A close encounter with a ‘raelian’

Towards the end of August [2001] I received a letter from a brother in Christ who is on my mailing list and in the letter he informed me

‘Last Friday night I was giving out Gospel leaflets at Shaftesbury Square. A foreign-looking gentleman gave me a leaflet in exchange for the one I had given him. I have enclosed a copy of the leaflet produced by the INTERNATIONAL RAELIAN MOVEMENT. I must admit I have never heard of this cult which sadly believes in science fiction as you will see…If you have any information or thoughts on how I should approach this cult I would appreciate it’

Well, like the brother who wrote to me I have to confess that I too had never heard of the INTERNATIONAL RAELIAN MOVEMENT. My first ‘port of call’ for research purposes was to consult the book ‘The Serpent and the Cross’which was written by Alan Morrison. Alan is the former Pastor of Crich Baptist Church in Derbyshire and when the so-called ‘Toronto Blessing’ first hit the UK back in 1994 he kindly came over to Northern Ireland at my request to give 4 very helpful talks around the Province exposing the errors and horrors of ‘Toronto’.

On page 178 of his book I found the following

‘We have also seen a number of documents propounding the concept that the human race was originally the product of an experiment in genetic engineering by an advanced race of ET’s from another world. Religious writings such as the Bible, Koran etc are said to contain a record of their ancient deeds, while the world religions themselves have been based on the teachings of the messengers which they sent [eg Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed etc – shades of ‘Bahaism’ here] to prepare us for the time that the truth about all this could be revealed and their ‘Great teacher’ could finally come to earth to lead mankind into the next world-era’. A footnote on this same page 178 read ‘As a further twist in this strange saga, on 2nd December 1993, a quarter-page advertisement was placed on p7 in the International Herald Tribune, by a French journalist who claims that ET’s took him to their planet, gave him the name of RAEL, asking him to spread the message that these beings will soon come back to earth, and that an embassy must be built for the occasion…For further information about this gross deception, write to the International Raelian Movement, CP225, Geneve 8, CH-1211, Switzerland’.

My next ‘ports of call’ were to the website address listed on the leaflet sent to me [http://www.rael.org] and to back issues of newsletters issued by a London based cult monitoring group called FAIR [Family Action Information & Rescue]. These sources were to provide interesting facts about the organisation and its history.

1. The leader of the group, now calling himself RAEL was born in Vichy in 1946. His real name is Claude Vorilhon but as already stated he changed it to RAEL following his alleged encounter with a ‘visitor from another planet’on 13 December 1973. This ‘extra terrestrial was about four feet in height, had long dark hair, almond shaped eyes, olive skin and exuded harmony and humour’.

2. The message to RAEL was ‘we were the ones who made all life on earth, you mistook us for gods, we were at the origin of your main religions. Now that you are mature enough to understand this we would like to enter official contact through an embassy’.

3. The biblical problem has apparently been due to a mistranslation of the word ‘Elohim’ as ‘God’ in Genesis 1:26 whereas apparently according to RAELIAN teaching it should be translated as ‘those who came from the sky’. It would seem from this that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was ignorant of this ‘correct’ translation as He, when referring back to verses 26 & 27 of Genesis 1 said in Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation GOD made them male and female”. So, immediately people are confronted with a choice of who to believe, either this four foot high, alleged visitor from outer space or the incarnate Son of God who Himself in John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 is declared to be the creator of all things.

4. In relation to the sending of ‘prophets’ to earth from time to time by the Elohim, the purpose was apparently to ‘progressively educate humanity through the messages they taught, each time ADAPTED to the culture and level of understanding at the time’. If this were true one could allow for ADAPTION in the message to suit the level of understanding at a particular time but one could not allow for CONTRADICTION where the message is concerned. Anyone who studies for example the ‘messages’ of Buddha and Mohammed will discover very quickly that they differ radically in crucial areas [for example on the existence of ‘God’] and both of them stand in direct opposition to not only the message but also to the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. Apparently in creation these Elohim used ‘DNA and genetic engineering and working with very talented artists these scientists were able to create plants, animals, birds, fish and finally man in their image’ to bring about ‘life on earth’. This contradicts the biblical account of how man was formed by God using “the dust of the ground” [Genesis 2:7] and how God created everything without any help from anyone or anything “And God saw every thing that HE HAD MADE and behold it was very good” [Genesis 1:31], “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…For he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast” [Psalm 33:6&9].

6. In the footnote already quoted from Alan Morrison’s book it was stated that an ‘embassy’ must be built to facilitate the ‘return of the Elohim’. We are told ‘They are not invaders…it is up to us to invite them and our invitation is the embassy…Thus they will only come whem we build their embassy such is their love and respect for us’. Unfortunately they are not providing any of the finance for the project – ‘the total cost for the embassy will be US $20.000.000’. We are informed – ‘So far we have got US $ 7,000,000. By way of reassurance donors are told ‘donations above $2000 will receive a years bank statement to trace the progress of their donation…All donations will be recorded and displayed as on the memorial plaque at the embassy grounds’. Apart from donations, money is raised through becoming a MEMBER. To become a ‘National Member’ [ie Joining a group in one country] you must agree to ‘transfer 3% of my annual net income [after taxes] to the Raelian Movement of’ the country selected. To become an ‘International Member’ will involve transferring an additional 7% of your net income to the movement.

