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MENTAL CHANNEL NUMBER ONE - THE MAN FROM MARS

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Adam Curtis | 17:22 UK time, Monday, 6 August 2012

To celebrate today's successful landing on Mars I thought I would show a film of a man who claimed to have got to Mars a long time ago. He did this back in the late 1950s by communicating telepathically with the beings who inhabited the Red Planet. He also claimed that his mother went there on a UFO. And what's more the BBC took him very seriously.

He was called George King. He was a London taxi driver who back in 1956 had a strange experience. He was washing the dishes when he heard a voice which said

"Prepare yourself. You are about to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament"

As a result, George King founded the Aetherius Society - which still exists today. His aim was to spread the messages that he received from what he called The Space People.

In 1959 the BBC made a half hour programme about Mr King, his strange cosmic experiences and his ideas. It is one of the most wonderful, odd and touching films I have ever found in the BBC archives.

Here is Mr King

 

George King is allowed in the programme to describe what happened to him at length - and the interviewer takes him completely seriously. The result is extraordinary - Mr King tells how the space people have given him a name - they call him "Mental Channel No. 1", how he has met people from Mars, Venus and Saturn and has "telepathic rapport" with them.

The interviewer then asks for proof that he really has met these people. George King says that his mother has proved it. She did this, he says, by being picked up by a UFO and then travelling through space to meet one of the people who regularly communicates with him.

So that proves that - he says.

And they then play the tape recording of his mother describing her interplanetary flight.

And then it gets weirder. The interviewer asks George King to contact - and channel - one of these beings. And he agrees. What then happens is just brilliant.

The film begins, appropriately, with Mars speaking to Earth. It ends - as all good programmes did in those days - with a Jungian consultant psychiatrist assessing George King's claims

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Doing the dishes and feeling like nothing special when, all of a sudden, yourself and the mother are given the job of becoming the communications conduits of cosmic saviors. Nice. These days lot of people are expressing their anxiety/hope in similar ways. The internet is awash with this stuff. However, imagining an otherworldly means of salvation has given way to imagining the secret architects of our destruction. The paranoid narrative of the Illuminati is worthy of analysis. What does it say about people's perception of their place in the Occidental world? Is it that we are alienated, disempowered, frightened, bored or maybe all of the above?

  • Comment number 2.

    Awesome. I've been clucking for another post, seemed like ages, thanks Adam.

    Read something somewhere about another 'interactive theatre' event AC might be working on, involving BBC Television Centre, which could be all kinds of wonder. If I can find it again I'll post a link.

  • Comment number 3.

    Two of my favourite things - historical archive footage and extraterrestrials - combined in one package! Excellent, Adam. I've known George King's story for years, but this documentary sounds fascinating (I haven't had time to watch it yet, but am looking forward to it). Of course, as Adam says, the Aetherius Society is still going strong even today, and other organisations with UFOlogical compulsions, such as the Raelians, 'channel' in a very similar way (I recall a Louis Theroux documentary from years back in which, I think, he met with some Raelians). All these tendencies are much older and more consistent than we can often assume as well - Theodore Flournoy, one of Carl Jung's mentors, undertook a case study with a trance medium in the very late 1890's in which she claimed to be travelling astrally to a highly advanced Mars, and was seen to write using an alphabet she claimed to be Martian.

    Sometimes, these energies can be channeled in less than positive ways: most people have now long forgotten that the mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult in the late 90's was rooted in their understanding of the need for UFO generated transcendence, for instance. but George King was certainly one of the more charming exponents of the creed that greater intelligences than our own were aiming to save the benighted of the Earth. That he should intuit this at a time of continued Cold War, nuclear proliferation and superpower rivalry, of course, may have its component in the story.

