherius Society: Jesus, Venusians, and some bad astronomy Part 1 of a skeptical look at King and his claims
- Toronto Aetherius Society: His Master’s Voice, stuff that goes boom, and a lack of proof Part 2 of a skeptical look at King and claims of his foreknowledge
- Mars and Venus Speak to Earth 1959 30 minute BBC interview with George King
- Oh No Ross & Carrie skeptical podcast infiltrates the Aetherius Society Part 1
- Oh No Ross & Carrie skeptical podcast infiltrates the Aetherius Society Part 2
- Partridge, Christopher Hugh. UFO religions. Harvard University Press, p.91. The reference says this was a "recent" report as of the book's publication date of 2003.
- Partridge, Christopher. UFO Relgions. Harvard University Press, p. 85.
- Partridge, Christopher. UFO Relgions. Harvard University Press, p. 84.
- King's biography
- Partridge, Christopher. UFO Relgions. Harvard University Press, p. 86.
- Barrett, David. A Brief Guide to Secret Religions, p. 119
- Sir George King: A Western Master of Yoga for the Aquarian Age (archived 20 Feb 1999)
- Aetherius Society (World Religions & Spirituality Project at Virginia Commonwealth University
- Men Who Would Be Kings (Or Knights, or Counts) (William Bryk, The Sun [New York], June 15, 2005
- Is There Intelligent Life On Earth? Inside the Whacky World of the Aetherius Society (Alexander Baron)
- This Jesus is designated as "Master Jesus" See John A. Saliba. "Religious Dimensions of UFO Experience,: in James R. Lewis, ed., The Gods Have Landed: New Religions From Other Worlds. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press p. 23.
- What The Cosmic Masters Say, Aetherius Society website
- Quotes From The Cosmic Masters, Aetherius Society website
- Why Don’t the Flying Saucers Land Openly? (George King, Cosmic Voice, Volume II', pages 58-60, circa 1956)
- This is how the website actually describes it.
- The Cosmic Missions, Aetherius Society website
- See the Wikipedia article on Venusians in literature.
- See the Wikipedia article on Martian soil.
- Archive copy at the Wayback Machine