My life was ruined. Ruined by an intelligent species of amphibian-humanoids from Mars. I wish I was joking. Keep reading.
—Kyle Odom, “Manifesto”
In early 2014, University of Idaho student and ex-Marine Kyle Odom discovered the technique of meditation as a way to deal with the stress over his heavy coursework. By February of that year, he claimed to have encountered a “being” through these meditations.
On March 6, 2016, Odom shot Pastor Tim Remington inside a church parking lot. Two days later in Washington D.C., Odom was arrested after throwing documents over the South Fence of the White House. In those documents, as well as a Facebook status posted shortly after the Remington shooting, Odom claimed that the world was ruled by an ancient civilization from Mars.
What exactly happened to Kyle Odom when he was meditating in February of 2014?
Like other shooters such as James Holmes and Christopher Dorner, Odom left behind a written record that might give us clues as to the motivation for his attack. The 21-page “manifesto” includes a personal narrative, a “Q&A,” a letter addressed specifically to then-President Obama, a brief overview of the “Martian Brain & Behavior,” illustrations of the aliens he claims to have been in contact with, and a list of “Notable Aliens” from public life.
It all begins with the meditation of Feb. ’14. Here are Odom’s own words describing the incident:
…it was the most profound experience I ever had. I was lying in bed meditating then suddenly left my physical body. I entered a space that was completely dark and had no awareness of my physical boundaries/orientation. I felt very peaceful there until a blue light began to approach me. As the blue light got closer, I realized it was another being. Once I was in the being’s presence, I felt an immediate sense of wrongdoing. It felt like I was being told “YOU SHOULDN’T BE HERE!” I instantly conceded and felt guilty, then I began to distance myself from the being. This had an impact on them and seemed to changed their mind about me. The moment I began to distance myself from the being, I became overwhelmed by a feeling I can only describe as unconditional love. During this part of the experience, our minds became connected and I saw that the being was female. I then began to feel the most euphoric, comforting, and blissful feelings I have ever felt. It was incredibly powerful and life-altering.
What Odom described in this passage is a type of “peak experience”—a variation of a metaphysical satori that many spiritual and New Age types have also claimed to have had. People who have had spontaneous near-death or out-of-body experiences have also claimed same: the sensation of being out of the body, of encountering some sort of being outside of themselves, and being filled with a feeling of unconditional love.
Had Odom’s “journey” stopped there—or if perhaps he had some sort of guidance regarding these matters—perhaps it could have been a positive turning-point in what appears to have been a somewhat troubled life.
But things did not stop there.
He reported that not only was he very sad to have the connection with the “being” cut off upon waking, but that when he even tried to think about meditating again, he felt the urge be stifled “against his will.”
But though Odom was no longer meditating, the rest of the semester seemed to go extremely well—for he claimed he now had some sort of “boost” to his intellect:
It felt like I had tapped into some kind of power. I was exerting no mental effort even though the classes had been extremely difficult before. I also began to have complex thoughts and a depth of understanding I had never reached before.
Things now went so well for Odom academically, in fact, that he was offered a place in the PhD program from the prestigious Baylor College of Medicine to study human genetics. His future looked bright.
Did his “contact” with the being in the February meditation lend Odom some sort of extra intellectual ability or academic coping skills? I cannot help but think here of similar claims made by science-fiction author Philip K. Dick in relation to a being he was in contact with—one who also claimed to be female, and who, as Dick described it, set his life in order and even, when he was younger, gave him answers to a high-school chemistry test.
The overall net-positive impact on Dick’s relation with this being, who he alternatively called VALIS and ZEBRA, is a matter of debate. Some say it drove his already fragile mental state over the edge. Others say it inspired him to write some of the most fascinating books of his life.
I suppose it’s all in where you “take” it.
In Odom’s case, things swiftly degenerated once he actually entered the Baylor program. Compare this to James Holmes’s disintegrating psyche as he struggled with the neuroscience PhD program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Could this simply be a case of inordinate stressed-out college students who “crack” under the pressure?
He claimed that his mind was so “expanded” that he began to see the “flaws” not only on his Professor’s research, but in the field of Genetics as a whole. The young man quit the university, immediately after which he said his life “became a living hell.”
Two of his fellow graduate students supposedly approached Odom, people he said he barely knew. Then it gets bizarre: he claims these two people started pointing their fingers at Odom and making sound effects as if shooting him with a gun. What he writes next about that particular incident, in a parenthetical aside, is quite interesting:
(Months after I left Houston, I was told that [redacted] and [redacted] were not human. They were tasked with making me into “the next school shooter” as they called it. I imagine this is why many of our school shootings take place.)
The fact that he was so self-aware of the phenomenon of mass shooters at that point, school-related or otherwise, is odd. Certainly, at that point in 2016 the MSM had covered a lot of them. But…who were these “acquaintances” at the college? (Perhaps a bookmark for another day).
Odom’s paranoia only accelerates at this point. In Spring of 2015, after a particularly bad job interview, he travels home on a plane and feels “stalked” by an elderly passenger in front of him. He feels psychically attacked. He feels “compelled” to purchase a TracFone.
He buys the TracFone.
A month later, Odom claims to have received a crucial text out of the blue on the phone, though he admits he had applied to several governmental jobs before on it:
…I got a text message from a man named John Padula. He invited me to come to church at The Altar. It seemed like a strange place to be recruiting for government jobs, but I went anyway. After I got there and went inside, something felt very wrong. I felt as if my life was in danger and I became so uncomfortable I had to leave.
