Exo-Vaticana: Extraterrestrials and the Medieval Church

By Cris D. Putnam (continued from part 2)
Exo-VaticanaAs documented in our former work, Petrus Romanus, the Middle Ages marked a Faustian bargain between the Roman Church and the Carolingian dynasty that served to suppress biblical theology and promote the papal juggernaut. In that work, we discussed the resulting years of darkness (757–1046 AD), ignominiously titled the “Pornocracy” or “Dark Age,” by asserting that “demonic weirdness defines the era.”[1] In light of that, a bit of arcane lore popularized by Jacques Vallée concerning a Spanish-born priest and archbishop of Lyon, Agobard of Lyon (779–840 AD), seems pertinent. Agobard mentions a folk belief concerning “a certain region, which they call Magonia, whence ships sail in the clouds.”[2] Given the historical context, we find the timing of this belief’s emergence to be telling. Beginning at this time, there was a developing acceptance that people were visiting the Earth from other worlds in flying ships. The account speaks of four visitors:

One day, among other instances, it chanced at Lyons that three men and a woman were seen descending from these aerial ships. The entire city gathered about them, crying out that they were magicians and were sent by Grimaldus, Duke of Beneventum, Charlemagne’s enemy, to destroy the French harvests.[3]

The extraterrestrials were called “sylphs,” and these four contactees were called “ambassadors to the sylphs” (according to Nicolas Pierre-Henri, the abbot of Villars, France). The priest did his best to dispel the belief, and the citizens, while not entirely convinced, let the four ambassadors go free. The esoterica attributed to the abbot of Villars, The Count of Gabalis: Secret Interviews on Science (1670), supports the idea that the sylphs were indeed real and the contactees often achieved great success and widespread acclaim.[4] Unfortunately, at this time, many in the priesthood were also involved in the occult arts and were not well trained in biblical theology.

Albertus Magnus Grimoire

Albertus Magnus Grimoire

It was the rise of scholasticism, largely inspired by the translation of the ancient Greek philosophers into Latin, that revived scholarly pursuits. An early example is from Saint Albertus Magnus (1193–1280), who wrote, “Since one of the most wondrous and noble questions in nature is whether there is one world or many, a question that the human mind desires to understand per se, it seems desirable for us to inquire about it.”[5] He wrote a complete treatise on astrology and astronomy called Speculum Astronomiae (“The Mirror of Astronomy”) and a treatise, De Mineralibus (“The Book of Minerals”), which dealt with astrological talismans made from minerals.That he was an occult practitioner is laid bare in his assertion that “the [science of talismans] cannot be proved by physical principles, but demands a knowledge of the sciences of astrology and magic and necromancy, which must be considered elsewhere.”[6] Magnus discusses various astrological talismans, describes how to make them, and attempts to distinguish between demonic and natural magical powers of the heavens.

Even so, many of his contemporaries accused Magnus of being in league with the devil. Occult tradition holds Albertus Magnus Grimoire[/caption]that he discovered the philosopher’s stone and became wealthy from its gold.[7] Nevertheless, he was “beatified” in 1622, meaning that the Catholic Church marked his entrance into heaven and endorsed his alleged postmortem capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his name (a practice we have argued amounts to necromancy).[8] On December 16, 1931, Pope Pius XI canonized him as the patron saint of the sciences and honored him as a doctor of the Church, one of only thirty-five persons so privileged. It was his famous student, Thomas Aquinas, who would devote more specific attention to other worlds.

Aquinas was convinced biblical truth could be reconciled with Aristotle’s cosmology. Accordingly, he sought to synthesize the Aristotelian science in On the Heavens with the Scriptures. Thus, he necessarily denied the existence of other worlds. In his influential work, Summa Theologica, he argued in this fashion:

Objection 1. It would seem that there is not only one world, but many. Because, as Augustine says (QQ. LXXXIII., qu. 46), it is unfitting to say that God has created things without a reason. But for the same reason that He created one, He could create many, since His power is not limited to the creation of one world; but rather it is infinite, as was shown above (Q. XXV., A. 2). Therefore God has produced many worlds.…

Reply Obj. 1. This reason proves that the world is one because all things must be arranged in one order, and to one end. Therefore from the unity of order in things Aristotle infers (Metaph. xii., text. 52) the unity of God governing all; and Plato (Tim.), from the unity of the exemplar, proves the unity of the world, as the thing designed.[9]

Aquinas argued God’s power is seen in unity and order. One can readily see that he based his argumentation on Aristotle’s cosmology. Of course, Aristotle was fundamentally mistaken in his doctrine of natural place. Even so, these arguments stood unchallenged until the heresy hunters of the Inquisition turned their glance his way.