7. ‘International Membership’ is conditional upon attending a number of Seminars. On the website of the movement there are a number of ‘testimonies’ by members who have attended and obviously thoroughly enjoyed these seminars at various locations around the world. The claim is made that there are over 55,000 members in 84 different countries. On the leaflet sent to me, under a heading ‘WE INVITE YOU’, readers were encouraged to ‘Try out the techniques of Sensual Meditation’. In a FAIR report of Winter 1991/2 we read the following ‘Rael considers himself to be the son of an Elohim and a terrestrial mother, and, as such, the Messiah to spread the message round the world. Followers, most of whom pay 3% of their annual income as a membership fee, gather in August in the South-East of France for a fortnight’s ‘SENSUAL MEDITATION’ in the sun and in the nude. They ‘bond flesh’ in physical contact in order to transmit cellular codes for a computer on the Elohim’s planet. Ian Harding [writer of the article] describes the scene, which included about 600 naked worshippers from many countries as a ‘cross between San Francisco in the Sixties and St Tropez in 1991’. It sounds to me as if they haven’t progressed much beyond conditions in Sodom and Gomorrah.

8. Apparently the organisation has been making repeated requests for over 20 years to Israel to allow them to build the embassy near Jerusalem but thus far without success. One of the reasons stated for their preference for this location is that ‘This is one of the places they lived when they originally created human beings and is also where many of the descendants of their sexual unions with human beings also presently live’ This sounds to me like an attempt to incorporate events detailed in Genesis 6:1-4 into Raelian history. However time is now running out for Israel and we are told ‘Once another country gives this authorisation [for the embassy to be built on its territory]Israel will be given a last chance to grant their authorisation during a very limited period time of reflection and if not, the Embassy will be built elsewhere and the people of David will lose their protection and disperse’.

9. The Bible warns against people who cry “Peace, peace when there is no peace” [Jeremiah 6:14 & 8:11]. Listen to these published claims by this movement ‘This new philosophy, where spirituality and science meet, is taught at international seminars on every continent and is the final ingredient necessary to ignite a personal and global revolution of individuality, freedom, love and respect. It is already sweeping the globe and allowing humanity to transform war into peace, labour into leisure, poverty into fulfilment and money into love…Check you old religious writings…and you will find that they are increasingly supporting the Raelian Message’. This claim that peace etc is ‘already sweeping the globe’ rings rather hollow in the light of events in New York and Washington just over 2 weeks ago and in the light of the ongoing conflict in the land of Israel. My ‘old’ Bible tells me that everlasting peace will only be ushered in when the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns to judge all people of all time and to create a new heaven and a new earth [see Revelation chapter 20-22] where His redeemed people will live with Him for all eternity. Peace will not come when we construct some earthly embassy for an alien ambassador, but rather peace will come when the King of Glory gathers together to Himself to His heavenly “mansions” [John 14:2] those who on earth have been His “ambassadors” [2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20].

10. In conclusion, the great hope for the Christian is “glorification” – that time when the dead will be resurrected and the living will be transformed to receive new bodies that will be suited for eternity with Christ – see 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. Paul expressed his longing for that day when he spoke of “the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” [Philippians 3:20-21]. What is the Raelian hope for the future? Let me turn again to 2 FAIR reports. The first of ‘Summer 1994’ stated “Fulfilled” Raelians qualify for scientific reincarnation by the Elohim and for admission to an alien paradise populated with robot women. However, in order to qualify, each Raelian must arrange for a one-centimetre cubed piece of his/her skull to be sent after death to the Raelian Headquarters. The genetic data in the bone will be transmitted to the Elohim who may recreate the follower and send him/her to paradise’. My reaction was that people need that information like they need ‘a hole in the head’! The second FAIR report of ‘Summer 1997’ reported ‘More than 400 people turned up to an introductory Raelian conference at a top London hotel in April. Recruiters have begun handing out hundreds of leaflets…The latest scheme is the setting up of a Bahamas-based company called Valiant Ventured Ltd to provide a ‘Clonaid’ service for wealthy would-be parents at £123,000 a time. The company also plans to offer ‘Insuraclone’ for £31,000, supplying safe storage for cells from a living child or other ‘beloved person’ to enable them to be cloned if they die. Initially existing laboratories would be sub-contracted to carry out the process. Eventually the company would build a laboratory in a country where human cloning is not banned using the technique developed at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh to create the cloned sheep, Dolly’. How right Isaiah was when he wrote “All we like SHEEP have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way” [Isaiah 53:6].

What advice can I offer in witnessing to Raelians? All I can suggest is that you share your testimony of salvation through the Person and Work of Christ alone. Emphasise that whilst He certainly had a message to proclaim [‘Repent ye and believe the gospel’ Mark 1:15] He also had a mission to accomplish [Galatians 4:4-5] – a mission that was completed on the Cross of Calvary [John 19:30]. Christ was God’s final ‘revelation’ to man [Hebrews 1:1-2] and Rael is just one of the many false prophets the Lord Himself warned of in Matthew 24:11.

Cecil Andrews – “Take Heed” Ministries – 26 September 2001