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I made it about half way through the book before I gave up. The authors, DeLonge and Peter Levenda, spent most of the pages I slogged through cherry-picking ancient cultures and religion to find curious or unexplained things. Then, they attribute these experiences to mysterious alien influences.
For example, amid a discussion of alien abductions and “the Titans, the Giants, and the Melians of ancient Greek mythology,” the book provides this gem: “If we posit an alien abduction taking place in ancient Israel, for instance, it would have been recorded much the same way that Genesis recorded angels mating with humans and creating monsters.” Indeed.
All of these enigmas of ancient culture, we are told, provide evidence of something the authors dub “The Phenomenon.” And what is this? Well, that’s not really clear. This much we know: It’s something hidden. something alien, and something just waiting for scholars to unlock. And DeLonge and his gang suggest they’ve found the key.
The authors finally get around to explaining their intent on page 29: “Our goal is nothing less than a revolution in the hard sciences as well as the social sciences: a reevaluation of what we know about our function, our purpose in the cosmos, and the potential opportunities and possible threats that exist.”
If this kind of supernatural revolution is your thing, I can heartily recommend the book to you. If it’s not, well, welcome to the club. I decided not to review the book because I felt it unkind to trash something that seemed like a heartfelt effort. (And hey, I liked his music). So I set the book aside.
Only later, much later, did I learn that DeLonge parlayed these books into something called To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science Inc. This unassailable group is a team of former intelligence officials and various other experts along with DeLonge who “believe there are transformative discoveries within our reach that will revolutionize the human experience, but they can only be accomplished through the unrestricted support of breakthrough research, discovery and innovation.”
In other words, the evil government is covering all kinds of mysterious alien stuff up for its own nefarious purposes. And interested personages were invited to help the good guys. For a few hundred bucks, people could get a piece of an “A+ investment offering” from To the Stars, to assist its efforts to pull back the veil from the government cover-up and bring brilliant new technologies—such as beamed energy propulsion—into public view.
By now, you’ve probably guessed where this is heading. And it’s not a pretty place. A recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission tells the tale in black-and-white numbers.
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates the realization of assets and the satisfaction of liabilities in the normal course of business. The Company has incurred losses from operations and has an accumulated deficit at June 30, 2018 of $37,432,000. These factors raise doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.
Put another way, after a year of fundraising, Tom DeLonge’s alien business has raised just over $1 million in outside funding. The company has racked up a $37.4 million deficit, however, largely from a stock incentive plan for its employees. The financial filing states that To the Stars intends to remain in business over the next 12 months by selling additional stock. Their website says they accept credit cards, if you’re so inclined to help keep the effort afloat. But bear in mind that any financial returns may be beyond the reach of even The Phenomenon.
I’m not sure what to say about a millionaire who parlays his or her fame into a business that raises funds from people who are not millionaires but desperately want to believe in aliens, or conspiracies, or hidden government technologies. Therefore, I’ll let DeLonge say it for me, in Blink 182’s hit song Aliens Exist, from 1999’s Enema of the State: “We all know conspiracies are dumb.”
If only we all did.