Review by: KEN KORCZAK
The author tells us that he wrote this book “out of love for mankind.”
What puts weight behind this lofty statement is that MATTHEW ROBERTS felt it necessary to jettison his 16-year career in the U.S. Navy – 10 years of it at sea –with only four years to go before securing a well-earned military retirement pension.
He gave it all up because of what he needs to talk about in this book.
Roberts didn’t have just any Navy job — he was in military intelligence. It’s a sensitive field that not only requires a high IQ but extraordinary emotional stability.
Roberts understood that if he published and promoted a book about his personal interactions with UFOs, aliens (whom he now calls “The Progenitors”) and his intense psychological battle to cope with extraordinary paranormal experiences – well, that would be something the brass of U.S. Naval Intelligence would not tolerate.
All the above is fine and well-intentioned. But does he deliver?
The short answer is yes.
In many ways, this is a remarkable piece of literature. Certainly, it’s a work of depth and integrity. It has the remarkable quality of being both scholarly and heartfelt at the same time.
Furthermore, INITIATED bears a critical message for humanity that is sorely needed at what feels like an inflection point in our planetary history.
I hope this book is read and contemplated by as many people as possible.
That said, it’s unfortunate this volume will probably be categorized as “a UFO book” and therefore likely to be relegated to what Kurt Vonnegut called “the urinal of literature.” (He actually said that about science fiction, but UFO literature is afforded about the same status, if not worse by the snobby literary elites). I would encourage readers to treat this book as a mainstream offering that would be best served if booksellers would place it in their philosophy section.
So, what’s this book about?
My first notion was that if you could take the works of three intellectual giants – famed mythologist JOSEPH CAMPBELL, the Austrian philosopher RUDOLF STEINER and Harvard psychiatrist JOHN MACK – and synthesize them into a new body of work, then you would have an idea about the contents of Initiated.
Then you add in some healthy doses of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, and you would also have to fold in a huge helping of classical Greek Mythology along with dollops of Whitley Strieber, Travis Walton and Barney and Betty Hill.
I should hasten to add there is an additional sense of timeliness and urgency about what Roberts is writing about. In case you haven’t noticed, the study of UFOs has recently entered a new era.
It began in December of 2017 when the New York Times published a front-page article reporting that Navy fighter pilots attached to the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier encountered inexplicable objects that defied the laws of physics in terms of their flight speed and patterns.
Intriguing video of the objects recorded with fighter jet gun cameras video was released concurrently with the NYT article. Furthermore, the Pentagon said they didn’t know what the objects were but that they “should be taken seriously” in terms of future study. Other videos and stories if similar ilk followed. The Pentagon when as far as to say (albeit in rather tepid fashion) that an extraterrestrial explanation “cannot be ruled out.”
Now here’s an amazing thing:
Our author, Matthew Roberts, was on one of those Navy ships when these encounters occurred. The year was 2015. He was serving on the Theodore Roosevelt that was part of a “strike group” fleet of warships. It was the pilots of a group that captured what has come to be called the “Gimbal” and “Go Fast” footage.
Up until this time, UFOs or any sort of paranormal phenomenon were simply not on Roberts’s radar or part of his life. He was a strictly a no-nonsense, by-the-book Naval intelligence officer. The son of an astronomer, he was grounded in rational scientific materialism. He describes his family growing up as “proud and devout atheists.”
However, after the Gimbal encounters, a crack had formed in his cosmic egg. The next three years would entail a personal epistemological and eschatological crisis for Roberts as he confronted strange beings in what is now the well-described abduction scenario –- noting that the latter is widely varied and comes in many permutations.
For Roberts, the seemingly undeniable reality that he was encountering UFO aliens, other bizarre entities along with a series of other happenings had forced him to question his sanity.
And so, INITIATED is the story of how Roberts traveled through his personal dark tunnel and sojourned through the mythological Underworld – only to emerge out the other side a changed man, or more acutely, one of those rare people who can say to be genuinely “Initiated.”
If you want to know what that means, exactly, then I suggest you read the book. Initiation into the cosmic mysteries of the universe is a millennials-old tradition and concept that I think in modern times was most eloquently explained for all of us by Rudolf Steiner – although Roberts’s preferred authority is WILLIAM WALKER ATKINSON, noted author of the Kybalion. (Note: Read the Kybalion FREE HERE).
(Side Note: I’ve always thought of Atkinson as “Rudolf Steiner lite.” Also, Steiner came at the subject of Initiation by staying grounded in Western thought, while Atkinson preferred to bring it forth by drawing heavily upon Eastern religions and philosophy. But that’s a whole other can of worms that I’ll leave aside for some other article).
At any rate, for me, Roberts comes off as a modern-day Theseus who risked his own life to slay the Minotaur so that his fellows could be freed from its terrors. Roberts might also be liked to a modern Prometheus who stole fire from the gods, came back to Earth and bequeathed it upon mankind — but paid a heavy price for his heroism.
If you read the book, I bet you’ll agree that my statement is not overwrought.
Ken Korczak is a former newspaper reporter, government information officer, served as an advocate for homeless people as a VISTA Volunteer, and taught journalism at the University of North Dakota for five years. He is the author of BIRD BRAIN GENIUS
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