    As to the spread of Illuminati conspiracy theories, I could write a book. Suffice to say, they originate demonstrably in early 19th century Restoration era France, founded on reference to certain real developments in the mid to late 18th century, and were revived in American circles from the 1920's onwards by primarily right wing ideologues, who associated Illuminism with liberal thought, atheism, sexual permissiveness, Socialism and other such related ills. Sometime in the 1960's, the New Left began to adopt their own brand of attack on the Illuminati (no one being entirely certain to this day how seriously they were invoking it), seemingly inspired by the divisive splits opening up within American society in the 60's - weirdly, they, too, could find reasons for hating big business, clerical hypocrisy, Communist authoritarianism and so on that stemmed from entirely different political roots to the mistrust of the right wing, but often aimed at the same targets. From that point in time on, the Illuminati conspiracy theory was available to all left leaning New Ag

  • Comment number 4.

    New Agers to flag up as a perceived Conservative conspiracy to extirpate free thought and individual rights, even though it had begun life as a right wing perceived conspiracy to extirpate the family, the Church and moral autonomy by the left!

  • Comment number 5.

    For what it's worth, here's my take, in an all too brief nutshell that doesn't do the original research justice, but merely serves as a pointer:

    The 16th century pictures in C.J. Jung's book "Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in The Sky" show black dots and (squiggly) lines, the kind of shapes that closely resemble what are known as entoptic phenomena: visual effects whose source is within the eye itself, such as phosphenes.

    James Lewis-Williams, a professor in cognitive archaeology, and Thomas Dowson, in their attempt to classify abstract patterns on ancient rock art, came to the conclusion that abstract, geometric shapes in such art is the artistic recording of entoptic phenomena, as seen in altered states of consciousness such as trance, with or without the aid of psychedelic substances. They called these shapes (such as wavy lines, spheres, spirals and lattices) "form constants", in that they are independent of culture.

    Lewis-Williams and Dowson developed a model they called the Three Stages of Trance. The 1st stage consisted of seeing the aforementioned simple geometric forms of entoptics. In the 2nd stage "subjects try to make sense of entoptics by elaborating them into iconic form", the result being more complex visions involving living entities such as (mythic) animals, sprites, elves, etc. Such animals are also seen in ancient rock art, often in combination with the simple shapes of the first stage. The 2nd stage visuals are always culturally determined.

    In the 3rd stage the phenomena become three dimensional and so vivid and that the person experiencing them stops using similes to describe their experiences and asserts that the images are indeed what they appear to be and interacts with them.

    As far as I can tell, the work of Lewis-Williams and Dowson does not deal with encounters with UFOs and extra terrestrials, but it is easy to see the correspondence with the so called Close Encounter classification started by UFO researcher J. Allen Hynek, later popularised by the Spielberg film.

    Close encounter of the 1st kind: visual sightings of an unidentified flying object. The object, being a geometric shape, corresponds with visuals from Lewis-Williams and Dowson's 1st stage of trance. An encounter of the 2nd kind is visually similar to the 1st, so we'll skip that one.

    C. E. of the 3rd kind: sightings of "extra terrestrial occupants" in and around the UFO. This corresponds with visuals from Lewis-Williams and Dowson's 2nd stage of trance, living entities that are culturally specific (as in: space age).

    C. E. of the 4th kind: a human is abducted (or taken on board voluntarily) by a UFO or its occupants. According to Jacques Vallee, 4th kind encounters should be described as "cases when witnesses experienced a transformation of their sense of reality," so as to also include non-abduction cases where absurd, hallucinatory or dreamlike events are associated with UFO encounters.
    C. E. of the 5th kind: joint, bilateral contact events produced through the conscious, voluntary and proactive human-initiated or cooperative communication with extraterrestrial intelligence.
    These last two kinds correspond with Lewis-Williams and Dowson's 3rd stage of trance: the phenomena become so vivid that the observer interacts with them.

  • Comment number 6.

    Oops... some mistakes in my previous post.

    "C.J. Jung" should of course be C.G. Jung, and James Lewis-Williams is better known by his second name David Lewis-Williams.

    The "Form Constant" and its relationship with entoptics was devised by Heinrich Klüver, who studied the effects of mescaline in the 1920s, and whose work Lewis-Williams and Dowson expanded on to form their trance model.

