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Journey into Unarius with 'Children of the Stars'

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UFO parking only: a Unarius student patiently waits.
COURTESY OF BILL PERRINE

Born at the turn of the last century, Ruth Nields was a restless, lively soul who went through a number of professions (and several husbands) before 1954, when she met electrical engineer Ernest Norman, whose past lives apparently included that of Jesus Christ. He passed away in 1971, at which point the church these "two great beings of celestial consciousness" had established started heading in (even) more fanciful directions, to the dismay of some earlier converts but the delight of many new ones. Ruth assumed the primary identity of Uriel, "Queen of Archangels," a fourth dimension channeler who'd already materialized on as Yuda of Yu, Poseid of Atlantis, Peter the Great, Quetzalcoatl, Zoroaster, King Arthur, and JFK.

Several such lives, and prophesies of imminent extraterrestrial arrivals, were elaborately portrayed in such sci-fi spectaculars as The Arrival and Roots of the Earthmen. There were also historical epics, including one in which Norman — as a Scarlett O'Hara-like belle of the Old South — cavorts on a plantation, surrounded by what appear to be many enthusiastic young white gay men in blackface drag gushing about how beautiful and kind she is. These extravaganzas endeared Unarius to a larger audience via cable airings, though eventually shrinking inspiration or funding curtailed their production.

Unarius hardly lacked drama in its daily operations. A student turned "sub-channeler" named Louis Spiegel was cast as official "fallen angel," a Lucifer whose bitchy ways and power plays irked many until Uriel pronounced him "totally healed" in 1984, at which point he abruptly turned into "the sweetest man." Others jostled for the Queen's favor, recalling their envy and arrogance now as lingering repercussions of past lives in which some presided over Uriel's beheading in ancient Egypt or led Jews to Nazi gas chambers. Everyone was woven into the ever-evolving narrative, which sometimes closely resembled popular fantasy series like Star Trek or Star Wars. (Perrine cleverly uses old sci-fi clips to illustrate Unarius concepts.)

Ruth Norman died in 1993. The last announced date for the "Space Brothers" to visit, 2001, came and went because clearly Eartheans weren't ready in the wake of 9/11. But Unarius survives, despite its mythology of negative energy phenomena over millennia remaining a small beacon of utopian benevolence in a world of gloating religious apocalypticists. El Cajon may turn out to be the very portal to paradise yet. *

CHILDREN OF THE STARS

Sat/14, 8:30pm, $6.66

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