Monday, June 24, 2019

Gems From the Esoterica Shelf

When visiting bookstores and antiquarian booksellers I usually look for the shelf labelled Esoterica. In most cases the shelf comprise a mixture of esotericism, occultism, spiritualism, mysticism and New Age literature. On this blog I have often referred to writings from the Esoteric Tradition or science of the multiverse, books which very few investigators of UFOs and paranormal phenomena are acquainted with. For those heretics who wish to take a step further into Forbiddden Science I present a short list of gems from the Esoterica shelf.

If you are a beginner in this study don´t make the common mistake of starting with the classic The Secret Doctrine by Helena P. Blavatsky. In 1973 the meditation group I belonged to decided to read and discuss The Secret Doctrine. We gave up after a few sessions. Although this work contain a mountain of interesting facts it is hopelessly unstructured with an abstruse terminology. Esotericism is the science of the multiverse, the knowledge of reality offered mankind by individuals belonging to the next or fifth kingdom in nature, our future in evolution. It is not some vague form of mysticism but as exact as any academic discipline. It is important to remember the glimpses of this science so far presented by various authors have been more or less successful tests or experiments, implemented by the organization of Planetary Guardians, custodians of this knowledge or Ancient Wisdom. They are far from the pathetic mystics and fanatical ascetics portrayed in much popular occultism and channeling. Of necessity these men and women must at the present time work behind the scenes. If the forces of goodwill and construction on this planet can overcome the perveyors of hate and destruction the Planetary Guardians plan to reveal themselves more openly to humanity.

These volumes should not be regarded as authoritative but read with an open and critical mind, the necessary tool of every serious investigator and esotericist. Even the best authors makes mistakes and have their personal idiosynchrasies. After having studied these books you will have a basic idea of the science and philosophy esotericism.

The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett
Published in 1923 by A. Trevor Barker, this book includes all the letters written by two members of the Planetary Guardians, known as M. And K.H. between 1880- 1884. The letters are now housed in the British Library. Basic facts of the esoteric science and much discussion of the problems of revealing themselves, their work and organization to humanity.
”In common with many you blame us for our great secrecy. Yet we know something of human nature, for the experience of long centuries – aye, ages, has taught us. And we know, that so long as science has anything to learn, and a shadow of religious dogmatism lingers in the heart of the multitudes, the world´s prejudices have to be conquered step by step, not by a rush.” (The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter no 1, Oct. 15, 1880, p. 3).

Charles Leadbeater, The Astral Plane (1895)
A clairvoyant study of the inhabitants of the astral plane by Theosophist Charles Leadbeater. This, in my view, is the most comprehensive and detailed taxonomy of non-human entities and phenomena from the multiverse perspective of the Esoteric Tradition. In his introduction C. Jinarajadasa mentions that this was also the opinion of one of the adepts who consequently wanted a copy of the manuscript for the "Museum of Records of the Great White Brotherhood". The Astral Plane was regarded as a "landmark in the intellectual history of humanity." It is a study of great interest to all investigators of UFOs and paranormal phenomena. This quote regarding nature spirits is interesting to compare with John Keel´s theory of the deceptive ultraterrestrials:
"Their forms are many and various, but most frequently human in shape and somewhat diminutive in size. Like almost all inhabitants of the astral plane, they are able to assume any appearance at will... Under ordinary conditions they are not visible to physical sight at all, but they have the power of making themselves so by materialization when they wish to be seen... in most cases when they come into contact with man they either show indifference or dislike, or else take an impish delight in deceiving him and playing childish tricks upon him." (p. 111-112).

