Raëlism

Raëlism

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Raëlism is a UFO religion
UFO religion
UFO religion is an informal term used to describe a religion that equates UFO occupants with gods or other semi-divine beings. Typically, the UFO occupants are held to be extraterrestials and that humanity either currently is, or eventually will become, part of a preexisting extraterrestrial...

 that was founded in 1974 by Claude Vorilhon, now known as Raël.

The Raëlian Movement teaches that life on Earth
Life on Earth
Life on Earth: A Natural History by David Attenborough is a television natural history series made by the BBC in association with Warner Bros. and Reiner Moritz Productions...

 was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

, which they call the Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

. Members of this species appeared human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 and when having personal contacts with the descendants of the humans they made, they were mistaken for angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s, cherubim or god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

s. Raëlians believe messengers, or prophets, of the Elohim include Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, and others who informed humans of each era. The founder of Raëlism, members claim, received the final message of the Elohim and that its purpose is to pacify and inform the world about Elohim and that if humans become peaceful enough, they wish to be welcomed by them.

The Raëlian Church has a quasi-clerical structure of seven levels. Joining the movement requires an official apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

 from other religions.

Sexuality
Human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

 is an important part of the Raëlian doctrine. The Raëlian Church has attracted some of its priests and bishops from other religions despite having liberal views of sexuality.

Raël founded Clonaid
Clonaid
Clonaid is a human cloning company founded in 1997. It has philosophical ties with the Raëlian sect, which sees cloning as the first step in achieving immortality. On December 27, 2002, Clonaid's chief executive, Brigitte Boisselier, claimed that a baby clone, named Eve, was born. Media coverage of...

 (originally Valiant Venture Ltd Corporation) in 1997, but then handed it over to a Raëlian bishop, Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier is the head of Clonaid, the "scientific wing" of the Raëlians. She has been a Raëlian since 1992 and primarily known for claiming that the company, run by church members, was the first organization to clone a full human being in the early 2000s...

 in 2000. In 2002 the company claimed that an American woman underwent a standard cloning
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 procedure that led to the birth of a daughter, Eve (b. December 26, 2002). Although few believe the claim, it nonetheless attracted national authorities, mainstream media, and young adults to look further into the Raëlians' cult status.

The Raëlians frequently use the swastika
Swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

 as a symbol of peace, which halted Raëlian requests for territory in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, and later Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, for establishing an embassy for extraterrestrials. The religion also uses the swastika embedded on the Star of David
Star of David
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism.Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles...

. Starting around 1991, this symbol was often replaced by a variant star and swirl symbol as public relations move, particularly toward Israel. However, the Raelians have readopted the original version as their official symbol.

History


The beginnings of Raëlism are rooted in the claims of a former French automobile journalist and race car driver Claude Vorilhon. In his books The Book Which Tells the Truth (1974) and Extraterrestrials Took Me to their Planet (1975), Vorilhon alleges that he had alien encounters with beings who gave him knowledge of the origins of all major religions.

The movement traces its beginnings to a conference in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 of two thousand people in 1974. From there, the MADECH organization was born. The name MADECH is a double acronym in the French language. The first stands for "Movement for the welcoming of the Elohim, creators of humanity" (Mouvement pour l‘accueil des Elohim, créateurs de l'humanité) while the second stands for "Moses preceded Elijah and the Christ" (Moise a devancé Élie et le Christ). By 1976, Raël transformed MADECH into the International Raelian Movement.



From 1980 to 1992 Raël and his movement became increasingly global. In 1980 Claude Raël's fifth Raëlian book Sensual Meditation was published and formal publication of the Raëlian Messages in the Japanese language began as part of the Raëlian mission to Japan. Two years later, Africa became another target area in the mission to spread the Raëlian messages.

On December 26, 2002, Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier is the head of Clonaid, the "scientific wing" of the Raëlians. She has been a Raëlian since 1992 and primarily known for claiming that the company, run by church members, was the first organization to clone a full human being in the early 2000s...

, a Raëlian Bishop and CEO of a biotechnology company called Clonaid, announced the birth of baby Eve, supposedly the first-ever human clone, which at that point ignited much media attention, ethical debate, doubt, critics, and claims of a hoax. Spokespeople for the movement, such as Claude Vorilhon, have suggested that this is only first step in achieving a more important agenda, claiming that accelerated growth process and mind transfer
Mind transfer
Whole brain emulation or mind uploading is the hypothetical process of transferring or copying a conscious mind from a brain to a non-biological substrate by scanning and mapping a biological brain in detail and copying its state into a computer system or another computational device...

, in combination with cloning
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 are mechanisms by which eternal life
Eternal life (Christianity)
In Christianity the term eternal life traditionally refers to continued life after death, rather than immortality. While scholars such as John H. Leith assert that...

 may be achieved.

Member hierarchy

EWLINE
Level 6:
Guide of Guides
Planetary guide
Level 5:
Bishop
Level 4:
Priest
Level 3:
Assistant Priest
Continental head
National guide
Regional guide
National guide
Regional guide
Regional guide
Level 2:
Organizer
Level 1:
Assistant Organizer
Level 0:
Trainee
Sources

The structure of the Raëlian Church is hierarchical, with seven levels ascending from level 0 to level 6. The top four levels consist of "Guides". The level 6 guide, known as the "Guide of Guides", has the final say on who becomes a level 5 "Bishop Guide" or a level 4 "Priest Guide". Bishops and priests promote lower-level members one level at a time during annual seminars. Each bishop or priest can propose a new guide as long as the candidate is from a level below his or her own. Guides can assist "Regional Guides"—level 3 and above—in their assigning of non-guide members to levels 3 ("Assistant Priests"), 2 ("Organizers") and 1 ("Assistant Organizers").

Members of the Raëlian structure begin as level 0 "trainees" during annual seminars. The Raelian structure claimed in 2007 to have about 2,300 members, 170 "Raëlian guides", and 41 bishops. Claude Vorilhon has held the highest position for three seven-year terms.

Women-only groups


Women make up only a third of the membership in the Raëlian Church, though two anecdotes in the Raëlian Contact newsletter report female majorities joining the movement's Asian Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

n chapter. Women such as Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier is the head of Clonaid, the "scientific wing" of the Raëlians. She has been a Raëlian since 1992 and primarily known for claiming that the company, run by church members, was the first organization to clone a full human being in the early 2000s...

, the Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 of Clonaid, play a powerful role in the Raëlian Church. There are two major groups of women in the Raëlian Church.

The Order of Angels, founded in the 1990s, consists of over a hundred Raëlian women who call for femininity
Femininity
Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Though socially constructed, femininity is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors...

 and refinement
Discrimination
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be...

 for all of humanity. The initiation rites include declaring an oath or making a contract in which one agrees to become defender of the Raëlian ideology and its founder Raël
Raël
Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon is the founder and current leader of the UFO religion known as Raëlism....