Surprisingly, it was the inquisitors who paved the way for ET belief. In 1277, Etienne Tempier, the bishop of Paris, issued a condemnation of 219 theological propositions that were said to be “true according to philosophy, but not according to the Catholic faith.”[10] Church historians believe Tempier was concerned that teachers, like Aquinas, accepted the pagan philosopher Aristotle’s views based on their internal logic rather than agreement with church doctrine. Of these 219 heretical propositions, number 34 was “that the first cause [God] could not make several worlds.”[11] The disapproval was based on the idea that such a denial encroached upon the doctrine of divine omnipotence. Of course, this objection seemed to overlook the difference between what God could do and would do, a distinction that was not lost on theologians like William of Ockham (1290–1349) and Nichole Oresme (1320–1382), who argued that although God certainly was capable, He probably did not create other worlds. Even so, the existence of other worlds was now theologically respectable, and the stage was set for more radical divergence from what for centuries had been considered orthodoxy.

See: http://www.exovaticana.com/


[1] Thomas Horn and Cris D. Putnam, Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here (Crane MO: Defender, 2012), 208.

[2] Agobard, Liber De Grandine Et Tonitruis, chapter II cited in Abbé de Montfaucon de Villars, Comte de Gabalis, ou Entretiens sur Us Sciences Secretes, English ed (Paterson, NJ: The News Printing Company, 1914), 194.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Nevertheless, as they escaped with their lives they were free to recount what they had seen, which was not altogether fruitless for, as you will recall, the age of Charlemagne was prolific of heroic men. This would indicate that the woman who had been in the home of the Sylphs found credence among the ladies of the period and that, by the grace of God, many Sylphs were immortalized. Many Sylphids also became immortal through the account of their beauty which these three men gave; which compelled the people of those times to apply themselves somewhat to Philosophy; and thence are derived all the stories of the fairies which you find in the love legends of the age of Charlemagne and of those which followed.” Villars, Comte de Gabalis, 193.

[5] Albertus Magnus, as quoted in Steven J. Dick, Plurality of Worlds: The Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant (Cambridge University Press, 1984), 23.

[6] Albertus Magnus, De Mineralibus, translation by Dorothy Wyckhoff; from The Book of Minerals, (Oxford, 1967); viewable here: “Albertus Magnus on Talismans,” Renaissance Astrology, last accessed January 9, 2013, http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/albertusmagnustalisman.html.

[7] Julian Franklyn, A Survey of the Occult (London: Electric Book Company, 2005), 29.

[8] Thomas Horn and Cris D. Putnam, Petrus Romanus, 307.

[9]Saint Thomas Aquinas and Fathers of the English Dominican Province, Summa Theologica, Translation of: Summa Theologica, I q.47 a.3 obj. 1; ad 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009).

[10] Etienne Tempier, as quoted in Everett Ferguson, Church History Volume One: From Christ to Pre-Reformation: The Rise and Growth of the Church in Its Cultural, Intellectual, and Political Context, Kindle ed (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009), Kindle locations 9554–9555.
[11] Etienne Tempier, as quoted in Michael J. Crowe, The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, Antiquity to 1915: A Source Book, edited with commentary (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008), 21.

Exo-Vaticana and the Millennial Deception (part 1)

By Cris D. Putnam
Exo-VaticanaWhen Peter wrote “in the last days scoffers would come” (2 Pt 3:3), he would never have imagined the church would have entered what historians now call the “space age.” On one hand, the prodigious progress of science has afforded great luxury and benefit, but on the other hand, it promotes arrogance and imagined self-sufficiency. Theologian Merill Unger described the modern church as, “boastedly wise and scientific but utterly blind to God’s truth.”[1] Amongst the nominal church, the demonic realm has been demythologized and forgotten. Yet, the Bible predicts an unparalleled demonic deception prior to Christ’s return. Because we live in an increasingly post-Christian society that has elevated scientists as the ultimate arbiters of truth, it seems likely that such an unprecedented deception will be clothed in the credibility of science. The Copernican revolution’s toll on the Renaissance church’s authority has led to what is known as the Copernican principle, the idea that the earth is a mediocre planet amongst many and that humanity is an evolved primate of no special significance. These widely accepted anti-biblical presuppositions contribute to the wide spread belief in intelligent extraterrestrial life.