  • Comment number 7.

    I like how he seems to lose the accent a minute or two into the 'transmission'. Nice shades, too.

    Don't know too much about Jung, but I was surprised the analyst chap didn't try to draw a connection between King's mother's being the only one to have physically traveled on a saucer and the Assumption of Mary.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Two saucers put together with a domes on top... made of organic metal, as a living thing"

    Not madness, clairvoyance! He sees Katie Price's mammaries 50 years hence.

  • Comment number 9.

    Congratulations! I was not expecting to read, hear and see anything as acute and, I gather, ironic, as this post about the news regarding the landing on Mars, successful it may have been or seemed.

  • Comment number 10.

    Very amusing and entertaining BBC video, Adam - and I note the frozen po-faced expressions of the presenter, psychiatrist and the astronomer as they observe King during his trance!

    In an earlier age King might have been revered as a shaman and in another age he might have been feted as a spiritualist medium, paid handsome amounts of money by credulous middle-class folks to contact the souls of the dead. Then again he might have been persecuted as possessed by demons. Whatever King manifested would have been interpreted according to the cultural values and social mores of the time.

    I did really fear for his mum: she might have been subjected to strange medical experiments by the aliens and packed off back to earth, to give birth years later perhaps to a wise and wizened offspring!

  • Comment number 11.

    A nice short but sweet post, thanks as ever.

    I wonder if George King was an inspiration for Kevin Spacey's in K-Pax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-PAX_(film) (a remarkably poor film that I had the misfortune of watching..), the demeanour is very similar and he even has the matching sunglasses!

    In response to this "And what's more the BBC took him very seriously." - From the reactions and questions of the interviewer and the other guests, it didn't appear to me that they took him & his claims seriously but more like they took his delusions seriously as a psychological study. Even more so as his mum got involved too - wonder if that was out of sympathy from her or because it was the only way for her to not have to come to terms with the fact that her son was bonkers.

    "I like how he seems to lose the accent a minute or two into the 'transmission'." I couldn't help laughing through most of the telepathic episode at the way he was seemingly channeling a rather strange South African chap.

    As for the Illuminati comments - I think that would make a great post / study in itself from Adam, seems like the Internet helped the conspiracies to go into exponential overdrive. As Fugger said "Is it that we are alienated, disempowered, frightened, bored or maybe all of the above?" I think the (perhaps denied) answer from the majority of Illuminati obsessives would be an empathic "Yes".

  • Comment number 12.

    And one more thing, I like how the only thing his imagination could come up with for the appearance of Saturnites was "like a man but with big hands and little feet", come on George you can do better than that!!

  • Comment number 13.

    George King led a long and interesting life, he only passed away in 1997. In 1973 he claimed to have invented a sort of prayer battery that stored the power of prayer. Available from all good hardware stores. As he describes in this clip posted on youtube;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_R2lIjo5iI&list=UUwa8ZEmW_JgynkTEckLaovA&index=7&feature=plcp

  • Comment number 14.

    It struck me that this was Jerry Springer TV, but not as we now know it....:-))

    I think there might be a few complaints about the waste of BBC licence-fee payers money nowadays, although in truth it wasn't a big budget production was it. I daresay there's a few American tax-payers wondering what the point of Curiosity is as well and why they should have to pay for it.

    Oh, and anyone else notice the slip where the Consultant Psychiatrist who must be nameless inadvertently referred to the Jungian Psychiatrist who must be nameless, as, TONY. I trust the BBC were duly remonstrated with - by the appropriate authorities..... :-D

  • Comment number 15.

    The physical science might be correct in that there are some samples of metals with memories kicking about our planet, by layering time one could make short hops in space in very quick time. The contact took place after the so call pact time. There were all sorts of contacts and mostly of the harmless sort. Later there would get to be a much darker picture from beyond. Aliens tend to fit the times they appear in. Spider Robinson said that best in Time Travelers Pay Strictly Cash or in the work of Colin Wilson.

