“It could be that this amazing array of intellectually superior beings that appear to be ghosting around in our midst have good reason to remain hidden.”
—Whitley Strieber, Afterword to The Key
I am going to make several (possibly contentious) statements in order to lay out my hypothesis:
Fantasy is a means to escape reality.
The ability to escape reality and retreat into fantasy is a necessary capacity.
This capacity is one that an infantile or immature psyche develops in times of stress, i.e., when reality becomes more than the psyche can process.
The psyche cannot mature except by interacting with reality.
A psyche forced to deal with an overwhelmingly stressful reality also cannot mature, because its temporary retreat into fantasy becomes a permanent state.
To the degree to which a psyche remains “enclosed” in its own self-generated fantasy—and/or is “abducted” by the daimonic, archetypal realms of the unconscious—it will remain in an arrested state of development, infantilized.
Cause and effect of such a fantasy-prison merge and become inseparable: the infant psyche possesses a prodigious power to “dream,” to create all-inclusive surrogate reality states; and within those surrogate reality states, since it cannot mature, its power to generate fantasy remains undiminished, and can even increase over time as it becomes more proficient (“matures”) within the fantasy realms it generates.
Such a psyche is creating and withdrawing into a false environment—one in which the “fantastic” is commonplace and in which it is immune to the maturing effects of reality. Like David Bowie’s Major Tom, or Ray Kurtzweil’s resurrected father, the individual stays closed up, “floating in a tin can, far above the world.”
Stories of such a realm have been passed down since time immemorial in the cross-cultural tales of Faeryland. Faeryland, like the Neverland of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, is a realm outside time in which a person does not age. Those who returned to the human world after a brief sojourn in Faeryland were said to discover that years, sometimes decades, had gone by in their absence. The same is true of the “missing time” experiences of abductees, of the fragmented timelines of dissociative identity disorder, and of the compartmentalized activities of MKULTRA lore, a la Candy Jones, trauma-engineered operatives who enter into “alter-personalities” to perform tasks which their dominant personality has no memory of. Strieber would seem to fit into all of these categories. Of course, this fragmentation of experience or removal from time does not prevent the body from aging. But the psyche that cannot develop as, or into, a unified, adult consciousness, is denied the possibility of ever individuating, of ever becoming whole.
A psyche that’s removed from time and cannot individuate remains perpetually in an infantile, or at best prepubescent, state of functioning. Like the puer aeternus (and J.M Barrie’s Lost Boys), it never grows up, and so it is spared the trials and troubles of adult sexuality and social responsibility. This is not true of the body, however. Whatever the state of development of the psyche, the boy must grow into a man and find for himself an identity, a persona, with which to navigate the world at large. Yet paradoxically, the refusal to grow up is sourced in early trauma caused (one way or another) by the absence/abuse of the father, who failed to protect the child—to “hold the space” necessary for it to mature inside. Since the dominant personality that forms is in defiance of the father, and of time itself (Saturn), it finds an identity for itself in this very “act” (unconscious will) of rejecting the father.
As I say, these are all contentious statements. They can’t be proved because the way the psyche operates, as with the UFO, means it doesn’t leave tracks. They are speculative models, formulas, metaphors, based on my own experience both with domestic trauma/dissociation, and with seemingly otherworldly or paranormal realities.
My own father believed in nothing that smacked of the spiritual or otherworldly, and his life became exclusively directed towards sensual pleasure and material success. He took the business throne his father (a Fabian) built for him and turned it into an empire, one which none of his children had any interest in maintaining. In defiance of the forefathers, my whole life became a compulsive movement away from material gain and the pleasures of the flesh, towards the search for spiritual, otherworldly realities. An escape into fantasy. Where my father (and my brother after him) believed in nothing he couldn’t see, smell, or touch, I believed in all things unseen and doubted the evidence of my senses. Like agent Mulder, I needed to believe; belief was a necessary line of defense against my father’s influence.