Geoffrey Hodson, Fairies at Work and at Play (1925)
This charming little book is the first written by clairvoyant Theosophist Geoffrey Hodson. He is the author of over fifty titles on Theosophy, psychic powers, spiritualism, meditation and many other subjects. Perhaps best known for his clairvoyant studies of nature spirits and devas. In april 1922 he observed several sylphs or air-spirits. The close resemblance to the famous Mothman, encountered in West Virginia 1966-1967 is fascinating:
”Watching the approach across the valley of some dense storm-clouds, the presence was observed of a number of bird-like air-spirits travelling swiftly in front of the approaching clouds. Many of them are dark and unpleasant to look upon – slightly reminiscent of bats… Their faces are human and well formed, their expression is unpleasant; the rest of the body is not fully formed, and they rather resemble birds with human faces… They utter a weird shrieking noise, and occasionally shoot almost vertically upwards into and beyond the clouds… It is evident that there are many different species of storm-sylphs, varying in size, power, and evolutionary position.” (Geoffrey Hodson, Fairies at Work and at Play, pp. 84-85).

Cyril Scott, The Initiate (1920)
In the 1920s and 30s three books excited enormous interest, especially among Theosophists and those interested in the Esoteric Tradition. They were first published pseudonymously, "by his pupil", but later editions gave the actual name of the author, Cyril Scott (1879-1970), English composer, writer and poet. The trilogy was named in sequence The Initiate. Some Impressions of a Great Soul (1920), The Initiate in the New World (1927) and The Initiate in the Dark Cycle (1932). The Initiate trilogy is the life story of Charles Broadbent (Cyril Scott) and his involvement with a man, Justin Morewood Haig, to whom he is introduced in wordly London. Haig seems as first to be as other men but Broadbent soon comes to realize he is an initiate and accepts to be his pupil. The books combine the personal life history of Broadbent with the teachings given by Haig. The Initiate trilogy is a treasure trove of esoteric wisdom and sound psychological insights and advice, presented in a somewhat unusual context but easy and fascinating to read.
"Level - headedness and good sound common sense are what I try to instill into my pupils before I encourage them to peep into the hidden realms. A thorough grounding in philosophy is the first thing to be acquired- otherwise one’s up against hysteria and imagination of a wrong type, and all the other evils we know so well. I know of women who come down to breakfast every morning with the story of some wonderful vision they’ve had in the night, in which some supposed ‘Master’ has appeared and given them ‘teaching’, it turns out to be sheer nonsense or some moral platitude. Well, well- it is fortunate we gurus have a sense of humour.” (The Initiate in the New World, p. 48).

Theodore Illion, In Secret Tibet (1937)
In Secret Tibet is the story of Theodore Illion´s travel in disguise in Tibet in the 1930s, meeting hermits, lamas and the somewhat more mysterious few "wise men". For many years I have been very intrigued by his two books In Secret Tibet (1937, orig. Rätselhaftes Tibet, 1936) and Darkness Over Tibet (1937). Using the pseudonym Theodore Burang he also wrote several books and articles on Tibetan medicine. There are no definite data to confirm that Theodore Illion ever visited Tibet in the 1930s. There have been some speculation that he relied on the information in the books by Alexandra David-Neel, published in the 1920s, and simply used the travelogue about Tibet as a way to present his philosophy. Whatever the truth the books by Theodore Illion are a treasure trove of wisdom. Anyone thoroughly acquainted with the Esoteric Tradition will here find a kindred soul. I do find it amazing that Illion at his young age could have such extraordinary deep insights into esoteric philosophy, coupled with a critical mind and wonderful humour.
"I travelled in Tibet neither as a Christian nor as a Buddhist. I did not look at things there merely with the eyes of the scientist or the philosopher. I tried to examine things in an absolutely unprejudiced way. I do not belong to any sect, party, or denomination." " interest in Tibet was centered around the reality of Tibetan mysteries and psychical phenomena." (p. 18).
And I love his humor: "I am a non-smoker. I only smoke in the company of people who consider non-smoking a virtue". (p. 31).

