Have you ever noticed how so many cults have come out of California? They pop up and wave around their strange theories like palm trees in the wind. Here, you can be as weird as you want. I’ve certainly enjoyed believing in David Lynch and the ghost that’s lived in my Furby since 1998. We just do us out here.
So while researching cults, I stumbled upon one that doesn’t have a really sad ending (yet, at least, though it really doesn’t seem likely).
Unarius (short for Universal Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science) was founded in 1954 by Earnest and Ruth Norman, labeled as “cosmic visionaries” on the official website. Unarius is pretty wild, y’all. Their headquarters is located in El Cajon, California, just outside of San Diego. They received notoriety as the cult that made low-budget movies that aired on public access tv in the 80s. These “psychodramas” were basically members of the group acting out regrettable previous life experience–as aliens. If John Waters circa 1972 had directed these films, you’d never know the difference.
The whole belief system of Unarius was that—according to Ruth (aka Uriel)—in 2001, 33 spaceships filled with fellow “space brothers” would arrive on Earth and improve humanity. Long story short: that didn’t happen (I really, really wish it did though, we could use the help).
Their Archangel, Uriel/Ruth, had the goal of making everyone believe in the mission of the space bothers, because believing in them would facilitate their arrival. The space brothers were aliens that were supposedly former humans that are more spiritually and scientifically advanced than the rest of us.
The message of Unarius is actually pretty cool, I will give them that. They believed in spiritual healing through past life therapy by creating their low-budget films—and they were pretty good at marketing. They managed to air their films on public access TV across the country. Reportedly they had three feature films, 80 TV shows, and hundreds of self-published books.
My favorite thing about Unarius: the costumes. Uriel LOVED wearing elaborate dresses and wigs. She had rainbow capes, a massive dress with 33 planets that was apparently so heavy, she had to sit down while wearing it.
They also had a Cadillac with a UFO on top that says “Welcome Your Space Brothers,” and I want to see it in person. Really bad.
You can still become a member of Unarius. Since Uriel’s death, and the fact that the aliens didn’t come to hang with us in 2001, they mostly focus on spiritual healing through things I can’t really figure out by reading their website. Typical. They have home education kits on their website (they even have Blu-Ray!), along with some sweet postcards and UFO pins. Their message is actually kind of heartwarming. You’d think people would troll them, hard, on YouTube and the general internet; somehow they don’t.
You do you, Unarius. If only we could all be children of the stars.