Edith Nicolaisen and doomsday prophecies
A nuclear war will cause the end of the world on April 23, 1990. This was announced in many newspapers around the globe at the time. Behind this prophecy was Elisabeth Clare Prophet or Guru Ma, head of the Church Universal and Triumphant. Members of this New Age church had built a gigantic bunker in Montana, USA, waiting for doomsday. There were doctors, nurses, pilots, technicians, cooks, even a dentist from Finland. They had quit their jobs and sold everything. Millions of dollars were invested in this bunker. When doomsday didn´t arrive many lives were shattered. Twenty years later Elisabeth´s daughter, Erin Prophet, wrote a revealing biography of her life in this group, Prophet´s Daughter, published in 2009.
Part of article about Elisabeth Clare Prophet from Swedish daily Expressen, March 31, 1990
Apocalyptic doomsday prophecies are often reported, coming mainly from fundamentalist or New Age cults, and since the 1950s also from various UFO contactees. As I am presently organizing and reviewing the Parthenon archive at AFU I have found many documents and letters giving the inside view of how deeply affected Edith Nicolaisen, founder of Parthenon, was by doomsday prophecies and ideas. In fact it appears to have been one of her main motivations for the incessant activity and hard work for more than thirty years. This may come as a surprise for many who have regarded Edith as basically a UFO and New Age book publisher. Personally I have been of the opinion that her adherence and interest in prophecies began during the later years but as this letter reveal doomsday ideas was an important part of her worldview already from the start:
”Should you wish further information about the Flying Saucers and interplanetary relations och ´The Disaster worse than the H-Bomb´, prophesied already in 1883 by Madame Blavatsky, and today scientifically proven with the help of gyroscopics and mathematical calculations I will gladly come to Malmö one evening, speaking with you and others interested. It is a matter of life and death involving 4/5 of humanity in our century. Everyone becoming aware of this has no choice but joining the information work with the aim of helping as many people as possible to survive.” (Letter from Edith Nicolaisen to Arvid Johansson, October 31, 1957).
A fascinating occultist and complicated trickster figure in the annals of UFO history is Dr. Raymond Bernard, born Walter Siegmeister in New York 1901. He is best known for his 1963 volume Flying Saucers From the Earth´s Interior and his many books on health food. After several decades of adventurous life in many countries, setting up colonies for ´natural living´, he finally bought a large tract of property near the town of Joinville on Sao Francisco do Sul Island in southern Brazil. Here he established a company, Santa Catarina Banana Products, selling Banana Sugar, Dehydrated Bananas, Banana Bars and Banana Krumbles. Edith Nicolaisen was interested in the ideas and plans of Bernard and corresponded with him 1963-1965, also ordering some of his bananas. She regarded his settlement as a possible ideal community for Swedish families to escape the coming catastophies, as mentioned in this letter to Dr. Walter Bühler, Brazil.
”From Dr. Raymond Bernard I have received information about his established ´New-Californian´settlement at Barra Velha, Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil… Before I recommend our new-age friends here in Sweden and in Germany to buy land at Joinville for the purpose of emigrating and become new-age settlers in the ´World´s Low Fallout Zone´ I should appreciate very much to hear your opinion… Probably, you too have heard about all the fatal prophecies of various sorts, from various sources and from diffrent parts of the Globe – all pointing to the same conclusion: ´It is later than we think´! And that the years 64/65/66/67/68 will be the years of great catastrophies of different origins… I would like to get the opportunity to help as many UFO-friends with children as possible from the Northern part of the Globe to the Southern part in due time.” (Letter from Edith Nicolaisen to Walter Bühler, February 28, 1965).
Although coming catastrophies was a central idea in the mindset of Edith Nicolaisen doomsday prophecies did not appear in the literature published by Parthenon up until 1967. Instead there was a concentration on the classic UFO contactee books by George Adamski, Daniel Fry, Elisabeth Klarer, Ray and Rex Stanford. But in 1966 Edith had started a correspondence with British artist and spiritualist Liebie Pugh, resulting in the publication of a Swedish edition of her book Nothing Else Matters. The Universal Link (Universell kontakt).
The story behind Universal Link originated from the visionary and paranormal experiences of Richard Grave, Worthing, England. On April 11, 1961, while fixing up a rented house, he encountered a bearded Christlike figure who pointed to a framed picture of the Annunciation. The glass covering the picture exploded and the figure disappeared in an orange light. Later Grave discovered that salty drops formed on the surface of the picture. When media began writing of this phenomenon it was called the Weeping Angel of Worthing.
Richard Grave with the Weeping Angel of Worthing
The bearded visitor, calling himself Truth, returned to Grave on a number of occasions, delivering various messages of a vague and mystical nature. He was not exactly the humble type, referring to himself as ”I am The Truth, The Light, all in The Entire Universe” and ”How happy I am of the progress made in my universe”. Liebie Pugh contacted Richard Grave and together they founded Universal Link. Soon Universal Link groups formed around the world spreading the messages from Truth. Fervent and zealous activity in the groups began after this message from Truth: ”No one can know the day nor the hour of my coming, or when the great Universal Revelation will be enacted; however by Christmas morning, 1967, I will have revealed myself through the medium of nuclear evolution. This is My Plan which is absolute.”
