Author: Gary Bates
Publisher: Master Books
Like the vampires, werewolves, and zombies that have come before, aliens have captured the attention and screens of most people in the Western world. Where they once came across as terrifying beings hell-bent on the destruction of the earth, you are now just as likely to find movies, tv shows, and books portraying aliens as benevolent, advanced beings sent to help or make alliances with us. But what are aliens? Are we seeing a bird, a plane, or something…else in the night sky? Are they here to bring us the truth like they claim? What about close encounters? And why should anyone, let alone Christians, care? In his book Alien Intrusion, Gary Bates breaks all this down and more, pointing everyone to the truth that isn’t “out there” but is quite near us.
While this book is entirely nonfiction, Bates did well in laying out a narrative structure to his book. He begins with an overview, including the most famous alien stories we all know about, including the War of the Worlds broadcast and the Roswell Incident, along with some lesser-known events. In the first chapter, he details the history of modern alien encounters and their influence on people. He also thoroughly discusses the accounts of governments, scientists, authors, and average citizens. Most have the same message: something is out there, and it is coming here. Though detailed, this chapter has less to do with the why and how and more to do with the what and the need to discuss this topic from a Christian perspective.
Each subsequent chapter then builds upon this first one, pulling the reader on chapter by chapter as each forms a more complete picture of what we are dealing with. As Bates builds his case, he is slowly tearing down the cultural one. Bates explains in detail almost every aspect pertaining to aliens, including the science (or lack thereof) of our supposed alien visitors, the connection of evolutionary theories, the influence of fiction and nonfiction on the psyches of people, the fact that these encounters are no new phenomenon, the myths, the actual encounters, and the impact on the bodies, minds, and souls of abductees. I know that is a broad overview, and yet, Bates covers it all and more. He addressed the culture and science, movies, hoaxes, and the witnesses of something unnatural. But while I learned so much about the history of aliens and related subjects – and much information to support the Christian apologetic – I found one aspect of the book particularly crucial and eye-opening: the connections to the occult and the New Age Movement.
The culture is enamored with the idea of aliens. Many might say that the reason for this is because their presence means, “We’re not alone!” But from where does this desire arise? In short, it is in our nature to desire to worship something. We are innately spiritual beings. Unfortunately, when we reject the truth of the Gospel, we will seek something else to worship. There is little wonder that beings through the ages have come with this message: “I’m from the heavens, and I’m here to help.” These encounters are quite possibly the origin of many pagan gods. Unfortunately, these beings are from neither space nor heaven. They are, instead, very often demons. In Alien Intrusion, Bates lays out the connections between mysticism, vague spirituality, occultism, and the New Age Movement with alien encounters and abductions.
It is here that I think Christians need to take special attention. Aliens are more than science fiction, and some encounters should not be taken lightly. I wrote before on a book that deals with demon possession. Sadly, many Christians are largely ignorant of the reality of the spiritual warfare going on around us. Worse, they are unprepared for the many forms this warfare appears. But the demons are most willing to utilize culture, spiritual naivete, and our desire for “something” to deceive, manipulate, and destroy. And yet, despite a great number of people crying out for help, few go to the Church to find it. And those who do are often ignored or ridiculed. This should not be, and that is the main reason I think Christians should read this book. It is not just so that Christians are aware of the demonic in regards to some alien encounters. Instead, it is so that we can understand what we are dealing with and be ready and willing to help those tormented by these beings. These people are often encountering something real. What better place to find truth and comfort than in the Church?
But regarding abductions, here is where I must issue some warnings concerning this book. For those who have some knowledge of abductions, the following won’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, I wasn’t much surprised by what I read in Bates’ book as I had studied pagan literature and knew of the devious interactions between supposed gods and humans as well as some cryptozoology. And yet, some of the descriptions of abductions and what often occurs during these encounters are disturbing, to say the least. Unsurprisingly, these beings have no sympathy for people, despite their messages to the contrary. Very often, their “interactions” with people are full of fear-inducing measures, causing real psychological and even physical pain. Many encounters are sexual in nature. The reader should be prepared for some detail of these encounters near the last third of the book.
I did take issue with a couple of parts of the book. One is a formatting pet peeve. For some reason, there are no page numbers on the right-hand pages except for on the first page of a chapter. It’s not enough of a reason not to read the book, but those sorts of things bug me. The other issue I take with has to do with his theological perspectives. I greatly appreciated his sharing the Gospel at the end, but Gary Bates comes from a different tradition than I do. There were only a couple of times I noticed particularly where I thought we disagreed theologically. I mention this point only as a note to those who would be reading this book from a Lutheran or Catholic perspective. Bates also presented some arguments for the Nephilim in the appendix that may or may not be orthodox. That being said, I think the book should be read by all Christians as there is still so much to learn on this subject and this book is a tremendous resource. Bates ends his book by pointing to the truth of Christ found in Scripture, providing the path to hope for the lost and a springboard for us to come alongside the hurting. This alone makes it a must-read.
Overall, I think this book is well worth the read. Bates is quite thorough, covering every aspect from ancient events to modern phenomena, culture movements, occultism, demonology, and the ultimate truth of it all. While his descriptions of abductions are disturbing, I appreciated that he included them. These people are suffering and need our empathy. This is also a book of warning to us all that we might be wary of accepting cultural and unbiblical spirituality as the truth. Alien Intrusion is a great source of information on aliens as well as a source of warning, empathy, and hope in the Gospel. If you want to know more about aliens, spirituality, and the truth of it all, this is the book for you.
Blessings to you and yours,
~Madelyn Rose Craig