Gods as advanced extraterrestrial humanoids?

Beginning in 2002 C.E., there has been an explosion in popularity of the "Joy of Satan" belief system which holds that Satan and all other gods are really advanced extraterrestrial humanoids who live on a distant planet, occasionally visit Earth in the flesh, and at other times stay in touch with us via telepathy.

This belief is based on the writings of such authors as Erich Von Daniken and Zecharia Sitchin, which have long been discredited by more reputable scholars. (For some information on why mainstream scholars reject it, see Why don't you believe that the gods are ET's? in Frequently Asked Questions about the Church of Azazel.) Furthermore, everyone I know who knows anything about ancient languages has told me that Sitchin mistranslated a lot of ancient texts.
The Church of Azazel does not believe in the idea of gods as ET's. Traditionally, Satan is thought to be a spirit who lives right here on Earth and and primarily in an underworld beneath the surface of the Earth. This "underworld" can be interpreted either literally (as the inside of the Earth) or symbolically (e.g. as the deeper levels of our own minds), but in either case is incompatible with the ET hypothesis. Satan exists within us and within the world, not as a critter from outside.

On the plus side, however unlikely the idea of gods as ET's may be, at least several of its adherents have reported great success in using Sitchin's ideas as tools to get Christians to question their beliefs. To that end, Sitchin's writings may well be much more effective than historical arguments by more reputable scholars.
I'm aware of at least one teenage Joy of Satan member who successfully deconverted his entire family from Christianity -- including some pretty hardcore fundies. And, even before I heard this story about a year ago, I had a strong hunch that the Joy of Satan belief system, true or not, would eventually prove to be a very powerful weapon against Christianity.

One possible reason why Sitchin's writings are so powerful is because Sitchin -- unlike most mainstream historians -- treats the Bible as a literally true historical record. This makes Sitchin's books a good tool to challenge the beliefs of people who trust the Bible more than they trust historians, scientists, and other scholars.
What Sitchin's writings show is that, even if you take the Bible as a literally true historical record, you can still arrive at conclusions radically different from traditional Christian theology. And this is a valid philosophical argument against Biblical inerrantist Christianity regardless of whether Sitchin's conclusions are themselves true.
The extra-terrestrial hypothesis has the virtue of being consistent both with Post-Copernican natural theology (insofar as the gods are seen as non-cosmic) and with many people's perception of Satan as a personal or quasi-personal entity. It is also polytheistic. Thus, I regard the extra-terrestrial hypothesis as containing some metaphorical truths, though probably not literally true.