Here’s video of yet another lecture from the second Trans State Conference. This one is Extra-terrestrials, Revelation and Planetary Consciousness: From Zecharia Sitchin to Raëlism by Jenny Butler . The posted description says:
“Extra-terrestrials, Revelation and Planetary Consciousness: From Zecharia Sitchin to Raëlism The connection between cosmic beings and revelation has been the impetus for the formation of various New Religious Movements. Prophecy, visions and alien-human interaction through dreams are prominent in the discourses and cosmologies of such groups. Popular author Zecharia Sitchin’s theory, based on the ancient cuneiform clay tablets, postulates that ancient astronauts called the Anunnaki, that he equated with the Nephilim in the Book of Genesis, brought their culture from their planet, Nibiru, to Earth, establishing the first known civilisation of the Sumerians. According to Sitchin, Nibiru is outside Earth’s solar system with an elliptical orbit that occasions its movement close to Earth every 3,600 years. Popular discourses connect the planet’s reappearance with prophesies found in various mythologies and sacred texts of the return of the God(s). Similar interpretations of the Hebrew Bible can be found in Raëlism whose followers hold that a group of androgynous extra-terrestrials who call themselves the ‘Elohim’ created humankind using advanced technology. Raëlism’s founder and current leader, Claude Vorilhon (aka Raël or Maitreya) describes an encounter with the Elohim where he was brought to their planet, a society free of poverty, disease, racism, and war. Raëlians understand Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed as part of a series of prophets, Raël being the last in the line sent by the Elohim to help raise consciousness on Earth. Since 1945’s atomic bomb, Raëlians see the end of one kind of society and the dawning of an ‘era of revelation’ where humans of higher consciousness will work to save humanity and embrace technology for purposes of advancement rather than destruction. This analysis explores the significance and role of revelation in the Raëlian movement and draws on the theories of Victor Turner and Richard Schechner to examine performance art and ludic recombination in the activities of its membership. At the heart of Raëlian public gatherings is a sense of frolic and people play with the stereotypical UFO imagery like inflatable green aliens. They participate in LGBTQ+ Pride parades around the world, sometimes involving public nudity as they support sexual freedom and see no shame in showing the human form. Central to their worldview is a political radicalism, with particular followers understanding themselves as guides working to change consciousness and to foster peace and love on Earth until ‘Paradism’ is attained and Earth will be ready for the arrival of the Elohim.
“Jenny Butler is the leading specialist on the study of Contemporary Paganism in the Irish context and is based at the Study of Religions Department at University College Cork where she teaches a course on Western Esotericism and New Religious Movements, examining these subjects in the Irish historical and contemporary context. Dr Butler is the Secretary of the Irish Society for the Academic Study of Religions (ISASR), a Committee Member of the Anthropological Association of Ireland (AAI), and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture (ISSRNC). Dr Butler founded the research network, the Irish Network for the Study of Esotericism and Paganism (INSEP), which is an affiliate network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) and she is currently an Officer of the ESSWE Board. ”