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Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Shopping for a new religion? Here’s one where Gaia is the supernatural

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Guy Lane became a Minister after his religion, Vita, was accepted by the Australian Charity Commission in March. Photo supplied.

Hans Lovejoy

In the absence of a ‘religion devoted to a healthy environment and a sustainable human civilisation’, environmental scientist and author Guy Lane decided to start one.

He says put simply, Vita is a new religion conceived to prevent the extinction of the human race.

In March this year, the Australian Charity Commission (ACC) brought Lane’s idea into reality when it acknowledged ‘Vita’ as a registered religious institution.

This made Lane a Minister of Religion.

According to Minister Lane, to create a religion in Australia you need two things:

‘The first is a belief in a supernatural and the acceptance of canons of conduct that give effect to that belief. The ‘supernatural’ of the Vitan Religion is Vitae-planeta; the Living Planet, or Gaia, by another name.

‘The second key ingredient is a wise wingman; preferably a certified pilot, and one who has aspirations for the stars. Vita’s wingman is former navy aviator Bill Spee of Sydney’.

The two Vitan Ministers put their heads together to resolve where the most fertile ground in Australia might be for Vita to take root and rapidly spread.

Minister Spee says, ‘We conceived of a place where spirituality and environmental sustainability were high on the agenda, and there is a large transient population’.

They concluded that Byron Bay was an ideal launch pad for Vita. To test the idea, Minister Lane spent three weeks in the Byron region, meeting locals, sharing Vita, and gathering intelligence.

‘Vita is yet to be properly funded, so this is the lean phase’, he says. Minister Lane conducted his reconnaissance mission living out of his black Prius hatchback, camping overnight at the Broken Head Caravan Park.

So what does make a Vitan? He replies, ‘According to Vita, there are already 53 million ‘latent’ Vitans: people who hold the core beliefs of Vitans, but have not yet come across the name. Vitans live with Earthity and pursue a Vitamission. This means that Vitans empathise with the wellbeing of the planet and human civilization, and act accordingly.

‘Environmental science is integral to Vita Religion. Besides the work of James Lovelock, the founder of the seminal Gaia Hypothesis, one science paper has become something of a holy book. In December 2018, Australian researcher Professor Will Steffen and other scientists published Transitions of the Earth System in the Anthropocene in a prestigious journal.

‘The Transitions paper says that our planet’s climate exists in a cool phase that is conducive to an abundance of life, or a hot phase that snuffs out life with near totality. As there is no middle ground between these two states, when the planet gets too warm, it quickly flips to the ‘hothouse’.’

Climate emergency

Minister Lane explains, ‘Somewhere between 1 and 2 degrees above cool temperatures, there is a “cascade of climate tipping points” that drives global temperatures way up, killing off most life on Earth.

‘As we are already at 1.3 degrees above the safe temperature, our planet is in a climate emergency. Vita’s mission is to help fix that problem’.

For more information, visit Think Vita.

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  1. Religion’s an addictive drug, the ‘opiate of the masses’ Karl Marx called it, and one of the most difficult addictions to give up.
    Religions with their sets of unproven beliefs, frequently self-contradictory and contradictory to other sets of beliefs, have killed millions of people over the ages and continue to do so. All the other drugs put together don’t come near competing with religion’s kill rate.
    The only harmless beliefs are those for which one has sound and sufficient reasons to believe are true and no reasons to believe are false.
    We need another religion like a hole in the head. Give up the lot and taste the freedom, love and simplicity of an uncluttered mind.

  2. Sounds great to me….but if we’re headed to 3° above safe temp levels for the warm phase then I fear not even Vita can save us….but on the other hand sounds like a clever ruse for a tax break for the pilot and the Minister!
    But hey anything’s worth a try in these out of control times.

  3. I think I do detect a little cynicism there, John and Barry,
    But… it seems to me this guy, Guy, is merely trying to dress up the science in the cloak of mysticisms, that have been proven to appeal to ” the great unwashed”, the catholics, muslims, economists and trumpians and their like, who prefer to ‘believe ‘ in anything but the truth.
    The fact that the precepts he is talking about are nothing but provable scientific facts, I admit is a weakness in an ideology supposedly designed to gather a following from the likes of aromatheraputians , astrologists, chinese herbalists, feng shui, homeopathetic and other assorted nonsense based on nothing but gullibility and totally devoid of proofs or effects.
    So in the scheme of things it seems relatively “harmless”.
    Cheers G”)

  4. Agreed that we need a new monogod religion like a hole in the head. But rather that try to deny such things exist, Vita takes an approach advised by Buckminster Fuller: “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”

    The biosphere is dying. Believe, think and act accordingly.


  5. Respondents make some good points.
    But Guy Lane claims that, ‘The biosphere is dying’, and invites us to believe that and act accordingly.
    Do we have sound and sufficient evidence that the statement is true? ‘Biosphere’ means the entire planet and all the living things on, in and around it. That the whole thing is dying is a very grand claim and obviously impossible to prove.
    The biosphere is damaged, poisoned and polluted. That’s a true statement. But exaggeration never serves an argument well. And we don’t need to create an ideology around the fact that we should stop damaging, poisoning and polluting.
    Also, all things born eventually die. E.g. One civilization dies off and makes way for another, as we can now see happening the world over. A woman gives birth in extreme pain, yet to a new life that will probably outlive and evolve beyond both parents.
    Eventually, the entire biosphere will die in the expanding sun. Is that good or bad? Why judge what we know practically nothing about?


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