  • Comment number 16.

    All people who act in secret to increase their power are technically conspirators.

    To dismiss the possibility of "conspiracies" as foolish is irrational as most corporations and political parties operate in a conspiratorial manner by default.

  • Comment number 17.

    A fair last comment, but I, for one, would never deny that 'conspiracism' had its role to play in the conduct of the Watergate scandal, the Vietnam War, the French and Russian Revolutions, multiple 'regime changes' orchestrated by the US in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the GLADIO initiative in post World War II Europe, Comintern activities in Europe installing pro Stalinist party apparatus post War World II, Thatcher's behaviour during the Miners' Strike, the orchestration of UK police operations in Ireland in the 70's and 80's, not to mention vast amounts of the material that Adam covers on this very site. As an ex historian, I am well aware that there is nothing new under the sun, and King Louis XV ran spy networks in the mid 18th century that surveilled their own membership and spread disinformation; that the historical Vatican employed its own assassination squad; the German banking houses forced Emperor Charles V to obey foreign policies that served their financial interests and so forth. I wouldn't wish to question the validity of many historical conspiracies, defined as caballing of one sort or another, for economic, military or political leverage.

    However, the idea of an 'Illuminati' conspiracy is very specific: it most definitely does derive from the (real) activities of Adam Weishaupt's short lived group of Bavarian Masonic cells, who were intended to infiltrate less radical lodges and re-orient their policies towards support for more extensively revolutionary activities. Driven underground (in part by the mainstream Masonic establishment), they became an especial bogeyman to the post Revolutionary French right wing, who saw in the Revolution an enacting of policies felt to be analagous to the one time aims of the Illuminati. This claim was bolstered in part by the fact that many leading Revolutionaries were affiliated to Masonic groups (but, it must be said, this was extremely common for the vast majority of middle class Frenchmen with social aspirations in the c.18th - and that the Revolution actively reacted against Masonry), and that there is demonstrable evidence that the Duc de Orleans (a known Mason) was initially influential in stoking the revolutionary fires through assiduous payments to leading orators and judicious orchestrating of street riots to increase his own chances of ascending the throne. However, Orleans was hardly the 'eminence gris' most made him out to be - his conspiracy singularly failing when he was guillotined as a class traitor in 1793.

    An Illuminati slur than became part of a late 18th century dispute between Fed

  • Comment number 18.

    An Illuminati slur than became part of a late 18th century dispute between Federalists and Democrats in the US, before resurfacing in its strange modern form, which stands up very badly in the light of historical attention. Serious historical conspiracies deserve searching and probing analysis and unearthing; the likes of the Illuminati conspiracy, or the Priory of Sion 'mystery', are interesting only inasmuch as they offer clues to how human beings like to layer stories.

  • Comment number 19.

    As Gore Vidal died recently, any chance of some archive footage of him? Apparently he was convinced that JFK was assassinated by the Mafia. Maybe that's an angle you could pursue. I enjoyed the film but yearn for more 'enlightenment' on the history of the British empire. Anything on the experience of the British during the 2012 London Olympics perhaps and how they all fell in love with a dream that was created with the same process that made their nightmares?

  • Comment number 20.

    @ Leeravitz: Do you know how and why the Eye of Providence came to be on the United States one-dollar note? Conspiracy theories associate the Eye of Providence with Freemasonry but as far as I know only one of the signatories of the US Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, Benjamin Franklin, was a Mason.

    Franklin may have been a part-time member of Francis Dashwood's Hellfire Club which included John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, as a full-time member. This is the same Earl who sponsored James Cook's voyages in the Pacific and Southern Oceans in the 1760s and in whose honour Hawaii and a food item were named. Lurid stories about Dashwood's Hellfire Club activities can be found on the Internet and news that the remains of 10 human bodies were found in the basement of what used to be Benjamin Franklin's London residence in 1998 adds fuel to the fire.

    http://io9.com/5901948/why-were-10-dead-bodies-found-in-benjamin-franklins-basement (Read the comments forum as well, it is the funniest I have seen!)

