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Stuart Holroyd: Briefing for the landing on planet earth

Science is not always what scientists do

Reading Stuart Holroyd´s Briefing for the landing on planet Earth, is like being catapulted into the fifties - the golden era of contactees. When Andrija Puharich and the messiah of spoon-bending, Uri Geller, went separate ways, Andrija found another psychic named Phyllis Schlemmer. She is a good trance subject and Andrija was delighted to find that here was another channel for his cosmic tutors.

The voice coming through Phyllis introduced itself as an extra- terrestrial named Tom - a spokesman  for the  Nine. The main purpose for their contact was to prepare mankind for a landing en masse in the near future. Andrija and Phyllis are sent on missions all over the world, sitting in hotel rooms praying for world peace. Tom occasionally tells them to cheer up, as they now have averted an international catastrophe. These trips are financed by an English aristocrat - Sir John Whitmore. The whole book is filled by remarkable psychic experiences of these three missionaries, alternated with the philosophy of the "space-intelligences".

The big question, of course, is how a brilliant scientist and parapsychologist like Puharich can let his whole life be manipulated by these voices. Tom even directs their sexlives. Probably it is quite an egotrip to be informed you have incarnated to do an important work for mankind and that in a former life you  were the god Horus (all according to Tom). Phyllis had been Isis and Sir John Thoth. Sometimes, though, Andrija gets fed up with all the nonsense and the avoiding answers. During a seance he bursts out: "You give me all these phony stories that leave us all confused. Don´t you see how confused we are?". Still, they continue their conversations with civilisations like Hoova, Aragon, Altea and the computor Ryr, receiving important information like: "we have come from the zone that you call cold".

Dr Puharich is not the only scientist to have accepted channeled messages. The late Wilbert Smith from Canada defended - until his death - the information received through automatic writing from Mrs Frances Swan. The entity speaking through Mrs Swan identified itself as Affa from Uranus, Bell Flight Signal M4 M4 (1).

Just like the writings of Mrs Swan the Phyllis Schlemmer messages are a fascinating synthesis of apocalyptic visions and philosophical nonsense. In the final chapter Holroy attempts to make a summary and analysis of the material presented. He finds parallels with esoteric philosophy, gnosticism and messages from other channels. To resolve the question "who or what is Tom", Holroy presents several possibilities such as "unconscious invention" and "secondary personality". In Holroyd`s view the philosophy and cosmology presented by Tom is "broader than those of any so-called spirit teachings", which makes it "difficult to reconcile with the view that he is a product of one or more of their own (Andrija, John, Phyllis) minds".

Mr Holroyd is seemingly unaware of what I like to call the subconscious feedback effect. Investigating several mediums and contactees here in Sweden I have noted that the information relayed is to a large extent a feedback on your own ideas. Now,  the subconscious content of the mind of Andrija Puharich should by all means be quite "broad" and we are not at all to be surprised to find the Nine coming through again, as this reflects the belief-system of Mr Puharich. This is also the theory proposed by the English author/philosopher Colin Wilson in his monumental tome "Mysteries" (Colin Wilson is a friend of Holroyd and wrote the foreword to the book). He starts (2): "My own conviction, formed at the time when I was studying Geller at close quarters, was that Puharich himself is the key to the enigma...The Nine may have convinced Puharich and his associates of their existence, but on the present showing they have no reason to complain if the rest of us decline to commit ourselves".

The varied tales of the Nine are, in themselves, an interesting myth-complex. According to legends, the secret order of the nine was founded by the Indian emperor Asoka some 200 years BC. Several occult authors maintain that the Nine still exist, influencing the world events (3). Puharich was probably acquainted with this legend by his Hindu friend Dr. D.G. Vinod, whom he met in New York in 1951. Dr. Vinod was a trance-medium and through him came the voice of the Nine. On June 27, 1953 nine people, among them Dr Puharich, were initiated into Brahmanism. The voice speaking through Dr.Vinod declared: "Tonight we want to create Brahmins in this world...Each one of you becomes a Brahmin on this full-moon day" (4).

The occult expert  and director of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, Mr Riley Crabb, regarded the above event as proof that the entities behind the facade of the Nine are actually "initiate Brahmin priests from the astral plan of planet earth!... these ghostly figures (are)  laying the groundwork for eventual control of the flying saucer phenomenon for their own benefit" (5). A fascinating variation of the we-are-property theme.

Holroyd´s  book is filled with  minor incidents of ufological interest. The book is quite a gold mine for the phenomenologist. Phyllis Schlemmer e.g. reports a classic MIB-type experience (p. 129). An Italian-looking man in a  dark suit materializes before her in an office, and then leaves in a white Cadillac ( what a refreshing innovation ).

Mediumistically received "space-messages" are usually a bore to read, and Holroyd´s book fits the pattern. Intellectual quality and psychological insight is almost never evident in these types of teachings, and the philosophy presented is often a naive, watered-down Christianity. If this is to be the product of an advanced extra-terrestrial civilization I´ve got my message ready:

-Spacemen go home!

1. Randall Fitzgerald: Messages: the case history of a contactee. Second Look, vol. 1 no. 12, Oct 1979, pp.12-18, 28-29.

2. Colin Wilson: Mysteries. Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1978, pp. 540-547.

3. See e. g. Louis Pauwels & Jacques Bergier: The Dawn of Magic. Panther Books, London, 1964, pp. 34-38; and Neal Wilgus: The Illuminoids, Pocket Books, New York, 1979, pp. 95-99.

4. Andrija Puharich: Uri. W.H. Allen, London, 1974, pp. 16-17.

5. Riley Crabb: Uri Geller, challenge to science and to metaphysics. Round Robin, vol. 30, no.6, Nov-Dec 1974 - vol.32, no. 2, March-April 1976 (8 parts).

Stuart Holroyd: Briefing  for the landing on Planet Earth. - London: Corgi Books, 1979. - Pocket, 351 pp. Originally publ. by W.H. Allen, 1974, as Prelude to the landing on Planet Earth.
Håkan Blomqvist
(Publicerad i AFU Nyhetsblad nr. 17, okt-dec 1979)