The very act of believing in the possibility of transcendence defines the child in contrast to and opposition with the father. This inevitably creates in the (male) child a negative identity, a self defined in opposition to others. The child needs either to outdo its father or become the opposite of him (as in my case, and I suspect Strieber’s, Kurtzweil’s, Castaneda’s, et al) by believing in non-material perspectives, spirituality, occultism, UFOs, sorcery, or impossible (but not unthinkable) technological solutions. This necessary belief, or crucial fiction, creates a psychic line of defense against the possibility of becoming the father, i.e., falling prey to the same depersonalizing, soul-crushing forces of “reality”—be it the reality of God or of Government (or both)—which made the father powerless to rescue the child. These are the forces that “stole” the father from the child (and the father from the mother) to begin with. They are also the forces which the father “sold” the child into, as an offering, as Abraham offered Isaac to Jehovah, or Jacob’s sons sold Joseph into slavery, to the “machine,” to Mammon.
It’s possible to see how the need to escape into fantasy, for the male child, is inextricably interlinked with the unconscious resistance to becoming his father. Beyond this there is the even more unconscious, and fundamental, defense of the ego against surrendering the fantasy (of its own existence) to reality (Saturn), to being consumed by God, the totality of consciousness. These are all aspects of the same “complex.” Ironically, this complex reveals itself by its attempt to disguise itself as its opposite, i.e., through the (usually unconscious) imitation of the father, through an insistence on the reality of fantasy, and by adopting a mystical, God-aspiring belief system and value set.
Part of this complex—judging by Strieber and Kurtzweil at least—entails creating a persona that, for all its transcendentalism, is essentially a worker, not a player: that is all work and no play. Both Strieber and Kurtzweil expostulate a seemingly radical philosophy of transcendental beliefs while embodying a considerably more prosaic, even pedestrian set of values, values that match up almost seamlessly with conventional religious belief, albeit dressed in the exotic garb of aliens and super-technologies. Yet, if we cast our eyes away from the dazzling display of sorcery for a moment, what we see is a frantic young-old man, working desperately away like a factory slave, pulling levers behind the curtain as if his life depends on it. In a way it does, because the coherence of the arrested psyche’s “reality” depends on maintaining the fantasy. But behind all the scientific mysticism lurks a surprisingly capitalist (and “Christian”) work ethic. The transcendental man is a worker bee for technological progress and/or alien intelligence. It doesn’t matter which; the main thing is that he is working.
This is especially evident with Strieber, whose website resembles a museum of horrors. On his audio recordings, he pushes his ideas on his listeners with the zeal of a car salesman or Christian minister. Considering the darkly disturbing quality of what he’s selling, and its acutely personal nature, Strieber may have unwittingly turned himself into a one-man cosmic freak show. Step right up, folks! See the man with the alien implant! Hear chilling tales of trauma, terror, and transcendence. Witness the gut-wrenching and bowel-rupturing rectal probe from the beyond!” This may seem to be in unpardonably bad taste; but that’s precisely the point.
The knowledge which Strieber and Kurzweil (and Castaneda) present to the world has a common flavor and thrust to it: it creates high aspirations, the highest possible to imagine. Eternal life. Access to infinite realms. Psychic super-powers. Total recall. Reunion with the dead. Journeys through time. A means to avoid species extinction and/or eternal damnation. Material of this sort—which paints a picture that both promises miracles and, implicitly, threatens the possibility of failing to “earn” them—is designed to motivate people. It is meant to motivate us towards spiritual, scientific, and/or technological progress. (Not psychological growth, however; psychology is conspicuously absent from all of these weltanschauungs.) It is meant to make us work towards specific goals in order to ensure they happen.
Strieber’s The Key (like all his works) presents transpersonal, spiritual information that is impossible to act on in any tangible fashion (besides meditation, for which Strieber offers guidance audios at his site). At the same time, it demands to be acted on. It offers up information (from a supposedly “impeccable” source—a God-man) on how to prepare for the afterlife and continue on as “radiant” beings, to “join the glorious choir of God.” It gives complex and vivid descriptions of the process by which ascension can happen, and it provides equally striking accounts of the sort of hell (including eternal agony) that awaits those who fall into sin. Sin is defined as “denial of the right to thrive.” Thriving is precisely what capitalism and the American way of life is all about. Meriam’s dictionary gives three definitions of the word: to grow vigorously, flourish; to gain in wealth or possessions, prosper; to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances , often used with on, as in “thrives on conflict.” You’d think someone with the vocabulary of a God might have chosen his words more carefully. Or maybe he did?
Lest we forget, in Strieber’s evolutionary schooling system, helping others to thrive entails repeatedly traumatizing them so their brain power increases. How’s that for thriving on conflict?
