George van Tassel was a former aircraft mechanic and flight inspector who moved out to California's Mojave Desert to operate an airport and inn. During his time there, he supposedly began meditating under Giant Rock, which the Native Americans of the area held to be sacred. In August 1953, Van Tassel claimed that he had been contacted both telepathically and later in person by Venusians, who gave him a technique to rejuvenate human cell tissues. Van Tassel, acting on these instructions, began constructing the Integratron in 1954. Construction costs were paid for by an annual series of successful UFO conventions, the Giant Rock Spacecraft Conventions, which continued for nearly 25 years. Van Tassel was clearly inspired by earlier 1950s contactee George Adamski. Construction of the Integratron was supposedly complete in 1959, but Van Tassel continued to make minor modifications until his sudden death in 1978. The Integratron, despite being built without nails, survived a magnitude-7.3 earthquake in 1992.
The workings of the Integratron, according to Van Tassel, supposedly rely chiefly on two principles. The first principle involves the occult sacred geometry of domes, and their ability to concentrate mystical "energies" within the earth. The Integratron is also said to be constructed atop a powerful "energy vortex". According to adherents of this belief, the dome-shape naturally concentrates the energies of the vortex for the benefit of users. Also, the building is said to borrow design cues from the Tabernacle of Moses and the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza, both of which were thought by some occultists to have similar "energy focusing" properties. The second part of the theory centers around the belief that human beings are truly electrical in nature. It is believed that, though each individual has his unique personal "wavelength," the multiple wavelengths of energy put out by "focusing and concentrating devices" such as the Integratron will find a "resonance" with the individual's basic harmonic frequency and "re-charge" his cellular structure, as if he were a battery.
After van Tassel died, there was a proposal to turn the Integratron into a Disco, but these plans were never realized. New owners now operate the Integratron as a tourist attraction. They allow scientific studies of the structure and promote the unusual practice known as a "sound bath." During a sound bath, groups of people are exposed to harmonic sound frequencies produced by quartz bowls; this is said to have a deep calming effect. The Integratron website claims "it is the only all- wood, acoustically perfect sound chamber in the U.S."
Integratron in popular culture
- The band Zwan filmed the video for their song "Honestly" inside the Integratron.
- The English indie rock band Arctic Monkeys recorded part of their song "Secret Door" at the Integratron in 2008.
- The Integratron
- UFO history packed up, The Desert Sun , Michelle Mitchel, July 14, 2006
- Built for time travel, dome now enjoying renaissance: Visitors view dome as health and spirituality center, The Desert Sun , Michelle Theriault, August 20, 2005 (dead as of May 18, 2007; Internet Archive version)
- Article from The Desert Sun on Giant Rock (dead as of May 18, 2007; not on Internet Archive)
- We Have Contact!, University of Texas webpage on 1950s contactees, including Van Tassel
- , NME article on the Arctic Monkeys at the Integratron.