Belief in Aliens Can Turn Deadly

Video by ABC in the USA about the suicide cult Heaven’s Gate, 10 year later.

From LiveScience:

Belief in Aliens Can Turn Deadly

By Benjamin Radford, Special to LiveScience

posted: 07 June 2007 08:15 am ET


According to recent polls, about a third of Americans believe that space aliens have visited Earth.

For most people, belief in UFOs and aliens is harmless.

In some cases, however, such beliefs can have grave consequences.

Take, for example, the trial of Allison Lamont Norman, which began last week in Georgetown, Delaware.

Norman is accused of killing two people and wounding four others during a shooting rampage in April 2005.

What triggered the massacre?

According to his lawyer, Norman believed his victims were space aliens who were trying to abduct his daughter.

This is not the first time that bizarre beliefs have played a role in mayhem.

* When comet Hale-Bopp appeared in the skies in 1997, many people were excited.

But soon some UFO buffs claimed that an alien spacecraft was following the comet.

Though there was no truth to the rumor, talk show host Art Bell repeated the claim on his late-night show “Coast to Coast AM.”

Sadly, the Heaven’s Gate cult believed that the non-existent spaceship was carrying Jesus, and that it was a sign for the followers to leave their earthly vessels.

Thirty-nine people committed suicide.

* In May 2002, six people were injured when eighteen pipe bombs left in rural mailboxes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas exploded.

The bombs were traced to Luke J. Helder, a twenty-one-year-old college student.

Following a high-speed car chase, Helder was armed with a shotgun when he was arrested in Reno, Nevada.

Helder wrote that the bombs were “attention getters” designed to enlighten the world to his beliefs about paranormal topics such as aliens, ghosts, astral projection, and spirit channeling.

He wrote, “I’m taking very drastic measures in attempt to provide this information to you.”

* A 2005 exorcism at a Romanian convent resulted in the death of Maricica Irina Cornici, a twenty-three-year-old schizophrenic nun who said she heard the devil telling her she was sinful.

With assistance from four nuns, priest Daniel Corogeanu bound Cornici to a cross, gagged her mouth with a towel, and left her for three days without food or water.

The ritual, the priest explained, was an effort to drive devils out of the woman.

Cornici was found dead on June 15.

In February 2007, Corogeanu and the four nuns were sentenced to fourteen years in prison.

While nothing can prevent tragedies such as these, a healthy dose of science and skepticism can help inoculate people against dangerous ideas.

Benjamin Radford wrote about mass hysterias and popular delusions in “Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking,” with sociologist Robert Bartholomew.

This and other books are noted on his website.

The LaRouche cult: here.

Trots in Space: article on Posadism: here.

7 thoughts on “Belief in Aliens Can Turn Deadly

  1. Warning: MPs urged to back off Duggan case
    30 August 2007
    Katie Davies

    A CONTROVERSIAL organisation is attempting to block an investigation into the mysterious death of a Golders Green student.

    The Schiller Institute, which is linked to extreme political cult the LaRouche organisation, has sent letters to more than 80 MPs who are demanding a new inquest into the death of Jewish student Jeremiah Duggan.

    Mr Duggan’s body was found on a motorway in Germany in 2003. He had been attending a conference run by the institute at the time.

    German authorities ruled that his death was suicide and closed the case.

    But a British inquest has since disputed that verdict and declared the 22-year-old died in a state of terror.

    High profile politicians have since called for a full investigation into his death.

    But the Schiller Institute has written to the MPs urging them to drop the case.

    Their letter states: “In our view a second inquest would only prolong what has already been an exhaustive four year process.

    “The facts are that German prosecutors closed their investigation into Jeremiah’s death in June 2003, after concluding he died after running into the path of several vehicles travelling down a busy road outside Wiesbaden.”

    A total of 88 politicians, including Rudi Vis, Jeremy Corbyn, Lynne Featherstone, Karen Buck, Glenda Jackson and Charles Kennedy have signed an early day motion stating that a “further investigation of the case is now urgently required.”

    Louise Ellman MP, who is leading the campaign, said: “I feel very strongly that this case needs to be looked at again.

    “I think this letter is to get MPs to weaken their resolve, but I don’t think it will have any effect.”

    Rudi Vis, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, has responded to the letter.

    He wrote: “Most unfortunately I do not only disbelieve the content of your letter, I whole-heartedly disagree with the content. In the view of many including myself, the Schiller Institute and the involvement of the LaRouche organisation are at the bottom of the list of those organisations that I trust.”

    In the letter, the group said they would be happy to meet with politicians to discuss the case.

    But this has caused anger from Erica Duggan, Jeremiah’s mother who claims the group blocked her private enquiries.

    She said: “I have never stated how my son died, it has been our experts and investigators who have expressed their opinions, but it cannot be known until there is a full investigation.

    “I do believe his death has to be seen against the threatening background of a very destructive organisation. If the Schiller Institute has nothing to hide, it has nothing to fear from a full investigation.”


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