BANNING, Calif. - Marilyn Ferguson, whose best-selling book "The Aquarian Conspiracy" helped establish the New Age movement by tying together its disparate threads, has died. She was 70.
Ferguson died Oct. 19 at her home in western Riverside County. She is believed to have died of a heart attack, her son, Eric, told the Los Angeles Times.
"The Aquarian Conspiracy," published in 1980, was the first comprehensive analysis of the various unconnected efforts - such as scientists investigating biofeedback, midwives running alternative birthing centers and a Christian evangelist promoting meditation - that would coalesce into the New Age movement.
She cast these activities as a cumulative force seeking to break away from mainstream Western attitudes toward medicine, psychology and spirituality.
"After a dark, violent age, the Piscean, we are entering a millennium of love and light - in the words of the popular song 'the Age of Aquarius,' the time of 'the mind's true liberation,'" Ferguson wrote in the book.
Fritjof Capra, the New Age figure and physicist who wrote the "Tao of Physics," said Ferguson was a vital figure among those striving together to create an alternative consciousness.
"She was a very important coordinator and networker in this whole movement," he told the Times.
Ferguson was born in Grand Junction, Colo., on April 5, 1938. She moved to Los Angeles in 1968 where she studied psychology and gathered information about new research in hypnosis, meditation and extrasensory perception that she explored in her book "The Brain Revolution" (1973).
She also created the "Brain/Mind Bulletin," a New Age journal that she published for 21 years until 1996.
In 2005, she released a follow-up to the "The Aquarian Conspiracy" called "Aquarius Now."
Along with her son, she is survived by daughters Kris Ferguson and Lynn Lewis.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com