Happy Science is a relatively bizarre New Age religious movement that popped up in Japan in the 80s. The most basic principle is that the spirit world is real and requires belief, and all religions are true and united under one god. That god, and founder, is businessman Ryuho Okawa, the latest reincarnation of a ninth dimensional spiritual being called El Cantare. El Cantare has been busy in this life; his site claims he has written 2500 books, he has started a nationalist political party, and he often channels spirits like Jesus, Nostradamus and Donald Trump.
El Cantare has also produced fourteen films, with three more currently in production. These films explore the cosmology, morality and general worldview of Happy Science. Some take place in the past, some in the present, and others in the future (though it could be argued that they all take place simultaneously from an eighth dimensional point of view). I have watched all the films that are available on YouTube (8 of 14), and each is part of the official canon. I have ranked them based on entertainment value for a non-believer; while some are like an anime ayahuasca trip, others are more like watching an incarnation Ben Stein’s voice watch paint dry.
8. The Terrifying Revelations of Nostradamus (1994)
The first Happy Science film is a live-action portrayal of prophecies, as well as some of the general beliefs of the religion. It opens with the basics like the ninth dimensional spirits creating Earth before jumping too deep into the different spiritual levels, the process of reincarnation, and their early version of Armageddon. There’s a very basic story from pre-World War II to the near-future (from ‘94) that serves to show how the spirit world interacts with the material world, and how one should live life to thrive in the next realm.
The film transitions from dimension to dimension but, no matter where we are, nearly everyone is standing still. All of the spirits in the seventh dimension sit cross legged, chatting about current events in the 1930s. Beings in the sixth dimension stand around and discuss angels and reincarnation. People might move the most on Earth (where we see reincarnated humans living out their lives), but they remain as static as possible unless the plot calls for a small movement. Nostradamus is usually shrouded in darkness, hunched over a writing desk, and we cut there often. There’s a ten minute sequence where the camera cuts around to various groups of people praying. The most exciting parts of the movie are when bad CGI appears, once in the form of a flying pentagram that the populace defeats with prayer.
We learn about how non-belief and materialism sends one to hell, and how evil spirits exist in our world. We briefly see how the ninth dimensional beings’ populated Earth with immigrants from other planets. The film also foretells that in 199X that the Earth’s consciousness will unleash chaos in the form of natural disasters, nuclear weapons will be launched, and half the world’s population will die. Well, I guess we had enough faith in the spirit world to avert that disaster! I know this all might seem intriguing, but this film even manages to make an alien invasion lame. Don’t bother with The Terrifying Revelations of Nostradamus, it’s the Phantom Menace of Happy Science.
7. Hermes Winds of Love (1997)
Hermes lived as an incarnation of El Cantare in Greece around 4300 BCE, and, apparently, is not just a totally made up god. This film is the story of his life, from his noble birth to his journey to hell to defeat King Minos once and for all. The Earthly Minos is a materialist who desires control of Greece.
The pacing of this film is ridiculous. Around 43 minutes in, Hermes is tasked with defeating Minos by Ophelias, another previous incarnation of El Cantare. That takes about ten minutes, and the story of Theseus and the labyrinth is thrown in there. Then we watch Hermes pray and meditate for a while. Then he goes on a spiritual journey to learn the true nature of reality, culminating in the previously mentioned trip to hell to defeat Minos again. The spiritual journey teaches things like that fairies cause flowers to bloom, mermaids exist, and that if you believe in something hard enough, it magically becomes real.
This movie feels like reading a holy book. It’s all over the place and mostly really boring. There are exciting moments here and there, and any journey into the spirit world is bound to reveal something interesting, but the pacing issues stop the film from keeping a head of steam. Too many moments involve idle chatter and pontification, which should be replaced with more crazy spiritual stuff.
6. The Laws of the Sun (2000)
This film lays out the cosmology of Happy Science. It goes more in depth on creation, really digging into the minutiae of the universe’s history. It also goes through each of El Cantare’s incarnations until now. It begins by presuming the questions humans have, like what our “true” purpose is, who we “really” are, and how we got here.
Apparently, it all began 5.5 billion years ago, when the eternal buddha of the thirteenth dimension created the third dimension, where we live. El Miore (El Cantare), the first ninth dimensional being of the solar system, created life on Venus, including the first humans.
Unfortunately, Venus was just too perfect and utopian after a billion years, so evolution couldn’t move forward. A bunch of Venusians were sent into space, and massive volcanic eruptions destroyed life on Venus. The new spirit group of Earth set high goals for evolution, and began bringing in immigrants from other galaxies to populate Earth. Over time, the humans forgot their spiritual nature and started doing bad stuff, and spirits from hell latched onto them. Hell was growing at an unsustainable rate…
El Cantare solved this problem by visiting Earth as La Mu, the king of Mu. He eventually returned as Thoth in Atlantis, Rient Arl Croud in Inca, Ophelias and Hermes in Greece, and Buddha in India. Disciples of El Cantare follow him in each incarnation, showing viewers the benefits of following him.
Parts of this film can drag (especially a noteworthy fifteen minute sermon at the end), but it gets really fun with Rient Arl Croud. The Reptilians, an evil race of aliens that operate within a grey area of Galactic Federation law, work to deceive humans into worshipping them so they can invade Earth and eat us (I didn’t expect David Icke to crossover into this universe). The Reptilians mention that they want to invade Earth before the space police arrive, and that was by far the funniest moment of the film. Of course, the religion the Reptilians use to trick the Incas is pretty much a valid religion, and I don’t understand why belief in it is problematic in a worldview that says any religion is okay. Ultimately, the film has enough content and moves at a strong enough pace to be decently entertaining, and will keep a viewing audience on their toes as regards what will happen next.