Annunaki Plan / Human Plan?

Displaying photo.JPGI discovered this little gem at the central library in Edinburgh. “The Annunaki Plan? or The Human Plan?” was self-published by Chris Thomas in 2010, who appears to be based in Wales. He has produced a number of other books, before and afterwards, on alternative histories, “earth mysteries” and healing, and most interestingly for me, books which link ancient alien narratives and millennialism. As much of my work demonstrates, this synchretism (or I prefer discursive transfer) frequently involves the mobilisation of conspiracy narratives, and so I want to present this little volume as an example of the field of millennial conspiracism, showing that it encapsulates many of the features of this field.

It begins “most people are aware that something is changing, this change occurring on every possible level of our existence” (6). But we are extolled that we must choose what the outcome of this change is to be – for good or for ill. This exemplifies a millennial-apocalyptic tension which is typical of the field. David Icke and Alex Jones also frequently demonstrate this kind of tension, where the global awakening is seemingly caused by the consspirators’ plan reaching its ”endgame’. Typically, we are being deliberately misled by at-this-point-unspecified conspirators into making a choice leading to destruction. In fact, the author alleges they have made attempts against his life (7). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the terminal point for this decision to be made is (was) the 21st of December, 2012.

The book then goes on to recount an account of human history, “as recorded in the Akashic” records (9), which Thomas claims debunks the Annunaki narrative of Zecharia Sitchin et al. In Sitchin’s account, aliens from Niburu – a hitherto unknown planet orbiting our sun on a 10,000 year elliptical orbit – descended to Earth in prehistory to mine gold, subjugating humanity in the process. The Annunaki became revered as gods, becoming present-day elites as they hid their bloodlines in royal dynasties and secret societies. Thomas calls this account a “fantasy” (17), and describes a more neoplatonic, Theosophical account of the creation of the cosmos, Atlantis, the Pyramids, etc, and a Velikovsy-inspired account of a prehistoric catastrophe in the solar system (31-50).

Instead, the Akashic tells him that the Annunaki originate on a planet “23 galaxies away from ours” (24). The Annunaki, along with the Hathor, are groups within a race of energetic beings called the Velon, who headed for Earth only 300 years ago – because it is “God’s chosen planet” (26). The Hathor began to contact humans through channelling, whereas the Annunaki began monitoring us through implants, and to create bodies with a human appearance. From this data, they began to promote the story a la Sitchin, designed to appeal to human religious impulses. Sitchin was innocent of the deception, Thomas notes, as the Annunaki had travelled back in time to plant fabricated cuneiform tablets (27-8). They established the Illuminati, the Freemasons and the reformed Knights Templar, all of whom worked covertly together to establish the socialist New World Order (30). The EU, the Bilderberg Group, all scientists and academics (especially those supporting climate change), Al Qaeda, HAARP, the Theosophical Society and practically every element of the conspiracy theory milieu are in the pay of the Annunaki (54-66).

However, Thomas claims a second plan was put into place by the enlightened humans of 7000 years ago, in which it was agreed that our souls would be repeatedly reincarnated until we learned to live properly, at which point our souls and physical bodies will reintegrate, we would be free of disease and enlightened. However, a time limit was set… 2012 (52). He claims that some 4.5 million humans in isolated communities have already achieved this aim since 2003, but that time is running out for the rest of us, and the Annunaki plan is there to distract us from the urgency. Thomas sets out his advice to achieve soul reintegration: working through our emotional blockages to clear our chakras.