Robert A. Heinlein, Lost Legacy (1941)
The novel, Lost Legacy, by science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) has been one of my absolute favourite novels since I first read it many years ago. It was originally published in the November 1941 issue of Super Science Stories and later included in the collection Assignment in Eternity. I know of few novels that reveal such a deep and innate understanding of esoteric philosophy. An accomplished and erudite esotericist could hardly have done a better job. The narrative centers around a trio from a California university, Dr. Philip Huxley, professor of Psychology, Dr. Ben Coburn, neurosurgeon, and Joan Freeman, student of Psychology. They discover psychic abilities in one another and theorize that all humans possess these faculties as potentialities. This trio of heretic academics decides on a road trip to Mount Shasta. Climbing the mountain Ben Coburn falls on a slippery cliff and receives a fracture of the shin bone. A tall, elderly man appears from nowhere and offer his help. The group are led through a passageway into the mountain where they find themselves in a living room, illuminated by indirect lightning. They spend the night in this room and in the morning Ben´s wound has mysteriously and completely healed. They are then introduced to the around thirty persons resident in several rooms, men and women of different ages and nationalities. Philip, Ben and Joan are then briefed on the history of the community, their philosophy, inner powers and work in the world. They are custodians of the Ancient Wisdom and have for ages worked behind the scenes to further the cultural and spiritual evolution of man on planet earth.
"... the forces that killed enlightenment in the rest of the world are spreading here. Little by little they have whittled away human liberty and human dignity. A repressive law... a blind dogma, to be accepted under pain of persecution... You see, sir, our antagonists don´t wait. They are active all the time. They´ve won i Asia, they are in the ascendancy in Europe, they may win here in America... With the aid of the archives they (Philip, Ben, Joan) learned the techniques byt which the brotherhood of adepts had interceded in the past when freedom of thought and action in America had been threatened." (p.p. 65, 88-90).

Alice Bailey

Alice Bailey, Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle (1950)
The books by Alice Bailey, amanuencis for the Tibetan adept D.K. are generally not for beginners in esoteric study. Telepathy and  the Etheric Vehicle is an exception. It was actually the first Alice Bailey book I stumbled across 1973 at an antiquarian bookseller in Norrköping, Sweden. The balanced approach and sound advice regarding paranormal phenomena and experiences makes this volume an important contribution to esotericism. Naive devotees of channeling should listen to this advice:
”Messages emanating from the relatively nice, well-trained subconscious nature of the recipient. These well up from the subconscious but are regarded by the recipient as coming from an outside source. Introspective people frequently penetrate into the layer of subconscious recollection and are quite unaware of so doing. Their interest in themselves is so intense. Not knowing that they have done this, they regard what they find as unusual, beautiful and important, and then proceed to formulate it into messages, which they expect their friends and the general public to regard as spiritually based. These messages are normally innocuous, sometimes beautiful, because they are a mixture of what the recipients have read and gathered from the mystical writing or have heard from Christian sources and the Bible. It is really the content of their right thinking along spiritual lines and can do no one any harm, but is of no true importance whatsoever. It accounts, however, for eighty-five percent (85%) of the so-called telepathic or inspired writings so prevalent at this time.” (Alice Bailey, Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, pp. 75-76).

Henry T. Laurency

Henry T. Laurency, Knowledge of Reality (1961)
HenryT. Laurency (Henrik von Zeipel, 1882-1971) was an exceptional intellectual who studied philosophy at Uppsala University. His teachers were the famous Swedish philosophers Axel Hägerström and Karl Hedvall. With this background and most assuredly inspiration from one of the planetary adepts he was able to formulate the esoteric worldview in such a clear and scientific language, with a new terminology, that his books can appeal to academic scholars and humanist intellectuals. His presentation of esoteric philosophy is in an international perspective of a quality unsurpassed. I assume that the international academic community of esoteric scholars will soon discover Laurency as he is a extraordinary intellectual and a fascinating iconoclast even among esotericists because of his harsh, almost Blavatskyan, criticism of other authors in the genre. His criticism of other authors and writing style can be a stumbling block for the more emotional new age mystics but his books are not for the general public. Laurency is addressing the intellectual and cultural elite, His comments on science, philosophy, religion and cultural issues reveal a profound and penetrating knowledge.
"The Knowledge of Reality is not my work, even though I was the instrument holding the pen that wrote it, and was made to rewrite every page until the content was approved as being correctly perceived." (Knowledge of Life. Four. Online version, p. 17).