The Heaven carrot and the Hellfire whip make up the surest and oldest motivational system there is. They are meant to impact people in the more primal, emotional parts of the brain and body, and to make it difficult for them to think clearly. (Who can really think about eternal hellfire?) As the Zen masters as much as Christian preachers knew, give someone a shock to their psychic system, and they will be wide open to your program.
Religious-scientific mysticism like Strieber’s, even if it’s not expressly designed that way, can certainly be used to soften people up to suggestion and motivate them into believing. And when people believe something they will act on it, even if only in subtle ways. And The Key isn’t proscribing subtle forms of action. It’s calling for world-saving, society-transforming measures.
“Personal transformation, in effect, is an enactment of the original American dream.”
—Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy
While Strieber, Castaneda, Philip. K Dick, Robert Heinlein (and L. Ron Hubbard!), and countless other science-fiction prophets are providing both the ideas and the motivation, Ray Kurtzweil, Bill Bainbridge, and the transhumanists are offering, or at least promising to offer, the technological means to make these ideas reality, to build “radiant bodies,” “ride infinity” and “become God.” The goal is simple: to create an afterlife before the dead-line of non-existence arrives and cancels all our best-laid plans. And as in every good science fiction thriller, time is running out.
So who are the illumineers? Evidently there’s no easy way to name names or point fingers. Authors as diverse (and presumably at least some of the time well-intended) as H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Heinlein, Dick, Castaneda, Jeffrey J. Kripal, and Strieber are implicitly providing the motivations for transcendental technological and social agendas like Kurtzweil’s and Bainbridge’s. They are seeding the culture—and the collective consciousness—with memes designed to generate the necessary will to drive these agendas, and the species along with them, towards their fruition. No doubt this is all being conceived and directed for “the best of all possible worlds” and the good of all. There is no reason to suppose malevolence on the part of any of these individuals (not even Hubbard), nor even on the part of the groups they work for (and work to create), all of which come up with the agendas that justify their own existence, and so on, ad nauseum. Outside of comic books and cartoons, no villain ever sees him- or herself as a villain. But there is every reason to suppose—in fact, there can be little doubt—that such agendas are being driven by hidden-slash-unconscious forces with very different goals than the goals of the individuals implementing them. How can we be sure? Because the individuals ostensibly creating and pursuing these agendas (and who have little or no interest in understanding the dynamics of the psyche) are themselves driven by such forces.
Ray Kurtzweil seems to unconsciously acknowledge this when he writes in The Singularity is Near (p. 388):
“To transcend” means “to go beyond,” but this need not compel us to adopt an ornate dualist view that regards transcendent levels of reality (such as the spiritual level) to be not of this world. We can “go beyond” the “ordinary” powers of the material world through the power of patterns. Although I have been called a materialist, I regard myself as a “patternist”’ It’s through the emergent powers of the pattern that we transcend. Since the material stuff of which we are made turns over quickly, it is the transcendent power of our patterns that persists.”
Consciously, Kurtzweil is talking about the underlying forms of Nature; yet his life’s oeuvre is a testimony to the power of a very different sort of pattern: those of unconscious trauma. To Kurtzweil and the transhumanists, the unconscious is a variable that does not need to be considered—any more than “soul” does. There is mind and body; and since body, that material stuff of which we are made, is demonstrably temporary, only “mind” can be eternal and “at large.” It is the stuff that dreams are made of.
The problem with this is that most of the writers in the field of “transcendental” literature have very little grasp of psychology. It’s a glaring hole in almost all of these writers’ work. They are externally focused. In fact, psychology seems to have been gradually phased out of most fields of serious discussion these days. The preponderance of psychiatric drugs allows people to forget all about psychological self-examination and take pills instead. Kurtzweil approaches his health in the same manner, as if the body were a meat machine that only needs oiling and cleaning (and upgrading) from time to time. Even researchers who do incorporate Jungian ideas, say, into their work generally focus less on the psychology angle than the “fun stuff”: mythology, archetypes, and so on. This way, the focus remains on the “big picture.” Individuals drawn to transcendental subject matter tend to be looking for an escape from reality as a way to avoid looking at past trauma. Naturally they overlook or reject any elements that might direct their attention inward, to the body, where lurks the trauma.