So, in 90-odd pages we have a sweeping history of the cosmos, and human life, at odds with both scientific and religious consensus; ancient aliens, linking this alternative archaeological narrative to UFOs; an Annunaki Plan which links these further to the New World Order and Illuminati; a date-specific teleological narrative, combining millennial and apocalyptic components; and a dualistic Gnostic narrative of salvation through special knowledge. Quite an inventive and unique bricolage. His most unique contribution is to make the Annunaki Plan a la Sitchin a part of the deception. Yet in another way, quite typical, inasmuch as these various structural elements seem always to appear in some form or another. For every David Icke or Jim Marrs, there will be scores of small-press or internet entrepreneurs like Thomas, not to mention their hundreds of thousands of subscribers, each with a slightly different take on the material, and their own favoured theory. It is sometimes said of loosely-structured milieux such as millennial conspiracism or New Age that, as they lack a central organisation and a formal creedo, they become an “anything goes” smorgasbord – or perhaps more accurately, given the frequent disparaging comments about their economies, a supermarket deli counter. Yet it isn’t the case, as Thomas’ book shows. We might not know how everything goes together exactly, but we can be reasonably sure what elements to expect, and which would never make an appearance, so there is a commonality there. Thomas is like a jazz musician who is improvising a familiar tune but trying to twist the melody into a unique shape. It’s just that he never made it out of the club circuit.

First Thoughts on Fieldwork at Whitley Strieber’s Dreamland Festival

Last weekend I had a whistle-stop research trip to Nashville, Tennessee, to Whitley Strieber‘s Dreamland Festival. (Whistle-stop is no exaggeration – I was travelling longer than I was actually there.) This annual event – now in its fifth year – brings together 120 paid guests and a line-up of speakers drawn primarily from the Dreamland podcast team. Dreamland started life as a sister radio show to the massively popular Coast to Coast AM, and both were originally hosted by Art Bell. Dreamland covered the same supernatural/conspiratorial/extraterrestrial material as C2C, but without the phone-ins and with a more spiritual bent. Art Bell handed Dreamland to Whitley Strieber around 1990, and it now broadcasts weekly through Whitley’s website, unknowncountry.com.

This year’s speakers were Whitley and his wife, Anne; Raven Dana, one of those who had a Visitor experience at Whitley’s cabin as described in Communionearthfiles.com‘s Linda Moulton Howe; author of classic JFK assassination Jim Marrs; Stargate proponent William Henry; psychic Marla Frees; and former UK Ministry of Defense advisor Nick Pope. The line-up demonstrates exactly the field I’m describing, with a mixture of New Age elements (channeling, holism, health, critique of “religion”, a coming “ascension” of humanity, crop circles, environmental concerns) and conspiracist elements (hidden histories, suppression of technologies, secret societies, New World Order) with UFOs/extraterrestrials as the common ground. As it was the 25th anniversary of the publication of Communion, and with the recent publication of his fifth book in the series, Solving the Communion Enigma, and therefore the presence of Raven Dana, it was perfect for me given that I’ll be writing a chapter that covers Whitley’s career from the Communion era to the  present.

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Whitley was very gracious, introducing me to the guests and telling them I was to be trusted, which no doubt gave me a certain validation I wouldn’t otherwise have had. Many came up to me to ask about my research, give me opinions or sources to follow up, or to tell me about their ET/UFO experiences. Everyone was warm and open, and I can only hope that all the fieldwork I do can be as much fun. Also American beer is much better than I had been led to expect.

[This picture’s courtesy of Marla Frees. You can just make me out in the centre, I’m the only one with tea and a suit. And a strange glowing light above my head…]
In the end, the research became more about the people there than the speakers, though. The degree of awareness of the ambiguity of their experiences was perhaps surprising, as was the healthy degree of good humour (one – you know who you are! –  referred to the group as “the nutters”). By and large, they were educated people, too, with a lot of engineers, computer people, healthcare workers, as well as good amount of former military personnel. Mostly 50 plus, which might be expected, but gender was evenly balanced, which is interesting as New Age/spiritual groups tend to be predominantly female and conspiracist groups tend to be predominantly male. Almost all rejected “religious” in favour of “spiritual”; almost all refused to identify with either political party; and almost all said that at least some UFOs came from other dimensions, rather than just other planets. I’m still crunching the data from the 60+ questionnaires, so I should have more interesting patterns soon.

I’ve put in a proposal to do a presentation on this at the British Association for the Study of Religion conference in Winchester in September this year. Next research trip is David Icke at Wembley Arena in October.