For the critical student to accept the esoteric worldview as a paradigm or working hypothesis most scholars would probably need some form of empirical data indicating a multiverse. To me the empirical evidence became obvious when investigating UFO and paranormal phenomena. But of course a bridge to esotericism could be found by researching a number of borderland phenomena: healing, out-of-body experiences, remote viewing, materializations etc. In my many blog entries I have tried to show that accepting esotericism as a working hypothesis does not imply irrationalism or a loss of intellectual integrity. UFO researchers such as Jacques Vallee and Allen Hynek have entertained similar ideas. The UFO community have much to learn by a study of the Esoteric Tradition. I predict many heureka moments for those heretical investigators who wish to follow this path in research.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Forbidden Science Volume Four

A new book by Jacques Vallee is must reading for every serious student of UFOs and  paranormal phenomena and also - I would add - esotericist. His writings are always intellectually challenging with new data and inside views from the UFO research community. The Forbidden Science Journals are now into the fourth volume, covering the decade 1990- 1999, subtitled The Spring Hill Chronicles. The difference this time is that many diary entries deal with Vallee´s work as private investor and venture capitalist. Somewhat frustating to readers, like me, who is not fascinated by economy and high finance.

Giving a detailed and accurate review of this massive work (551 pages) is a mission impossible. There are so many UFO incidents, personalities, events, ideas, theories and personal memories and anecdotes mentioned that makes it necessary to concentrate on a few themes. I´ve always admired Vallee´s heretical thinking and lone wolf attitude. In Forbidden Science, vol. 2 he gave this advice: ”The real phenomena continue to manifest under our noses,  and no special access to questionable government documents is required to pursue a serious study” (491). He reiterates this view in vol 4: ”The best work is always done by lonely researchers with no money” (p. 404). Vallee deplores how ufology has developed in the US with the misuse of hypnosis on abductees, beginning with Hopkins´ Missing Time 1981, resulting in new myths and conspiracies.

Jacques Vallee, photo by Clas Svahn, June 2016

Vallee in no way deny the reality of abductions, only the misuse of hypnosis and resultant credulity and is a harsh critic of John Mack and David Jacobs. As in the other volumes there are many intriguing close encounter and abduction cases mentioned in brief summaries, cases I wonder if anyone ever followed up or documented.  Vallee is especielly intrigued by the possibility of covert intelligence operatives involved in psychological experiments: ”Barbara knows another woman who found out under professional therapy that she had not been abducted to a UFO at all; instead she had been taken to a house in San Francisco, where her supposedly ”Alien” abductors also turned out to be humans as they removed their fake faces in front of her. That description sent chills through my bones, because it was one of the scenes in my novel Fastwalker.” (p. 24). This case is reminiscent of the Alison MILABS case, Sedona, Arizona, documented by Nick Redfern. The theme of secret black projects was introduced aleady in Messengers of Deception (1979). Vallee is convinced there is both a real UFO phenomenon and government mind control experiments. The mystery , of course is, ”but why? And cui bono?” (p. 179).

In 1995 American businessman Robert Bigelow founded the National Institute for Discovery Science (NIDS), based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He recruited a team of scientists, a.o. Jacques Vallee to research various paranormal phenomena, including cattle mutilations and black triangle reports. The investigations were for many years led by Colm Kelleher, concentrating on a ranch in Utah where a plethora of strange phenomena were observed. Vallee reports on the meetings, discussions, research and internal problems of the group. He concludes: ”… we learned a lot in Utah from the work on the ranch of Bob Bigelow. Thanks to enlightened support from him and from Laurance Rockefeller, a small cadre of American scientists had begun to study the pheonomena first-hand, at close range, over extended periods, and to openly discuss their findings.”. (p. 485). The investigations at the Utah range were later documented by Colm Kelleher and George Knapp in Hunt for the Skinwalker (2006).