In recent years, the science of astrobiology, the study of alleged extraterrestrial life, has gained long sought respectability. Of course, the media has pumped out a myriad of science fiction films and documentaries promoting belief in benevolent ETs. More concerning, beginning with Eric Von Danniken’s Chariots of the Gods (1968), is the idea that the biblical authors mistook advanced aliens as divine beings, an idea which has gained cultural traction. Even the Vatican, who hosted an astrobiology conference in 2009, has issued controversial statements through its Jesuit astronomers concerning the baptism of extraterrestrials.[2] Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a high-ranking Vatican demonologist, has stated publically that modern extraterrestrial encounters “are not demonic, they are not due to psychological impairment, and they are not a case of entity attachment, but these encounters deserve to be studied carefully.”[3] Accordingly, a broad foundation is in place for public acceptance of extraterrestrial beings. While neglected by most skeptical scientists, the UFO phenomenon, particularly the abduction and contactee reports, have led credible experts to conclude that deceptive entities are posing as space aliens. Since the time of Israel’s reformation, there has been a near exponential increase in such phenomena. This has led an increasing number of theologians to the hypothesis that these entities play a pivotal role in the end time deception predicted in scripture. To some this might seem like an assertion on the fringe of evangelicalism but that is not the case. A Senior Fellow at the Family Research Council, Timothy J Dailey PhD has written:

“One thing is apparent: We are witnessing a masterful satanic subterfuge that appears to involve the appearance of ‘angels’ and ‘aliens.’ Many are asking whether the coming of Antichrist can be far removed. From the Bible we learn that such an evil day surely lies ahead. The question for our consideration, then, is this: Are we in the throes of that final otherworldly deception now?”[4]

Dailey connects the end time rise in demonic activity to the UFO phenomenon and so-called extraterrestrial contactees and abduction victims. Due to the well documented increase in sightings, wide spread belief in aliens by the public and the scientific creation myth known as directed panspermia, his thesis is compelling. Belief in spiritually superior extraterrestrial beings uniquely provides a credible epistemological basis for the secular world to accept and offer worship to an individual who claims deity.
Coming soon…

See: http://www.exovaticana.com/

[1] Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology: a Study of Spiritual Forces at Work Today (Wheaton, IL:Scripture Press Publications, 1952), 203.

[2] Alok Jha, “Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him” The Guardian, September 17, 2010 http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/sep/17/pope-astronomer-baptise-aliens (accessed 12/07/2012).

[3] Richard Boylan “Vatican Official Declares Extraterrestrial Contact Is Real” UFO Digest http://www.ufodigest.com/balducci.html (accessed 12/09/2012).

[4] Timothy J. Dailey, The Millennial Deception: Angels, Aliens, and the Antichrist (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Chosen Books Pub Co, 1995), 11.


Hoagland & Bara’s Dark Nonsense

By Cris D. Putnam
In researching various paranormal and UFO lore, I recently came across Dark Mission by Richard C. Hoagland and Mike Bara. In the book the authors make a case for an occult agenda behind NASA. According to the authors, Dr. Farouk El-Baz, an Egyptian geologist working at NASA helped high ranking freemasons land on the moon on July 20th, the date of the Egyptian New Year, to perform an arcane Egyptian rite to invoke Osiris. While the evidence of high ranking NASA officials and astronauts having masonic ties is strong, the so called ritual they expose is nothing dark at all. I personally saw the masonic flag which was taken to the moon during my recent tour of the Hall of the Temple. Sure it is possible there was a masonic agenda afoot but the incoherence of a crucial element of their thesis makes the entire account seem fanciful. Their argument centers on Buzz Aldrin’s taking of communion in the lunar module, described by Aldrin in his book Men From Earth:

During the first idle moment in the LM before eating our snack, I reached into my personal preference kit and pulled out two small packages which had been specially prepared at my request. One contained a small amount of wine, the other a small wafer. With them and a small chalice from the kit, I took communion on the Moon, reading to myself from a small card I carried on which I had written the portion of the Book of John used in the traditional communion ceremony.[1]

Sounds awfully scary doesn’t it? Dark Mission makes the dubious leap of asserting that Aldrin’s intent was not to worship Jesus Christ but to preform some sort of nefarious Masonic ritual based on Egyptian magic.