. The Order of Angels has its own hierarchy of "rose
Rose (color)
Rose is the color halfway between red and magenta on the HSV color wheel, also known as the RGB color wheel, on which it is at hue angle of 330 degrees.Rose is one of the tertiary colors on the HSV color wheel...

 angels" and "white
White
White is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light that stimulates all three types of color sensitive cone cells in the human eye in nearly equal amounts and with high brightness compared to the surroundings. A white visual stimulation will be void of hue and grayness.White light can be...

 angels" which, as of 2003, are six and 160 women, respectively. After the Clonaid
Clonaid
Clonaid is a human cloning company founded in 1997. It has philosophical ties with the Raëlian sect, which sees cloning as the first step in achieving immortality. On December 27, 2002, Clonaid's chief executive, Brigitte Boisselier, claimed that a baby clone, named Eve, was born. Media coverage of...

 human cloning claim made the headlines, the Daily Telegraph wrote that members of the order not only provided sexual pleasure for Raël, but also helped donate eggs for efforts towards human cloning. A few days later, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine wrote that French chemist Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier is the head of Clonaid, the "scientific wing" of the Raëlians. She has been a Raëlian since 1992 and primarily known for claiming that the company, run by church members, was the first organization to clone a full human being in the early 2000s...

 was an Order of Angels member. Around this time, cult specialist Mike Kropveld called the Order of Angels "one of the most transparent movements" he had witnessed, though he was alarmed by the women's promise to defend Raël's life with their own bodies.

Raël has instructed some women members to play a pro-sex feminist role in the Raëlian Church. "Rael's Girls" is another group of women in the movement which are against the suppression of feminine acts of pleasure, including sexual intercourse with men or women. Rael's Girls solely consists of women who work in the sex industry. In contrast to the teachings of the world's major religions, the women of Rael's Girls say there is no reason to repent for performing striptease
Striptease
A striptease is an erotic or exotic dance in which the performer gradually undresses, either partly or completely, in a seductive and sexually suggestive manner...

 or being a prostitute
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

. This organization was set up to counteract the influence of the "JC's girls" mission of the Christian ex-stripper Heather Veitch
Heather Veitch
Heather Veitch is an American former-stripper, turned Christian missionary who reaches out to women working in strip clubs, offering resources on pursuing a life outside of the adult entertainment industry...

. Rael's Girls and its founder Raël were featured in a pictorial in the October 2004 issue of Playboy
Playboy
Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

.

Ceremony


The major initiation rite in the Raëlian Church is the "baptism" or "transmission of the cellular plan" and is performed by upper-level members in the Raëlian clergy known as guides. In 1979, Raël introduced the "Act of Apostasy" as an obligation for those preparing for their Raëlian baptism.

The Raëlian baptism is known as transmission of the cellular plan where "cellular" refers to the organic cells of the body and the "plan" refers to the genetic makeup of the individual. This Raëlian baptism involves a guide member laying water onto the forehead of the new member. The practice began on "the first Sunday in April" of 1976 when Raël baptised 40 Raëlians. Raëlians believe that their genetic information is recorded by a remote computer and would become recognized during their final hour when they will be judged by the extraterrestrial Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

.

Ceremonial dates


Baptisms can only be performed on four special days in the year. The dates mark anniversaries in the Raëlian calendar.

The dates are the August 6, which marks the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, December 13, marking the day that Raël in 1973 says he had his first personal encounter with one of the extraterrestrial Elohim, October 7 in which the Elohim, Raël says, took him up in a spacecraft in 1975 and the following day had meals with Jesus, Buddha, and other past religious figures and the first Sunday in April, which Raëlians believe is the date when dark-skinned extraterrestrials created Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

.


Sensual Meditation


Sensual Meditation is the set of exercises made public by Claude Vorilhon in his book La méditation sensuelle. It is practiced by members of International Raelian Movement (IRM). The first of these exercises is usually taught in Raëlian Seminars.

First Activity: Harmonization with Infinity
The first step is to arrange a setting in which to meditate. Harmonious settings are preferred such as laying beneath a star-lit night sky, under good weather conditions. Or, prepare a room, decorated with pleasurable sights, textures, and smells. During the program of sensual meditation, being undressed or wearing soft silky material is preferable. Work clothes which are subject to pollutants and material which constrict blood flow and compress the sexual organs are not recommended.

The goal of a breathing exercise is to improve the oxygenation of the cells within one's organism
Organism
In biology, an organism is any contiguous living system . In at least some form, all organisms are capable of response to stimuli, reproduction, growth and development, and maintenance of homoeostasis as a stable whole.An organism may either be unicellular or, as in the case of humans, comprise...

 in order to balance the chemical secretions within the body. This involves a few to several minutes of deep regulated breathing and increasing of one's mental and physical awareness of the introduction of oxygen inside the many kinds of organs within the human body. Conscious awareness of these effects is important for a process of bodily feedback
Feedback
Feedback describes the situation when output from an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or...

.

The next step is to feel, from within oneself, all the cells and tissues one is made of, and to consciously link them through our central and peripheral nervous systems. After this feeling is felt throughout the body, one begins feeling the vibrations and pulses of musical sounds not only by the ears but through the pores and within the body itself.

In the following step, one feels the animate external environment through the many penetrating vibrations animating ones body from all angles and radial distances. This attentive awareness develops the sense of feeling harmony
Harmony
In music, harmony is the use of simultaneous pitches , or chords. The study of harmony involves chords and their construction and chord progressions and the principles of connection that govern them. Harmony is often said to refer to the "vertical" aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic...

 that surround one's organism. Lastly, one uses this feeling to become aware of the humanity
Human Race
Human Race refers to the Human species.Human race may also refer to:*The Human Race, 79th episode of YuYu Hakusho* Human Race Theatre Company of Dayton Ohio* Human Race Machine, a computer graphics device...

 he or she is a part of.

Second Activity: Becoming Aware of Our Life
Breathing begins again in a more physically arousing way by feeling the exchange of air inside the whole respiratory apparatus including the bronchial tubes inside the lungs, nasal cavity, and mouth. As the oxygenation
Oxygenation (medical)
Oxygenation occurs when oxygen molecules enter the tissues of the body. For example, blood is oxygenated in the lungs, where oxygen molecules travel from the air and into the blood...

 is increasingly felt within, one then begins to feel the heart pulsating and pumping blood within one's chest. While being highly oxygenated and having the tactile sensuality developed in the previous exercise, the calming pulse of this blood
Blood
Blood is a specialized bodily fluid in animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells....

 is felt spreading from the heart and into the rest of the body.

Third Activity: Body Awareness
After having sensually connected the many cells
Cell (biology)
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....

 and tissues
Tissue (biology)
Tissue is a cellular organizational level intermediate between cells and a complete organism. A tissue is an ensemble of cells, not necessarily identical, but from the same origin, that together carry out a specific function. These are called tissues because of their identical functioning...

 in the body by developed the tactile sense of touch from within the body itself and feeling the pulsing phenomena within the body itself, the sensuality of external senses is developed. As one closes his or her eyes one begins to develop the sense of touch and does so intensely by feeling the parts of oneself by enjoying being the touched and toucher while feeling more intensely with the fingertips. The taste
Taste
Taste is one of the traditional five senses. It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons, etc....

 of one's own skin is then explored. The feeling of oneself talking is then guided by a hand touching the parts of the head which vibrate during speech. Then the eyes are opened to discover oneself by appreciating the moving of one's hands, a bit like a baby, though now one can be fully conscious of his or her animation. One looks at oneself with new eyes, looking in places where one would not normally look, as if discovering our physique for the first time and with attraction rather than aversion.