Jacques Vallee has all his life been a valiant exponent for the serious and scientific study of UFOs and paranormal phenomena. Therefore I was deeply surprised and troubled by this diary entry November 1, 1992: ”Planning the move, I have disposed of three large crates of letters from readers that would have been excellent raw material for somebody´s dissertation on the UFO mystery and society´s reaction to it. I can hear future scholars cursing me, but where am I to find the space for all this? No University has any interest in it.” (p. 143). To me it is almost incomprehensible that Vallee does not seem to realize the importance of saving documents, especially correspondence. As I often have reiterated: Without libraries and archives we have no history, only anecdotes, myths and hazy memories. Without archives and libraries serious and scientific research becomes very difficult and in some areas almost impossible. If we don´t learn from history we will continue making the same mistakes or once again try to reinvent the wheel. Jacques Vallee and his wife Janine were close friends of Brian Myers and Tina Choate, who succeeded in getting hold of the APRO archives after the death of Coral Lorenzen in 1988. The APRO archives is unique in UFO history but unfortunately still not accessible nor digitalized, as far as I know. Robert Bigelow tried to buy the archive without success. Jacques and Janine visited Myers and Choate on July 28, 1992: ”Again, we saw the Apro files in rows of filing cabinets, many of them still taped shut. The data for the years 1948 and 1949 was misssing; there was no file on Roswell. Many of the drawers only contained clippings (labelled ”Features”) but others were full of data.” (p. 128). Nowhere do I find a comment by Vallee that this archive should be saved and made accessible to researchers.

When Anders Liljegren, Kjell Jonsson and I founded AFU in 1973 Jacques Vallee was, besides John Keel, our foremost ideological inspiration. We even quoted from Passport to Magonia in our first published information sheet. His writings has deeply influenced my own research and theories. Especially because to Vallee UFO research is part of a profound spiritual quest to understand our existence and in this quest he, like his colleague Allen Hynek, has turned to various esoteric traditions looking for answers. It is here that I am faced with one of the great unsolved riddles in his life and writings. In several diary entries Vallee mention his interest and study of esoteric authors. Both Hynek and Vallee consider themselves as belonging to the Rosicrucian tradition (p. 126). The Rosicrucian tradition often referred to is Amorc: ”Yesterday, I visited Rosicrucian Park, taking along a copy of Forbidden Science as a gift to their library. I spoke to Grand Master Kristie Knudson who called me ”Frater”, apologized for being busy, and delegated an instructor to take me through the temple.” (p. 196).

Among the names in the Rosicrucian tradition Vallee recognize ”and pledge allegiance to” are Paracelsus, Flamel, Nostradamus and Paschal Beverly Randolph: ”I have always felt – as did Allen Hynek – that the objective of most esoteric groups such as the Golden Dawn, Amorc and masonry, was intellectually and spiritually valuable. It is the execution that is flawed because human and social structures prove incompatible with the ideals.” (p. 436). How come that Jacques Vallee, in his lifelong studies of Hermeticism and Rosicrucians, never have found the core Esoteric Tradition as represented by Helena Blavatsky, Alice Bailey and Henry T. Laurency? The Esoteric Tradition as formulated by these authors constitutes the scientifically and philosophically most interesting multiverse paradigm or theory to explain the multitude of intriguing phenomena documented by many researchers. Of special importance is that Bailey and Laurency also have solved the basic epistemological problem of how to intellectually relate to the claims in esotericism. The esoteric worldview as presented by these authors could be accepted as a reasonable working hypothesis by any scholar or academic. Instead Vallee refers to the rather naive writings of Amorc and the obscure occultist Pachal Beverly Randolph who was advocating sex magic and drugs – the dark reflection of the Esoteric Tradition. In his diary April 27, 1996 Vallee has an interesting discussion with a friend in Paris: ”We spoke of Umberto Eco. I told her that his Foucault´s Pendulum danced around the occult domain, but he completely missed the door that led inside. She shrugged: ”He´s only an academic, an ethnologist,” she said. ”You can´t expect him to understand the paranormal.” (p. 306). Jacques Vallee himself is knocking at the door of the Esoteric Tradition. The problem is that he is knocking at the wrong door.

