Let’s do a thought experiment: if you are an alien species advanced enough to visit other solar systems, and manage to communicate with humanity…
Why would you only communicate with a small group of people? – Usually the people in the cult consider themselves a chosen people. Chosen by the aliens, or the Deity, to convey their message. This creates numerous problems:
- Human hearing is notoriously imperfect and full of bias.
- A Small group of people is far more likely to misinterpret information.
- The type of people involved in cults tend to be undereducated and have behavioral problems.
You want my opinion on these alien messages? The people involved in these kinds of movements are looking for some kind of direction in their life. Maybe they just lost their job, or never liked the job they had. Being in a movement like this gives you a fresh start. You also get significance: the historical first contact between humans and aliens is happening and you’re at the center of it!
You also get connection: other people in the cult who accept you for who you are. No emotional baggage dragging behind you. Everyone think you’re a loser? Well in the cult you get a new opportunity to create a new identity.
Which is where us, the regular people come in. Sometimes people join these cults because their existing social circle: family, friends have them feeling completely helpless.
- Heaven’s Gate – In case you’re too young to get the reference, here’s the weird cult from the 1990’s I was talking about.
- List of UFO Religions – Heaven’s Gate wasn’t a one off. There have been dozens of UFO religions. They are all collected nicely here.