The United Nations has recommended to use the word NRM or
“New Religious Movement” instead of the ‘pejorative’ word; cult.
Since I am particularly interested in UFO religions, here are my
choices of books on this subject.
1- The Gods Have Landed: New Religions from Other Worlds
by James R. Lewis
This is a comprehensive account of the religious dimensions of the UFO/flying saucer experience.
The Gods Have Landed is a comprehensive account of the religious dimension of the UFO/flying saucer experience. It examines the religious meanings attached to UFOs by the larger society as well as specific movements that claim inspiration from “Space Brothers” and other extra-terrestrial sources. It addresses the religious dimension of the phenomenon of alien abductions, particularly the impact of extra-terrestrial life on Christian theology.
Of special interest are the surveys of primary and secondary materials that make this book the indispensible reference on the subject.
2- UFO Religions
by Christopher H. Partridge
UFO Religions is an essential introduction to UFO-based belief throughout the Western world. Composed entirely of readable new articles by leading international scholars, it critically examines some of the most fascinating issues surrounding UFO worship - abduction narratives, UFO-based interpretations of Biblical and other religions, the growth of pseudo-sciences purporting to explain UFOs and extra-terrestrials, and the responses of the core scientific community to such claims. Focusing on contemporary global UFO groups including the Raelian Movement, Heaven’s Gate, Australia’s Ashtar Command network, Unarius and the Ansaaru Allah Community, it combines sociological, psychological and anthropological perspectives to give a clear profile of modern UFO societies, controversies and beliefs.
And the most recent one:
3- Aliens Adored: Rael’s UFO Religion
by Susan J. Palmer
Aliens Adored: Rael’s UFO Religion
by Susan J. Palmer
Aliens Adored is the first full length, in-depth look at the Raelian movement, a fascinating new religion founded in the 1970s by charismatic prophet, Raël. Born in France as Claude Vorilhon, the former race-car driver started the religion after he experienced a visitation from the aliens (the “elohim”) who, in his cosmology, created humans by cloning themselves. The millenarian movement awaits the return of the alien creators, and in the meantime seeks to develop the potential of its adherents through free love, sexual experimentation, opposition to nuclear proliferation and war, and the development of the science of cloning.
Sociologist Susan J. Palmer has studied the Raelian movement for more than a decade, observing meetings and rituals, and enjoying unprecedented access to the group’s leaders as well as to its rank-and-file members. In Aliens Adored she provides a thorough analysis of the movement, focusing on issues of sexuality, millenarianism, and the impact of the scientific worldview on religion and the environment. Palmer traces Raël’s philosophy and the formation of the Raelian subculture. Raël’s radical sexual ethics, his gnostic anthropocentricism, and shallow ecotheology offer us a mirror through which we see how our worldview has been shaped by the forces of globalization, postmodernism, and secular humanism.