These critical remarks are of little interest to mainsteam ufologists not acquainted with esotericism, for whom Vallee is basically a scientist and UFO investigator. Neither shall my comments be understood as a denigration of his life and work. I have always admired and been inspired by Jacques Vallee. He is definitely at the top of the ufological Parnassus. The Forbidden Science Journals are not for the wider public but are and will remain unique documents in the annals of UFO history.

Jacques Vallee is a brilliant scientist, ufologist, esotericist and author but also a sensitive and romantic soul. His love for Janine and their life at the Spring Hill retreat is beautifully portrayed in many of the diary entries: ”As Allen did, I am guided by the certainty that there is another level of consciousness and undiscovered structures of reality, or rather ”meta-reality.” It is that higher level I have been seeking, and occasionally finding in meditation at Spring Hill under the night sky.” (p. 437).

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Ralph Holland and the Venusians

”Holland was an ET who chose to come to earth by birth through an earth mother, another volunteer from Venus to help uplift benighted mankind.” With this short biographical note Riley Crabb introduce the writings of American medium and UFO contactee Ralph Holland, pen name Rolf Telano (UFOs and the Martyrdom of Frank Scully, p. 8). Although quite well known in UFO history from Meade Layne´s The Coming of the Guardians, his life and channeling work has, to my knowledge, never been thoroughly studied and documented. Based on files in the BSRF and Parthenon archives at AFU I have tried to uncover data giving a more detailed picture of this fascinating contactee from the 1950s. In the BSRF correspondence file there are 28 letters written to and from Holland between March 24, 1951- November 14, 1955.

Ralph Holland at his home in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio April 1, 1960, photograph by Meade Layne

Ralph Meridette Holland was born August 29, 1899 in Youngtown, Ohio. His family moved to Akron, Ohio in 1914. He received an engineering degree, worked in the plant at the Akron Beacon Journal, and later for B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company. While in Detroit, Michigan he studied journalism and became a freelance reporter, sometimes writing stories under a pen name. In 1932 he moved to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, employed by Vaughn Machinery Company, where he worked until the time of his death. Ralph Holland never married and lived for many years together with his sister, Miss Dora Holland, at their home at 2520 Fourth Street, Cuyahoga Falls. He was a member of the local Methodist Church. Ralph Holland died of a heart attack January 26, 1962.

In a letter to Meade Layne, May 5, 1952, Holland revealed some of his earlier political activities: ”As you may or may not know, Steinmetz was an ardent Socialist all his life, and I happened to be the same, so long as it was in existence in this country. At various times (and under various names, due to the legal persecution of the Party in its early days) I held positions as State Chairman and State Secretary in three different states (at different times, of course)”. This background may have been one of the reasons why, in his contacts with Meade Layne, he often pointed out that he didn´t want to make any money from his publications or channeling. For many years a member of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation he often donated money to the organization.

An ardent science fiction enthusiast he joined the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) in 1950 and was president from 1958 until his death in 1962. In 1955 he published several issues of his own fanzine The Science Fiction Review and in 1958 compiled Ghu´s Lexicon, a book of fannish terms. There was even a N3F´s Ralph M. Holland Award, named after him. First winner of the award was Juanita Coulson.

Holland became deeply fascinated by the fantastic tales of Richard Shaver. Partly because of his engineering background Holland found the Shaver stories enigmatic: ”Many writers have featured fantastic mechanism in their stories… but Shaver described so many different kinds of mechanism that, to quote the analysis of one professor, he would have to be a master at a dozen different sciences to even imagine them in the detail which he had in his stories. It is at this point that the real ”mystery” comes in… it is utterly impossible that he could have dreamed up his ”mech” in his own head. The question was: where did he get his information? He claims that he got it from his cavern friends.”
(A Voice From The Gallery, no. 28, Spring 1958, p. 1).

