In May of 1998, Strieber went on a month-long book tour to promote Confirmation, his fifth book about his encounters with the visitors. The tour ended on June 6. Strieber returned to his Montreal hotel room that evening, had a room service meal, and went to bed.
At about 2:30 AM, he was woken by a knock on his door. Unaware of the time, he assumed it was a waiter coming to collect his dinner dishes, and let the man enter his room. It didn’t take him long to realize he was not a hotel staffer. White-haired, of average height and weight, he wore a gray turtleneck and gray slacks. Without introducing or explaining himself in any way, he launched into a stream of chatter that revealed his detailed, “insider” knowledge about everything from the afterlife to future technology. Strieber listened with fascination, and soon their interaction took the form of a Q&A, with Strieber asking any question that came to mind and the man answering without hesitation. Strieber is convinced that no mere mortal could have accessed his room that night,and has come to regard this verbose mystery man as “The Master of the Key”.
The man had many intriguing things to say. He started off by informing Strieber that mankind is trapped on Earth. We were supposed to have mastered the art of off-planet travel by now, but the Holocaust destroyed some of our best and most innovative minds; the mother and the father of the man who was going to “unlock the secret of gravity” both died in the camps. Because of this, we are chained to a dying planet that will not sustain our ever-swelling numbers much longer. The Master pointedly referred to humans as “your species”. He casually revealed that he knew everything about Strieber by mentioning his “childhood games with Mike”.
Many of the things he said appear self-contradictory, vague in a New Agey way, or just plain crazy. Other statements seem to confirm or expand upon Strieber’s own deeply-cherished beliefs, which leads any able-minded reader to wonder just how objectively real this encounter was.
Other insights offered by the MOTK:
- The Biblical story of Eden and the Fall is an allegory for the destruction of a previous civilization, a great “Eden” of the ancient past. In earlier books, like The Secret School, Strieber has expressed a fascination with ruined, mythological civilizations. Funny that the MOTK should mention them, and place them in the Biblical context that Strieber himself had already chosen (that the Bible is largely allegorical, not literal).
- God will not include mankind in his/its plan until we become “friends of God”. “God wants companions, not supplicants,” he said. Moments later he contradicted this by declaring we must surrender ourselves to God. To surrender, we have to “return to the forest”. When Strieber pointed out that six billion humans can’t survive in the forest, the MOTK calmly agreed that this is impossible, but offered no further explanation. Strieber’s concerns about overpopulation, which have been with him since the early ’80s or earlier, are justified by these warnings.
- The goal of individuals should be to develop “elemental bodies” or “radiant bodies” by learning to consciously focus our energies. If we fail to develop this skill before death, our energy will simply be absorbed into the universe. If we master the ability to focus, we will remain conscious and ascend to the next level of being. Meditation is the primary tool of ascension. This is very much in keeping with Strieber’s lifelong practice of meditation.
- Our souls are “easily detectable by your science as it exists now”.
- The visitors issued some kind of threat to the U.S. government as a “test”. Because the government responded with secrecy and denial, we have all failed that test; only total openness will allow us to pass and advance to the next level. Official secrecy is the “greatest present evil”, and must be opposed. This is the central theme of Strieber’s novel Majestic, in which the U.S. government fails us by covering up the Roswell UFO crash and hiding the presence of aliens. Strieber has been calling for full UFO disclosure for years.
- Though he implies that most people do not become “radiant bodies” and simply evaporate into the fabric of the universe upon death, he also said that the dead are living side-by-side with us, clinging to what they remember. Others are reincarnated.
- Melted polar ice will cause the North Atlantic Current to fail, resulting in another ice age. This notion also appeared in an article by William H. Calvin published in the January 1998 Atlantic Monthly, and formed the basis of the book Strieber wrote with Art Bell in 1999, The Coming Global Superstorm (which in turn inspired the disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow).
The Key is easily Strieber’s most disturbing book. The MOTK’s insights are sometimes self-contradictory, suspiciously similar to the content of Strieber’s own writings, and quite bleak. If meditation is the one and only key to salvation, then most people will be doomed; the mentally challenged and the emotionally disturbed, children, the senile, people with brain damage may not be able to meditate on any meaningful level.
The Master of the Key seems to hold out hope that some people will, with tremendous effort and will, achieve “ascension” – consciousness after death. But most of us are simply trapped on a dying planet without the faintest chance of escape. Strieber sees his message as one of hope…a key…but could it truly unlock any doors?