Einstein was attributed with saying, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” I would go one further: trying to fix the problems created by wrong thinking through applying the same kind of thinking can only make the situation worse. Exponentially worse. This is “culture”: in the words of G.K. Chesterton, “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” And the business of the Transhumanists driven by suppressed memories of trauma is to fix human error (and human nature) by making transcendental mistakes.
“The psyche represents the only opposite of gravity known to us. It is ‘anti-gravity’ in the truest sense of the word.”
—Carl Jung: Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Sky
Personally, I don’t get the thing with space travel. There’s a couple of reasons I don’t get it. For one thing, space really isn’t that inviting. It’s mostly empty, it’s cold, and what few planets there are, they are almost certainly not only uninhabited but uninhabitable. We are talking sub-sub-zero temperatures or burning sulfurous hell-holes. Really, space is a whole lot of nothing. If you’ve ever been lost in the wilderness and had to fight your way through branches and brambles to find a path, you have had a taste of what a voyage through outer space might be like, at best (more likely it would just be really boring, like being stuck in a floating shopping mall for half your life).
TV shows like “Star Trek” and movies like Star Wars have given us a very different image, the picture of space as being full of advanced civilizations, magical technologies, super-computers, psychic powers, exotic alien beings and sexually compliant super-babes. While we expect to hop into the transporter and zip around without wearing a space suit, the reality is probably going to be more like Alien, decades spent sleeping in a horizontal fridge, followed by working shitty hours on a dirty cargo ship with people you don’t like. It would be a bit like a decade-long season on “Big Brother” that ends with having an alien parasite explode out of your chest.
That’s the first reason I don’t get space travel. The other reason is—why? Once you’ve banished the romantic notions, what’s the practical reason to go boldly where no man in his right mind would go? What’s the point? Our oceans are mostly unexplored, and if you want to explore strange, exotic, and dangerously isolated places, why not just learn deep-sea diving or go to the Sahara? (There may even be aliens there.) Most people haven’t spent a weekend in the wild without a tent, never mind colonized a planet. Yet now they are volunteering to go to Mars?
The reason we are being sold is that there are too many people on the planet and the environment is breaking down. Really? I mean, really? I live in British Columbia, so maybe I am getting the wrong impression. But I have lived in London and Paris and yes, I agree it sucks to have to co-inhabit with all those strangers. But as far as I can tell, the only reason cities are becoming uninhabitable is because they are cities. Not because there are too many people on the planet but because too many people want to cram themselves into the same small areas. There’s plenty of room on the planet for everyone. The problem is that most people want a particular lifestyle, and without it life just isn’t worth living.
My point is that even ten billion people wouldn’t put too much of a strain on the eco-system if all people needed to live was a few tools and their wits. It’s not people the planet can’t support. It’s social structures that people have grown to depend on. It’s capitalism and the culture of consumption. This is not a political argument, so much as a psychological and a practical one (psychology and practicality go hand in hand, which is probably why the transhumanists and the Ufologists and Scientologists don’t go near it). Viewed pragmatically, the reason to push the space colonization program isn’t to save the planet, or even the human race. It’s to save human culture, and most of all, to prolong the capitalist values and goals embedded into it. It’s expansionism.
Needless to say, it’s not your average person pushing these agendas (not yet anyway). It’s rich people, elitist organizations and corporations, and science-fiction writers, technological pioneers, and spiritual spokespeople who ought to know better. It has absolutely nothing to do with “ascension.” Just the reverse in fact. It has to do with dissociation, the attempt of the traumatized psyche to split off from the body and float off into fantasy land, beyond the reach of reality and all the pain it entails. Bodies frozen on ice, souls lost in space, free, free, from the terrible travails of the body.
The illumineering agenda is transcendental in exact proportion to its being regressive. The aliens overlap with child-abusing sexual deviants and MKULTRA programs of torture, etc., because they are both responses to, and expressions of, the same psychic confusion. Whatever any of these groups or individuals may think they are doing, what’s really at work (and play) here is an “archetypal traumatogenic agenda.” It can’t ever solve the problem it’s attempting to solve, but it can learn to co-operate with the solution which the psyche itself is presenting. The reenactment of trauma may be the only way to unlock the prison which original trauma has created (the prison not of Earth but of culture). But this is an unconscious process, and adding conscious will to it doesn’t appear to help make it conscious. On the contrary, it seems only to add another layer of denial, a buffer of compensatory action to prevent a deeper consciousness from rising into body-awareness.