In order to study the mystery Holland joined a small group, the Circle Letter Club, circulating letters discussing Shaver. Many members were technicians of some sort. This procedure became too complicated and time consuming so Holland, around 1949, instead started publishing a small bi-monthly newsletter, A Voice From the Gallery. But the zine failed to serve its intended purpose and he continued the newsletter as a sort of personal editorial affair with this policy: ”A Voice From the Gallery is merely the voice of its editor and publisher, and does not represent any organization, group or ”school of thought”. It does not have any idea or theory to sell, and is not attempting to prove anything.” It became a sort of Fortean newsletter covering subjects like paranormal phenomena, Richard Shaver, the Koch Treatment and other alternative medicines, flying saucers, A and H bombs. 28 issues were published until Spring 1958. We have only three issues in the BSRF archives at AFU.

I have not been able to find out when he began channeling or why, probably around 1949-1950. In early 1952 Holland sent his first channeling document, Flying Saucers, to Meade Layne, director of Borderland Sciences Research Foundation (BSRF) and it was published as BSR Release 1-B-52, an 11-page brochure. In later editions of this document Meade Layne made this comment: ”The Intermediary or ”Receiver” of the foregoing material, ”Rolf Telano”, is an electronics engineer by profession and a resident of the Middle West. He has never publicized or exploited his psychic gifts. The above material was received by a kind of inner dictation or clairaudience, with partial control of the hands on the typewriter. I have found no reason, during my near-decade of contact with him, to question his integrity or the authentic nature of the psychism involved.”

In a Round Robin article 1952, The Telano Communications, Ralph Holland made a few comments on his channeling: ”The method of receiving the communications was both mental, and a form of automatic writing. That is, it was written directly on my typewriter, and although I was fully conscious at all times, I often did not know what was going to be set down next. Also, my ”control” used the touch system of typing, and could write as well in the dark as in the light. I myself have never learned the touch system and write by the ”peck and hunt” method. I can receive replies via the pendulum and alphabet card… but do not regard it as being as reliable as other means.”
(Round Robin, vol 8, no 1, May-June 1952, pp. 2).

After this brief introduction Holland gives the rather surprising revelation that one of the communicators, Borealis Telano, is actually his wife ”on the Venusian etheric plane”. She is working as a priestess on Venus. Holland explain that he has ”many hasty memories” of his former life on Venus and ”only a few clear ones”. The people behind the communications is a group of etheric Venusians, who function as interplanetary Guardians. In a letter to Meade Layne, January 21, 1952, Holland present the names of some in the group:
Gerald Peterson, chief of operations of the various craft here.
Ollie Rolson, technical officer
Portia Norton, historian
Mira Peterson, psychologist
Nels Gordon, interplane communications officer
Borealis Telano, priestess

Anyone familiar with the unique and high quality channeling by deep trance medium Mark Probert will immediately notice that the messages received by Holland appears to be a reflection of the teachings given by the Inner Circle, communicating through Mark Probert, and the Richard Shaver stories. Although the worldview and philosophy presented by Holland in several ways is in accordance with the Esoteric Tradition I would suggest the theory that the information comes from his own subconscious, from many years of reading BSRF writings, Richard Shaver and science fiction. He is certainly honest and wrote to a friend: ”I have no special powers or wisdom of my own. I was just the ”stenographer” who wrote down what they said, and the ”messenger boy” who sent it where I was told.”
(Letter from Ralph Holland to Joseph Magenta Feb 23, 1952).

It is interesting to note that the Mark Probert communicators were somewhat doubful regarding the authenticity of the Ralph Holland contacts as evidenced by this quote: ”I see no reason why this communication from your Associate known as Rolf Telano, should not be made public, since a few will profit by it and others will not be harmed. It should, however, be presented with the utmost circumspection.”
”Meade Layne, the Coming of the Guardians, p. 54).