Hoagland next discovered that Aldrin’s ceremony (which was taken from Webster Presbyterian Church rituals, in Houston, which, in turn, “borrowed” it from the much older Catholic communion ceremony), in fact, had its real roots in ancient Egypt— as an offering to Osiris (naturally). [2]

This is a radical assertion! Egypt is juxtaposed against Israel in the biblical narrative. From Moses’ showdown with Pharaoh’s magicians forward, the Egyptian deities are represented as antagonists to Yahweh. Yet, the authors brazenly assert that a major sacrament of a two thousand year old religion is really an offering to a hostile god while providing no scholarly documentation and expect the reader to simply accept it? Most astonishing, the allegation that the communion ceremony has “its real roots in Egypt as an offering to Osiris” is merely footnoted with a wikipedia article on Osiris. The footnoted article makes no such connection. Looking at the wiki article on 5/20/2012, the word “communion” is not even mentioned. What a joke! This radical assertion at least requires a coherent argument and historical documentation. But neither is forthcoming. The closest thing to evidence comes later:

Once again, it was Ken Johnston who provided a key insight. After discussing with Johnston the now infamous “communion ceremony that Aldrin had conducted, Ken pointed out that Aldrin—like Johnston himself—had at the time been a 32o Scottish Rite Freemason. He also noted that a recent book by two Masonic scholars (Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas) had concluded that virtually all of the Masonic rituals were derived from the story of Isis and Osiris. [3]

It’s hard to fathom why anyone would find this compelling. This argument is what logicians call a non-sequitur meaning it “does not follow.”  Hoagland and Bara’s reasoning is that 1) Aldrin took communion; 2) Aldrin was a freemason 3) Most Freemasonic rituals are derived from Osiris lore; therefore communion is an Egyptian Osiris ritual. I suppose if a freemason puts his hand on his heart while singing the National Anthem then that too is a form of Osiris worship? It does not follow.

The fact that Aldrin was a mason says nothing about Christian communion. Freemasonry advocates a form of pluralism that accepts members of any religion. Does that make the practices of Islam and Hinduism also derivative of Egyptian Osiris worship? Of course not, this sort of incoherent reasoning is ubiquitous in Dark Mission. It seems they pulled most of their alleged Egyptian connections from one single poorly supported piece of pseudo-historical research called the The Hiram Key.

Their book The Hiram Key showed that, contrary to Masonry’s own lore, the Craft was not founded in London in 1717, but in fact traced its roots all the way back to ancient Egypt. They followed a trail back through time, to the Templars, to Jesus and the Temple of Jerusalem, then on to the builder of the first Temple of Solomon, Hiram Abiff. They concluded that the ritual of the third-degree of Freemasonry was a re-enactment of Abiff’s murder for refusing to reveal the high secret of the Craft, and that this same ritual was in fact derived from the ancient Pharaohaic rituals that paid direct homage to Isis and Osiris. They also asserted that Jesus himself was an initiate of this quasi-Masonic order, and that his real teachings had been usurped and distorted by the Catholic Church millennia before. They viewed Jesus as a martyred prophet, but not a divine being as the Church came to ultimately insist. None of this made them very popular with either the Christians or their own fellow Masons. [4]

Nor are they popular with scholars of ancient literature because the conclusions of The Hiram Key are not supported by historical evidence. The argument fails because we have copies of the New Testament which predate Roman Catholicism and there are no “suppressed teachings” of Jesus rather gnostic writings which appeared centuries after the canonical Gospels. The scholarship in The Hiram Key ( and collaterally Dark Mission) is, frankly, sloppy as there is a sophomoric lack of critical assessment of sources and they naively accept the use of masonic symbolism for evidence of historic facts. For instance, the connection of modern masonry to Hiram Abiff from the Old Testament is widely agreed to be concocted mythology designed to give masonry an ancient veneer. I challenge Hoagland and Bara to produce a single credentialed Ancient Near Eastern scholar who believes it. Even the Freemasons have issued rebuttals here and masonic libraries catalog The Hiram Key as a work of fiction.

