by Dylan Otto Krider
December 19, 2002
At first glance, they look like perfectly ordinary first-graders
scribbling feverishly on the blackboard, but there is something
striking about the boyís deep blue eyes that suggests a maturity
well beyond his years. Jakeís in advanced classes and already
reading at a third-grade level. Jan is the quiet one, but has a
presence that immediately draws attention. Her predilection is
toward art, though at the moment she is choosing to write math
equations on the board, erasing them as soon as sheís completed each
of her computations.
Jakeís mother is a teacher at this Baytown-area school, and worries
that he may be ostracized by his peers if word ever gets out about
his special gifts. "He questions everything because he wants to
know," she says as her son draws a picture of a lollipop tree. "The
questions he asks are not even age-appropriate."
These children tend to know things without ever being taught or
told. Jakeís companion Jan "can use a compound bow very well," says
the girlís grandmother, Jill Spence. "She can shoot a BB gun; she
goes fishing." It just came naturally to her, Spence says. She canít
They go by many names, such as Star Kids, Indigos or
Children. Whatever theyíre called, believers say this group of
prodigies started appearing about 30 years ago and may now make up
as much as 90 percent of the population under ten. They also exhibit
strange side effects, like a higher resistance to pollutants but an
increased sensitivity to sugar and food additives. These are babies
born with an inherent knowledge of art, language and spirituality,
possessing an impressive wealth of wisdom. Some will even go so far
as to say these kids are not only prime candidates for the gifted
and talented program, but the next step in human evolution.
Parents and those who study these children have been asking
themselves why here? Why now? Theories about their origins range
from spirits entering from other planes and dimensions to chosen
ones delivered from heaven. Some even suggest aliens have been
abducting and manipulating the DNA of these children and their
parents to prepare us for when they make their presence known. The
one thing all these groups do agree on is that the kids are out
there, and theyíre coming to teach us a lesson.
The term Indigo Child was coined 17 years ago by Nancy Ann Tappe, a
parapsychologist who developed a system for classifying peopleís
personalities according to the hue of their auras, described in her
1982 book, Understanding Your Life Through Colors. According to her,
auras have been entering and exiting Earth throughout history. For
example, aura colors such as fuchsia and magenta disappeared from
the gene pool 100 years ago (though she was recently shocked to find
a fuchsia living in Palm Springs). It stood to reason that a new
life color was about to make an appearance.
Tappe was unable to find the new color scheme until a baby was born
with a heart murmur at a childrenís hospital in San Diego whom she
recognized as being dark blue. The child died six weeks later, but
more and more indigo-colored personalities began to appear in the
í80s, and their numbers were clearly rising.
But it was the 1999 book
The Indigo Children, by Lee Carroll and
Jan Tober, that popularized the idea of the next generation.
an economics major who ran a technical audio business for 30 years
until a visit to a psychic prompted a New Age midlife crisis. He
found religion and started traveling around the world giving
"self-help" seminars. Accompanying him was Tober, a practitioner of
metaphysics and hands-on healing as well as a jazz singer who had
toured with Benny Goodman and Fred Astaire.
The genesis of the book
came when they began noticing similar accounts of strange behavior
in children from teachers, counselors and psychologists who attended
their seminars. As they began to look into these occurrences, they
found kids were indeed being born with an "unusual set of
psychological attributes" and displaying "a pattern of behavior
generally undocumented before."
Using a collection of essays and
interviews from experts in the field -- mostly counselors working in
such New Age areas as Angel Therapy and alternative medicines -- the
book focuses on raising an Indigo Child. Some of the main attributes
they describe are a sense of "deserving to be here" and "knowing who
they are," difficulty with authority, a dislike of activities that
donít require creative thought and a feeling of royalty (and acting
The peculiarities of Jake and Jan (their families asked that their
real names not be used) were apparent from an early age. As a
toddler, Jan sometimes spoke using her own language. Instead of
"cookie," she would say "cookah" and refused to call a sandwich
anything but a "phonic." Odder still, she didnít begin speaking
until she was three years old.
