I used to think aliens were demons, and other musings

Growing up, I was taught that there was no possibility that there was actual extraterrestrial life out there, because God created the earth special and sent Christ to die for us in particular. The whole center of everything, the whole point, is our human existence here on the earth. In that context, extraterrestrial life makes no sense.

However. I was taught that alien appearances were actually demons pretending to be aliens and appearing to people. Why? So that when the rapture happened the Antichrist would be able to convince those left behind that the whole thing was just an alien abduction, and thus keep them from realizing the truth, that the God of the Bible was real and they need to repent and turn to Jesus for salvation.

The result was that I was afraid of aliens. After all, I believed that an alien sighting was an actual possibility, and that those aliens were demonic in origin. When I was about twelve I checked out some books from the library about aliens, and read and read. For a little while I was honestly scared of nighttime, scared to go outside after dark, and very, very afraid that I might see an alien, a demon in disguise.

I was also taught that non-Christian religions were actually founded by demons (for example, a demon, not an angel, appeared to Mohammed), and that modern pagans worship demons and actually obtain power from them. Because of this, I was afraid of those practicing Wicca and other pagan traditions, believing as I did that they had real power to cause harm, power they obtained from demons.

I was taught that every moment of every day we are surrounded by demons and angels, invisible to our eyes, engaged in warfare with each other. Even as demons tempted us to do evil, angels strove to protect us from harm. We lived our lives, I believed, in the midst of daily spiritual warfare.

Reading Frank Peretti didn’t help. Here’s Amazon’s description of his This Present Darkness, which I read around 12 or 13:

This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti, is among the classic novels of the Christian thriller genre. First published in 1986, Peretti’s book set a suspenseful standard in spiritual warfare story-telling that has rarely been met by his contemporaries. Set in the apparently innocent small town of Ashton, This Present Darkness follows an intrepid born-again Christian preacher and newspaper reporter as they unearth a New Age plot to take over the local community and eventually the entire world. Nearly every page of the book describes sulfur-breathing, black-winged, slobbering demons battling with tall, handsome, angelic warriors on a level of reality that is just beyond the senses. However, Christian believers and New Age demon-worshippers are able to influence unseen clashes between good and evil by the power of prayer. Peretti’s violent descriptions of exorcisms are especially vivid: “There were fifteen [demons], packed into Carmen’s body like crawling, superimposed maggots, boiling, writhing, a tangle of hideous arms, legs, talons, and heads.” This book is not for the squeamish. But for page-turning spiritual suspense, it’s hard to beat.

For an awesome blow by blow review of Peretti’s This Present Darkness, see this website.

I believed that angels protected the homes of believers, but that aliens might be let in by something as simple as ungodly music, ungodly books, or ungodly thoughts. For this reason my parents carefully screened the music entering the house and didn’t allow books like Harry Potter to be brought inside even by a visitor. I knew that our home was supposed to be protected, but I was afraid that a stray thought might let a demon in.

To explain this further, here’s a quote you won’t want to miss from Michael Pearl’s “Pornography: Road to Hell:”

But the most destructive thing about your sin is the effect in has on your children. We live in a spirit world of both righteous and fallen angels. We are surrounded by evil spirits seeking the moral destruction of every human soul. The children of godly parents are protected from unclean spirits by being under their moral umbrella. But when a father gives his mind over to wicked lusts, he removes the hedge of protection around his family and invites impure devils into his home. Wishing them away will avail nothing. Any prayers you pray for their safety are negated the moment you open the pages of a pornographic book or glare at an electronic image. When you tune in to electronic pornography you have established a two-way link with the spiritual underworld. When you lie in bed at night and conjure up wicked images, the devils won’t stop with your mind; they will gleefully rush into the bedrooms of your children and assault their little souls and bodies. Evil thoughts will come to their minds – thoughts you have been thinking that are telegraphed to them by the devils. Your defenseless children will be taken captive, and you are the one that threw the gate open to the enemy.

