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When Prophecy Never Fails: Myth and Reality in a Flying-Saucer Group

When Prophecy Never Fails: Myth and Reality in a Flying-Saucer Group [Kindle Edition]

Diana G. Tumminia

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"Well-crafted and very clearly written. Succinct and stimulation. I whole-heartedly recommend tihs book to scholars of new religious movements and others." --Sociology of Religion

"Rich in detailed description and thoroughly developed dialogue, this book will also be a useful teaching tool for courses on ethnography or religion."-- ournal For The Scientific Study of Religion

Product Description

Of the approximately fifty percent of Americans who believe in UFOs, a fraction are devotees of one of the numerous UFO-based new religious movements. The Unarius Academy of Science is one of the oldest of these groups. Founded in 1954 by "Cosmic Visionaries" Ruth and Ernest Norman (also known, respectively, as Archangels Uriel and Raphiel), Unarius is devoted to teaching the all-encompassing Uranian Science. Combining elements of pop psychology, new age thought, and science fiction, the Science asks its students to channel messages from the infinitely intelligent Space Brothers and to heal themselves through the practice of past-life therapy. Unarians await the arrival of spaceships, manned by the Space Brothers, that will bring to earth advanced intergalactic technology that will benefit all humankind. Tumminia has been conducting research on Unarius for over a decade - attending meetings, inteviewing members, and studying official Unarian literature and videos. Here she offers an inside look at this fascinating movement. She pays particular attention to the ways Unarians adapt when their prophecies - and particularly their prediction that the Space Brothers would land in 2001 - don't materialize. This is the first in-depth study of any UFO religion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 937 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (15 July 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005254HDO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UFO religion revealed 28 Dec 2008
By T. Hooper - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having read Ernest Norman's The Truth About Mars: An Eyewitness Account recently, I was interested to learn more about the Unarius Academy, an obscure 'UFO religion' founded by Norman and his wife Ruth in the 1950's. Tumminia's decade long study of Unarius is a revealing look at the founders and followers of this group of believers, led by Uriel (Ruth Norman) for nearly thirty years. This is one of the rare sociological texts on new religious movements where the author spent considerable time inside the group, understanding both the historical perspective and the mechanisms of their belief as well as their ability to deal with repeated failure of prophecy and the death of both founders. When Prophecy Never Fails is a worth modern sequel to the classic Festinger study that inspired the title, When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of A Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World.

One of the core Unarius beliefs is reincarnation, and Tumminia demonstrates how their group approach to recovering past lives reinforces itself with each member contributing to a shared belief system. The extent of past life activity is incredible, with the group publishing an endless stream of videos and books such as The Confessions of I, Bonaparte.

Although this is an academic text, overall it is very readable. Tumminia's approach is far more sympathetic and scholarly than the style taken by Alex Heard in Apocalypse Pretty Soon: Travels In End-Time America. The tone is non-judgmental, and anti-cult activists may lump Tumminia with other sociologists considered apologists for new religious movements.

Of course, none of the Unarius beliefs withstand any level of critical analysis but overall they appear to be no more harmful or credulous than mainstream religions and they certainly pale in comparison to groups that have mastered the abuse of large group psychotherapy. Unarius is yet another example of humanity's ability to believe pretty much anything, and a remnant of a gentler age when UFO's were seen as the harbingers of our benign Space Brothers. Rather than ridiculing the Unarius beliefs, this book works to reveal why people believe, a far more interesting and rewarding topic.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clarification Needed 10 May 2011
By Thomas C. Elliott - Published on
The statement, "This is the first in-depth study of any UFO religion." confuses me. This book was published in 2005. The title is also confusing. There is a book titled, "When Prophecy Fails", by Leon Festinger that was published in 1956 about this exact same phenomena.
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