This article originally appeared on Broadly.
In 1994—about four decades after his starship landed in Sweden, according to his own account—Aros Crystos was sitting on Muir Beach, in California's Bay Area, gazing upon the sea. He was suddenly hit with a message: the dolphins.
For the next 10 months, Aros says, he received constant telepathic communication from the aquatic mammals. Dolphins, he came to realize, are actually intergalactic beings who have the ability to travel through dimensions at will. Humans have mistakenly associated them with other animals, but, in fact, dolphins merely take this form as divine masters. They are here to bring humankind back to the ocean.
One of the dolphins' early messages to Aros was a bit of esoteric word salad: "Where there is true love, shapes, forms disappear and left us only our smile." When asked what this means, Aros explained that, once you are able to smile in your heart like the dolphins do, shapes and forms vanish because you've gained access to a vibration where such things don't exist. "They only exist if you want them to," he added, sagely.
In the 23 years since he first connected spiritually with dolphins, Aros has established himself, in certain circles, as a "dolphin ambassador on land." He is also a shamanic healer, fashion designer—his clothing line is called GOD: Galactic Orgasm Design—and actor. Aros had something of a heyday in the late 90s and early aughts in Hawaii; at that time, he had 20-ish practitioners meditating with him every week, several one-on-one clients, and speaking engagements in Sedona and across California. The mid-90s, he explained, were a spiritually charged time. Today, things are different: He still gives talks every once in awhile, but since 9/11, since iPhones took over our lives, people have stopped caring about their spiritual development.
I came to know Aros through one of my friends—they had met at a Swedish meet-up in Los Angeles (all Swedish people know each other, as it turns out). She went to one of his sessions afterwards, a guided meditation designed to connect each practitioner to their own spiritual dolphin guide. She had gotten a lot out of it. I was intrigued, and contacted him on Facebook.
It's at this point that I should say I've never given much of a shit about dolphins. I'd describe myself as "dolphin neutral." I'm as concerned about the toxicity of the ocean as anyone, and I believe wholeheartedly in protecting our planet and all of its majestic creatures, but they've just never really done it for me. The open ocean scares me, and dolphins are smart—smart enough for language, smart enough for morality. And yet, they have this kind of irrepressible, horny deviousness that I don't necessarily care for.
Despite my minor dolphin misgivings, I agreed to meet Aros in the restaurant of Shutters On The Beach, a fancy hotel in Santa Monica. I wanted to talk to him about attending one of his seminars, and to find out what the deal was with his community of dolphin devotees. From what I could tell from Facebook, Aros seemed to be surrounded by a lot of women. Who were these people? Given my preconceived notions regarding the dolphins' unrelenting horniness, my curiosity was piqued. Should I be on the lookout for sex cult vibes?
When I asked Aros about his spiritual community, he told me that he's doing private work with his friend, Melissa, and that I should talk with her. "She's experienced a lot of my work," he said, "She's a singer and going through a transformation and losing a lot of weight right now, and going through some other revolutionary things."
Melissa has been heavily involved with spirituality since the late 90s. Her interest began after she left an abusive relationship, she told me later. She first met Aros in November of 2016, at a conference where he was speaking. She felt spiritually powerful, and had recently started using her voice as a healing modality. She propositioned Aros: "If you do a session on me, would you be open to me doing a session on you, too?"
After their initial session exchange, Aros called her a "shamanic angel." She described finding a deep peace.
Aros has been staying with Melissa since January, though they both thought he would only be around for a few weeks. From time to time he'll say to Melissa, "Well, I guess we're not done yet—I'm still here, so you must be very special." It's something they laugh about.
When I asked Melissa if she and Aros have a romantic relationship, she responded, "I would say Aros likes to keep private things private. But I could talk about myself: I feel at times that I'm in spiritual boot camp. And I feel at times that I have a very good friend. And I feel at times that I'm being embraced by the most loving person. It's such a beautiful thing. It's just amazing."
Aros invited me to gather several of my friends for a guided meditation session the weekend after our first meeting. Because he was living in Melissa's house, Melissa would host it.
I invited three of my friends to go with me. Jamie was decidedly "dolphin positive." "They're so cute!" she said. Imogen, a Londoner who had been in LA for a literal week, was "dolphin neutral," more interested in the dolphin shaman himself. And Symrin was resoundingly "dolphin negative." "There's a cave in South America where dolphins will literally rape human divers to death," she told us. We were amped.
When we arrived at Melissa's home in Santa Monica for the guided meditation, we saw that she had prepared a spread: goat cheese, dates, walnuts, crackers, apple slices, and strawberry-infused water. I had asked Aros to invite other members of his dolphin community, but Melissa was the only one there, along with one friend she had invited.
Before the meditation, Aros brought out a veritable trunk show of his clothing line, GOD. He let us know that every piece was for sale, and that the clothes themselves had interdimensional healing properties. We could also purchase one of his books or CDs.
We gathered in a circle in Melissa's living room, and closed our eyes. "This meditation the dolphin taught me many years ago," Aros began. He instructed us to imagine floating in a magnificent turquoise ocean. Next, we were to picture ourselves diving under the water, to realize that we could breathe, and to discover the beauty of the open ocean: brightly colored coral, iridescent fish, new frequencies of light, the freedom to play. We were instructed to dive even deeper and to call upon our guides. All of this, Aros told us, was meant to be ecstatic.
"Your dolphin friend is beckoning," Aros instructed, with gravitas. The meditation was working—I imagined a dolphin in a great blue beyond. Telepathically, I asked for his name, and heard "Kid." If I were to describe his energy, I would say that he manifested "brightly-colored baseball cap with propeller" as his primary frequency.
As I sunk deeper into the meditation-induced trance state, I felt that Kid wanted to introduce me to someone, a much smaller dolphin. She seemed to be wearing lace and sequins, but energetically. She was a little Vegas-y, but, like, the Vegas dolphin interpretation of a dead, Victorian bride. She was fancy. Her name was Galia. My dolphin friend, per Aros's instruction, was to guide me through a formless, black vortex to Crystal City, where the dolphins live and work.
Galia straight-up refused. Reluctantly, Kid and I joined hand to fin and continued on our way.
Aros said we could ask the spirit of Crystal City for guidance. "Just trust the answer," he instructed. I had nothing. Crystal City just didn't manifest for me, and I had no questions. And I'll confess: I had a bit of difficulty concentrating throughout. The breathing underwater thing stressed me out. I couldn't breathe! At one point, I opened my eyes and noticed that Symrin was staring blankly at the floor. Jamie and Imogen had their eyes closed; they were perfectly still, like floating angels.
To say that the look on Melissa's face was one of pure peace, of pure bliss, would be an understatement. Was this a smile of the heart? A dolphin's smile?
After the meditation, we each shared our experiences. Melissa's friend Sonia, had met a dolphin called Dubo. Jamie had gotten lost with her dolphin friend, Skipper, and Imogen's dolphin was named Mandela. Symrin had been too claustrophobic to focus and met no dolphin at all. Melissa shared that her experience in the shimmering, pink and orange water had been ecstatic, playful. She met with Rolando, whom she had met in trance once before.
For the next hour-and-a-half, Aros gave us a sermon: "Wake up!" he said, with regard to chem trails, with regard to acknowledging the existence of alien starships orbiting the earth disguised as clouds, and with regard to recognizing who we truly are.
"Humans are amphibious beings," he said, "It's time to reprogram." To close the session, he thanked us. Too few people are interested in listening to him these days, he said.