This post is a bit of a ramble, I’m afraid. For all that I was sure in Christ, I as an evangelical also believed that Satan temporarily has some power and jurisdiction over the earth, and that his demons could and did cause harm and wreck havoc. Even as I knew that I could defeat a demon by merely using the name of Jesus, I was still inwardly frightened of their Satanic power. When I stopped believing in demons, or in Satan, or in God, the world suddenly seemed a much lighter and less clouded place. After all, all that’s around us is air, not demons and angels locked in mortal combat.

What demon stories do you have?

Related posts:

The Green-Eyed Demon

Witches, Demons, Halloween, and Fear

Fearing a Supernatural Bogeyman

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • unbound

    And now we know, because of Paul, that aliens are actually druggies just chilling out in our solar system…

  • raven

    and that modern pagans worship demons and actually obtain power from them. Because of this, I was afraid of those practicing Wicca and other pagan traditions, believing as I did that they had real power to cause harm, power they obtained from demons.

    If Pagans and witches had real power, we would know it by now.

    Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum, Rod Parsley and a few hundred other toadlike humans would have ended up turned into real frogs.

    The Pagans would own Wall Street and the Pentagon would have its own service branch of mages, sorcerors, wizards, witches, and warlocks.

    Charles Stross’es Laundry series of novels has a good idea of what a world where magic worked would look like.

    • http://www.brooksandsparrow.com Angelia Sparrow

      Magic absolutely works. But you have to understand what magic is: it’s applied will. Burning sage, candles, chanting, it’s all just psyching yourself up to apply that will.

      Change your own life and circumstances and the universe will follow.

      Transmogrifying people into toads, not happening. The matter conversion numbers alone are horrifying. My physicist husband indulged me and ran them. The amount of energy needed is ridiculous, and when you factor in the inability to create or destroy matter, there’s not enough room in Five Mile Bayou for all the frogs Newt Gingrich would become, and I don’t have the six nuke plants to supply the necessary power.

      • Martin

        @Angelia:

        “Magic absolutely works…”

        That’s a pretty strong assertion…colour me sceptical. However, if you can demonstrate it to mutual satisfaction of you and representatives of the James Randi Foundation, you will put yourself in clover to the tune of $1,000,000! If you cannot, you should no longer make such an outrageous claim!

  • raven

    I was taught that every moment of every day we are surrounded by demons and angels, invisible to our eyes, engaged in warfare with each other.

    My natal Protestant sect didn’t believe in demons. They sort of went out of fashion along with the Demon Theory of Disease. Didn’t really have much interest in satan and hell either.

    The demon theory has always struck me as “alien” or foreign, like worrying about ghosts, Brownies, Fairies, and Leprechauns.

    And it never, ever made any sense. God is the all powerful creator of everything. This means, god created demons, satan, and hell and lets them run around loose doing whatever they want. It’s not like us humans can’t mess up everything without supernatural help. Such a god is evil. Thanks god.

  • tmaxPA

    Wow.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com tommykey

    When I stopped believing in demons, or in Satan, or in God, the world suddenly seemed a much lighter and less clouded place.

    Once I became an atheist, movies like The Exorcist went from being horror to comedy for me.

  • http://yamikuronue.wordpress.com Yamikuronue

    Squee, I was mentioned! It never ceases to surprise and delight me when a blog I follow turns out to follow me in return.

    TPD constantly perplexes me, mostly because I don’t have the evangelical background that Peretti seems to assume his readers possess intimate knowledge of. The more I read, the more disturbed I get :( The strangest part is having to acknowledge that, implications aside, he’s not that bad a writer. If he’d just written normal horror/suspense, he’d have probably achieved mainstream success.

