Greetings Earthlings. Not sure what you need after after a hard days sightseeing at the beautiful Joshua Tree National Park? Well, in that case how about a rejuvenating, spiritual-healing, chakra-aligning, time-travelling sound-bath experience at the Venusian-crafted Integratron?
It may not be what you had in mind before you started reading but take it from us it is a pretty cool one-off experience well worth the effort and the $30 price tag. It is also clearly not the sort of experience that you could find many places – or even any place. The Integratron (pronounce it In/teg/ra-Tron) is actually unique – an ultimate one-off with a definition that is quite hard to pin down.
A pretty snappy summary might be their own: ‘A historical structure that is a resonant tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex in the magical Mojave Desert’. But even this does not quite get to the strangeness of the Integratron. Perhaps a bit of history is useful at this stage.
Its creator, George Van Tassel (who died in 1978) – who also sounds pretty unique – was a leader of the UFO movement and held Spacecraft Conventions at his nearby base at Giant Rock above). One night in 1953 he was awoken by a flying saucer from Venus (un-noticed by local residents!), beamed aboard for a chat, and given instructions on construction of a building. And why not?
He also claimed that the structure was based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle and the writings of Nikola Tesla and found a location where he built the 38ft high, 55ft diameter, all wood dome at an ‘intersection of powerful geomagnetic forces’. According to the Venusians when these forces were amplified by its unique geometry, the building became an electrostatic generator – for the purpose of ‘rejuvenation and time travel’.
Derelict for 25 years after Van Tassel’s death, the dome is now restored and open to the public. As with all similar structures the dome also acts as a wonderful vessel for sound vibration and – after some time travel, back to the point – a perfect location for a Sound Bath.
For this you are led in small groups, via a ground floor room with some historical displays, up some steep steps, and in to the beautiful beamed wooden dome.
As you lay on patterned, and rather too-comfy, mattresses, a series of carefully tuned crystal bowls are played by a highly trained bowl-ist (what is it exactly that you call a professional bowl player?).
The pure sound – imagine the ringing of giant wine glasses – is amplified around the chamber resonating in and around your head, as if from an unknown source. The notes merge, harmonise and vibrate in intense waves of pure sound that sweep around the dome. It is an exhilarating experience.
Take from it what you wish – many are induced against their best intentions in to a quick nap and it is normal to hear the occasional snore reverberate around the room! Others may have visions, meditative experiences or mystical insights.
People will also see the whole as a historic monument, impressive feat of engineering, beautiful architectural structure or UFO spotting opportunity. Whichever rocks your boat, take it from us, this is one of those very special must-visit places.
There are restricted dates of opening and pre-booking is essential. For more information visit www.integratron.com
CELLOPHANELAND* were guests of The Integratron