Fourth Activity: Meditation with Symbol of Infinity
Decorations are placed around the room as well as posters to contemplate for their harmonious expression of various patterns and colors of lights they reflect. Among them is the symbol of infinity which in Raëlian cosmology
Raelian cosmology
Raëlian cosmology is a cosmology proposed in 1973 by Raël, the founder of the International Raëlian Movement. This cosmology is similar to the Jain cosmology in that it proposes that the observable universe has no creator and is infinite in time and infinite in size and surrounded by infinite...

 represents the infinitely large particles and infinitely small particles that dance and intermingle among themselves as an animation which endures without beginning or end.

Fifth Activity: Another Universe - Our Partner
This exercise involves a massage
Massage
Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle"...

 by a partner, not necessarily sexual, (and vice versa) the purpose of which is to become conscious of one another's shape
Shape
The shape of an object located in some space is a geometrical description of the part of that space occupied by the object, as determined by its external boundary – abstracting from location and orientation in space, size, and other properties such as colour, content, and material...

 and constitution through the sensuous touching. This exercise need not be erotic when involving gentle kneading
Kneading
Kneading is a process in the making of bread or pasta dough, used to mix together the ingredients and add strength to the final product. Its importance lies in the mixing of flour with water. When these two ingredients are combined and kneaded, the gliadin and glutenin proteins in the flour expand...

 of the individual one feels in order to become aware of their contour of flesh and bones (and vice versa). The expectation of being touched in certain places turns into pleasure
Pleasure
Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria...

 improves one's unity. This meditation is the last exercise for those without sexual partners.

Sixth Activity: Eroticism and Mutual Excitement
After the intense vaporous breathing exercise, which is performed at the beginning of each meditation, one lays down with their eyes closed while becoming aware and feeling another's gaze as it caresses their body which they present to the gazer. The person laying down anticipates the gaze of the other as though it were a source of a soft diffuse beam of light. Erogenous zones are later excited though a very light and delicate massage by the partner of the one lying down. Sensual feedback
Feedback
Feedback describes the situation when output from an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or...

 is expected between the massager and the massaged so that individual preferences and sensitivity are accounted for which allows both partners to receive maximum pleasure from the exchange. After seeing, touching, and hearing, the senses of taste and of smell are introduced. Breathing in with the nose enhances smell whereas breathing out through the mouth allows for exhalation on the skin of the one lying down to occur more sensually. This, as well as kissing, encourages the exchange of hormones between the caresser and the caressed. At the end of this exercise, it is repeated, where the massager now becomes the massaged and the massaged becomes the massager.

Other activities, outreach and advocacy


Throughout the history of Raëlism, members of the Raëlian Church have toured public settings advocating masturbation
Masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

, condoms and birth control
Birth control
Birth control is an umbrella term for several techniques and methods used to prevent fertilization or to interrupt pregnancy at various stages. Birth control techniques and methods include contraception , contragestion and abortion...

. Raëlians hope that genetically modified food
Genetically modified food
Genetically modified foods are foods derived from genetically modified organisms . Genetically modified organisms have had specific changes introduced into their DNA by genetic engineering techniques...

and nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

will allow humankind to eliminate the obligation to work, in a world that embraces science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

.

Raëlians have founded Clonaid
Clonaid
Clonaid is a human cloning company founded in 1997. It has philosophical ties with the Raëlian sect, which sees cloning as the first step in achieving immortality. On December 27, 2002, Clonaid's chief executive, Brigitte Boisselier, claimed that a baby clone, named Eve, was born. Media coverage of...

, a company that envisions that someday human beings can be scientifically recreated though a process of human cloning, and Clitoraid, an organization whose mission is to oppose female genital mutilation.

UFO exhibits


Raëlian structure members have set up exhibitions about their beliefs of extraterrestrial intelligent designer
Intelligent designer
An intelligent designer, also referred to as an intelligent agent, is the hypothetical willed and self-aware entity that the intelligent design movement argues had some role in the origin and/or development of life...

s sending crop circle
Crop circle
A crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rapeseed. Crop circles are also referred to as crop formations, because they are not always circular in shape. While the exact date crop circles began to appear is unknown, the documented...

s, UFOs, and spaceships for their arrival at an embassy. While there have been smaller meetings of Raëlians and non-Raëlians, annual Raëlian seminars have been typically larger.

Seminars


Raëlian structure members who run the seminars have organized group exercises involving meditation with the senses. James R. Lewis, an authority on fringe religious movements, spoke of Raëlians who practiced a Raëlian exercise called Sensual Meditation and discovered "playing fields" where "radical self-reconstruction," "new forms of authority," and "new modes of self-relating" were encouraged.

Music has been a feature of large gatherings, where at night, Raëlians have had multiethnic cabaret
Cabaret
Cabaret is a form, or place, of entertainment featuring comedy, song, dance, and theatre, distinguished mainly by the performance venue: a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables watching the performance, as introduced by a master of ceremonies or...

 performances. Seminarists have used colored bracelets to indicate whether they wanted to be alone, be in a couple, or simply meet people.

On a yearly basis, Raëlian members organize seminars that are often attractive to the sexually adventurous. News KNBC
KNBC
KNBC, channel 4, is an owned-and-operated television station of the NBC Television Network, licensed to Los Angeles, California, USA. KNBC's studios and offices are located within the NBC Studios complex in Burbank, California, and its transmitter is located on Mount Wilson...

 called the annual Raëlian seminars "a cross between a nudist camp and new-age retreat." A Spanish television agency reported Raëlian men and women in cross-dressing plays.

The seminars have attracted a diverse mix of sexually adventurous people. KNBC
KNBC
KNBC, channel 4, is an owned-and-operated television station of the NBC Television Network, licensed to Los Angeles, California, USA. KNBC's studios and offices are located within the NBC Studios complex in Burbank, California, and its transmitter is located on Mount Wilson...

 called the annual Raëlian seminars "a cross between a nudist camp and new-age retreat." Activities such as observations of one's own private parts and masturbation with them disturbed Brigitte McCann, a Calgary Sun reporter who entered one of the Raëlian seminars. A Spanish television reporter saw Raëlian men and women in crossdressing plays. Susan J. Palmer said a French journalist went to a Raëlian Seminar in 1991 and taped couples having sexual intercourse in tents. These tapes gained widespread negative publicity—with news stories that described these practices as perverted and a form of brainwashing.

Activism


Raëlians routinely advocate sex-positive feminism and genetically modified food. They also have protested against wars and the Catholic Church.

Pro-GMO
On August 6, 2003, the first day of Raëlian year 58 AH, a tech
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 article on the USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

 newspaper mentions an "unlikely ally" of the Monsanto Company, the Raëlian Movement of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. The movement gave vocal support in response to the company's support for genetically modified organism
Genetically modified organism
A genetically modified organism or genetically engineered organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one...

s particularly in their country. Brazilian farmers have been using Monsanto's genetically engineered soy plant as well as the Roundup herbicide to which it was artificially adapted. The Raëlians spoke against the Brazilian government's ban on GMOs.


Anti-war
In 2006, About 30 Raëlians, some topless, took part in an anti-war demonstration in Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. In 2003, Raëlians in white alien costumes bore signs bearing the message "NO WAR ... ET wants Peace, too!" to protest the 2003 Invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

.

Topless Rights of Women
Several Raëlian groups in the United States have organized annual protests, claiming that women should have the same legal right to go topless in public that men enjoy without fear of arrest for indecent exposure. Some have called this a publicity stunt designed to recruit members. Go Topless Day is their annual event, with women protesting topless except for nipple pasties to avoid arrest. It is held near August 26, the anniversary of the day women were given the USA right to vote.

