The Meaning of UFOs - ORTHODOXY and the Religion of the Future
by Fr. Seraphim Rose, Copyright 1975
What then, is the meaning of the UFO phenomena of our time? Why have they appeared at just this time in history? To what future do they point?
First, UFO phenomena are but one part of an astonishing outpouring of “paranormal” events---what just a few years ago most people would have considered as “miracles.” Dr. Vallee, in The Invisible College, expresses the secular appreciation of this fact: “Observations of unusual events suddenly loom into our environment by the thousands” (p. 87), causing “a general shifting of man’s belief patterns, his entire relationship of the invisible” (p. 114), “Something is happening to human consciousness” (p. 34); the same “powerful force [that] has influenced the human race in the past is again influencing it now” (p. 14). In Christian language this means: a new demonic outpouring is being loosed upon mankind. In the Christian apocalyptic view (see the end of this book), we can see that the power which until now has restrained the final and most terrible manifestation of demonic activity on earth has been taken away (II Thess. 2:7), Orthodox Christian government and public order (Whose chief representative on earth was the Orthodox emperor) and the Orthodox Christian world view no longer exists as a whole, and satan has been “loosed out of his prison,” where he was kept by grace of the Church of Christ, in order to “deceive the nations” (Apoc. 20:7-8) and prepare them to worship antichrist at the end of the age. Perhaps never since the beginning of the Christian era have demons appeared so openly and extensively as today. The “visitors from outer space” theory is but one of the many pretexts they are using to gain acceptance for the idea that “higher beings” are now to take charge of the destiny of mankind.”
Second, UFOs are but the newest of the mediumistic techniques by which the devil gains initiates into his occult realm. They are a terrible sign that man has become susceptible to demonic influence as never before in the Christian era. In the 19th century it was usually necessary to seek out dark séance rooms in order to enter into contact with demons, but now one need only look into the sky (usually at night, it is true). Mankind has lost what remained of basic Christian understanding up to now, and now passively places itself at the disposal of whatever “powers” may descend from the sky. The new film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, is a shocking revelation of how superstitious “post-Christian” man has come – ready in an instant and unquestioningly to believe and follow hardly-disguised demons wherever they might lead.
Third, the “message” of the UFOs is: prepare for anti-christ; the “savior” of the apostate world is coming to rule it. Perhaps he himself will come in the air, in order to complete his impersonation of Christ ( Matt. 24:30; Acts 1:11); perhaps only the “visitors from outer space” will land to offer “cosmic” worship of their master; perhaps the “fire from heaven” (Apoc. 13:13) will be only part of the great demonic spectacles of the last times. At any rate, the message for contemporary mankind is: expect deliverance, not from the Christian revelation and faith in an unseen God, but from vehicles from the sky.
(Pages 106 – 111)
We live near the end of this fearful age of demonic triumph and rejoicing, when the eerie “humanoids” (another of the masks of the demons) have become visible to thousands of people by their absurd encounters take possession of the souls of those men whom God’s grace has departed. The UFO phenomenon is a sign to Orthodox Christians to walk all the more cautiously and soberly on the path to salvation, knowing that we can be tempted and seduced not merely by false religions, but even by seemingly physical objects which just catch the eye. In earlier centuries Christians were very cautious about strange and new phenomena, knowing of the devil’s wiles; but after the modern age of “enlightenment” most people have become merely curious about such things and even pursue them, relegating the devil to a half-imaginary realm. Awareness of the nature of UFOs, then, can be a help in awakening Orthodox Christians to a conscious spiritual life of a conscious Orthodox world-view that does not easily follow after the fashionable ideas of the times.
The conscious Orthodox Christian lives in a world that is clearly fallen, both the earth and the stars above, all being equally far from the lost paradise for which he is striving. He is part of a suffering mankind all descended fro the one Adam, the first man, and all alike in need of the redemption offered freely by the Son of God by His saving Sacrifice on the Cross. He knows that man is not to “evolve” into something “higher”, nor has he any reason to believe that there are “highly evolved” beings on other planets; but he knows well that there are indeed “advanced intelligences” in the universe besides himself; these are of two kinds, and he strives to live as to dwell with those who serve God (the angels) and avoid contact with the others who have rejected God and strive in their envy and malice to draw man into their misfortune (the demons). He knows that man, out of self-love and weakness, is clearly inclined to follow error and believe in “fairy tales” that promise contact with a “higher state” or “higher beings” without the struggle of Christian life – in fact, precisely as an escape from the struggle of Christian life. He distrusts his own ability to see through the deceptions of the demons, and therefore clings all the more firmly to the Scriptural and Patristic guidelines which the Church of Christ provides for his life.
Such a one has the possibility to resist the religion of the future, the religion of antichrist, in whatever form it may present itself; the rest of mankind, save by a miracle of God, is lost.
(Pages 113 – 114)