  • Comment number 21.

    I can't help applauding the BBC's politeness towards George King and the seriousness with which the experts take his claims. Nowadays poor George would be subjected to a sneer-fest - a looney to make fun of - much as Susan Boyle was subjected to a sneer-fest before she started singing.
    Sadly, the program never suggests that people like George King, or his exploiters, trick the gullible into parting with their money. What I found in Wikipedia rings true:
    "The Aetherius Society usually refers to King as "Doctor George King".[24] The society does not, however, document where King received his doctorate. 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..."[8]

    In 1980, King was dubbed 'Sir George King' by Robert Khimchiachvili, a man who claims to be a prince and the 74th Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta. ..... In August 2002, Khimchiachvili and two associates were convicted of "conspiracy and wire fraud after they swindled about $3 million from people by promising them riches bankrolled by a make-believe African kingdom."[28]

  • Comment number 22.

    The notion of "organic metal" maps to the idea of nanites moderately well. Underlying it are several ideas: an inorganic material that is living, and so can heal itself, etc, the idea of tiny inorganic machines analogous to cells, the idea of manufacturing processes sophisticated enough to create things of similar complexity to living things and possibly others. It's not quite right to describe it as completely meaningless, though it has several flaws in the form given in the interview. It was a fairly common concept in UFO circles at the time, I think, as it's also mentioned in "Devil Girl from Mars" (1954) as I recall. It was also present in the scientific community: in 1959 Richard Feynman gave a lecture There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom. Given Feynman's tendency to hang out with oddballs, I wonder if and how the concepts flowed back and forth.

  • Comment number 23.

    Thank you for posting this strange and wonderful interview. Whatever one thinks of Mr. King's claims, the seriousness of the entire piece is an indication of the extreme anxiety of the period - and might give us insight into our own contemporary anxieties and the claims they generate.

  • Comment number 24.

    Thanks for this terrific programme from the archives. Very hard to believe because it is so far removed from accepted scientific fact. Nevertheless, science doesn't understand everything so who knows what's really out there?

  • Comment number 25.

    i'm struck by the gentle respect the presenter and guests show to Mr King. It's hard to work out if this is due to their willingness to believe in the idea of extra terrestrial life, or whether it is just due to kindness. Either way it's a joy to see.

  • Comment number 26.

    I missed Nausika's earlier message for a while, and now the discussion has moved back on topic (and very interestingly too, I might add), but just to give my tuppence worth on the Eye of Providence:

    The Eye of Providence was, I believe, a fairly common piece of Masonic symbolism, inherited in part by way of Renaissance Hermeticism, designed to depict the influence of a Deist deity. The pyramidal form with circular all seeing eye may derive from Platonic conceptions, again Renaissance revived, symbolising the wholeness and perfectibility of the universe – and geometrical symbolism, pregnant with spiritual meaning, but divorced from traditional Christological imagery, was always extremely popular with the Masonic orders.
    As far as conventional history is concerned, the reason the ‘Eye in the Pyramid’ appears on the back of the one dollar bill is because it represents the Great Seal of the United States (there are thirteen steps to the pyramid to represent the thirteen original founding states, for instance). Why is the Eye part of the design of the Great Seal? It would appear to have been a decision that was only very gradually reached, in committee, after earlier suggestions for equally ‘faddish’ 18th century symbolism, such as Moses leading the children of Israel to the Promised Land, Lady Liberty leading the people and so on were turned down. It seems that Franklin, in fact, sponsored rival designs initially, at least, rather than the eye. But there is no indication (in conventional historiography at least) that there was anything sinister intended by the use of the symbol: quite the opposite – it was meant to stand as a depiction of hope for future prosperity and unity (‘the new order of the ages’). Similar symbolism was frequently invoked in the early stages of the French Revolution. Of course, the Eye of Providence was/is known as a Masonic, Deist etc. symbol and, as such, was always open to criticism from the more religiously minded opponents of the US administration.
    Many of the leading American Revolutionaries (indeed, many of the leading men of the later 18th century full stop) were Masons, and allegations about their conduct were sometimes bound up in dispute, with aspersions cast against their behaviour by Brother Masons. Washington laid the Capitol stone wearing his Masonic Lodge apron, I believe, and Jefferson was also a staunch Mason (and later made to regret that fact in political dispute). It is probably true to say that, in some sense, the French Revolution *was* an implementing%