Anti-Vatican:
In 1992 Catholic schools in Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 objected to a proposed condom vending machine as contrary to their mission. In response, Raëlian guides, in an event dubbed "Operation Condom", gave the Catholic students ten thousand condoms. The Commissioner of Catholic schools for Montreal said they could do nothing to stop them.

In July 2001, Raëlians on the streets attracted Italians and Swiss people as they gave leaflets in protest to over a hundred child molesters in existence among Roman Catholic clergy in France. They recommended that parents should not send their children to Catholic confession. The Episcopal vicar
Vicar
In the broadest sense, a vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior . In this sense, the title is comparable to lieutenant...

 of Geneva sued the Raëlian Church for libel but did not win. The judge did not accept the charges for the reason that the Raëlians were not attacking the whole of the Catholic Church. In October 2002, Raëlians in a Canadian anti-clerical parade held handed out Christian crosses to high school students. They were invited to burn the crosses in a park not far from Montreal's Mount Royal
Mount Royal
Mount Royal is a mountain in the city of Montreal, immediately west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the city to which it gave its name.The mountain is part of the Monteregian Hills situated between the Laurentians and the Appalachians...

 and to sign letters of apostasy
Apostasy
Apostasy , 'a defection or revolt', from ἀπό, apo, 'away, apart', στάσις, stasis, 'stand, 'standing') is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. One who commits apostasy is known as an apostate. These terms have a pejorative implication in everyday...

 from the Roman Catholic Church. The Quebec Association of Bishops called this "incitement to hatred", and several school boards attempted to prevent their students from meeting Raëlians.

Converts from other religions


Raëlianism is an atheistic
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 religion that does not believe in a god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 (nor other deity
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

), but in extraterrestrials. Former clergy of mainstream religions have joined the Raëlian Church, especially in Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

. The structure of the movement had promoted some of them to the level of Priest or Bishop due to "extensive Bible training and teaching skills".

Two ex-Roman Catholic Priests, Victor Legendre and Charles-Yvan Giroux converted to Raëlianism. A former bishop of the Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints) joined the Raelian Movement in order to express his homosexuality. The Raëlian, Mark Woodgate, stated that 8% of Raëlians worldwide are former Mormons
Mormons
The Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, a religion started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. A vast majority of Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while a minority are members of other independent churches....

. Religiously mixed couples are common, especially with spouses who are Christians or Buddhists.

Intended controversy



Susan J. Palmer
Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching sociology of religion courses.-Biography:Palmer...

, a sociologist from Canada, has studied the movement since 1987 and says the movement intentionally stirs a moderate level of controversy to maintain membership. For example, Rael and the group attempt to tie their views with topical matters, ranging from Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods is an American professional golfer whose achievements to date rank him among the most successful golfers of all time. Formerly the World No...

' promiscuity to strained relations in the Middle East, in regular online postings and press releases. This view is shared by Mike Kropveld—the executive director of an anti-cult organization with the name Info-Cult—who says the controversy leads to criticism by both religious and non-religious people.

Raëlian organizers made deliberate attempts to "shock, titillate, and capture the media's imagination". The book Yes to Human Cloning (2001) attracted media attention after its release, including segments on 20/20 and 60 Minutes
60 Minutes
60 Minutes is an American television news magazine, which has run on CBS since 1968. The program was created by producer Don Hewitt who set it apart by using a unique style of reporter-centered investigation....

. Biophysicist Gregory Stock
Gregory Stock
Gregory Stock is a biophysicist, best-selling author, biotech entrepreneur, and the former director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine...

 described the Raëlian Clonaid
Clonaid
Clonaid is a human cloning company founded in 1997. It has philosophical ties with the Raëlian sect, which sees cloning as the first step in achieving immortality. On December 27, 2002, Clonaid's chief executive, Brigitte Boisselier, claimed that a baby clone, named Eve, was born. Media coverage of...

 project as "sufficiently quirky to command instant media attention." It has been estimated that the group received free publicity worth US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

500 million as a result of the Clonaid claim. Mark Hunt, a lawyer and politician who wished to clone his dead son with the help of the Clonaid services, was overwhelmed by the height of the media attention and in an interview said that Clonaid's chief executive had become a "press hog".


Beliefs




George D. Chryssides
George D. Chryssides
Dr George D. Chryssides was a senior lecturer and Head of Religious Studies at the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences of the University of Wolverhampton now working for Birmingham University....

 described the Raëlian Church as being in an "early developmental stage" and that their beliefs distance it from a "dominant intellectual climate". Raëlism claims that all life on Earth, humans included, was created scientifically by Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

, members of an extraterrestrial race who appeared similar to small humans and so were often depicted as angels, cherubs, or gods. Raëlians, who are not monotheists, believe the correct historical meaning of the word Elohim is the plural sense, "those who came from the sky". Belief in extraterrestrial Elohim play a central part in Clonaid
Clonaid
Clonaid is a human cloning company founded in 1997. It has philosophical ties with the Raëlian sect, which sees cloning as the first step in achieving immortality. On December 27, 2002, Clonaid's chief executive, Brigitte Boisselier, claimed that a baby clone, named Eve, was born. Media coverage of...

's claim of offering cloning services for homosexual and infertile couples who want a child cloned from a partner's DNA.

Chryssides states that Raëlism is discernible from other UFO religions for its heavy support for physicalism
Physicalism
Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things...

 and repudiation of supernaturalism. Susan J. Palmer
Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching sociology of religion courses.-Biography:Palmer...

, a social scholar who had long contacts with Raëlians, associated epiphenomenalism
Epiphenomenalism
In philosophy of mind, epiphenomenalism, also known as Type-E Dualism, is a view that "mental" states do not have any influence on "physical" states.-Background:...

with the belief in Raëlism that mind transfer
Mind transfer
Whole brain emulation or mind uploading is the hypothetical process of transferring or copying a conscious mind from a brain to a non-biological substrate by scanning and mapping a biological brain in detail and copying its state into a computer system or another computational device...

 coupled with human cloning
Human cloning
Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human. It does not usually refer to monozygotic multiple births nor the reproduction of human cells or tissue. The ethics of cloning is an extremely controversial issue...

 can implant mind and personality into a new and disease free body. Raëlians publicly deny the existence of the ethereal
Ethereal being
Ethereal beings, according to some belief systems and occult theories, are mystic entities that usually are not made of ordinary matter. Despite the fact that they are believed to be essentially incorporeal, they do interact in physical shapes with the material universe and travel between the...

 soul and a supernatural god
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, but they believe that humanity for many generations past will be resurrected, albeit in a scientific way.

Raëlians believe that throughout the ages, members of the Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 civilization sent different prophets, including Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, Buddha
Buddha
In Buddhism, buddhahood is the state of perfect enlightenment attained by a buddha .In Buddhism, the term buddha usually refers to one who has become enlightened...

 and many others whose role was guide humanity and to prepare humans for the future, all of whom were created as a result of a sexual union between a human woman and one of the Elohim. To Raëlians, this was possible because the Elohim had advanced DNA synthesis and genetic engineering. The Elohim later reduced the frequent visits so that humans were largely left to progress on their own, until the time of the Apocalypse/Revelation
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

 when they would send their final messenger and disclose themselves at an extraterrestrial embassy, establishing political and economic ties.