It may not be possible to perceive and think about what’s being perceived at the same time. It may be even harder to observe a situation while trying to figure out ways to change it. Action doesn’t really increase awareness; but awareness can allow, make room for, action. Focusing on the future, on trying to create a better world, isn’t necessarily the result of seeing what’s wrong with this world, either in the present or the past. It’s more likely the result (and the continuing cause) of a refusal to see what’s happening, right here and now.
The bid for power and freedom of the illumineers (and this may include just about all the artists, mystics, prophets, and sages of the past) appears to be reaching an omega point, as the goals of art, science, magic and religion all converge into a single aim: that of “superpower,” the transcendence of the body. Collectively it’s the bid to escape the earth (body) and prolong and extend our culture (mind), thereby taking the very trauma-complexes that imprison us along with us, into infinite regression. The Empire never ended: the trauma is forever reenacted, without the seeing that turns a reenactment into integration and transforms patterns into purpose, accident into design.
The problem presented by transcendental knowledge offered by works like The Key or The Eagle’s Gift (two books I would once have listed among the dozen most profound works ever written) is that, by laying out the mechanics of transcendence, they inevitably appeal to the part of the mind that looks for mechanical solutions. By suggesting that the mysteries of existence can be grasped by the mind, they lure us deeper into the mind-trap of believing that such knowledge can—must—be acted upon. They present the “problem” of being imprisoned/devoured by the Infinite (a problem which our minds have created) as an intellectual riddle, and then they invite us to apply the same mental tools that imprison us to forge the way to freedom.
The nature of our “imprisonment” is inextricably linked to the illusion of self-will. If we try to use transcendental knowledge to transcend knowledge, we are using self-will to get free of self-will. We become like dogs chasing our tails, all the while declaring, with deadly seriousness between our last desperate dying gasps, that this is our birthright and destiny.
“Poems, plays, and novels . . . are never about life. As a layer of dead referents, however, they may serve to protect the life we live in their midst. . . . Each fiction and dramatization of the therapy hour is the patient’s attempt to thicken his skin with literary crust, whose absence has caused him to be traumatized. By repeating theatrically the trauma of the transcendental signified, the deathward trajectory of the overwhelming event, he attempts to cauterize the vulnerability and turn it into the metaphors of an impregnable literature.”
—Greg Mogenson, A Most Accursed Religion
While I was first working on the second part of this book, back in 2013, I had a dream. In the dream, I was talking to my wife. She told me that she had become aware that Whitley Strieber was sending threads into her body in order to leech off her energy. She described, or I visualized, these threads as very thin tubes with suckers on the ends. They ran through her body and zeroed in on bursts of energy in order to suck them up, like vacuum cleaner nozzles, and send the energy to Strieber. The ends of these tubes were somehow equivalent to “Grays.” It was as if Strieber was able to send out the beings, like the old seers’ allies, and reel them back in once they had captured their prize. In the dream, my wife said she had communicated with Strieber, telepathically, and let him know she was aware of what he was doing and that she wouldn’t allow it to continue. Strieber responded, “I can assure you, young lady,” or words to this effect, “that I am much better at this than you are!”
“That sounds just like Whitley,” I said to my wife in the dream. I was shocked, not so much by Strieber’s interference, but to realize that my wife (and women in general, there was another in the dream who had the same experience) were able to perceive this sort of phenomena so easily, because it remained totally hidden from my senses. I woke up (it was the middle of the night), and my wife woke up soon after and went to the toilet. When she got back, I told her the dream. She fell asleep without comment. I was unable to get back to sleep.
When I woke in the morning, I wrote down a bunch of unrelated notes for the conclusion of this piece. They were about inorganic beings and soul traps. When my wife woke again I reminded her of the dream. She said it was “disturbing.” I said, “Yes. But somehow not surprising.” She said, “Maybe Whitley represents a part of you.” I didn’t want to look at the dream that way. I preferred to see it as a perception of something real that was happening, in the psychic realms.