  • Pen

    It’s a fairly common assumption in Europe that stories about demons and devils are the opressed and supressed remnants of the pre-Christian European religions. The story goes that rural Europeans were barely Christianised until quite recent times and kept up old customs and rituals, but that the gods these had appealed to shrank to demon and fairy status. It makes sense as a cultural narrative, though I don’t know how it bears up as historical fact.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist Crommunist

    This reminds me of a personal story that happened to me some years ago.

    A gathering of angels appeared above my head.
    They sang to me a song of hope, and this is what they said…

    COME SAIL AWAY! COME SAIL AWAY COME SAIL AWAY WITH ME!

    • ScottInOH

      To continue Cromunist’s thought:

      “I thought that they were angels, but, to my surprise,
      We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies!”

      More seriously, though, that quote from Pearl is frightening. It sounds pretty unhinged to me. Thinking bad thoughts will let demons into your children’s heads? Yikes.

    • Jackson

      Greatest non sequitur of the year so far.

    • Aliasalpha

      Fuggit, its in my head now. Off to youtube.

      You, sir, need such a smack…

      • http://raisinghellions.wordpress.com/ Lou Doench

        Whenever I hear that song now I hear it sung by Eric Cartman.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    From the OP:

    God created the earth special and sent Christ to die for us in particular. The whole center of everything, the whole point, is our human existence here on the earth.

    About nine years ago astronomers pointed the Hubble Space Telescope at an apparently empty bit of sky about 1/10 the size of the full Moon and exposed the CCDs for about a million seconds (a little more than 13 days). The Hubble Ultra Deep Field contains an estimated 10,000 galaxies. The light from the prominent galaxy at the bottom left of the picture took seven billion years to get here.* This is a galaxy about the same size as our Milky Way galaxy. The furthest object located as of 2011 was a galaxy shown at a time of 600 million years after the Big Bang.**

    We are not the center of the universe.

    *It’s estimated that galaxy is now 12 billion light years away from Earth. The expansion of the universe has moved our galaxy and that galaxy an additional 5 billion light years. Incidentally, a light year is the distance it takes light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second or 300,000 km per second, to travel for a year. That’s just under 10 trillion kilometers or about 6 trillion miles.

    **The best current estimate of the age of the universe is 13.75 ± 0.11 billion years

  • Lisa

    Tommy Shaw was hot.

  • MonZni

    I was actually taught that aliens DID exist, based on a Revelations verse, if I remember correctly (although I can’t remember the specific one).

    We were taught that only on earth was evil allowed to happen, sort of as a court room, to answer Satan’s accusation that God was unfair, and forcing us to obey him. So God allowed humanity to fall into sin (our “choice” based on Adam and Eve), and is letting it play out (hence why God does not feed the starving, save the children, or rescue the victims from their abusers) to prove to the rest of the universe (and all those alien races) that indeed, Satan and the sin of pride is truly evil and that all God wants is to save us and keep us safely in Heaven with him.

    Oh yeah. It was one whopping theory. One that tied up a lot of the loose ends that many Christians struggle with– problem of evil, the whole point of this “test” on earth, “proof” that God is loving and encourages free choice.

    Raaaaiiight. It’s a creative story, I’ll give them that, but it doesn’t jive with the rest of the Bible (contradictions galore!). All the same, it did help keep me toeing the Christian line for years.

    • http://janeyqdoe.com/ Janey Q Doe

      So, to prove that God isn’t unfair as per Satan’s accusation, he let’s Satan run rampant across the innocent lives of billions of souls? Totes make sense.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=611455454 boselecta

        I read some of the Incarntions of Immortality series by Piers Antony when I was young. The premise there is that God and Satan have a bet on whether there is more good or evil in the universe, and the stuff that is used to make human souls (which contains a random alotment of good and evil) gets parcelled out into units of one person’s worth by Clotho (one of the three Fates from Greek mythology) until it is all used up, and then God and Satan can count up how many souls are in Heaven and how many in Hell. The series also has Mars, the Roman god of War, a Gaia-type nature goddess, the Grim Reaper, and Old Father Time, each getting their own book in the series – Satan got the second-last, and God got the last) – with the added twist that each of these mythical personages are actually roles that can be taken over by a new person when the last person to be it died or quit – including Satan, even though the original Satan who made the bet with God presumably couldn’t have been human; thus each novel follows the life of one person who becomes one of these figures. I don’t know if the God role was also up for grabs ans I couldn’t get hold of the last book at the time I was of an age for reading them.

