During the solar eclipse today, August 21, The Society for the New Message from God, a sect based in Boulder, will be sharing what a representative describes as divine revelations that Jehovah Himself divulged to Marshall Vian Summers, His designated "messenger." Attendees at one of the largest eclipse parties in Wyoming will be among the first to receive this wisdom, via handouts of books financed by that most heavenly of devices, a Kickstarter campaign.
"There are a whole lot of people alive in the world today whose eyes are to the sky and who have a sense of life in the universe and humanity's increasing potential for contact with life in the universe," says Will Burrows, a manager for the Society. "The eclipse seems to be gathering people with such inclinations."
The Society for the New Message from God isn't the only (broadly defined) religious organization to promote the eclipse as a form of celestial communication. The Atlantic points out that "several institutions in Oregon, Wyoming, Missouri and other states along the path of totality — the narrow stretch of land where the full effect of the eclipse will be visible — are treating the eclipse and the wave of visitors following it as an opportunity to spread gospel."
For instance, the magazine notes that two Baptist churches in Casper, Wyoming, smack in the path of totality, are using the eclipse to hype God of Wonders, "a movie, styled like a nature documentary, that features creationist explanations for everything from weather systems to DNA."
Enter the Society for the New Message from God, a 501(c)(3) religious nonprofit organization. Although the Society was founded in Boulder by Summers in 1992, Burrows says that Summers "has been receiving revelations from God since 1983. He does so as a voice experience. He records it as audio, and I think it's fair to say we have hundreds of recordings on our website, with more of them becoming available all the time."
A new batch of chats between Summers and God form the basis for The Greater Community: CONTACT With Intelligent Life in the Universe, a book in which Summers works "to bring the clear and uncorrupted truth about the reality of contact to people around the world," as stated on the aforementioned Kickstarter page, which has raised just over $11,000 from 119 backers at this writing. The questions it's said to answer include:
• Who is visiting our world, why they are here and what they want.
• What the alien agenda is and how it is affecting people worldwide.
• Who the true allies of humanity are and how they are different from those forces intervening in our world.
• What the relationship between our core spirituality and contact with other forms of intelligent life is.
• How to prepare for the reality of contact using the innate perceptive ability and greater intelligence that we each possess.
The book isn't the only thing the Society will bring forth during the eclipse. "It will be released simultaneously with the original revelatory recordings" that document Summers's most recent Godly conversations, Burrows enthuses.
At the same time, Burrows notes that the eclipse itself isn't the key to the latest theories in alienology. "We were worried about that being unclear," he acknowledges. "It actually just coincided very well with our publication's timing."
The eclipse, which is expected to get under way in Denver at 10:23 a.m. today, peak at 11:47 a.m. and conclude at 1:14 p.m., also offered a fine marketing opportunity, and the Society is taking advantage.
"We will be bringing a few hundred copies of the book to the viewing party in Glendo, Wyoming, and a couple of other locations along the path of the eclipse," Burrows allows, "and we'll be handing them out for free. We're donation-driven, and we strive to provide as many of our books and ebooks and audio recordings as we can at no cost, because it's very important to us that people become educated about the hazards and opportunities of contact with life in the universe."
That's a very Boulder approach. But today, there's a little Boulder in a lot of places across the country.