I got up and went to do volunteer work with neurodiverse adults, playing billiards and then playing ball in the swimming pool. When I got home, I had a vegetable smoothie and went back to work on the piece. I transcribed my notes from that morning. Something didn’t feel right. After dinner I discussed it with my wife. I said that I felt as though I had crossed a line and joined Whitley in his “madness.” I was speculating like there was no tomorrow. I had got carried away by the desire to set people straight about what was “really” going on, and as a result, I had lost the ground.
A thought occurred to me. I was writing about Strieber and the illumineers, and my aim was partly to show that the alien emperors had no clothes. Without realizing it, I had wound up trying to beat them at their own game. I wasn’t simply trying to depose Strieber, I was trying to outdo him and take his place on the throne. Instead of simply showing why Strieber’s weltanschauung was flawed, I had started to try and show how it was flawed—in other words, to fix it, to compare his myth with my own and see whose was bigger. The rot went deep. It was Oedipal.
I thought about the dream again. It suggested I saw Strieber as a threat. Specifically, I saw him as a threat to my wife: his “threads” were “penetrating” her body and getting “inside” her. I had chosen to interpret the dream as a memory of a hidden, psychic reality, in the same way Strieber interprets his own visions. It was possible it was real in some way; but even inside the framework of “psychic reality,” it could be—in fact had to be—interpreted symbolically. What was it in me that allowed Strieber to gain a foothold in my unconscious?
If I perceive Strieber as a “threat,” it can only be because he is offering me an opportunity for a traumatic reenactment of something in my own past. A time when my own “body” (psyche) was penetrated by someone’s “threads.” Now I am resisting this possibility, and the more superficial echo of it, which is that there is something “inside” me that is just like “Strieber”—by which I mean, the way I perceive Strieber to be. Writing this book has always been about this one thing: seeing my own traumatic secret. Recognizing the split between my body and my psyche, and allowing the disowned fragment back in. How did I know Strieber with his alien allies and his energetic threads wasn’t helping me with this integration—just as I believed I was helping him (even knowing he would never be able to see it that way)? How could it be any other way?
While I was transcribing the notes from that morning, two young girls of about seven came to our door. They wanted to know if a three-legged cat lived there. My cat, Garbanzo, went to the door to greet them. I told the girls his name. They said they had given him a name of their own: “Midnight Wizard.” I told them, “He is a wizard.” Garbanzo is my familiar and probably my closest ally in the spirit realms. He has travelled the world with me (I even smuggled him into England) and we have been through the wars together. In my dreams, I am often rescuing him or transporting him from one place to another. In Donald Kalsched’s system, Garbanzo symbolizes the innocent part of my psyche that needs to be protected, that was unprotected when I was a child and which “the guardian” (daimonic complex) was created to protect. He symbolizes my anima.
The “Midnight Wizard” of my dreams the previous night had been Strieber—and he had been a threat to my anima. The mechanisms of the psychic self-care system were being laid bare.
I used to consider myself a sorcerer. I performed all sorts of elaborate occult workings, had countless visionary dreams, entered into archetypal realms and saw other worlds where I interacted with all manner of daimonic beings. I was for a time the sort of “astral übermensch” that Strieber presents himself as to his readers and listeners. I left it all behind once I realized the harm I was doing to my body, once I saw the dissociative drive fueling my shamantics. Now I am fiercely opposed to all of it. I had even got impatient with my wife the previous day when she wanted to tell our Native neighbor about a dead eagle we’d found in the forest. She thought the native people could use it for medicine. “Can’t you just let the poor thing rest in peace?” I snapped. “It’s all just more of the same self-will magic!”
Apparently, I still feel a lingering resentment at having to give up my transcendental dreams of omnipotence. Apparently I am still doing penance, in my own mind, for past sins. Dealing with this current material has put me on edge like never before. I just want to be done with it all, to put the old obsessions to rest, forever.
Garbanzo went out to play with the girls. I decided to toss the material I had added, to find the ground again. (Some of this material can be found in the next chapter.) Without the ground, there was really nothing to refer to; it was all speculation, fantasy, wish- (and dread-) fulfillment. The desire to build fantastic structures in the sand is almost irresistible. Most especially when the psyche senses that the traumatic secret is about to be uncovered.
 And the Scientologists, who are also heavily invested in super-powers and space travel; let’s not forget that L. Ron Hubbard started out as a sci-fi writer. His over one thousand novels and books are now identified by the IRS as religious texts.