        I don’t think they were intended as anything but fiction. That may be the crucial difference.

  • http://potatoesarenotvegetables.blogspot.com Ashton

    While in high school, I once overheard a relative (who I generally like and respect) telling my mom about how the phrases in Pokemon give demons power. This is therefore why we need to make sure that our children don’t read/watch such things and we do everything that we can to stop others from doing so. It was so nuts. I never really believed in religion despite being steeped in it for my whole life. It took me a long time for me to accept that I just didn’t believe it. This, however, I had no trouble laughing off. At least until I realized that people actually believe that crap and live their lives accordingly.

    My own family did not think such things and had no problem with Harry Potter. I did know a lot of parents within our church that wouldn’t let their kids read Harry Potter. They probably wouldn’t have allowed other fantasy books either except that so long as they didn’t recognize the title, kids who liked those books could manage to read them undetected.

    • lordshipmayhem

      [innocent look]No fantasy books? Not even the Bible?[/innocent look]
      .
      One of my two sisters, who I dearly love even though I consider her to be a total loon, is an evangelical minister. She once advised my other sister (and I, an unfortunate witness to this wacky display) that Native North American dream catchers were portals that allowed demons into this world, and she should get rid of the one in her living room.

      My older sister’s response was to tell my younger, loonier sister oh-so-politely exactly what a dream catcher was for, to wit: filter out children’s dreams, destroying the nightmares and allowing only the nice ones through.

      No, my older sister didn’t believe in the Ojibwe version nor in the “I have no clue what I’m looking at” version the younger sister was peddling. I’m sure the younger sister is against the Harry Potter too. She’s never been all that good at determining the difference between fantasy and reality.

  • kraut

    What really amazes me about your articles is the amount of fear generated in the young mind by their religious propagandists.
    Right out of the Catholic playbook how to control a populace: Make them fearful of the unknown, introduce the idea of sin and a loss of redemption and the future heaven when engaging in such and you have total control over their lives and can lead the fearful sheep to the monetary slaughter.

    The word Cynicism doesn’t even come close to a description of this kind of propaganda that is so much more powerful than anything the Bolsheviks could have invented.

  • http://aceofsevens.wordpress.com Ace of Sevens

    I went to Calvary Chapel when I was a kid. I was at a garage sale with the pastor’s daughter. She wanted an Alf doll. He wouldn’t let her have it because Alf looked like a demon. She started crying and insisting he wasn’t a demon. He was an alien from Melmac.

    At the same church, I was staying over with a friend and we got up Saturday morning to watch Captain N: The Game Master, but the satellite was out. His mom said that was probably a sign from God that he didn’t want us watching it because it sounded demonic.

  • Cor (formerly evil)

    Once in a while you read something which dredges up something horrible from your own childhood. I know exactly the terror you felt; having also been raised to believe in demons. Constant, unceasing war between demons (who are hungry like lions, seeking to devour us) and we happy few who knew “The Truth.”

    Until I was fifteen or so, my world was full of malevolent forces, just waiting for that one gap in my godly defenses. I don’t have to tell you about the terror.

    I’m writing this slowly and uncomfortably on my phone, so I’ll skip the details of my liberation and hop straight to the happy ending:
    I read The Demon Haunted World.

    Carl Sagan (and others, thx Dawkins!) liberated me; literally rescued me from the clutches of Satan, and every word out of the smug little mouths of the bible-afflicted is a link in the chains which drag innocent people through that miserable hell.

