Since the explosion of the ET/UFO phenomena in 1947, speculation about alien intrusion on planet Earth has been rampant.
Half a dozen theories dominate the debate, but there is one theory that has yet to be examined. It did not emerge after 1947, but approximately 1600 years earlier.
To be precise, the evidence of this theory came to light through a discovery in Egypt in December, 1945, although the significance of the find was not realized until – guess when? 1947.
“Gnosticism” is the label scholars use for a body of teachings derived from the Mystery Schools of pre-Christian antiquity.
Gnostics who protested against Christian doctrines such as divine retribution and Christ’s resurrection found themselves targeted as heretics and were brutally suppressed by early converts to the One True Faith.
This is the untold story of how the Mysteries ended. Since that signal year, 1947, some of the lost Mystery School knowledge has been recovered.
Gnosis (“inner knowing”) was a path of experimental mysticism in which the initiates of the Mystery Schools explored the psyche and the cosmos at large.
Using psychoactive plants, yoga, and sex magic, these ancient seers experienced altered states and developed siddhis, occult skills such as clairaudience and remote viewing.
Gnosis was a kind of yogic noetic science melded with parapsychology. In heightened perception, Gnostics developed a vast cosmological vision centered in a female deity, the Divine Sophia.
The Gnostic creation myth is unique in that it includes a full-blown explanation of how inorganic alien beings came to be present in our solar system.
The Nag Hammadi material contains reports of visionary experiences of the initiates, including first-hand encounters with inorganic beings called Archons. Gnostic teaching explains that these entities arose in the early stage of formation of the solar system, before the Earth was formed.
Archons inhabit the solar system, the extraterrestrial realm as such, but they can intrude on Earth.
Interestingly, this Gnostic insight accords closely with the view of Jacques Vallee, who maintains that ET/cyborgs probably belong to the local planetary realm.
Vallee also proposes that the ET/UFO enigma is a “spiritual control system,” a phenomenon that “behaves like a conditioning process.” (Messengers of Deception).
This is exactly what Gnostics said about the Archons: they can affect our minds by subliminal conditioning techniques.
Their main tactics are mental error (intellectual virus, or false ideology, especially religious doctrines) and simulation.
Archons are predatory, unlike a wide range of non-human and other-dimensional beings also know to the Gnostics, beings who are benevolent or neutral toward humanity.
Physical descriptions of Archons occur in several Gnostic codices.
Two types are clearly identified:
- a neonate or embryonic type
- a draconic or reptilian type
Delving into the Gnostic materials, it is quite a shock to discover that ancient seers detected and investigated the problem of alien intrusion during the first century CE, and certainly well before. (The Mysteries date from many centuries before the Christian Era.)
What is amazing about the Gnostic theory of the Archons is not only the cosmological background (explaining the origin of these entities and the reason for their enmeshment with humanity), but the specificity of information on the alien m.o., describing how they operate and what they want from us.
For one thing, Gnostics taught that these entities envy us and feed on our fear. Above all, they attempt to keep us from claiming and evolving our “inner light,” the gift of divine intelligence within.
While I would not claim that Gnostic teachings on the Archons, or what remains of such teachings, have all the answers to the ET/UFO enigma, one thing is clear:
they present a coherent and comprehensive analysis of alien intrusion, as well as specific practices for resisting it.
They are far more complete and sophisticated than any theory in discussion today.
In short, the ancient seers of the Mysteries in Europe and the Levant seem to have accomplished 2000 years ago what many of us have been attempting to do since 1947:
- figure out who the ETs are
- where they originate
- how they relate to us
- and most important of all, how we ought to relate to them
As far as I know, apart from myself only one writer on the ET/UFO issue has directly identified the Gnostic Archons with contemporary ETs.
This is Nigel Kerner, whose book, The Song of the Greys, is a strange, singular and little-known contribution to the debate.
Kerner cites the Nag Hammadi texts just in passing, and does not elaborate on Gnostic teachings about the Archons. He makes a strong case for alien interference with the human genome, but this claim does not stand up against Gnostic analysis.
Gnostic texts use mythological language to describe actual events in prehistory as well as long-term developments in the human psyche.
According to the ancient seers, Archons cannot access our genetic makeup but they can fake an intervention. Considering the confusion of humanity in modern times, a faked intervention would be as good as real.
