I’m a big fan of science fiction. Classic science fiction; bad science fiction; new science fiction, any kind of science fiction, really. Alright, I’ll draw the line at really bad science fiction, but I’ll be honest here: it’s hard to cross that line. That I like science fiction shouldn’t be surprising to anyone – after all, I made a reference to Morlocks just two posts back. (Quick! Name that novel….anyone? The Time Machine, of course!). Maybe I love science fiction so much because I spent my formative years reading classic science fiction stories from Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke, among others. Or maybe it’s because I spent those same formative years watching lots of science fiction movies – Forbidden Planet, The Black Hole, 2001, and of course, Star Wars. Or maybe it’s the fanciful and imaginative aspects of science fiction that appeal to me and appealed to me all those years ago – of traveling to other dimensions, talking robots, space travel, and everything else in between with all of its adventure and associated perils.
These days on planet earth, there’s plenty of dystopian things going on, but not enough real-life science fiction going on, especially now that the Shuttle program was mothballed by NASA. However, if you know where to look, there are still some weird science fiction oddities out there. Case in point: the Integratron. First off, it’s got that weird, science fiction-y type of name for new and future technology. I mean, try working it into a sentence: “I have to go get rejuvenated at the Integraaaaaatron. Only twenty pieces of ore!”
Second, it was designed by a former aircraft mechanic and engineer, George van Tassel – who – wait for it – said he was telepathically contacted by – wait for it – Venusians. Alright, we’re in deep science fiction territory now! Third, Van Tassel said that they provided him with the instructions to design the machine, telepathically, and said that it would rejuvenate human tissue because it was above an “energy vortex”. And with those three pieces of evidence, I rest my case: the Integratron is straight out of some science fiction novel or movie, except it exists here, in real life!
Frankly, I don’t know if the machine actually works, or ever actually worked, what an energy vortex is, or where Van Tassel got name for it (aside from the telepathic Venusians). But what I do know is that it’s a cool place to visit; and that most impressively, the interior of the structure is made in a perfect dome, out of wood – with no nails or other metal objects! I also know what you’re saying now (the Venusians gave me mind reading powers since I’ve been there, see!): “This sounds cool and all, but what’s there to do there in the middle of the desert since you don’t know if the machine works?”. Right now, the Integratron is owned by a group of people who provide what are known as “sound baths” in the machine on quartz bowls, every Saturday and Sunday.
Now here’s where it gets weird: I’m a science fiction fan, but I’m an avowed skeptic. When I heard about the sound baths, I thought that it sounded downright strange and hokey. But…I’ve been there two times now, and I have to admit something is going on in that dome when the sound bath is going on. Whether its actual vortexenergy power or the rejuvenating properties of a good nap, something happens when you’re in that dome during that sound bath. So, if you’re ever out by Landers, California, I say, indulge your inner science fiction self, and go check it out, and if you do learn any of the mysteries I’ve touched upon above, report back to me!
Tips: Even if you miss the sound bath, you should check out the inside of the dome, it’s pretty spectacular. And if you do want to experience the sound bath, I recommend that you bring your own blanket or pad, just because you can – why not be as relaxed as possible?