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The Cult of Alien Gods

H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture
Colavito, Jason (Book - 2005)
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The Cult of Alien Gods
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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.

Book News
Colavito posits that the belief aliens visited Earth in ancient times originates from works by horror writer H.P. Lovecraft; he investigates his works and impact, along with early scientific, pseudoscientific, and science fiction influences on him. In addition to other writers perpetuating the alien myth since the 1920s, he investigates the "UFO craze" in the US and France, and works by Erich von Däniken, Robert Temple, Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, Zecharia Sitchin, and others, while exploring the effects of this propagation on people's views about science. Colavito is a freelance writer and editor. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Authors: Colavito, Jason
Statement of Responsibility: Jason Colavito
Title: The cult of alien gods
H.P. Lovecraft and extraterrestrial pop culture
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2005
Characteristics: 398 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 23 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 375-382) and index
Subject Headings: Gods in literature Cthulhu (Fictitious character) Human-alien encounters in literature Life on other planets in literature Horror tales, American History and criticism Popular culture United States History 20th century Lovecraft, H. P. (Howard Phillips), 1890-1937 Influence Lovecraft, H. P. (Howard Phillips), 1890-1937 Appreciation United States Lovecraft, H. P. (Howard Phillips), 1890-1937 Criticism and interpretation
Topical Term: Gods in literature
Cthulhu (Fictitious character)
Human-alien encounters in literature
Life on other planets in literature
Horror tales, American
Popular culture
LCCN: 2005020527
ISBN: 1591023521
Research Call Number: JFE 06-562
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