  • Comment number 27.

    of a Masonic programme, as so many of the key Masonic tenets (charity to the indigent, the heightening of the quality of human life, anti-clericalism, campaigns against judicial torture and execution etc.) were clearly so rooted in Masonic ideals. But this is not quite the same as saying that a small Lodge of Masons quite deliberately orchestrated the Revolution in order to consolidate their own power at the expense of a feudal, religiously minded, aristocracy – nothing was quite that systematic (although it is true that one particular lobbying group of radical aristocrats, ‘The Society of Thirty’, most of whom knew each other socially, and often through Lodges, *did* try and push forward a specific reformist agenda at the very outset of the French Revolution).

    Now, back to the UFO's

  • Comment number 28.

    Shows the advantages to non-confrontational interviewing doesn't it? These days the interviewer would be attacking the man. It's much better to just let him talk. He seems totally sincere. Fascinating, as Mr Spock would say.

  • Comment number 29.

    @ Leeravitz: Thanks very much for the information on the Eye of Providence. I knew the symbol has often been invoked as "evidence" of an intent to found the US on Masonic or Illuminati principles and that the original meaning has often been deliberately obfuscated.

    Here is a link to a film "Awakening" by Nacho Cerda (1990) which is about a student who meditates on the Eye of Providence on a US dollar bill.

    @ Jayarava: You should watch Julian Assange's "The World Tomorrow" series on Youtube for more examples of non-confrontational interviewing. All are available on Youtube. Second episode is quite funny (Slavoj Zizek hitting JA) and in a later episode JA jokes with Pakistani politician Imran Khan about his sex appeal.

  • Comment number 30.

    Very reminiscent of Clive Anderson's interview with 'man of the year' Norman House-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYfNh8S94l0

  • Comment number 31.

    @ Leeravitz: Sorry, forgot to provide the link, here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uvzVPMdc4U

    Everyone else, feel free to watch as well.

  • Comment number 32.

    Like many other working class people at that time, he probably only recently acquired a television set (his mothers description of the flying saucer sounds a lot like a television set). His whole story sounds like a re-telling of the plot of the film The Day the Earth Stood Still, which was released about the same time as his visionary encounter with the 'space people' (1951).

  • Comment number 33.

    Maybe, maybe. And the impact of primarily American ideas on an English 'contactee' is especially interesting: these may well have been partially inspired by e.g. cinematic imagery. Though there doesn't have to be an inferred direct connection: the whole ethos of the 'flying saucer' obsession of the 1950's is that it was played out under the wing of two essential Cold War preoccupations in the US: the Mcarthyite preoccupation with fifth columnists, infiltration and government surveilling of the 'decent' American householder, and the omnipresent threat of nuclear annihilation. The way in which these threads entwined to inform the particular UFO stories of the 1950's is instructive. Authors like Donald Keyhoe (who, like many of the leaders in the written field on the subject, had been a science fiction pulp writer at an earlier stage of his career) popularised the notion of flying saucers existing, and the USAF covering this fact up, at the turn of the 50's, and was one of the first to infer a connection between increased alien interest and the fact that human beings had been conducting ever more regular A-bomb tests since 1945. George Adamski, who was, perhaps, the first of those to claim personal contact c. 1952/3, spoke of meeting with 'Space Brothers' from Venus who looked with distaste and fear on the fact that human beings were threatening to destroy themselves through the misappliance of nuclear power, and whose hyper-evolved society was considerably in advance of that of the earth. Grey Barker started to popularise the notion that mysterious 'Men in Black', who may originally have been presupposed to be FBI agents, were attempting to silence contactees telling of their experiences circa 1955. Carl Jung's book on flying saucers, already mentioned in a prior post, which attempted to explain the archetypal symbolism of the UFO 'scare', and seems to infer a partial 'real existence' for UFO's (in the sense that they are seen as genuine psychical projections fulfilling the needs of the human collective unconsciousness amidst the pressures of a Cold War world) was published in 1959, cited authorities like Keyhoe approvingly, and was itself influential in colouring the perspective taken towards UFO's by writers in the next generation, such as John Keel. Certainly, then, the equation, flying saucers + advanced racial traits + universal wisdom = condemnation of nuclear proliferation and the military industrial complex was certainly a trope of the 1950's altogether.

