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Spiritual warfare? Some look to Bible for answers to alien abductions!
By Rita Elkins Florida Today
June 7, 1998

Cape Canaveral, Fla. - Imagine that alien abduction experiences and demons are equally real. Hey, we said it'd be tough. But you were halfway there watching the recent movie, "Fire in the Sky," right? One more step and you're in the strange and trendy world of UfOlogy theology, where extraterrestrials could be even scarier than you think. Odd as it sounds, the spiritual life of aliens is being taken seriously in wide-ranging discussions among religious leaders. Magazine articles, books and even evangelists are engaging in Bible-based speculations about the nature and intention of entities that allegedly kidnap, paralyze, physically abuse and sometimes sexually molest victims - many of whom, more strangely still, come to believe the experience was worthwhile.

Religious leaders are alarmed about a growing train of thought that "wants us to reject traditional Judeo-Christian ideas about God" in favor of benign "Space Brothers" who will save humanity from itself, writes journalist William M. Alnor in his book, "UFOs in the New Age" (Baker, Grand Rapids, Mich.). Alnor concludes this new belief is a set-up for apocalyptic deceptions predicted in the Bible's Book of Revelation. He's not alone. "The similarity between the abduction experience and demonic possession is very, very close," says Joe Jordan of Cocoa, Brevard/Volusia state director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), a widely respected clearinghouse for UFO-related research. "These (alien contact) experiences these people are having are real. It does exist. But you just need to understand what's doing it."

Jordan and his partner, Wes Clark, have begun a research group called CE-4 (close encounters of the fourth kind, i.e. abductions), dedicated to studying alleged alien abductions. Its 15 members also belong to MUFON, but "nothing we do is necessarily sanctioned by them," says Clark, a quality control engineer at Kennedy Space Center. MUFON principals did not respond to inquiries about CE-4's unusual hypothesis, summarized by Jordan: "This whole thing is spiritual warfare. And the method the enemy's using is deception. Strong deception." In other words, entities really are abducting people against their will. Only, they're not aliens from other planets. They're demons from the pit of hell.

Stop in the name of ... Joe Jordan is addressing a "New Millenium Symposium" in Titusville. With his intense brown eyes and shoulder-length hair, he mingles easily with New Age folks who paid $44 to study pyramids, Mayan dreamspells, Lakota prophecies, and to hear Jordan's talk about "UFO Abductions." Jordan, who works in product development and engineering for Sea Ray Boats, speaks calmly, his voice firm, with good grammar and diction. Kooks don't get to be state directors with science-oriented MUFON, for whom he has chased lights for seven years. Last year he focused on CE-4 research, and encountered a Central Florida abductee whose otherwise-typical experience had one unique aspect. "They had stopped the experience while it was happening. In all the time I've been researching, I'd never heard that before." Jordan punches buttons on a tape recorder. A nameless, 30-something man with an intelligent-sounding voice, slightly Southern, tells his story.

Calmly, at first. There were strange lights in a nearby woods at bedtime, barking dogs. He is up and down a few times, yelling at the dogs while his wife sleeps soundly. Then, lying down again ... "I couldn't move ... gray fog. I couldn't see anything, but it was like someone was there." He felt himself lifted off the bed. "I was terrified, so helpless ... screaming inside, but I couldn't get it out." The voice is less calm now, but still certain, not hesitant. "I thought I was having a satanic experience, that the devil had gotten hold of me and had shoved a pole up my rectum and was holding me up in the air ... so helpless. I couldn't do anything." A non-religious person, he'd been to church with his wife a few times. "I said, `Jesus, Jesus, help me,' or, `Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!' And when I did, there was a feeling or a sound or something. That either my words that I had thought, or the words that I had tried to say or whatever, hurt whatever was holding me up in the air on this pole. "And I felt like it was withdrawn, and I fell. I hit the bed, because it was like I was thrown back in the bed. I really can't tell what it was. But when I did, my wife woke up and asked why I was jumping on the bed."