Raëlians believe that sex is a normal, natural and healthy part of life and encourages people to be true to their natural sexuality. They promote healing from damaging messages from strict puritanical belief systems and social stigmas that stifle one's natural sexuality. Acceptance of masturbation
Masturbation
Masturbation refers to sexual stimulation of a person's own genitals, usually to the point of orgasm. The stimulation can be performed manually, by use of objects or tools, or by some combination of these methods. Masturbation is a common form of autoeroticism...

, homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

, bisexuality, pansexuality, naturism and any legal, safe and consensual adult activity is promoted as part of a healthy and long life, and this is used to attract young converts to the religion. Raelians believe that sexuality is a gift of pleasure to mankind from the Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

. The Raëlian book Let's Welcome our Fathers From Space says that new advanced extraterrestrial civilizations will ultimately practice a final religion or "religion of the infinite" that involves ubiquitous practice of Sensual Meditation.

According to Giancarlo Genta
Giancarlo Genta
Giancarlo Genta is Professor of Machine Design and Construction at the Politecnico di Torino. His areas of professional interest include vibration, vehicle design, magnetic bearings, and rotordynamics. He has written or co-authored more than 50 articles in professional publications...

 and Jason Colavito, writers who have influenced Raëlian beliefs include Zechariah Sitchin and Erich von Däniken
Erich von Däniken
Erich Anton Paul von Däniken is a Swiss author best known for his controversial claims about extraterrestrial influences on early human culture, in books such as Chariots of the Gods?, published in 1968...

.

Voluntarism


Raëlians are encouraged to do as they feel right, whether that matches the rules of the culture in which they live or not. According to Susan J. Palmer
Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching sociology of religion courses.-Biography:Palmer...

, a majority of loosely affiliated Raëlian Movement members have often strayed from following rules concerning "diet, drugs, and sexual activity" as described in the Raëlian books. Sometimes, they will not attend monthly meetings or pay a tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

 in proportion to their income. Only the more committed members who do follow such rules can remain in the movement's structure.

According to Michel Beluet, the former director of a Raëlian-built museum called UFOland, the only pressure exerted on members is to attend annual Raëlian seminars, which allows members convinced of Raël's enthusiasm to voluntarily tithe. Palmer cited Raël, who claimed that more than 60% of the Raëlian Movement's members do not tithe. Dawson College
Dawson College
Dawson College was the first English CEGEP and is located in Westmount, just west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dawson College is located near the heart of downtown Montreal in a former nunnery on 4.85 hectares of green space...

 students conducted a survey of the membership in Canada 1991 which found that only one-third of respondents tithed.

Human Cloning


As opposed to the scientific definition of reproductive cloning
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 which is simply the creation of a genetically identical living thing, Raëlians seek to both genetically clone individuals, rapidly accelerate growth of the clone to adulthood through a process like guided self-assembly
Self-assembly
Self-assembly is a term used to describe processes in which a disordered system of pre-existing components forms an organized structure or pattern as a consequence of specific, local interactions among the components themselves, without external direction...

 of rapidly expanded cells or even nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

and then transfer the mind and personality of the donor into the clone. Raëlians believe humanity can attain eternal life
Immortality
Immortality is the ability to live forever. It is unknown whether human physical immortality is an achievable condition. Biological forms have inherent limitations which may or may not be able to be overcome through medical interventions or engineering...

 through the science of cloning.

In the final stages of development, hitherto unknown information contained within undamaged DNA would be enough to bring others back from the dead including their memories and personality. This would be done by taking a small sample from someone's body and preserving it at the time when the level of the brain's efficiency and knowledge is highest. On the day of death, a cell would be taken from the sample for the cloning to take place, and the memories and personality would be restored to their peak level.

Claude Vorilhon told lawmakers that banning the development of human cloning was comparable to outlawing medical advances such "antibiotics, blood transfusions, and vaccines."

Clonaid


Raël founded Valiant Venture Ltd Corporation in 1997, to research human cloning. The company name was later changed to Clonaid and handed over to Raëlian bishop, Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier is the head of Clonaid, the "scientific wing" of the Raëlians. She has been a Raëlian since 1992 and primarily known for claiming that the company, run by church members, was the first organization to clone a full human being in the early 2000s...

 in 2000. In 2002, Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier
Brigitte Boisselier is the head of Clonaid, the "scientific wing" of the Raëlians. She has been a Raëlian since 1992 and primarily known for claiming that the company, run by church members, was the first organization to clone a full human being in the early 2000s...

, as chief executive of Clonaid
Clonaid
Clonaid is a human cloning company founded in 1997. It has philosophical ties with the Raëlian sect, which sees cloning as the first step in achieving immortality. On December 27, 2002, Clonaid's chief executive, Brigitte Boisselier, claimed that a baby clone, named Eve, was born. Media coverage of...

, claimed that a human baby was conceived through cloning technology. Around this time, Clonaid's subsidiary BioFusion Tech claimed to have in possession a cell fusion device that assisted the cloning of human embryos. The Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 said that experimenters expressed "brutal mentality" for attempting to clone human beings. Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 John Paul II criticized the experiment which he believes threatens the dignity of human life. In response, the leader of the Raëlian Church dismissed the Pope's ethical concerns, calling them an "accumulation of religious prejudices."

In response to Raël
Raël
Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon is the founder and current leader of the UFO religion known as Raëlism....

's association with Clonaid, South Korean immigration authorities at the airport denied him entry into their country in 2003. This decision led to the quick cancellation of the planned Raëlian seminar which seven hundred registered for. Raëlians of South Korea were instructed by Raël to protest near the center of the country of Ministry of Health and Welfare that ordered him to leave. Officials detained Raël for nine hours at Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea, the primary airport serving the Seoul national capital area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world...

 before he and his wife Sophie de Niverville left for Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

 from where they would take another plane on their way back to Canada. Raël responded by saying that Korean officials treated him like a "North Korean" and that he would wait for an apology before coming back to Korea.


Sensuality and pleasure


According to the book Maitreya by Claude Vorilhon, love involves experiencing different varieties and possibilities that allow one to break habits in order to make life more pleasant and interesting and that it is the only thing which can stop war and injustice that persists in today's world. Raëlians believe in the right to form new religions or new political parties as long as they do not promote violence. As individualists, Raëlians believe that the one who gives the order to harm others is less at fault than the one who executes it.

Raëlians say they encourage adult homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual relationships and that society should recognize them legally. Some Swiss government authorities responded to Raëlians' views about Sensual Meditation with a fear that Raëlians are a threat to public morals for supporting liberalized sex education
Sex education
Sex education refers to formal programs of instruction on a wide range of issues relating to human sexuality, including human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception, and...

 for children. They express the view that such liberalized sex education teaches youngsters how to obtain sexual gratification which would encourage sexual abuse of underage children.

Views on pedophilia


Sexual predators and guides who force missionary ideas against members are excommunicated by the Raëlian Church for a minimum of seven years—the amount of time Raëlians believe it takes for all of a person's biological cells to be regenerated. In 2006 Raëlians in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

 condemned of acts of pedophilia
Pedophilia
As a medical diagnosis, pedophilia is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents typically characterized by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children...

 which Raelians consider a disease, particularly those associated with celibate Catholic priests, saying that minors and adults should not be mixed in the act of sex. Authorities of the Swiss canton of Valais
Valais
The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland in the southwestern part of the country, around the valley of the Rhône from its headwaters to Lake Geneva, separating the Pennine Alps from the Bernese Alps. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central Rhône valley...

 claimed that Raëlians support a doctrine of "complete sexual liberty", and they denied an application by Raël to live in their area. The website Raelianews.org denied that sexual freedom between consenting adults in any way implies pedophilia.


