Overview (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
The Seal of Gaia takes place in 2033, when the world is being quickly unified under the New Earth Federation (NEF) in the name of peace and a balanced earth ecology, now personified as a deity named Gaia. Under its Social Order program, for years the NEF has been indoctrinating children, including Steve Weston, who has grown up to become the head reporter and new director of the Sky News Network. Steve’s loyalty to the new world and its mysterious yet frightening leader is tested in the first half of the novel.
While Steve works his way into the higher levels of the NEF and learns about their future plans to cleanse the world, his wife, Lori, works on indoctrinating children at a local school. Indoctrination includes having children play violent video games and participate in guided meditations to find a Wise Counselor as well as removing them to boarding schools if their families do not follow the Social Order. Lori’s work brings her into direct conflict with another teacher, Sheila Harper, who refuses to let go of her outdated Christian beliefs. When Sheila interferes with Lori’s class to save her own daughter, Lori has her fired and her child taken to a far-away school.
Lori’s career is hampered by her young child, so she, urged by her Satanic Wise Counselors, arranges for his murder right before his third birthday. Luckily for the child, Steve becomes further involved with the NEF to secure the child’s release. Turning to Sheila, Lori fights off the demonic spirits in her by converting to Christianity a few months before the believers are taken in the Rapture and spared the increased attacks from the NEF.
Maddoux reveals a Social Order supported through a network of other institutions. The new Gaian religion draws heavily on Eastern traditions, claiming that all previous saviors and religious figures are merely Ascended Masters trying to lead people toward their new level of spirituality. A series of laws has allowed governments greater control over and the ability to exploit humans, and the NEF gains control...
(The entire section is 845 words.)
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Bibliography (Masterplots II: Christian Literature)
Sources for Further Study
Frykholm, Amy Johnson. Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2004. Examines the rising popularity of evangelical fiction and uses Maddoux’s novel as an example of common themes in the genre.
Maddoux, Marlin, and Christopher Corbett. A Christian Agenda: Game Plan for a New Era. Kingsburg, Calif.: International Christian Media, 1993. An articulation of Maddoux’s religious and political beliefs, which play out well in The Seal of Gaia.
Mort, John. Christian Fiction: A Guide to the Genre. Greenwood, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2002. Discusses several trends in Christian literature and cites examples of several popular fantasy and science fiction books.
Seed, David, ed. Imagining Apocalypse: Studies in Cultural Crisis. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000. Several articles focus on different aspects of Christian science fiction and examine modern attitudes toward sex, science, and government.