We start out with the standard bio / background on Greg Reece, how he got interested in the UFO phenomenon and the UFO case that stuck with him since childhood. From there, we find out how Greg began his research into "UFO Religion", including his trip to the National UFO Congress in Laughlin, NV, where he took part in a "sky watch".

Greg talks about the schism in early Ufology of "nuts and bolts UFO studies" v. the "lunatic fringe". This leads to a discussion on how the "nuts and bolts" camp has its own belief structure within it, despite its attempts to eschew the belief structure of the "lunatic fringe". Next we talk about how since the UFO enigma is such a mystery, it is subject to influence from the belief systems of those who investigate it.

We discuss one aspect of the abduction / hybrid phenomenon research that Greg finds to be abhorrent. We talk about what can cause a UFO contactee to go from a singular experiencer to a cult leader. This leads into Greg explaining what he thinks is a critical element that Ufology must have, in order to maintain perspective on the contactee phenomenon. We talk about the difficulty in determining which contactee groups are genuine and which ones are more of a hoax and how "true believers" may end becoming hoaxers to further their own belief structure.

Greg speculates on why it seems like the contactee movement has died out in the last few decades and what changes in Ufology may have caused that perception. We look at Scientology and how it is different from almost all other UFO-based religions, in that they strive to keep their UFO influence a secret as opposed to a major selling point for the religion. Greg also talks about some of the strange elements that he noticed while looking into the UFO element to Scientology.

Looking at UFO religious groups as a whole, Greg tells us about what kind of pattern can be discerned from looking at their evolution, from start to demise and he provides us with a good example of how a charismatic leader can energize a UFO based group.

Moving on to the 3rd part of "UFO Religion", we talk about a key paradox that lies within the "ancient astronaut" theory. This extends into a discussion on how, in modern times, many strange enigmas get lumped into the UFO phenomenon, which acts as a "catch all" for the esoteric. From there, we examine how Ufology acts as an extension of science in the science v. religion debate, especially when it comes to anomalous lights in the sky. This segues into a discussion on the paradox of "nuts and bolts Ufology" in that they strive to use science to prove something that would probably fundamentally change science.

Gary extrapolates on the conflict between mainstream science and Ufology, why Ufology has such a hard time being accepted by the mainstream, and how striving for acceptance may cause Ufology to overlook the more spiritual meanings behind the UFO phenomenon. We talk about one of the big themes of the book, that being "fear" as a driving force behind Ufology.

We get Greg's take on mainstream religion's perspective on the UFO phenomenon, in light of the Vatican observatory and recent pronouncements from the Catholic church regarding ET life. He also speculates on where he sees the relationship of Ufology and religion heading in the future. Greg also discusses one of the big conclusions in the book, that the ETs represent "new gods" but are suspiciously similar to the "old gods" and he explains this using examples from contemporary UFO religions.

We talk about the exopolitics movement and where Greg sees it fitting into the big picture of UFO cults and culture. The leads to Greg using the example of the early days of the Christain religion as a way of speculating what may become of Ufology, should there be no definitive answer to the UFO question after hundreds of years.

Wrapping it all up, Greg gives us a preview of his next book, "Weird Science and Bizarre Beliefs" and when he thinks it will be arriving in bookstores.

Gregory L. Reece holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from The Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. He is also a graduate of the Vanderbilt Divinity School (M.Div.), Samford University (B.A.) and Martin Methodist College (A.A.). He is the author of "UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Culture" (2007) and "Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King " (2006) (one of the top 5 pop music books of 2006 according to the Sunday Times - London) both published by IB Tauris and of "Irony and Religious Belief", an interpretation of the theories of religion of Soren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Richard Rorty, published by Mohr-Siebeck press.

His research and publishing interests include philosophy of religion and the study of new religious movements. Dr. Reece is a freelance writer who resides in Montevallo, Alabama. He is married to Dr. Kristen Gilbert, professor of Psychology at the University of Montevallo. Their son, Sam, is eight, and their daughter Olivia, is three. The four of them, as well as several animals, live in a big, old house in Montevallo’s Historic district. He is currently working on a book entitled "Weird Science and Bizarre Beliefs: Mysterious Creatures, Lost Worlds, and Amazing Inventions"

His website is www.uforeligion.com

topics discussed:
1 Hr 34 Min.
Greg Reece