    Anyway, typing on this phone sucks. . . back to lurking.

  • Laura C.

    My family always believed less in the whole “spiritual warfare” thing than the rest of our church seemed to – in fact, my mother had to defend my brother’s Dungeons & Dragons group to her Sunday school class once. She was less worried about demons having control over us than she was of non-Christian media leading us astray. We still weren’t allowed to listen to secular music or read certain books, but it was more out of a fear that the ideas within them would lead my brother and I off the narrow path to salvation than it was about literal demons. I read some of the books anyway, though, because I had a rebellious streak and loved fantasy and wanted to see what the fuss was about.

    Oddly enough, my mom’s fear of us turning away from god did more to turn me towards atheism than the media itself did. I didn’t understand how someone who was so sure what they believed was true could worry about it not being able to stand up against something as obviously fake as a story like Rowling’s or Pullman’s. It wasn’t much, and I still believed for a long time after I noticed it, but it was probably the starting point of my deconversion.

    As far as aliens went, I always figured that god made life on other planets, and made ways for them to either be saved or punished, much like earth. In my mind, any other planet with intelligent life also had a savior, and maybe even its own heaven and hell. It didn’t cross my mind much, but when it did, that was how I rationalized it.

  • Aliasalpha

    Heh you can tell I watched way too much Doctor Who growing up, I always thought demons were misunderstood aliens

  • sunsangnim

    Your posts are always interesting and informative. They create a community where we can all share the crazy shit we used to believe before discovering skepticism.

    I also used to be afraid of aliens. I was quite young when my mom read Communion by Whitley Strieber. She made the mistake of telling me some of the things in the book, which scared the hell out of me. The image on the cover was burned into my mind. As I got older I read other books on UFOlogy and aliens. It still freaked me out but intrigued me at the same time. Even though I considered myself a Christian (with some odd new-agey beliefs thrown in), I never thought of aliens as demons. I am so thankful that Carl Sagan challenged my entire belief system with The Demon Haunted World. I only wish he were alive so I could tell him how much that book meant to me.

  • MLR

    I never made a demon connection to aliens, but I absolutely believed in them as a child. In fact I was terrified that I would be abducted by aliens. Pretty much every night I would be afraid to go to sleep thinking that would be the night they would come get me. Part of what fueled this fear was watching TV shows like Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings. There weren’t really any skeptics in my family to tell me all this stuff was nonsense, and I think children are already naturally a bit irrational anyway, so TV shows like that were all it took to totally convince me they were real and out to get me. But thanks to the Internet, I discovered skepticism and slept peacefully ever since.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Let’s hope this belief in demons doesn’t get out of hand or the Christians will be killing each other during exorcisms.

    Oh wait…
    http://whatstheharm.net/exorcisms.html

    Ratbags!

  • sumdum

    For a time when I was young my parents wouldn’t let me or my brothers listen to ‘worldly’ (non-christian) music because if it’s not christian it’s of the devil. No reason given why, it was black and white. Music either worshiped god, or satan. They also wouldn’t let us read comics by for example Willy Vandersteen, a belgian artist who created the Suske & Wiske comic series. They claimed he worshiped satan as well. Over the years my parents mellowed out some, 2 of my brothers and myself no longer belief in a god, but my other brother is still deep in it. He actually believes other religions were planted by satan to deceive people away from god. Even religions that were started hundreds of years before christianity, religions that christians likely borrowed a lot of practices from. Somehow, satan was able to look into the future and make a mock copy of christianity just to fool humanity.
    And let’s not forget the ‘signs of the end time’. There will be wars and rumors of wars, and all that nonsense. I try to point out there’s always been wars as long as humans have walked the earth, and that due to the information age we’re much more aware of what’s going on, but no, he’s quite certain any day now Jesus is coming back.
    My father recently made a trip to Israel, and when he got home he put a mezuzah on the doorpost. We’re not even jewish, that doesn’t make any sense. But it’s their home, so they can do whatever they like.