Structure of the Universe


Raëlian cosmology as proposed in 1973 by Raël
Raël
Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon is the founder and current leader of the UFO religion known as Raëlism....

 states that the observable universe has no creator and is infinite in time and finite in size and surrounded by infinite space.

In Raëlian cosmology, our observable universe is an "atom" of a much larger level of matter (and possibly organism) and subatomic particles in our bodies also possess universes like our own, but on a much smaller scale. This pattern, atom within universe within atom, is believed to be infinitely repetitive, from the infinitely small, to the infinitely large. The Raëlian Messages by Raël
Raël
Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon is the founder and current leader of the UFO religion known as Raëlism....

 state that humanoid extraterrestrials, who were originally called under the name Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 (singular: Eloha), verified this cosmology scientifically.

Because of the difference of mass, the activity of life inside in a living thing's atoms would undergo many millennia before enough time passes for that living thing to take a single step. Raëlians believe the universe is infinite in time and space and lacks a center. Because of this, one could not imagine where an ethereal soul would go.

The Raëlian cosmology is meditated upon during the fourth activity in the rite of Sensual Meditation.

Creation of life on Earth by extraterrestrials


In his book The Message Given to me by Extraterrestrials (now republished as Intelligent Design: Message from the Designers 2006 ISBN 2940252203), Claude Vorilhon claims that on December 13, 1973, he found a spacecraft shaped like a flattened bell that landed inside Puy de Lassolas
Puy de Lassolas
The Puy de Lassolas is a volcano in the Chaîne des Puys in France, peaking at 1187 metres. It forms, with the Puy de la Vache, a group of volcanic craters. Together, they thus form two half craters...

, a volcano near the capital city of Auvergne
Auvergne (région)
Auvergne is one of the 27 administrative regions of France. It comprises the 4 departments of Allier, Puy de Dome, Cantal and Haute Loire.The current administrative region of Auvergne is larger than the historical province of Auvergne, and includes provinces and areas that historically were not...

. A 25,000-year-old human-like extraterrestrial
Extraterrestrial life
Extraterrestrial life is defined as life that does not originate from Earth...

 inside the spacecraft named Yahweh said that Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 was the name that primitive people of Earth called members of his extraterrestrial race—who were seen as "those who came from the sky". Yahweh explained that Earth was originally void of life, with thick clouds and shallow seas, but the Elohim came, broke apart the clouds, exposed the seas to sunlight, built a continent, and synthesized a global ecosystem. Solar astronomy, terraformation, nanotechnology
Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

, and genetic engineering
Genetic engineering
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct human manipulation of an organism's genome using modern DNA technology. It involves the introduction of foreign DNA or synthetic genes into the organism of interest...

 allowed Elohim to adapt life to Earth's thermal and chemical makeup.

Yahweh gave materialistic
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

 explanations of the following:
  • Garden of Eden
    Garden of Eden
    The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

    : a large laboratory that was based on an artificially constructed continent
  • Noah's Ark
    Noah's Ark
    Noah's Ark is a vessel appearing in the Book of Genesis and the Quran . These narratives describe the construction of the ark by Noah at God's command to save himself, his family, and the world's animals from the worldwide deluge of the Great Flood.In the narrative of the ark, God sees the...

    : a spaceship that preserved DNA that was used to resurrect animals through cloning
  • the Tower of Babel
    Tower of Babel
    The Tower of Babel , according to the Book of Genesis, was an enormous tower built in the plain of Shinar .According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, came to the land of Shinar, where...

    : a rocket that was supposed to reach the creators' planet;
  • the Great Flood: the byproduct of a nuclear missile explosion that the Elohim sent. After tidal wave floods following the explosions receded, Elohim scattered the Israelites and had them speak the language of other tribes.


According to Vorilhon, Elohim contacted about forty people to act as their prophets on Earth, including Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, Elijah, Ezekiel
Book of Ezekiel
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible, following the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah and preceding the Book of the Twelve....

, Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

,
John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

,
Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, and Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith was founder of what later became known as the Latter Day Saint movement or Mormons.Joseph Smith may also refer to:-Latter Day Saints:* Joseph Smith, Sr. , father of Joseph Smith...

. The religions thought to be from Elohimic origins include Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, and Mormonism
Mormonism
Mormonism is the religion practiced by Mormons, and is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement. This movement was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. beginning in the 1820s as a form of Christian primitivism. During the 1830s and 1840s, Mormonism gradually distinguished itself...

.

From the Raëlian point of view, religious texts indicate that the Elohim would return at the age of Apocalypse
Apocalypse
An Apocalypse is a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and misconception, i.e. the veil to be lifted. The Apocalypse of John is the Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament...

 or Revelation
Revelation
In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 (unveiling of the truth). Humans from another world would appear to drop down from the sky and meet in the embassy they have asked Raël to build for them and share their advanced scientific knowledge with humanity. Thus, one of their stated main goals of the Raëlian movement is to inform as many people as possible about this extraterrestrial race.

Humanity's chance of creating life on other planets


Raëlians believe that humanity would be able to create life on other planets only if humanity is peaceful enough to stop war. In that case, humanity could travel the distances between stars and create life on another planet. Progress in terraforming
Terraforming
Terraforming of a planet, moon, or other body is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface topography or ecology to be similar to those of Earth, in order to make it habitable by terrestrial organisms.The term is sometimes used more generally as a...

, molecular biology, and cloning would enable these teams to create continents and life from scratch. Progress in social engineering
Social engineering (political science)
Social engineering is a discipline in political science that refers to efforts to influence popular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale, whether by governments or private groups. In the political arena, the counterpart of social engineering is political engineering.For various reasons,...

 would ensure that this creation would have a better chance of both surviving and having the potential to understand its creators. Research on how civilization would occur on another planet would allow scientists to decide what traces of their origin should be left behind so that their role in life creation would someday be revealed. The progress achieved by the science teams would ultimately sustain a perpetual chain of life.

A coming judgement


Raëlians do not believe that an ethereal soul exists free of physical confinement. Raëlians believe that advanced supercomputers of the Elohim are right now recording the memories and DNA of human beings. When Elohim release this information for the coming resurrection, people would be brought back from the dead and the judgments upon them would be realized based on actions in their past life. People excluded from physical recreation would include those who achieved nothing positive but were not evil. Vorilhon expressed an interest in cloning Hitler for war trials and retroactive punishment. Raël also mentioned cloning as the solution to terrorism
Terrorism
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

 by suicide attacks, as the perpetrators would not be able to escape punishment by killing themselves if the Elohim recreated them after their attacks.

Embassy for Extraterrestrials


Raëlians believe that life on Earth—as well as many religions of the world—was the work of extraterrestrial influence. They believe these were scientists and that ancient people saw them as "gods" and gave the name "Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

". Raëlians believe that the Embassy for Extraterrestrials or "Third Temple
The Third Temple
The Third Temple, or Ezekiel's Temple , is a temple architecturally described in the Book of Ezekiel...

" is to support an official contact with Extraterrestrial Elohim and their messengers of the main religions at the "New Jerusalem
New Jerusalem
In the book of Ezekiel, the Prophecy of New Jerusalem is Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city to be established to the south of the Temple Mount that will be inhabited by the twelve tribes of Israel in the...

