The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture

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Prometheus Books, 2005 - Fiction - 398 pages
6 Reviews
Nearly half of all Americans believe in the existence of extraterrestrials, and many are also convinced that aliens have visited earth at some point in history. Included among such popular beliefs is the notion that so-called ancient astronauts (visitors from outer space) were responsible for historical wonders like the pyramids. In The Cult of Alien Gods, author Jason Colavito reveals for the first time that the entire genre of ancient astronaut books is based upon fictional horror stories, whose author once wrote that he never wished to mislead anyone.
In this entertaining and informative book, Colavito traces the origins of the belief in ancient extraterrestrial visitors to the work of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937). This amazing tale takes the reader through fifty years of pop culture and pseudoscience highlighting such influential figures and developments as Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods), Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods), Zecharia Sitchin (Twelfth Planet), and the Raelian Revolution. The astounding and improbable connections among these various characters are revealed, along with the disturbing consequences of Lovecraft’s "little joke" for modern science and public knowledge.
Beyond documenting Lovecraft’s influence on ancient astronaut theories and Raelian cloning efforts, Colavito also argues that the appeal of such modern myths is a troubling sign in an age when science is having its greatest success. He suggests that at the dawn of the 21st century Western society is witnessing a deep-seated erosion of Enlightenment values that are the basis of the modern world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

Colavito is at his best tracing out the influence H.P. Lovecraft has had on "alternative archaeology," from becoming an influence at the French science fiction magazine "Planete" in the 1960s, which ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - xuebi - LibraryThing

Aliens have gripped the public consciousness since that day Kenneth Arnold saw the first sightings of the modern age in 1947. Along with the idea that man is not alone in the universe, the idea that ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Jason Colavito is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Skeptic magazine, among other publications.

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