The Aetherius Society is one of the best-known and longest-lived flying saucer organizations in the world, an alternative religious group which has warned humanity since 1955 that the apocalyptic destruction of the planet may be averted through healing prayers and other spiritual practices. Based in Los Angeles, the Society was founded by George King (1919-1997), originally from England, who asserted that he was selected as the primary channel for extraterrestrial messages transmitted from a space being named Aetherius. King said that in 1954 he was contacted telepathically by the Cosmic Intelligences orbiting Earth and he was given messages concerning the salvation of the world. According to King, imminent worldly destruction may be prevented if the dangers of atomic weapons are acknowledged, and the numerous other destructive tendencies of humanity are recognized and confronted. To save the planet from annihilation and heal the “soul” of the world, human beings must embrace the healing power of prayer, engage in specific techno-spiritual ritual practices and pilgrimages, and promote the metaphysical teachings of the Cosmic Masters (including Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishna, Mars Sector 6, and Jupiter 92).
In their rituals, members of the Aetherius Society use Spiritual Energy Batteries that harness and amplify their healing prayers for world salvation; this Prayer Power, a form of psychic healing energy, is then discharged periodically to avert or mitigate potential planetary catastrophes, such as the outbreak of war, terrorist attacks, deadly viruses, natural disasters, and other threats to the future of humanity. The various prayers, rituals, and spiritual Operations performed by the Aetherians are intended to promote planetary healing, alleviate human suffering, and prevent the end of the world. The Aetherians claim that their prayers, amplified by the spiritual technology provided by the Cosmic Masters, are responsible for the end of the Cold War and for preventing many disasters such as devastating earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and the perpetual threat of invasion by evil space beings. The ultimate goal of the Aetherians involved in these sacred practices is to prevent worldly annihilation, to save every soul on the planet, and to transform planetary consciousness through acts of spiritual healing. The healing of individuals who are suffering from life trauma and personal adversity also is an important part of Aetherian events and ceremonies.
Based in fieldwork and illustrated with visual examples, this presentation explores the healing rituals and beliefs of the Aetherians, their notions of averting apocalypse, and the appeal of their ritual performances. The practices of the Aetherians provide insights into the concerns, fears, and hopes of our era, and address existential issues of ultimate concern, offering an alternative form of spirituality that attempts to heal the modern world.