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"Quando entramos na nave espacial do meu pai" - Esperanças cargoisticas e cosmologias milenaristas nos novos movimentos religiosos de UFOS

Author(s): Andreas Grünschloß

Journal: REVER - Revista de Estudos da Religião
ISSN 1677-1222

Issue: 3;
Start page: 19;
Date: 2002;
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Millenarian movements await an imminent, collective and ultimate liberation, usually (but not exclusively) within this world. This liberation implies the founding of a perfect age or pure country or kingdom, and the construction of a Homo Novus. In a similar way, the so-called "Cargo-Cults" of Melanesia or New Guinea relate to a dawning state of material, organisational and spiritual well-being, and the expected abundance of supernaturally acquired supplies can be turned into the central characteristic of the "manifestation of the Millennium" (Trompf). In many contemporary New Religious Movements, apocalyptic interventions by "space aliens" and UFOs form a central belief. Amidst hopes for a restitution of the lost paradise, one can also find expectations of the cargoist type: alien "supplies" and supernatural "technologies", together with paranormal spiritual faculties like telepathy and bilocation, can exercise a strong exotic charm. The different expressions of such cargoistic hopes shed light on the underlying cosmological framework, which often incorporates basic patterns of the apocalyptic (pre-millennial or post-millennial) traditions of Christianity. On the one hand, there are UFO believers who expect an imminent salvation within this world by means of an extraterrestrial transfer of technology and spirituality: millions of space ships "will descend", and "Earth is to be transformed, quickly, into a paradise beyond compare ... Heaven on Earth" (The Ground Crew Project; cf. Ashtar Command, etc.). Only a short rapture or Big Beam into the flying saucers will be necessary to secure the earthly humans during the metamorphosis of "Mother Earth". But finally, there will be an overwhelming physical and spiritual abundance on this precious intergalactic "showcase". On the other hand, the "Away Team" of the UFO group Heaven's Gate waited for the imminent departure and "relocation" to an extraterrestrial "Kingdom of the Heavens": "my Father's Kingdom moves or travels in spacecrafts". Here, only the chosen few are able to leave this death-bound earth before it is "recycled". Like in a cosmic computer game, they have to be 'beamed up' or "saved" to the Next Level, before the programme of this 'virtual' holographic world is "canceled" or "rebooted". Since the liberating "disconnect!" implies a salvation from this world, there is no room for any worldchanging cargoism.
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