Yeah, but ... Relentless anonymity is a given in abduction research. Nobody in their right mind wants family, friends and co-workers to know they've had their personal space violated against their will by strange-looking creatures whose existence isn't even proven. So they can't give names. But Jordan and Clark swear they have three verifiable cases in which apparent abduction experiences were halted by believers who called on the name of Jesus. And Jordan says as many as 400 cases may be documentable nationwide. "It makes you wonder: If these beings are extra-terrestrial at all, why would they respond to that name?" Jordan asks. "We think we found the answer in the Bible, in Mark 16:17 where Jesus said, `In my name, they shall cast out demons.' That seems to be exactly what we came across."

Three major researchers told Jordan, off the record, that they had similar cases. But "they were afraid for their credibility," he says. "They felt they already had put their credentials out far enough dealing with extra-terrestrials." Other "so-called researchers (are) sitting on this information," Jordan says. "There's something wrong there. They're just as bad as the people they say have conspiracies in other ways." Why would anyone suppress such research findings? Jordan, who became a Christian last year, says most UFOlogists share his former New Age beliefs, which dismiss Christianity and Judaism. "These people go from one thing to another looking for development of a higher consciousness," he says. Anyplace but in traditional religion.

Stranger still: An estimated 40 percent of Americans say they believe aliens have visited Earth. More than a million people worldwide claim CE-4 experiences. Still, mainstream Christianity mostly sidestepped the issue - until March's mass suicide at Heaven's Gate showed just how misleading some alien link-thinking could be. Suddenly, the religious press is full of articles about UFOs. The May cover story in Central Florida's "Discovery Christian" newspaper focused on UFOlogy theology, interviewing Berkeley-trained scientist and Christian author John Weldon. That was reprinted from Rutherford Institute's nationally-distributed October newsletter.

Even Jewish believers are connecting UFO experiences with the Torah, or Jewish Bible. "Many serious people who have been studying UFOs around the world have reached the consensus that the Bible is a convincing UFO story," said journalist Barry Charnish, quoted in a chapter titled "UFOs in the Holy Land" from "Sightings: UFOs", by television writer Susan Michaels (Simon & Schuster, New York, due out in September). July's Charisma magazine, a 200,000-plus circulation monthly, featured Christian evangelist and author Paul McGuire's article, "Alien Invaders." McGuire cites the evolution of popular New Age author Whitley Streiber's interests - from his first alien contacts in "Communion", "Transformation" and "Breakthrough" to his latest titles, "The Secret School: Preparations for Contact" and "Evenings with Demons" - as an example of a progressive deception.

Indeed, Streiber fans often comment - albeit positively - on their favorite author's change. From experiencing his first alien encounters as terrifying and torturous, he began to seek them out and welcome them, finally advocating them as a religious experience. That, say religious leaders, indicates a deceptive entity is at work. "Both the seemingly benign and the hostile entities ... will play an increasing role in preparing a segment of humanity for the reception of the Antichrist," writes bestselling author David Allen Lewis and Robert Shreckhise in "UFO End-Time Delusion." And the cover of "The Agenda, The Real Reason They're Here" gives this premise: "In the near future, God will evacuate millions of people from the horrors to follow. Aliens will take the credit" for the Rapture (when Christians will be supernaturally airlifted to heaven), writes B.

Fox, a MUFON researcher who resides in-of all places-Roswell, New Mexico. Back in Titusville at the CE-4 office in Wes Clark's home, Joe Jordan and Clark continue to study, research and solicit abductees through the Internet and with classified ads in MUFON's UFO Journal. "The one thing we can offer people in this field, that nobody else elsewhere is offering, is hope. Hope that they can stop this experience," Jordan says. "We're still researchers. It's not conclusive. But this is what we have so far." To contact CE-4 Research Group, call 631-4393 or via e-mail.