Some people look at films like "Star Wars" and see science fiction, but the members of a UFO group based in El Cajon, Calif., see a documentary.
The group is the Unarius Academy of Science, and members believe that humans have been reincarnated many many times on this planet and others.
When watching a movie like "Star Wars," Unarius members also believe that they're actually seeing a recording of their past experiences on other worlds, according to documentarian Bill Perrine. He filmed the group for a new documentary, "Children Of The Stars."
"They have created a belief loop where they can see a film like 'Gladiator,' have a past life flashback and then make another film about that experience," Perrine told The Huffington Post.
WATCH: UNARIUS PAST LIFE FLASHBACK
Unarius has been around since the mid-1950s when it was created by former electrical engineer Ernest L. Norman and his wife, Ruth.
Unarius' students believe that turning their past life experiences into low-budget movies helps them overcome the challenges of their previous lives.
Perrine's film discusses the group's beliefs and the interactions of its members. The spotlight shines brightest on Ruth Norman's relationship with her underling and eventual successor Charles Spiegel, who came to believe that he was the fallen angel Lucifer in a past life.
"He was her lackey and a bit of a whipping boy," Perrine said. "Every time he made her angry, he became another evil person he had been in a past life."
The movie depicts a scene where the two were driving in the countryside when Norman suddenly told Spiegel that he was the fallen angel.
He was quiet for a few minutes, before responding: "This is really very funny. An archangel and an arch demon traveling together."
For the last 40 years, the Unarians have operated out of a storefront in a San Diego suburb that is filled with DayGlo spaceship paintings, plastic Venus de Milo statues and Astroturf carpeting.
"They really do inhabit their own universe," Perrine said.
They claim that 150,000 people worldwide study their teachings. But the core group in El Cajon has dwindled to approximately 50 members.
The group's public profile peaked in the mid-1970s and early 1980s when co-founder Ruth Norman appeared on many talk shows dressed in brightly colored wigs and outfits.
She died in 1993 at the age of 93, but she was always young at heart, Perrine said.
"She was an ingenue," Perrine said. "She saw herself as a star. By all accounts, she had great personal magnetism. To her credit, in a time when women didn't have many options, she managed to carve a place in the world."
And the universe apparently. Norman claimed that she was the Archangel Uriel and in telepathic communication with residents of 33 other planets with names like Vixall, Shunan and Eneshia.
Perrine said it's common for Unarians to have constant past life memories about each other.
"They reinforce whatever is thrown from the outside into their own belief system," Perrine said.
That includes Perrine himself.
"One of the women I talked with, Deecee, told me she remembered me from the time she was a beautiful blonde woman who I was filming for a propaganda film.
"I found it seductive at times."
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