".

The Raëlian Embassy for Extraterrestrials is the vision of the International Raëlian Movement to establish an embassy, at a base cost of $20 million, with a landing pad that would serve as spaceport for extraterrestrial spaceships. The funding of the embassy has been reported over time by the media. Its location is intended to be in neutral territory, preferably Jerusalem, and would be surrounded by acres of campground capable of supporting about 144,000 people or more than twice the estimated Raëlian membership as of 2005.

On April 16, 1987, the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

 estimated the funding for the "cosmic kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

" at $1 million. In 1997-1998, the funding had risen to $7 million. By 2001, $9 million had been saved for the embassy, and in October, the funding had reached $20 million.

Proposed architecture and location


The International Raëlian Movement envisions having an entrance with an aseptic
Aseptic technique
Aseptic technique refers to a procedure that is performed under sterile conditions. This includes medical and laboratory techniques, such as with microbiological cultures. It includes techniques like flame sterilization...

 chamber leading to a conference room for twenty-one people as well as a dining room of the same capacity. In the plan are seven rooms for the purpose of receiving human guests into the embassy. The embassy building, along with the swimming pool, would be in the center of a large park and protected from trespassing by a wall−a maximum of two stories-to surround the entire complex's circumference. Trees and bushes are to be planted in the outskirts of the wall's area. The walls are to have a northern and southern entrance. The landing pad for the embassy should be able fit a spaceship of twelve meters of diameter or 39'4" on its terrace. The terrace is to be above the rooms in the torus, which are for extraterrestrials only. The seven rooms directly underneath the landing pad would be protected from occupants of other rooms with a thick metal door. Finally, the International Raëlian Movement wants to avoid military and radar surveillance of the airspace above the embassy. Buildings for administration, food and water provisions, and state-of-the-art sanitation and communication systems are part of this vision. A nearby replica of the Raëlian Embassy for Extraterrestrials open to the public is expected to show visitors what it is like inside the real one.

On December 13, 1997, the leader of the International Raëlian Movement had decided to extend the possibility of building the embassy outside of Jerusalem and also allow that a significant portion of the embassy property be covered with water. The area of the proposed embassy property is still envisioned at a minimum of 3.47 square kilometers, with a radius of at least 1.05 kilometers.


A form of meritocracy


In his book Geniocracy, Raël outlined his plan for a peaceful worldwide political union that, while democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 requires members of the electorate to meet a minimum standard of intelligence. The thresholds proposed by the Raëlians are 50% above average for a candidate and 10% above average for a voter. The world government
World government
World government is the notion of a single common political authority for all of humanity. Its modern conception is rooted in European history, particularly in the philosophy of ancient Greece, in the political formation of the Roman Empire, and in the subsequent struggle between secular authority,...

 would also have a global currency, a common language, and a transformation of militaries of the world into civil police.

Raelians deride the current state-system as inadequate for dealing with contemporary global issues that are typical of Globalisation, such as Environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

, Social Justice
Social justice
Social justice generally refers to the idea of creating a society or institution that is based on the principles of equality and solidarity, that understands and values human rights, and that recognizes the dignity of every human being. The term and modern concept of "social justice" was coined by...

, Human Rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

, and the current economic system. In line with this, Geniocracy proposes a different economic model called Humanitarianism
Humanitarianism (Economic)
Economic Humanitarianism is a collection of economic ideas which, according its maker Claude Vorilhon, is designed to complement Geniocracy.-Relation with capitalism:...

.

Raël recommends a world government with 12 regions. Inhabitants would vote for which region they want to be part of. After the regions are defined, they are further divided into 12 sectors after the same principle of democracy is applied. While sectors of the same region are defined as having equal numbers of inhabitants, the regions themselves may have different levels of population, which would be proportional to its voting power.

Status


The current difficulty in the ideas of Geniocracy is that the means of assessing intelligence are ill-defined. One idea offered by Rael in Geniocracy is to have specialists such as psychologists, neurologists, ethnologists, etc., perfect or choose among existing ones, a series of tests that would define each person's level of intelligence. They should be designed to measure intellectual potential rather than accumulation of knowledge.

The lack of scientific rigour necessary for inclusion of Geniocracy as properly testable political ideology can be noted in number of modern and historical dictatorships as well as oligarchies. Because of the controversies surrounding Geniocracy, Raël presents the idea as a classic utopia or provocative ideal and not necessarily a model that humanity will follow.

In Raël's book, Extraterrestrials took me to their planet, Raël claims that an extraterrestrial gave him the idea of Economic Humanitarianism. Under the establishment of Economic Humanitarianism, people would not have ownership of businesses or exploitable goods created by others. Instead, people would rent each of them for a period of 49 years. The founders would be able to receive the rents for up to 49 years or when they die, which ever is later. Any rents not inherited by relatives after 49 years would go to the State. By balancing inheritances, children would be born with enough financial means to forsake menial tasks for endeavors that may benefit the whole of humanity. Family houses could be inherited from generation to generation, free of rent.

In his much later book, Maitreya, Raël says the road to a world without money is capitalism and globalisation, as opposed to communism. Capitalism would allow those who contribute much to society to also contribute to its scientific and technological development. Under capitalism, society would produce as much money as it can. The money would become important in the short run as nanotechnology quickly lowers the cost of goods while putting many people out of work.

Controversy


The anti-cult organization Info-Cult claimed that Geniocracy was a fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 ideology.


Use of the swastika



Raelians believe in reclaiming the swastika
Swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

 by restoring its historical meaning as a symbol of peace and good luck. Swastika has been used for millennia in the East as a religious symbol of peace and harmony.

In 1991, a Montreal anti-cult organization called Info-Cult made statements against the Raëlian Church with an article on Le Devoir
Le Devoir
Le Devoir is a French-language newspaper published in Montreal and distributed in Quebec and the rest of Canada. It was founded by journalist, politician, and nationalist Henri Bourassa in 1910....

, branding Raëlians as promoters of fascism and racism, due to the church's use of the swastika as part of their logo and the Raëlian description of an extraterrestrial global government in which those less than ten percent above average intelligence are excluded from the electorate. Outside Info-Cult's office, Raëlians spoke against the act of discriminating against a religious minority. On January 2, 1992, a dozen people protested against the use of the swastika in the Raëlian logo in Miami's Eden Roc Hotel. The use of the swastika and other Raelian practices has led to criticism from the group Hineni
Hineni
Hineni was, as a result of a speech given at the Madison Square Garden by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis on November 18, 1973, "one of the first Ba'al Teshuva movements...

 of Florida, a Jewish anti-cult organization.

In February 1991, the Raëlian Church modified their symbol. The official reason given was a request from the Elohim to change the symbol in order to help in negotiations with Israel for the building of the Extraterrestrial Embassy to greet the anticipated Elohim space vessels, although the country continued to deny their request. In 2005, the Israeli Raëlian Guide Kobi Drori stated that the Lebanese government was discussing proposals by the Raëlian movement to build their interplanetary embassy in Lebanon. However, one condition was that the Raëlians not display their logo on top of the building because it mixes a swastika and a Star of David
Star of David
The Star of David, known in Hebrew as the Shield of David or Magen David is a generally recognized symbol of Jewish identity and Judaism.Its shape is that of a hexagram, the compound of two equilateral triangles...