For Jakeís part, he had trouble
grasping the concept that he was not in charge. "He has to be told,"
Jakeís mother says. "He doesnít think he needs permission."
noticed a similar idiosyncrasy in her granddaughter. "You have to
coax her to do her homework," she says.
As proof of Janís exceptional talent, her grandmother pulls out an
example of her artwork, a crayon drawing of a rainbow, stick family
and M-shaped birds flying in the sky. "Most all of her pictures are
rainbows," Spence says, noticing a theme running throughout her
work. She feels that must have something to do with Janís ability to
see auras. She also points out the plant Jan drew with watermelons,
pears and other fruit growing on it. "God told her that was how
plants were going to grow."
Jan doesnít quite agree. "I just made it up," she says. Like many
Indigos, sheís very shy about discussing her abilities. Once she has
drawn for a few minutes, Jan feels comfortable enough to talk. She
admits she feels sheís different "when Satan tries to come in my
head." Most of the time, she says, Satan tries to come in at night.
(Indigos often receive their visions through dreams.) Jan shrugs
when asked what sorts of information she receives, and continues to
draw. She says she knows sheís an Indigo because "my mother told
Jake found out he was an Indigo when his mother read a book on the
subject. His motherís psychic recently told him he might even be
higher than that, something called a Crystalline Child. "I think she
was telling me so I could understand him better," she says. What he
needs to do in this world, she says, is to learn to be human. "Once
he can conquer that, then he can teach and he can heal, and thatís
The hardest part about raising an Indigo, she says,
is not getting the chance to be parents. She starts to recount one
epiphany she had when her son realized some insects he caught had a
mother and father.
"You said that," Jake objects. "Youíre the one who said it had a
mother and father."
"I wasnít in your classroom," his mother says.
"You told me."
"Heís always talking about God,"
Jakeís mother continues. "But itís
not questioning -- he knows." Yet she had never taken him to church.
Whatís more, he remembers his past lives. "Heís always talking about
his other mother, his other fathers and siblings, and heíll tell you
how they died," Jakeís mother says.
Just the other day, Jake said he
didnít want to hurt her feelings, but that his other mother was
Jake runs into the school bathroom, slams and locks the door. "Iím
not making fun of you," his mother calls after him. If she doesnít
talk about him, she explains through the door using her most
soothing voice, "there wonít be other people who understand who you
are, and who Jan is, and what itís like to try and help." After a
few moments, she says that Jake probably feels sheís betrayed his
trust, since he doesnít want other people knowing about his gifts.
"His teacher canít teach him. His speech teacher canít teach him.
His occupational therapist canít teach him."
Jackie Brahm, a local "medical intuitive" who counsels Indigos, says
itís not uncommon for their parents to have no control over them.
Because theyíre so advanced, the kids donít feel like they have to
obey. According to Brahm, this is why many Indigos get misdiagnosed
as having ADD or ADHD.
"They donít know how to process all the
energy thatís coming through, so they overload and react fairly
badly to it."
Through her practice, Brahm has been able to hone her abilities for
spotting these special children, and says sheís been seeing an
increasing number of them in public places. She found one
three-year-old Indigo recently at a museum, critiquing one of the
paintings on the wall. When the mother asked her how she could know,
the girl explained that she used to be a "master." But when the
mother asked if she would like to take up painting and demonstrate
some of the abilities she learned in a past life, the girl thrust
her hands on her hips, and said, "I told you, I was a master, I
donít need to do it again."
Similarly, Jan refuses to do her homework because itís boring. She
often objects by saying,
"I know already. You donít have to tell
"They do not agree with the way society runs things,"
explains. "They think weíre kind of stupid, that weíve screwed
Brahm says that behavioral problems usually lie with the
parents. To help, Brahm suggests including the children in the
decision-making process, even allowing them to determine the
punishments they should receive for infractions.