A couple of days later, he claimed to have received text messages from Pastor Remington, the head of the church The Altar—Remington being connected to then-presidential candidate Ted Cruz. There is no proof that I am aware of that Remington actually sent those messages to Odom, but Odom said they were in the form of Bible verses that he found “threatening.”
What follows is a series of paranoid sequences where he felt he was being stalked, talked to telepathically by people at The Altar and elsewhere, and etc. These stories are blended into the “alien” narrative, and contains an element that makes his story stand out from similar ones (at least according to the mainstream media)—sex.
In short, Odom believed these aliens were interested in sexually exploiting him. As he writes:
They also started playing with me sexually. Both the males and the females would play out their sexual fantasies in my mind. This came with random and uncontrollable [redacted] as well as extreme [redacted] stimulation.
This will be a theme carried through the rest of his “manifesto”—the idea that these beings were “hypersexual,” wanted him to be their “sex slave,” and were sexually enslaving others.
And it’s not an unfamiliar theme within some “alien encounter” narratives—the most famous being that of author Whitley Strieber, who essentially accused the beings he claimed to have encountered of raping him.
As Strieber described an encounter in the 1987 book Communion:
Voice: ‘Can you be harder?’
‘Can I be harder?’ Oh, Lord. Didn’t know I was hard like that. ‘No, not with you around I can’t be harder.’
Voice: What would you like me to be?’
In his book Mutants & Mystics, Jeffrey J. Kripal offered this commentary on Strieber’s carnal experiences with these entities:
So, it turns out, ‘communion’ is no innocent coming together, no pious and simple feeling of being at one with something greater than oneself, no simple ritual consumption of a little white wafer. It is a sexual climax that is also a psychological destruction, an instinctive awareness that our coming together may mean the creation of a third and greater form which will supplant us as the child does his parents.
Is there no better phrase to describe Odom’s journey as psychological destruction? Again: where did this all come from? Did he somehow get in touch with deeply buried sexual trauma when he initially performed the meditation, triggering off a Pandora’s box of confusion and rage?
Or was there something—something—that “got off” on all this?
Odom eventually visited The Altar, Pastor Remington’s church. He claimed that the people who greeted him there were essentially “secret” aliens, who outwardly encouraged him to stick with the church services, but secretly were telling him that they wanted him as “a sex slave.” He also described Remington himself shapeshifting into an alien:
It happened for only 1-2 seconds, but I was able to draw a sketch of what I saw. His eyes really stood out so they really captured my attention. They were huge and bulging, the eyelids were a darker green, and the irises were yellow-brown with slit pupils.
Later in his document he includes a drawing of this type of (his description) “amphibian” alien:
A couple of intriguing points about this claimed sighting of a shapeshifter. First, it sounds very similar to eyewitness accounts of people who have said they have seen people shapeshift into what they call “reptilians.” Though Odom refers to these creatures as amphibians—one might say, frogs—this also fits the reptilian archetype quite nicely.
Second point, this alien, as drawn by Odom, bares a striking resemblance of a certain meme that would achieve extreme prominence right before and during the most recent U.S. election (though having its origins as a meme since 2008):
I am far from the first person to notice this resemblance between Odom’s drawing and Pepe the Frog, but it is worth mentioning here. Other researchers have connected the design to the “standard” grey alien motif a la Strieber by way of Aleister Crowley’s Lam:
Could Odom, through the meditations, have tapped into the universal consciousness—the noosphere—and got in touch with a particular “current” that soon would be everywhere and might have even changed the course of U.S. history?
Or did he simply get in touch with something very old and very strange…something he was better off never knowing at all?
Odom’s story ends with violence. He claimed that the world, and specifically the U.S. government, was infiltrated with these creatures from Mars, and gives many details about the “invasion” and the nature of these beings. Some of these details dovetail with “channeled” information and other narratives provided by a wide range of New Agers, occultists, Theosophists, conspiracy theorists, and so on.
So a central question for me is: did he come up with these stories/insights “on his own”/through the meditations, OR did he have prior experience with other literature on these subjects?
For example, his fixation on President Obama—who he claimed to be a sex-slave and victim of these Martians. Obama figured in the fantastic narratives of a number of individuals during the time he was in office. Was Odom influenced by these? And the “Noteworthy Martians” list at the end of his manifesto (which includes U.S. Senators, Representatives, and “Israeli Leadership”)—did he get this from some sort of website?
Or was that list provided to him by somebody or somebodies who were not aliens at all?
For another possibility could be that Odom was cultivated as an assassin/patsy in order to attack Remington—who was prominently in the news at that point per his connection to presidential candidate Ted Cruz—or somebody else (Cruz himself or another candidate?). And did this relate at all back to the strange “graduate students” he claimed contacted him and tried to turn him into a “school shooter?”
At any rate…there are a lot of questions regarding Odom’s motivations and circumstances leading up to the Remington shooting. Was Odom completely insane? Was Odom merely “at risk” and the meditation gave him some sort of psychic break that led to everything else? Or did he unintentionally stir up something he labeled as aliens but, perhaps to those of certain religious persuasions, could be labeled as “demons?”
Kyle Odom, still in custody, finished court-ordered mental health treatment on March 8, 2017. On April 18, he pled not guilty to the shooting. Pastor Remington was in court that day. He said he forgave Odom and that “I think that if Kyle comes out and he’s a changed person and he’s got his life straightened out, then he could be my best friend as far as I care.”
Odom’s trial is tentatively set for August. Doctor’s records concerning his case have been sealed.
It’s hard to imagine, I know. Nonetheless, it is all true. Why would I give up a career as a pharmacist to do this?
—Kyle Odom, “Manifesto”