This typifies the Archon tactic of getting us to imagine and believe things that are not true, and to accept simulation for reality.
In this way, Gnostics taught, these alien cousins can deviate the human species from its true and proper course of evolution.
The unique emphasis on the Goddess Sophia is the high inspirational message of Gnosis. The ancient seers taught that, through a special link to the Goddess, our species can overcome the Archons and secure a human, and humane, future for the Earth.
A Gnostic Catechism
Encounters with Aliens in a Mystery School Text
Here and there the Coptic Gnostic materials contain passages that describe encounters with the ET-like beings, sometimes with explicit advice about how to handle these entities.
- What beliefs are implied in such testimony?
- And what are we to believe about such testimony?
I will attempt to address both these questions in this brief topical essay.
For a first-hand look at the testimony, let’s consider a passage from The First Apocalypse of James (NHC V, 3), a revelation dialogue in which an unnamed teacher (the “Lord” or “Master”) confers secret knowledge upon a Gnostic named James:
The Master said: James, behold, I shall reveal to you the path of your redemption. Whenever you are seized and you undergo death-pangs (mortal fear), a multitude of Archons may turn on you, thinking they can capture you.
And in particular, three of them will seize you, those who pose as toll collectors. Not only do they demand toll, but they take away souls by theft.
Now, when you come under their power, one of them who is the overseer will say to you: “Who are you, and where are you from?”
You are then to say to him, “I am a child of humanity and I am from the Source.”
He will then say to you, “What sort of child are you, and to what Source do you belong?”
You are to say to him, “I am from the pre-existent Source, and I am the offspring of the Source.”
Then he will say to you, “Why were you sent out from the Source?”
Then you are to say to him, “I came from the Pre-existent One so that I might behold those of my kind and those who are alien.”
And he will say to you, “What are these alien beings?”
You are to say to him: “They are not entirely alien, for they are from the Fallen Sophia (Achamoth), the female divinity who produced them when she brought the human race down from the Source, the realm of the Pre-Existent One.
So they are not entirely alien, but they are our kin. They are indeed so because she who is their matrix, Sophia Achamoth, is from the Source. At the same time they are alien because Sophia did not combine with her like in the Source (her divine male counterpart), when she produced them.”
When he also says to you, “Where will you go now?”
You are to say to him, “To the place when I came, the Source, there shall I return.”
And if you respond in this manner, you will escape their attacks.
(NHC V, 3. 33 – 34: 1- 25. Translation from NHLE 1990, pp. 265-6 and Kurt Rudolf, Gnosis, p. 174-5.)
Considerable information is packed into this exchange.
The resemblance to contemporary reports of close encounters is undeniable: the Archons induce a state of mortal panic, they often appear in threes, they perform abductions (“take away souls by theft”).
These details present a striking match to contemporary ET/UFO lore. But in an equally striking departure from the current literature, the Gnostic teacher gives explicit instructions on how to face the alien entities.
The vast amount of testimony on the ET/UFO phenomenon available today presents almost nothing on defense against alien intrusion.
Contactees and abductees are passive witnessed, overwhelmed and overpowered by the aliens. But Gnostic writings not only describe such encounters, they also prescribe defensive action. The Master offers cogent counsel for keeping the Archons in their place.
Gnosis is a remembering of our origins. The student is instructed to remember the cosmic birthright of humankind, and to affirm its direct link to the Pleroma, the Source.
Specifically, the student is taught to recall and repeat the key episode in Gnostic mythology, the fall of the Aeon Sophia, and thus effectuate a defense against the Archons.
By recounting the myth of their origins, the student demonstrates initiated knowledge of the origin and identity of the entities s/he is facing.
Intentional recall of cosmic matters disempowers the Archons. This, at least, is a clear inference from the above passage.
The tactic of remembrance accords closely with indigenous wisdom – consider, for instance, the saying of the Na-Khi, a Tibetan people of southeastern China:
“One must relate the origin of the medicine, otherwise it cannot work its magic.”
Shamans heal, not only by their knowledge of the properties of plants, but also by their recounting the story of the plant.
Likewise, Gnostics defeated the Archons with the “medicine” (occult power) of mythological recall.