  • http://www.brooksandsparrow.com Angelia Sparrow

    My mother tried that on me, that aliens and demons were the same. Fortunately I was well into my teens and more concerned with using the religion and its rules to hold my closet door shut.

    Fear was a ruling factor in my life. Rapture fear, fear of God, fear of others finding out I was bisexual. But demons? not so much.

  • plutosdad

    Growing up Catholic we weren’t into the devil being everywhere so much. Though for awhile when I converted to Evangelicalism I started thinking about all the invisible powers and principalities out there. Which was bad since I already had a problem with thinking my thoughts affected reality (turns out it was just OCD!)

    Though your last sentence reminds me of when I finally really “accepted” and embraced atheism: I stopped being afraid of flying and afraid of heights to a large extent. Now there was just science, the plane will stay up, the bridge with the see-through grate will not collapse, because of the laws of physics. The odds of something going wrong while I’m there are infinitesimal. That was much more comforting than sitting in a plane held up only by the grace of a capricious, vengeful, jealous being that loved to destroy those who were against him.

  • Kevin Alexander

    Jerry Coyne has a thing about demons over at whyevolutionistrue.

    You’ll have to find it, I don’t know how to link things.

  • lordshipmayhem

    I once read a tale related by a (female, otherwise she might not have survived) computer programmer. She’d been sent to the small town in Texas to fix a client’s software problem, and she happened to stop at the one and only restaurant in town for lunch.

    A quick side note for those of you not into computers: *nix operating systems (Unix of which the BSD family is a part, Linux, Mac OS X, Minix, etc.) use mini programs called Daemons to perform many useful operations. To poke fun at this concept, BSD has a daemon mascot, Beastie.

    A total computer geek, she’s wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Beastie on it. She sits down, orders a meal, and has a lanky cowboy approach her. He recommends to her that she get out of Dodge as soon as possible, as they don’t cotton to devil-worshipers in these parts – they’re all good Christians. He was warning her, he explained, because females, devil worshipers or no, at least deserved a warning. Implicit in the threat was that he wouldn’t be bothering warning a guy, and that he was warning about a violent reaction… from the cowboy in question.

    Her attempts to explain only convinced the cowboy that computers were evil, too. Realizing that she was just digging a deeper hole, she did as suggested and expeditiously made tracks back to civilization.

    • lordshipmayhem

      Let’s try that link again: Beastie

      • kisekileia

        The picture was a great punch line for that story, so I’m glad it ended up at the end. What a cute little demon!

  • Ataraxic

    “Demons” are a wonderful tool for Christian fundamentalists to rationalise the religious/mystical experiences of others, without having to consider the uncomfortable possibility that people are capable of self-deception, or self-delusion. It’s easier to say that all spiritual experiences are supernatural and real (even if deceptive), rather than internal hallucinations. Even mental illness is seen as the work of malign spirits.
    The same line of thinking can be seen in creationist arguments, where eyewitness testimony is seen as the only valid form of historical evidence. The implications of our senses lying to us, of spiritual feelings being anything but real and objective, are too horrifying for them to contemplate.

    • minuteye

      That’s an interesting point, about having to come up with an explanation for other peoples’ spiritual experiences that don’t just dismiss them as hallucinations. I’ve never thought of it in quite those terms, but it makes sense, when the line between ‘I hear voices’ = hallelujah! and ‘I hear voices’ = let’s fiddle with your meds! is sometimes pretty flimsy.

  • arakasi

    I ran into another connection between aliens and demons a while back – I think it may have been one of Sagan’s books, but I can’t remember for certain now.

    In short, the book discussed the phenomenom of sleep paralysis, in which a sleeping person either never loses or regains consciousness during REM sleep. The person’s body is still paralysed as in REM sleep, and the brain’s activity interacts strangely with a conscous mind, leading to hallucinations.