    Interestingly, perhaps, the thought of George King seems to have been impacted as much by 'traditional' a

  • Comment number 34.

    aspects of British mysticism (such as Theosophy, with its attendant emphasis on Hindu and Buddhist ideas) as by UFO contactee discourse: perhaps, in some respect, this was the more 'faddish' element that was merely grafted on to a wider search for more ‘conventional’ principles of spiritual enlightenment.

  • Comment number 35.

    @33

    Rod Serling captured this perfectly in 1960 Twilight Zone episode "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" in which a suburban street of "decent " Americans becomes so paranoid about extraterrestrials and fifth columnists that they end up fighting one another. This of course makes the actual aliens who are watching the proceedings from their flying saucer laugh at how easy it will be to conquer Earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monsters_Are_Due_on_Maple_Street

    The story was remade in 2002 as "The Monsters Are On Maple Street." This time it's the fear of terrorists and the aliens watching at the end are actually government agents, terrified at how fast American society can unravel and descend into chaos even without an actual emergency.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Monsters_Are_on_Maple_Street

    A Canadian friend predicted that within a generation, the US would indeed succumb to this model and be divided into local fiefdoms ruled by warlords. He seemed pretty happy about this actually. No flying saucers though.

  • Comment number 36.

    Saw this and thought of you lot. Think I can get away with it in the context of the post.

    I think it's gold, I'd love to hear people talk like they do in this nowadays on TV. Especially on Panorama. Last time I caught it was awful, and the camera was too close to Vine's face, it was just weird.

    I really love the guy in the extended interview that starts after about ten minutes, and brilliantly his name is Thomas Paine -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/moonlandings/7606.shtml

    Hope you like it.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    In reply to Fugger (the first comment) It may not have been quite as 'all of a sudden' as you assume. My research indicates that George king had been practicing esoteric yoga for 10 hours per day for a decade prior to the date of that putative event.

    There is an awful lot of immediate explaining away of his claims with zero attendant investigation into his claims in these comments.
    One commenter did look at Wikipedia which is a commendable something.
    I'm not sure how factual the debunking on the titles found there is though. Every writer has their agenda.

    Has anyone commenting looked into the works and life of this man?

  • Comment number 39.

    Nas I would also encourage you to investigate whether George king tricked anyone into parting with their money.
    It seems to me from having looked into the teachings flowing from him that he could have made a lot more money with slightly more 'acceptable' ideas and teachings if he had wanted to garner a large following.
    Yea there are many self aware con men out there. But whether a person is conning another out of money should be investigated on a case by case basis think rather than from any prejudice / prejudgement based on an associated quality.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    As I am doing ongoing research into George King, is there any way I can download this 1959 film for future, exhaustive study?

  • Comment number 42.

    Can you imagine a programme made now which wouldn't either just snidely take the p*ss from the outset or be sickeningly credulous bilge on the Living channel; thereby missing what insights there might be lurking under the surface?

    oh, but we're so open-minded these days aren't we....

  • Comment number 43.

    Excellent.

    @42

    "Can you imagine a programme made now which wouldn't either just snidely take the p*ss from the outset or be sickeningly credulous bilge on the Living channel"

    No - my thoughts exactly.

