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A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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BIHS Lecture Series on “Parallels” Book Held in Florida
By Prishni Sutton   |  Feb 12, 2024

This month, the Bhaktivedanta Institute held its third Richard L. Thompson Lecture Series on Thompson’s book, Parallels: Ancient Insights into Modern UFO Phenomena, initially published as Alien Identities (1993). 

The event featured presentations by Michael Cremo (Drutakarma Das), Christopher Beetle (Krishna Kripa Das), and Bob Cohen (Brahmatirtha Das), along with a small party held in honor of Sadaputa’s birthday.

The day began with a talk by Michael Cremo describing his days working closely with Sadaputa while both served at the San Diego BI during the early 1990s, which included many details involving the production of both Forbidden Archaeology and Alien Identities. Concerning the latter work, he said, “[Sadaputa] was interested in drawing out the parallels between the Vedic descriptions of demigods, celestial beings, and other entities with superhuman powers. I was amazed that he entered into topics like that because they are considered out of bounds,” Cremo continued, “But he found that the similarities in the descriptions in the Vedas and UFO accounts reinforced each other and thus increased the credibility of both.”

BIHS director Bob Cohen spoke on the “Introduction” to Parallels, in which Thompson raised a number of questions about mainstream attitudes toward UFO reports. Cohen noted, “The parallels pointed out…suggest that just as UFOs may be more real than our…cultural conditioning may have allowed us to believe, the same may be true of the world view presented in the Vedic literature.”

During the lively discussion following the presentations, Christopher G. Beetle, who assisted Thompson with book and video productions for seventeen years, remarked, “Most UFO book authors are either true believers who bend all the accounts to show UFOs are real, or debunkers, who bend all the accounts to show that they are hoaxes. Sadaputa Prabhu just wanted to report the cases as they were and compare them to Vedic accounts. Thus, his book is appreciated…as perhaps the most honest UFO book extant in the English language.”

The event culminated with a pizza buffet for all, compliments of Govinda’s in Alachua, Florida.

Please visit the Richard L. Thompson Lecture Series webpage for more information about this and other events. Recordings from previous sessions on Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science and Vedic Cosmography and Astronomy are also available on the BIHS YouTube channel. Of special note, Michael Cremo’s video describing his time working closely with Sadaputa can be viewed here.


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