To my knowledge Holland never claimed any physical contact with his Venusian friends nor to have made any UFO observations. He was actually very skeptical about physical UFO contacts and and even regarded George Adamski as a fraud, a position contrary to Meade Layne and the Mark Probert communicators:”For myself, I long ago made up my mind about Adamski” (A Voice From the Gallery, no. 28, Spring 1958, p. 4). Even if Holland was not a naive believer in psychic communication he never seems to have considered a psychological explanation for his own experiences. And he was very critical of another of the BSRF UFO contactees Gerald Light (Dr. Kappa): ”Regarding Dr. Kappa: have you ever considered the possibility of impersonation? Not by him, but by his ”Etherians”. There are many details which does not ”ring true” for an Etherian on any level. You mention that they seem to be ”non-human”, but I get the feeling that they are a very perverted form of human, with a very vicious form of  sadistic insanity.”
(Letter from Ralph Holland to Meade Layne, January 30, 1952).

I do find it a bit surprising that neither Meade Layne nor Riley Crabb ever seems to have considered the possibility of a psychological explanation for the Ralph Holland experiences. They were both erudite esotericists and should have remembered the common sense approach to psychic communications as expressed by the Tibetan to Alice Bailey: ”Messages emanating from the relatively nice, well-trained subconscious nature of the recipient. These well up from the subconscious but are regarded by the recipient as coming from an outside source. Introspective people frequently penetrate into the layer of subconscious recollection and are quite unaware of so doing. Their interest in themselves is so intense. Not knowing that they have done this, they regard what they find as unusual, beautiful and important, and then proceed to formulate it into messages, which they expect their friends and the general public to regard as spiritually based. These messages are normally innocuous, sometimes beautiful, because they are a mixture of what the recipients have read and gathered from the mystical writing or have heard from Christian sources and the Bible. It is really the content of their right thinking along spiritual lines and can do no one any harm, but is of no true importance whatsoever. It accounts, however, for eighty-five percent (85%) of the so-called telepathic or inspired writings so prevalent at this time.” (Alice Bailey, Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle, pp. 75-76). Ufologists and investigators of paranormal phenomena may be a bit surprised to find that in this respect esotericism actually side with mainstream materialist, reductionist psychology in the general interpretation of channeling.

Meade Layne´s compilation The Coming of the Guardians (first edition 1954) is today a minor classic in UFO literature, published in many editions. This first manuscript, The Flying Saucers, was later (1963) published Gray Barker´s Saucerian Books, with a few additions and an In Memoriam by his sister Mis Dora Holland. In the middle of the 1950s Ralph Holland gave a new manuscript, A Spacewoman Speaks, to Meade Layne. Harriet P. Foster, for many years secretary of BSRF and associate editor of Round Robin, then became a sort of literary agent for Holland and succeeded in getting his MS published by Daniel Fry´s Understanding Publishing Company in 1960. She commented on this project in a letter to Daniel Fry: ”I might mention that one of the main reasons why Ralph wished to remain anonymous was that he had been president for four or five years of an international science-fiction writers club and his association with sf-circles might have imperiled the authenticity of the Spacewoman in the minds of some of his readers. That was why I undertook the task of finding a publisher for the book.”
(Letter from Harriet P. Foster to Daniel Fry, April 10, 1962).

First edition of The Coming of the Guardians

Edith Nicolaisen, founder of the Swedish publishing company Parthenon contacted Harriet Foster and succeeded in getting the publishing rights free ”for the benefit of Parthenon”. Nicolaisen also contacted Miss Dora Holland to get further biographical data on Holland and a photograph. She never received a picture as Ralph´s anonymity was important for Dora. But she did give some interesting biographical data of her brother in a letter June 1, 1964. A Swedish edition of A Spacewoman Speaks (Vänner i universum) was published by Parthenon in 1964.

There are still many unanswered questions regarding Ralph Holland and his life and writings. As he was very much involved in science fiction, Richard Shaver and borderland sciences much data could possible be found in different archives. During his active years he claimed to be corresponding with some 200 people, so correspondence files could possibly be located from many sources.