Raëlism

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Raëlian Movement
Beliefs and PracticesHistory

FounderFundsCloning

Political viewsEconomic views

Raëlism is a UFO religion that was founded in 1974 by Claude Vorilhon, now known as Raël. Raëlism has been described as "the largest UFO religion in the world".[2]:p. 66 In academic circles, the religion is also known as the Raëlian Church.

The Raelian Movement teaches that life on Earth was scientifically created by a species of extraterrestrials, which they call the Elohim. Members of this species appeared human and when having personal contacts with the descendants of the humans they made, they were mistaken for angels, cherubim or gods. Raëlians believe messengers, or prophets, of the Elohim include Buddha, Jesus, and many 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 welcome by them.

Within the Raëlian Church, there is a quasi-clerical structure with a height of seven levels (Vorilhon is at the highest level). Joining the movement involves a transmission ceremony as well as an official apostasy from other religions in recognition of Elohim, as the creators of life from the heavens.

Members are asked to follow the Raëlian ideals that speak against the use of recreational drugs, tobacco, coffee and limit alcohol to moderation, if at all. Sexuality is an important part of the Raëlian doctrine, though Raëlians recommend a non-contractual agreement between mature sexual partners. The Raëlian Church has attracted some of its priests and bishops from other religions despite having liberal views of sexuality.[3] These views are shared by women who make up a significant minority in Raëlian Church. Some of these women are strong advocates of refinement and erotic sensualism and participate in groups within such as "Rael's Girls" and the "Order of Angels".

Raël founded Clonaid (originally Valiant Venture Ltd Corporation) in 1997, but then handed it over to a Raëlian bishop, Brigitte Boisselier in 2000.[4] In 2002 the company claimed that an American woman underwent a standard cloning 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 use of the swastika in its original logo halted Raëlian requests for territory in Israel, and later Lebanon, for establishing an embassy for extraterrestrials. The Raëlians have officially revived the logo with its original meaning as a symbol of peace.

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