The Coptic materials become increasingly relevant as we realize they do not merely present pedantic or recondite commentaries on a dead religion, but vital insights on the timeless spiritual dilemmas of humanity, insights as valid today as they were 2000 years ago.
Describing the find at Nag Hammadi, Tobias Churton writes,
“Had Mohammed Ali not broken open the jar, we would not be able to hear these things. In the truest sense of the word, these things are dynamite. One might have imagined headlines throughout the world…”
(The Gnostics, p. 12)
But there were no such headlines, even in the tabloids.
It took many years before the codexes were translated and still, even today, no scholar will allow that these rare Coptic codices contain reliable accounts of encounters with ET-like entities.
In another passage of The First Apocalypse of James, the Master refers to those people “who exist as the type of the Archons” (30:20).
Gnostics were not only alert to the intrusion of the Archons, they were also acutely aware of the possibility of humans becoming totally “Archontized.”
This threat appears to have emerged in a particularly alarming way in that era to which Philip K. Dick often refers: the first century of the Common Era, when the Incarnation of Christ is said to have occurred, according to Christian belief.
Both the time and the place where Archontic molding of human character set in strongly are specified in the Nag Hammadi texts.
In his Gnostic view of the human condition, Dick assumed that the spiritual life of humanity was arrested at that moment.
It is as if the behavior of those “who exist as the type of Archons” locked into place in that era, and came to dominate all subsequent centuries – until the moment in 1945 when the Nag Hammadi texts were discovered.
In a close parallel to Philip K. Dick‘s vision of “the Empire,” Wilhelm Reich saw the rise of a similar syndrome which he characterized as “the mechanico-mystical” complex (see The Mass Psychology of Fascism.) Its signature is “authoritarian ideology,” the mindset of fascism and patriarchal domination.
Significantly, archon was the common term for “governer,” or “authority” in Roman times. In some translations of the Coptic materials, archon (plural, archontoi) is rendered as “the authorities.”
Reich’s analysis of what I propose to call the mystico-fascist complex focuses on National Socialism, the Nazi movement, which he experienced first-hand, but The Mass Psychology of Fascism contains ample references to Catholicism and the Holy Roman Empire, the millennial ancestor of the mystico-fascist program.
For more comments on this subject viewed in a contemporary vein, see Armageddon Politics.
In allusion to the fascist ideology of the “authorities”, Philip K. Dick wrote:
“The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.”
(Valis, p. 235, citing entry 41 from “The Exegesis.”)
This is purely a Gnostic insight, compatible with passages in the NHC and deeply resonant with Reich’s views on the massenpsychosen of Roman Christianity.
It might be argued that the Nazis were not Christians, but in fact Hitler imagined himself as a Grail Knight, modeled after Wagner’s Parsifal, and the savior complex of Judaeo-Christian belief is wholly transposed into Nazi racial ideology – hence the “Aryan Christ” identified, and, to some degree, embraced by C. G. Jung.
The Holy Reich, published in 2004 by Richard Steigman-Gall, professor of history at Kent State University in the USA, argues that Hitler was sincere in calling himself a Christian, and reveals to what extent Christian ideology was embraced by the Nazi party and contributed to the advancement of their cause.
Wilhelm Reich warned that since the breakdown of the pre-Christian ethos of earth-oriented Paganism,
“the biological core of humanity has been without social representation.”
(Ibid., p. xii)
This is a staggering observation, to say the least.
The “authorities” exhibit the behavior of spiritual zombies, people who exemplify a baffling mix of mystical and militaristic fixations.
(What I have called behavioral cloning is widely evident in both militaristic and mystical behavior, such as we see today in neocon religious realpolitik, although it is also embodied in the mass conformity of global consumerism and the rites of technophilia.)
According to Reich, these fixations, focused on the master fixation on a transcendent God beyond the Earth, arise from the repression and displacement of somatic sensations, especially sexual-genital feelings.
Philip K. Dick agreed with Reich in observing that the mystico-fascist ideology grows like armor around people who adopt these fixations, either through indoctrination or intimidation (“conversion”).
The mystico-fascist ideology operates like a virus,
“imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes it enemies.”
(Valis, p. 235)
The ideology of the authorities can infect even those who resist it. Hence it turns humanity against itself.