  • Comment number 44.

    Adam - we need another blog!

    Anyway, this radio 3 essay on the limits of growth 40 years on will be of interest to anyone who got into the themes of the 2nd episode of 'all watched over' and and contends that the model is still of value.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01mny6t/The_Essay_Beyond_Silent_Spring_The_Limits_to_Growth/

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    Wonderful! I especially love the fact that the interviewer goes to great pains to point out that for "professional reasons" the Jungian psychiatrist must remain anonymous and then later goes on to address him as "Tony".

  • Comment number 48.

    An exceptional piece of footage.

    It brings to mind two things: a car license plate holder I saw in California in the early 80's on a Volkswagen Beetle with no seats. It was driven by two cultivators and connoisseurs of the sensimilla bud, and it read: 'space is the place.'

    Which, in this disenchanted world of ours, space certainly is a frontier, a possibility. We do yet look to the sky for hope, for answers.

    The other is Edmund Husserl's The Crisis of the European Sciences ... . On the eve of the great conflagration that was to come, he wrote: "Scientific, objective truth is exclusively a matter of establishing what the world, the physical as well as the spiritual world, is in fact. But can the world, and human existence in it, truthfully have a meaning if the sciences recognize as true only what is objectively established in this fashion, and if history has nothing more to teach us than that all the shapes of the spiritual world, all the conditions of life, ideals, norms upon which man relies, form and dissolve themselves like fleeting waves, that it always was and ever will be so, that again and again reason must turn into nonsense, and well being into misery? Can we console ourselves with that? Can we live in this world, where historical occurrence is nothing but an unending concatenation of illusory progress and bitter disappointment?"

    For all its wonders, Curiosity is for most people just, well, a curiosity. I think it should be a world historical moment precisely because it does tell us something about who we are, and why we are here and because it could link scientific progress with a sense of what it means to be human.

    It is, I think, more spiritual than any earthly pilgrimage can be at this point in history. Not only because it is a genuine response to the call of the mysteries of existence, but because heeding that call in a serious way would require an equally serious reconsideration of how the lebenswelt works here on our little blue planet.

    Sure, it's blue sky thinking. But beyond that thin blue envelope an infinite journey awaits.

    Space is the place.

  • Comment number 49.

    @48 chronophobe

    "It was driven by two cultivators and connoisseurs of the sensimilla bud, and it read: 'space is the place.' " - It could have well been Sun Ra minus orchestra...

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    Desperately need another post on here.

    Also, is there anywhere we can watch The Cost of Treachery? Can't seem to find it anywhere.

    http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/176243

    Anyone have any bright ideas? Many thanks.

  • Comment number 52.

    Methinks this long silence from the part of The Master is a sign that he's working on something big. Maybe that new site he's been hinting at in interviews for a while is finally getting done.

  • Comment number 53.

    Thanks for making this video available. I've seen shorter segments of this before but nothing like this one. Truly amazing to watch George King talking with great humility before the 'experts'. Having read George King's books and audio-lectures on diverse subjects from solving the Spiritual Energy Crisis to deep Ecology I can say that I have never found anything which even comes close to the priceless wisdom that this Man has bestowed on mankind. Yes, he could have been extremely popular if this was his motive however, like all men who speak Truth these days, unpopularity is the price of Wisdom. Fortunately this will not always be the case.

    While indeed, the Aetherius Society was founded to give a new appreciation of the ancient teachings by introducing a Cosmic Concept to mankind in this New Age we shouldn't forget another very important reason which was to engage mankind in taking an active part in the Cosmic Plan as visualized by the Cosmic Masters. The very essence of the Cosmic Plan is Love and all people, even the very worst of mankind, could change their entire lives and karmic pattern by understanding this Divine Law and how he might co-operate with it. So, with the Aetherius Society we have a message of hope for mankind. In these days hope and direct action go hand-in-hand. This above all was the message of the cosmic Masters which is as important today as it was when it was first given...possibly more so in some ways.

 

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