Liebie Pugh at the St. Annes Centre
Even the Danish UFO research group SUFOI became for a while associated with Universal Link. Jørgen Ellesøe and Børje Jensen from SUFOI promoted the messages and Jensen wrote articles in UFO-nyt about Universal Link using the pen name N.E. Wagenda. In 1967 SUFOI published Nothing Else Matters and several Universal Link Newsletters. The situation changed radically when one member of the Danish Universal Link, Knud Weiking, began receiving messages from the Master, now referred to as Orthon. In UFO-nyt no 2, 1967 Børje Jensen concluded: ”Finally there is now evidence that Universal Link and the flying saucers are two sides of the same operation. A Universal Link Center is now founded in Denmark, under the direct supervision of space people.”
Trouble began during the Autumn of 1967 when the Danish Universal Link group announced in the press that the world will end in an atomic war Christmas 1967 and they were building a bunker to save the members from this devastation. When nothing happened at Christmas the group split into different factions.
Article from Swedish daily Sydsvenska Dagbladet about the Danish Doomsday group
In spite of this negative publicity and undeterred by the nonsensical messages from England, Edith Nicolaisen continued to promote Universal Link. But now she received protests from the Danish UFO-groups. Frank Pedersen, editor of UFO-nyt: ”You asked me in the latest letter about my honest opinion about Universal Link. In my opinion this story has been built around a few simple incidents. It is a mixture of ignorance and fraud. Drop this tale, it will only harm the UFO cause.” (Letter from Frank Pedersen to Edith Nicolaisen March 5, 1968)
A similar protest and warning was sent from the Danish IGAP movement: ”Why have you taken up the cause of the Universal Link program? Don´t you realize that the whole ´Orthon madness´ has its origin in Universal Link? It was the Danish Universal Link group in Borup who started all this mess that wrecked so much of the UFO cause… You may cause more damage than you realize by advocating Universal Link, but it is of course your responsibility.”
(Letter from Leif Eckhoff Pedersen to Edith Nicolaisen February 20, 1968).
These protests did not affect Edith but when she continued to publish a compilation of Universal Link newsletters in 1971 even one of her closest co-workers and translators, Gulli Bergvall, abandoned Parthenon. In her last letter to Edith she stated: ”I had hoped that, at this late stage, you would have abandoned publishing the newsletters (Universal Link newsletters – HB). And I reiterate once again, if I only had had a little spiritual knowledge and insight in 1966 when I was given the task of translating the Universal Link story, I would have flatly refused. The best option now would be to forget the whole thing. I cannot understand what good it will do, in 1971, when so much water has flowed beneath the bridges, to resurrect this thread and return to what happened in St. Annes in the 1960s or with abstruse reasoning try to inject something deeply spiritual in the failed revelation of 1967. To exalt this simple story about ´the master´ (who is no master) and the accompanying rather uninterersting phenomena (the crying angel etc.) to something of spiritual significance is truly offering people stones instead of bread.”
(Letter from Gulli Bergvall to Edith Nicolaisen March 14, 1971.
Edith Nicolaisen 1962
The Universal Link messages were not the only doomsday prophecies promoted by Edith. She was equally impressed by the prophecies of New Zealand contactee Yul Verner and she had plans to translate his The Book of Yul. The Secret Life of a Space Incarnate. Yul Verner mixed Bible prophecies with messages from his space friends.
”… I was contacted directly in 1963 by spacemen from the Andromeda constellation. It was from them that I positively learned that Jupiter was the Sun of Justice to be glorified `in a short time´, which I take to mean in 12 years, that is from May 1963 + 12 = May 1975. By that time the Earth ought to feel the impact of this event. There could be som astronomical reports beforehand, although we may have other matters on our minds then for the prophesied Great Tribulation is to take place just ahead. This means that time is at hand for a great world crisis to burst suddently upon us. As a matter of fact I have reason to believe there will be an event this November warning us about it. The contact with my space friends also made me certain that I was an incarnate from their planet MICHAEL of the Andromeda constellation. I had prior to this contact made journeys in spirit to other worlds”.
(Letter from Yul Verner to Edith Nicolaisen, August 26, 1973).
One of the foremost donors to Parthenon was Johan Häggström. Because of his economic support Edith were able to translate and publish several books in Swedish. In this letter she refer to the Verner prophecies in the hope of receiving a substantial economic contribution:
”These lines because ´the sand grains in the hourglass´ are running out faster than we earlier anticipated. And that is why we also need the help of Brother Johan to accomplish an effective information work for the benefit of the Swedish youth during the coming four years. Already in 1974 Jupiter may have manifested in our solar system as our ´new sun´ also known as ´The Sun of Justice´. This will alter the balance in our whole solar system and cause the natural catastrophies mentioned in the Bible,.. Already before 1979 our Earth would be ´cleansed´ according to Adam Rutherford, one of the most acknowledged pyramidology experts of our time.” (Letter from Edith Nicolaisen to Johan Häggström, February 2, 1970).
How come that Edith Nicolaisen, in spite of her many years of university education and wide contacts around the world did not abandon the idea of doomsday prophecies, when they constantly failed? In this respect she is a psychological riddle. These ideas became the Achilles´ heel of Parthenon. Edith often referred to her many years of study of the Esoteric Tradition, which to her essentially meant the mixture of esotericism and Christian mysticism presented by Rudolf Steiner and Max Heindel. If Edith had been better acquainted with Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey she would probably not have made these ”glamour” mistakes. Or, she could have simply heeded the warning about doomsday prophecies given by John Keel – ”Belief is the enemy”.