As far as communion being some sort of dark ritual to Osiris, the authors never make that case. The practice predates the origin of masonry by over 1600 years and has nothing to do with Osiris. According to Erickson, “It may be defined, in preliminary fashion, as a rite Christ himself established for the church to practice as a commemoration of his death.”[5] Indeed, communion was instituted by Jesus (Matt. 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19–20). The earliest extant written account of a Christian eucharistia  which is simply Greek for “thanksgiving” is that in the First Epistle to the Corinthians (dated around AD 55), in which the Apostle Paul relates the celebration to the Last Supper of Jesus some 25 years earlier (1 Co 11:23–29).

Paul argues that in celebrating the commemoratory rite they were fulfilling a mandate by Jesus to do so. The book of Acts (dated prior to AD 70) also presents the early Christians as meeting for “the breaking of bread” as some sort of ceremony (Acts 2:46). Also other very early writings like the Didache,1 Clement and Ignatius of Antioch provide examples of the thanksgiving sacrament. In the second century, Justin Martyr gives the oldest explicit description of the ceremony. In fact, Justin specifically refutes any connection to paganism when he refutes the Mithra cult who were copying the Christians!

Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn. [6]

In the tradition of Justin, I argue that if freemasons have adopted communion as a masonic ritual then the same charge applies. Hence the burden of proof is on Hoagland and Bara to show evidence predating the first century which connects Jesus and the communion rite to Osiris. Of course, there is no such evidence. Hoagland and Bara admit their entire case is based on the dubious work The Hiram Key:

If Knight and Lomas were right, then Aldrin’s communion ceremony had no conventional Christian significance at all; it was, in fact, a direct offering by a Freemason to “the ancient Egyptian gods” that his Craft most revered. (underline added)[7]

But if Knight and Lomas are wrong, then Hoagland and Bara’s Dark Mission is a work of dark nonsense.


[1] Buzz Aldrin and Malcolm McConnell, Men from Earth (New York: Bantam, 1989), 248.

[2] Richard C. Hoagland and Michael Bara, Dark Mission: the Secret History of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Port Townsend, Wash.: Feral House, 2007), 207-208.

[3] Richard C. Hoagland and Michael Bara, Dark Mission, 222.

[4] Richard C. Hoagland and Michael Bara, Dark Mission, 223.

[5] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1998), 1116.

[6] Justin Martyr, First Apology ; chapter 66 Of the Eucharist. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html

[7] Richard C. Hoagland and Michael Bara, Dark Mission, 223.


Coming Soon: Ancient Aliens Debunked

This film by Chris White will be examining the Hysterical Channel show “Ancient Aliens” from a skeptical viewpoint exposing the many errors and inconsistencies of “Ancient Astronaut” theory. It is is set to be released in September 2012. Chris always releases his films free over the internet (as do I) and funds his projects out of his own pocket and by your donations. Here is a trailer:

The R-UFO Hypothesis vs. Ancient Astronaut Theory

The R-UFO hypothesis means “residual unidentified flying object” hypothesis and basically recognizes that of all the UFO reports there is a residual 10% or so that cannot be explained away. Ancient Astronaut theorists would have us believe that these are space aliens from other planets. Yet that idea was dealt a hard blow this week as Dr. Howard Smith, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has stated unequivocably that alien life is highly improbable. In an article at the Telegraph he stated “We have found that most other planets and solar systems are wildly different from our own. They are very hostile to life as we know it.” This is not good news for proponents of ancient astronaut theory whom I have criticized recently for their incoherent arguments. Dr. Hugh Ross agrees and has argued similarly in his book Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at Ufos and Extraterrestrials .

Yet there seems to be evidence of otherworldly visitations and even contact with strange beings. I believe this is best explained by the spiritual entity, inter-dimensional being hypothesis. I recently found a series of videos put on by the Reasons to Believe science/faith think tank on the R-UFO hypothesis. It is hosted by one of my favorite Christian apologists Greg Koukl and features Astrophysicist Dr Hugh Ross and theologian/philosopher Kenneth Samples. It is a series of four programs which consist of several YT segments each, the last program (parts 9-12) explains the inter-dimensional hypothesis and the high probability that what is being reported is the same phenomenon that was regarded as demonic in antiquity.

Here is a playlist of all 12 parts