. According to Drori, the Raëlians involved declined this offer, as they wished to keep the symbol as is. From 1991 to 2007, the official Raëlian symbol in Europe and America did not have the original swastika, but Raël, founder and leader of the Raëlian Movement decided to make the original symbol, the Star of David intertwined with a swastika, the only official symbol of the Raelian Movement worldwide.

Status as a cult


There is continuing debate on whether Raëlians can be identified as a cult. In 1995, a parliamentary commission issued a report through the National Assembly of France that categorized the Raelian Movement (Mouvement Raëlien) as a "secte" (French word for cult
Cult
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. The word originally denoted a system of ritual practices...

). In 1997, a parliamentary inquiry commission issued a report through the Belgian Chamber of Representatives that categorized the Belgian Raelian Movement (Mouvement Raëlien Belge) as a secte. Glenn McGee
Glenn McGee
Glenn Edwards McGee is an American bioethicist. He holds degrees in philosophy from Vanderbilt University and Baylor University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Human Genome Project...

, the associate director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Virginia, states that part of the sect is a cult while the other part is a commercial website that collects large sums of money from those interested in human cloning. The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Affairs at the United States Department of State is one of three bureaus and two offices that constitute the Office of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs...

 of the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 and sociologist Susan J. Palmer
Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching sociology of religion courses.-Biography:Palmer...

have classified the International Raëlian Movement as a religion.

In 2005, two Wired News
Wired News
Wired News is an online technology news website, formerly known as HotWired, that split off from Wired magazine when the magazine was purchased by Condé Nast Publishing in the 1990s. Wired News was owned by Lycos not long after the split, until Condé Nast purchased Wired News on July 11, 2006...

 reporters were welcomed into a Raëlian seminar and had permission to videotape it. They believe the footage they took makes it clear that the Raelian Movement is a cult which should disband. A Raëlian guide said in a Wired interview that he is not ashamed of what is shown and that he has no concerns about this incident.

The estranged former wife of Vorilhon characterised him as a 'cult leader' and claimed he brought groups of female Raëlians home and held orgies which affected the children from an early age.

See also


  • New Religious Movement
    New religious movement
    A new religious movement is a religious community or ethical, spiritual, or philosophical group of modern origin, which has a peripheral place within the dominant religious culture. NRMs may be novel in origin or they may be part of a wider religion, such as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism, in...

  • Nontheistic religions
    Nontheistic religions
    Nontheistic religions are traditions of thought within religions, some otherwise aligned with theism, others not, in which nontheism informs religious beliefs or practices...

  • Religion
    Religion
    Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

  • Ancient Astronauts
    Ancient astronauts
    Some writers have proposed that intelligent extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth in antiquity or prehistory and made contact with humans. Such visitors are called ancient astronauts or ancient aliens. Proponents suggest that this contact influenced the development of human cultures,...

  • Korindo

Cited texts

Alexander, Brian, Rapture:A Raucous Tour of Cloning, Transhumanism, and the New Era of Immortality Basic Books
Basic Books
Basic Books is a book publisher founded in 1952 and located in New York. It publishes books in the fields of psychology, philosophy, economics, science, politics, sociology, current affairs, and history.-History:...

, 2005. ISBN 1560256958. Bates, Gary, Alien Intrusion: UFOs and the Evolution Connection New Leaf Press, 2005. ISBN 0890514356. Colavito, Jason, The cult of alien gods: H.P. Lovecraft and extraterrestrial pop culture. Prometheus, 2005. ISBN 978-1591023524. (Also see article on Wikipedia)
The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture
The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture is a 2005 book by Jason Colavito, a contributor to Skeptic magazine, and published by Prometheus Books...

 Edwards, Linda, A Brief Guide to Beliefs: Ideas, Theologies, Mysteries, and Movements. Westminster John Knox Press, 2001. ISBN 0664222595. Genta, Giancarlo
Giancarlo Genta
Giancarlo Genta is Professor of Machine Design and Construction at the Politecnico di Torino. His areas of professional interest include vibration, vehicle design, magnetic bearings, and rotordynamics. He has written or co-authored more than 50 articles in professional publications...

, Lonely Minds in the Universe: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Springer, 2007. ISBN 978-0387339252. Lewis, James R., Controversial New Religions Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

, 2004. ISBN 019515682X. Lewis, James R., The Gods have landed: new religions from other worlds State University of New York Press
State University of New York Press
The State University of New York Press , is a university press and a Center for Scholarly Communication. The Press is part of the State University of New York system and is located in Albany, New York.- History :...

, 1995. ISBN 0791423298. Palmer, Susan J.
Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching sociology of religion courses.-Biography:Palmer...

, Aliens Adored. Rutgers University Press
Rutgers University Press
Rutgers University Press is a nonprofit academic publishing house, operating in Piscataway, New Jersey under the auspices of Rutgers University.-History:...

, 2004. ISBN 0813534763. Palmer, Susan J.
Susan J. Palmer
Susan Jean Palmer is a Canadian sociologist and author with a primary research interest new religious movements. She is a professor of Religious Studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, and an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching sociology of religion courses.-Biography:Palmer...

, Women in Controversial New Religions, in New Religious Movements and Religious Liberty in America, ed. Derek H. Davis & Barry Hankins, p. 66. Baylor University Press, 2004. ISBN 0918954924 Partridge, Christopher H.
Christopher Partridge
Christopher Hugh Partridge is an author, editor, professor at Lancaster University, and founding Co-director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Popular Culture. According to Gordon Lynch, Partridge is a leading scholar of topics in popular culture...

 UFO Religions. Routledge
Routledge
Routledge is a British publishing house which has operated under a succession of company names and latterly as an academic imprint. Its origins may be traced back to the 19th-century London bookseller George Routledge...

, 2003. ISBN 0415263239. Raël, Intelligent Design. Nova Distribution, 2005. ISBN 2940253003. Raël, Geniocracy. The Raelian Foundation, 2004. Raël, Maitreya. The Raelian Foundation, 2003. Raël, Sensual Meditation. Tagman Press, 2002. Raël, Yes to Human Cloning: Immortality Thanks to Science. Tagman Press, 2001. ISBN 1-903571-05-7; ISBN 1-903571-04-9. Shanks, Pete, Human genetic engineering:a guide for activists, skeptics, and the very perplexed Nation Books
Perseus Books Group
Perseus Books Group is an American publishing company founded in 1996 by investor Frank Pearl. It was named Publisher of the Year in 2007 by Publishers Weekly magazine for its role in taking on publishers formerly distributed by Publishers Group West and acquiring Avalon Publishing Group.In January...

, 2005. ISBN 1560256958. Stock, Gregory
Gregory Stock
Gregory Stock is a biophysicist, best-selling author, biotech entrepreneur, and the former director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society at UCLA’s School of Medicine...

, Redesigning Humans: Choosing our Genes, Changing our Future. Houghton Mifflin Books, 2002. ISBN 061806026X. Tandy, Charles, Doctor Tandy's First Guide to Life Extension and Transhumanity Universal-Publishers.com, 2001. ISBN 1581126506. United States Congress, Medical science and bioethics: attack of the clones? Hearing before the Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources of the Committee on Government Reform, House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, second session, May 15, 2002. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 2003. Government Documents. Y 4.G 74/7:B 52/7.

External links



Official sites
Other