Kevin Krull, an adjunct assistant professor who runs clinical
research on cognitive deficits at Texas Childrenís Hospital, sees a
potential danger in misdiagnosing kids as Indigo. Youngsters with
ADD who are not treated, he says, can experience declines in IQ and
academic performance, and they have an increased rate of drug use.
Though Krull admits there has been a recent increase in childrenís
IQ scores, there are a number of explanations, such as greater
access to computers, the way tests are administered, and better
nutrition and education. In general, he hasnít noticed any peculiar
trends among children other than a slight curvature in their spines
due to the increased use of backpacks.
Krull agrees that teaching kids they are capable and special can be
positive, as long as they are not taught theyíre better than anybody
else. Giving a child too much leeway or too little guidance can
cause problems because the last thing to develop in the brain is the
ability for abstract reasoning and planning, he explains. Some
people donít fully develop that until the age of 30, he says.
"Children donít have the ability to take all of the knowledge of
life into account." For that, they need parents to guide them.
Behavioral problems sometimes develop in children as a result of the
unrealistic expectations of their parents. Krull has seen many
parents complain that their kids arenít reaching their full
potential because theyíre bored in school. But he says this is often
because children might decide that not doing homework is better than
doing their best and getting only average grades. They often become
underachievers, rebel or internalize their frustrations until they
"Everybodyís child is gifted according to every
parent," Krull says. "But most are normal, unfortunately."
Back at the Baytown school, Jake finally wanders out of the bathroom
and walks straight over to the chalkboard. "Iím just not going to
talk to anyone anymore," he says. "My mom is lying." The reason heís
upset, he says, is his mother broke her promise not to tell people
his secrets. "Remember I told you I had a girlfriend?" he says. She
told his best friend, after promising not to.
"As a parent, heís my biggest teacher," Jakeís mother says. "Weíre
not raising him. Heís raising us."
If the older Indigos are any indication, the future of these
children is very much in doubt. Spenceís daughter, who was an
Indigo, had Jan at the age of 15. Because of her daughterís problems
with drugs and alcohol, Spence took over rearing Jan when she was
only six weeks old. Brahmís son, who is one of the first Indigos,
was at the head of his class until the ninth grade, when he began to
feel like he couldnít continue functioning in normal society. He
stopped participating in school and started to fail his classes,
eventually turning to drugs and alcohol.
"He took 100 hits of acid and opened up the whole universe,"
explains. Now heís an auto mechanic with a wife and two Indigo kids.
Though working on cars doesnít appear to be the career that will
bring the human race to the next state of consciousness, Brahm now
believes her sonís main purpose was simply to bring her
grandchildren, who are the real teachers. She admits that her son
and daughter-in-law, a fundamentalist Christian, donít agree that
heís an Indigo.
Jay Batten is the mother of a 19-year-old restaurant manager who
also will not admit being an Indigo. "Heís a football player," she
says, suggesting he might fear itís too sissy to admit his true
nature. Indigos are also highly susceptible to peer pressure.
"Mostly he just thinks Iím strange," she says. She believes her
12-year-old daughter will be the real teacher.
Brahm says that when Indigos become teenagers, they often lose many
of their abilities as they attempt to conform. Unless theyíre raised
correctly, a lot of their spiritual knowledge is lost.
The main sanctuary for Indigos and their families is an eclectic
store in Galveston called Janetís Planet, which sells everything
from books and furniture to cats and crystals. Batten works in the
store, and she and Brahm offer New Age classes there.
Dee has been known to have a soft spot for homeless kids, whom she
often lets hang out in the store. Almost all of them, she says, are
Indigos. One homeless Indigo youth, William Wolf, has a lot of "bad
energy," Dee says, and sometimes he has to be asked to leave the
Planet. (She confirms sheís referring to the store.)