    Before the mid 20th century, this was usually interpreted as the actions of spirits or demons (the origin of the term “nightmare”). Since then, at least in the US, they have generally been interpreted as alien abductions.

    • Stacy

      Yes, Sagan discusses that in The Demon-Haunted World.

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  • http://www.l-a-s-h.blogspot.com Eric

    Sounds like we had the same upbringing. Ditto on all those things you were taught. Here’s a memory I can share with you:

    When we were kids we liked watching The Simpsons. My mother told us that by watching it we allowed Satan in the door and he and his demons would sit around the couch watching TV with us instilling our innocent minds with evilness to become more like the The Simpsons.

    My little sister Lisa did become an elementary school over-achiever and I drool every time I drive by a doughnut shop. I guess she was right…….(eyes rolling in back of head)

  • dianne

    Hmm…Not at all what my expectation would have been. I would have thought that Christian fundamentalists would consider aliens to be potential convertees. No bringing the light of Christ to the heathen of Alpha Centauri?

    • HumanisticJones

      “Pah! What good is a simple carpenter’s god before the numerous and great household gods of the GREAT CENTAURI REPUBLIC! Great Maker preserve us from these Earhter religions!”

      And yes I know the B5 Centauri weren’t from Alpha Centauri, but I couldn’t help hearing a Londo response to that.

  • http://chainthedogma.blogspot.com/ Perry Bulwer

    The fundamentalist Christian evangelical cult, The Family International, formerly known as the Children of God, has taken demonology to an extreme level. You can find a detailed list of dozens of made up names for ‘demons’ and ‘spirit helpers’ on this page:

    http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Category:Family_Mythology

    I’ve written several blog articles about that cult and its insane leaders. The latest one is “Secret letter claims Family International leader caused deadliest air crash in history” at http://chainthedogma.blogspot.com/2011/11/secret-letter-claims-family.html

    Here is what journalist Don Lattin, author of the book “Jesus Freaks: a true story of murder and madness on the evangelical edge” wrote in the introduction to that book:

    SOME CHRISTIANS MAY take issue with the title of this book, Jesus Freaks: A True Story o f Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge. They may argue that the crazy cult chronicled in these pages has noth­ing to do with Jesus or the evangelical movement. They may say its founder was not a Christian-that he was a spiritualist or controlled by demonic forces. His sexual immorality, they may argue, is the very antithesis of moral values in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    That’s an understandable reaction, but the odyssey of David Brandt Berg is deeply rooted in the Christian tradition. Berg, the founder of The Family, came straight out of American evangelicalism. His grand­father was a famous minister with the Methodist Church, and his father was ordained into another mainline Protestant church. His training as an itinerant evangelist was at his mother’s side in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. And it was in the Alliance that Berg began his own late-blooming ministry.

    By the way, The Christian and Missionary Alliance is the same church that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper belongs to.

    • Janet

      Hong Kong Goolagong? Irrazzmon? I think someone watched too many “evil” cartoons.

      • http://chainthedogma.blogspot.com/ Perry Bulwer

        If you think those are strange, check out this page about demons they call Vandari. http://www.xfamily.org/index.php/Vandari

        This evil fantasy demonized thousands of young people born in the group who rejected its teachings and left.

        Some of the so-called demons on that list are taken from the dreams of the cult founder, Berg. Others are invented entirely from the imaginations of plagerizations of members. The name Vandari came from a wine bottle label: http://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=916501

  • amhovgaard

    Anyone who thinks there’s any difference between a schizophrenic’s delusions and religious ones except popularity, needs to read this post.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Carrie

    A family friend told me repeatedly that aliens are “fallen angels” and Lucifer is their leader, because “god cast them off the earth.” I told him there appears to be zero evidence for that assertion…and he replied “That’s what Satan wants you to think.” My brain asploded.

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