But it would appear that some Gnostics were immune to infection – not by accident, but due to their deliberate practice of orgiastic sexual techniques to produce immunity, and due, in equal measure, to their explicit teachings on the Archons and how to resist them, as seen in the above passage from The First Apocalypse of James.
Gnostic observers on the ground when Christianity arose saw salvationist ideology exactly the way Philip K. Dick did: as a virus. An ideological virus, to be precise. Pagan intellectuals of the day even used that very term for the fanaticism of the converts.
Gnostics saw the tyranny of belief, of metaphysical fantasies that underwrite militaristic agendas, in the rise of early Christianity. We can only imagine what they would see today in the political religiosity of the American right.
What are we to make, then, of Gnostic beliefs about the Archons?
It might be said that Gnostics believed that only by confronting what is insane and inhumane in ourselves, can we truly define what is human. In essence, to define humanity is to defend it against distortion.
Gnostics asserted that the capacity for distortion of humanitas, or dehumanization, is inherent in our minds, but this capacity alone is not potentially deviant.
Since we are endowed with nous, a dose of divine intelligence, we are able to detect and correct distorted thinking. We can master what Tibetan Buddhists call krol’pa, “thoughts that lead astray,” mental fixations that turn us away from humanitas, our true identity.
However, Gnostics also warned of an alien spin that can add a truly deviant element to our thinking.
The effect of the Archons is not to make us err, but to make us, largely through dullness and distraction, disregard our errors, so that they extrapolate beyond the scale of correction.
The Archons cast a ‘trance” over Adam… They put him into a sleepy state, but it was his perception they dulled… They make our hearts heavy that we may not pay attention and may not see.
So we lose the reflection of the Divine Light within us… [Thus the Archons acted on humanity] with a view to deceive.
When the life-spirit increases and the illuminating power of the body strengthens the soul, no one can lead you astray into the lessening of your humanity.
But those on whom the counterfeit spirit preys are alienated from humanity and deviated… The despicable spirit gains strength by leading us astray.
The Archons burden the soul, attracting us to works of evil, and pull us down into oblivion, making us forget who we are.
(The Apocryphon of John, II, 22: 14-10, through 27-20.)
The catechism on alien encounters in The First Apocalypse of James is not exceptional.
A great deal of Gnostic teaching was dedicated to the theory of error I have just summarized.
In a practical sense, Gnostic teachers in the Mystery Schools instructed the neophytes in how to face the Archons both as alien intruders, comparable to the Greys and Reptilians of contemporary lore, and as tendencies in their minds.
The detection of Archontic intrusion in both these modes of experience seems to be unique to the finely nuanced noetic science of the Mysteries.
In the Gnostic view, human beings “who exist as the type of the Archons” are those,
who blindly follow religious ideologies of an insane and inhumane nature, for it is primarily through religious beliefs that the Archons intrude upon us. Behavior driven by such beliefs produces pathological personality fixations, resulting in the spiritual zombie.
All scholars agree that some Gnostics condemned equally the Jewish origins of the Christian salvationist program, and the Pauline-Johannine program itself.
Doing so, they did not spread a hate message against anyone. Rather, they attempted to expose what they perceived to be the hateful and deceiving message disguised in the Judeo-Christian ideology of salvation.
At the source of this message, they detected the subliminal intrusion of the Archons into the human mind. Hence the thrust and preponderance (more than half of all surviving material, by my estimate) of politically and theologically incorrect passages in the Coptic materials.
Whether or not Gnostics were delusional about the Archons is a private judgment call.
But a fair and open-minded reading of the Coptic texts will not yield much evidence for derangement on their part. The seers who exposed derangement were not deranged.
They were sober and methodical in describing what they knew, and extremely conscientious in prescribing action to face the perceived threat.
They believed that they really had identified that most baffling of all enigmas: the root cause of inhumanity in human nature.
What are we to believe about all this today?
There is an issue of credibility here, of course – that is to say, we may consider the source of Gnostic teachings apart from their content. But Gnosis is by definition a matter of knowing and not of believing. It is about enlightenment, not faith.
To give Gnostics credit for actually knowing what they claimed to know is only the first step. Beyond that, we must confirm what they knew by our own resources, our own faculties.
This is the perennial challenge of Gnosis, the living, ever-renewing cognition of the human spirit.