Wolf once told
Dee that all "cats and Jews" should die.
"I own cats, and my good
friend is Jewish," Dee says. She has been doing her best to show
Wolf a "more joyous path."
"One fucking negative thing appears in the Houston Press, and I will
personally track you down and beat the living shit out of you," Wolf
says before wandering off toward the back of the store.
"Williamís a little intense," says Justin English, a 19-year-old who
frequents the shop.
"Justinís one of our Indigos," Dee explains.
"Whatís an Indigo?" English asks, though he seems to like the idea.
Many homeless Indigos do drugs and steal, Dee explains, because they
just donít know how to adapt to societyís strange, alien ways. Brahm
recounts the time she counseled a little Indigo boy who wanted to
shoot people because he didnít think anyone could stop him. Brahm
explained to him that yes, he could shoot people, but heíd be put in
"They donít put little kids in jail," the boy said, but
told him that oh, yes, they do. As long as they understand thereís a
consequence for everything they do, Brahm explains, they behave.
Just be careful to phrase it as an explanation, not an order.
Not all Indigos have such a rough time.
Rachel Stegall is 26 years
old with a bachelorís degree in marine biology and works in a lab at
University of Texas Medical Branch. With Brahmís help, she
discovered that she was one of the early Indigos.
"I always felt I
was different," she says. "I always felt more comfortable in nature
than with people."
She always had a fascination with things from the
past, particularly medieval weapons, and yearned to return to the
Middle Ages because she wanted to "remember someplace that was
happy." She also loved to collect crystals, stones and fossils, and
without anyone having to tell her, she instinctually knew that if
she put the stones on her cat while it was purring, the vibrations
would heal bones. "I always knew I had knowledge I didnít have," she
says. "Iím starting to let it fill in."
Discovering she was an Indigo made everything seem to fall into
place. "It makes me believe in myself more," she says. Last summer
during a boat trip to the Amazon, she decided her purpose was to
teach people about protecting whales and the tropical rain forest.
If thereís a message she could pass on to other Indigos, it would be
that itís "okay to be who you are and to do what you are here to do.
That you have a purpose."
As to whether an alien intelligence is behind these unusual
children, everyone involved is much more coy.
"Nobody really knows,"
Batten says. "This is a really interesting question."
"Iím guessing maybe alien," Jakeís mother says. Brahm might have
mentioned something about her son coming from the planet Pleiades.
"I donít know. I donít understand all of that."
"I donít know where souls come from. I donít remember,"
but she will say there are "six places on my genes that are not
technically human." Any chance of getting a look at some of that
blood work? "Iím not letting them take blood again. I will not
become the object of investigation. I worked at a hospital. I know
what they do."
The introduction to Carroll and
An Indigo Celebration,
published last year, proclaims somewhat incredulously that readers
of their first book "actually concluded that we were promoting the
fact that these new children on Earth were space aliens!" A brief
browse through their Indigo Children Web site certainly shows how
people might have come to that conclusion.
Thereís a link to the sister site
www.kryon.com that gives a better
idea of the kind of self-help seminars Tober and Carroll are
conducting. The site contains transcripts of messages channeled
through Carroll from a higher being named Kryon. Carroll is credited
as one of only nine channels in the world working "in the service of
Kryon." Each channeling begins with the greeting "This is Kryon of
Magnetic Service," directed to his followers, whom he refers to as
Lightworkers. The messages contain instructions for communicating
with spirit, healing and reaching the next "level." Carroll is also
the author of several Kryon books, including
Donít Think Like a
A competing but similar proponent of the idea of highly evolved
Richard Boylan, a retired social worker and
hypnotherapist who works with what he calls Star Kids. He thinks the
proponents of Indigos are noticing the same phenomenon but have
taken it a bit too far with the New Age stuff. Boylan instead
believes parents are being abducted by aliens and having their DNA
manipulated to create enhanced offspring capable of telekinesis and
ESP. Heís seen absolute proof, but as so often happens in these
cases, itís been locked away in some secret government lab. He
doesnít suggest doing DNA tests on any Star Kids because any
irregularities are so subtle that they can be recognized only by an
expert. And as so often happens in these cases, the expert is dead
of cancer. (Or was that really the cause of death?)
