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Date Posted: 09:48
Author: ketch - 24 Jun 2001
Subject: Paulsen's Sunburst Community
In reply to: ketch - 24 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Hendrik and Paulsen" on 09:45

The following article is taken from The Marburg Journal of Religion.

Click here for the full text.

The "Brotherhood of the Sun" or "Sunburst Community"

Garry Trompf, already quoted above and known for his work on Melanesian religion, compared Melanesian cargoism and millenarianism with religious movements on the other side of the Pacific Ocean and concentrated here on the Sunburst community[19] founded in California by Norman Paulsen in 1955. Included in its syncretistic religious and cosmological worldview are Yogananda's Kriya-Yoga, some Christian elements, several esoteric-theosophical traditions and Erich von Däniken motifs, with the idea of imminent contact with UFOs as the centre-piece of hope for salvation.
The cosmological belief patterns of the Brotherhood of the Sun were expressed in spatial and temporal forms (41). There must have been a continent called "Mu" twelve thousand years ago in the middle of the Pacific, apart from Australia and New Guinea[20]. This is the lost holy motherland on which all the important events in cosmic sacred history were played out. The ancient culture heroes were beings of other worlds who influenced evolutionary process in humankind through genetic manipulation. About a million years earlier the beings from other worlds escaped from an inter-stellar war and reached the earth (41f). These have been regarded as gods in earthly religions to this day. These so-called builders founded cities on the continent Mu and created people according to their own image (cf. Gen. 1:26): as red, blue, yellow and white[21]. The continual conflict with the enemies of the "builders" dispersed the human race over the earth. Finally, about twelve thousand years ago an asteroid collided with the earth and destroyed the continents of Atlantis (collision) and Mu (a tidal wave).

The future is seen above all as a return, as a re-actualisation of the 'lost paradise'. The frequent sightings of flying saucers are nothing other than space ships or "Space Mus" of the angelic Builders who now selected Norman Paulsen as primary contact person (43). The divine-mythical culture heroes would return ("The Return of the Ancients") to strike the final blow on their evil foe. Thereby contemporary society in its present form will be destroyed. When this millennium breaks through, its new Cargo will not be manifested in abundance of material wealth of the western kind but as a completely superior technology with special materials hitherto unknown to mankind and with a release of unknown energies of the universe[22], especially of the sun (43). Then again it will be possible to "follow the simple laws of God and nature" (44).


Here the paradisiacal imagery of the perfect "garden" is amalgamated in immediate association with the dream of a scientific miracle (44). Even the "Space Mu" ships provide under their domes "internal gardens" in which all desirable surroundings can be created. "The Motherland" is "returning again", and by this the Garden of Eden will be restored (44).

A central role was to be played by the Sunburst Ranch to the north of Santa Barbara and its members would be the first to profit from the new 'Cargo': "Young men and women could become space pilots or scientists, or pursue whatever trade they felt drawn to" (55). Paulsen explicitly connected his vision of a "cosmic consciousness" (or "Christ consciousness") with expectations of the cargoist type -- in his own words: "The by-product of living a life of harmony with the Spirit is to have physical abundance" (55). Paulsen first understood himself to be a prophet, but towards the end of the sixties he assumed more strongly the role of Christ (52). He then understood himself to be an ancient Lord of Mu and suddenly remembered his former inter-stellar flights. His style of leadership and clashes with the surrounding population led to the effective break-up of the movement in 1982.

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