Some believers have integrated the competing theories by claiming
Crystallines, Indigos and Star Kids are all different stages of
Michael Shermer, the editor of Skeptic magazine and author of
People Believe Weird Things, says that aliens have become the newest
popular religion, fulfilling many of the same needs. People turn to
weird ideas, he says, because they want to believe in something that
transcends the ordinary, gives certainty in an uncertain world, or
helps them deal with their own mortality. "It comes with having a
big cortex," Shermer says. Our brains are designed to find patterns,
and sometimes we just connect dots that arenít there.
Comfort may be one of the things Spence has gotten from her belief
in Indigos. Though she always believed in some form of metaphysics,
what prompted her to seek out Brahm for a psychic reading was her
brotherís suicide. Brahm gave her some relief, doing a "clearing" of
the house so that her brotherís spirit would know it was okay to
During their first meeting, Brahm informed Spence that her
brother was probably an Indigo, which was why he had such problems
dealing with our world. After hearing more about Spenceís difficult
daughter, Brahm determined that both Spence and Jan were probably
Indigos as well. Brahm told Spence that her granddaughter had wanted
to be raised by her all along, but had to "go through Mommy" because
Spence couldnít have children anymore.
Shermer says psychics and healers can feed the human desire to
reconcile with a loved one who has passed on, or can comfort someone
by telling her that her raising her granddaughter was "meant to be."
In the same way, parents believing that their child is an Indigo
might fulfill their wish to have special, gifted kids.
tend to be intentionally vague about the specifics so that potential
converts can find whatever might fill an emotional void in their
lives. Although these ideas may provide peace of mind, Shermer
doesnít buy the argument that they arenít harmful. "Whatís the harm
in doing drugs to avoid reality?" he asks. In the end, itís always
better to believe harsh truths rather than comfortable lies.
So if these kids donít necessarily do better in school, donít
necessarily perform any better at work or live any happier lives,
what is it about them that makes them "advanced"? Whatís the
difference between an Indigo and some kid who just doesnít like to
do homework or follow directions?
"If they seem to have a light in their eyes," Dee says.
"You just know," Spence says.
"I see how the kids turn around and either do what theyíre told or
accept the punishment," Jakeís mother says.
"Iím around other kids
all day long. Theyíre so normal. They follow directions, they will
conform, they will do what society expects them to - they are kids.
They do and talk and play. They donít question everything, they
donít research everything."
She doesnít know how to put it into
words, she says, but itís really easy once you know how to recognize
it. "You would have to live it to truly understand it."
Jan is still drawing trees and suns on the chalkboard, and erasing
them as soon as theyíre finished. She is asked what she likes to do
most in school. "To play," Jan answers.
"Tell them what you said you missed about kindergarten," Jakeís
mother says, wanting to demonstrate her childís remarkable gifts one
Jake doesnít like first grade, he says, as he plays with a plastic
dinosaur. What doesnít he like about it? "Um, um, um," he stutters.
"What is it you liked about kindergarten?" his mother asks again.
"I was just a little kid, Mom," he snaps.
He liked all the playtime, she says, because it was unstructured and
gave him the ability to learn at his advanced pace. During playtime,
she says, he could study the things he wanted to, without being
confined to the same rote assignments as the other children. It
bores him, she explains, because heís so far beyond that.
"I didnít realize that first grade was going to be like this," Jake
says, as he stares remorsefully down at his Tyrannosaurus. "I didnít
know nobody gets to be kids."
Ah, the wisdom of children. Adults can always learn something from
them. All they have to do is listen.