The average person thinks of evolution and science as a match, one that is incompatible with creationism and religion. But the Raelian Movement thinks of itself as a scientific religion that rejects evolution and embraces creationism (again – cults are a dichotomy).
I spoke with the Raelian’s Australian spokesperson, Mr Heaven, to find out more.
Before we get into the Movement, can you start by sharing with us how you became involved?
I was thinking about this the other day. As of August this year, I’ve been identifying with Raelism for 25 years. I first came across the message in 1993, was given a book by my partner at the time who was working for Australian Consolidated Press, and they did a book review on it and she thought it was a subject matter I’d be interested in. I’d sorta, from a lay perspective, been studying religions for quite a number of years, and ‘the message’ landed on my desk in 1993 and it really joined all the dots for me.
Were you an atheist beforehand?
Look I guess you could say, like so many people, I had many questions about why we’re here. I’m naturally very interested in sciences and it didn’t take very long for a personal exploration of the theory of evolution… When I got down to I guess cellular mechanics, it really started to fall apart for me and I couldn’t feel comfortable with the theory as presented. Likewise, I was intrigued by the fact that the majority of the planet adheres to some form of religion and this was the other alternative and from a very sort of atheistic point of view I decided to look over the major and some of the minor religions, which took quite a few years. I started to find some very significant common denominators between religions, be it Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism etcetera. And then, sort of at the nexus of that journey, I came across ‘the message’ and, the message being a sort of atheistic-creatory message, it really gelled well with me. It was a science-based message explaining our origins from a purely aesthetic point of view, not a spiritual or ethereal point of view, so the rest as they say is history.
So the fact that it was science based instead of faith based is what appealed to you?
Look, I believe that all religions have some element of faith, for good reason, but the Raelian Movement has identified itself as a science based religion and genuinely an atheistic religion. It’s good for dinner table conversation: You’re a creationist but you’re an atheist at the same time sort of thing. Gets a few smiles around the table, a bit of confusion perhaps.
Do you have any idea o of the size of the Movement?
The Movement is now based in over 97 countries and is rapidly growing in Africa and Asia and had its genesis, of course, in Europe- Rael being French. So it really did explode rather rapidly through Europe. He then moved to Canada which sort of brought on the Americas. He’s now moved to japan which has started to make key interest in Asia and really there’s no country been left out. Like I say there’s over 97 established Raelian outposts.
In regards to structure members… You can be a Raelian, you can come across this message, you can identify with it, agree with it and call yourself a Raelian and the numbers of these people really is not known. It would be in the tens of thousands, there’s been a few million copies of the book sold, we get downloads from our site thousands per month, so there’s clearly a large number of people who have come across our work, of those people many have contacted us. They don’t want to become involved with the structure of the Raelian Movement, don’t want to become an active member but identify as a Raelian. But active members, currently, would probably be about 3,000 globally.
Could you give us a brief overview of the Movement’s beliefs?
The Movement is sort of very much hubbed around an experience Rael had had. He name was Claude Vorilhon back then. In 1973 December 13. He was walking for exercise through a central French near Claremont, sort of an extinct volcanic park, it’s very picturesque.
And Rael, as we call him, suggests he was in one of these volcanic craters when he saw a bright light in the sky and on further investigation he realised this wasn’t a helicopter or a plane, that it was something we would all identify as a ufo or a spaceship or sorts, a flying saucer if you like. And it quietly descended, hovering a couple of metres above the ground, ten or more metres away from him.
It was quite an experience for Rael – it would be for anyone, I guess. And low and behold, a sort of staircase unfolded and what he first thought was a child because of the size and features, a short 1.2 metre man approached him and then in a strong and articulate voice, speaking in French, introduced himself to Rael and said: ‘I came to see you today and I have some information to impart.’ So for the next consecutive six days they met for an hour, roughly at the same place and he [the alien] dictated what would be the content of the first message which is a message from extra terrestrials and adequately explains that life on earth is not the result of evolution, not the result of some ethereal god, it is the result of hyper advanced people, literally from another planet, who came to earth which was void of all life and created everything we see about us. Plants, animals, the entire infrastructure of the biosphere as we know it and when that was working well they went ahead and created human beings in their image as is suggested in most religious codices. “Let us create man in our image after our likeness.”
And they had contact with these first human beings and then they left us alone, watching us progress, over quite a considerable time frame, having been decided to keep in touch with us via what we call prophets. Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Elijah, Krishna, Buddha, Mohamed, Jesus, Joseph Smith, just to name a few.
Each time giving us a bit of an update in regards to ways of living from a social perspective, a hygiene perspective, etcetera. And of course leaving traces of their contact with humanity for us to find now, a time when we could understand this phenomena of scientific creation as opposed tos back in Jesus Christ’s time who just didn’t have the capacity to understand the complexities of DNA and laboratory generated life.
So here we have it. We’re now in that sort of end of days scenario where we, depending on our behaviour, could indeed expect to be contacted by these people and some sort of integration with the humanity on planet Earth and their humanity could take place with an understanding that we were created scientifically.
These beings, forgive my pronunciation, are known as Elohim?
Yes, in the bible we would say God did this, God did that. God is of course a Greek translation from the Hebrew Elohim or eloha, eloha being the singular, who come from the sky, Elohim the plural who come from the sky. So we call our creators, our scientific creators, these people from another planet, Elohim.
So these prophets – Jesus, Mohamed, Joseph Smith and the likes – the religions based around them, what does the Raelian Movement think of them?
Yes, it’s quite clear, it’s explained well in what could be called the final message or the book that tells the truth. And is all about the first encounter and the first encounter, as I already explained, was detailed in 1973, December 13, and Rael sort of encapsulates all of the notes he took during that encounter and transcribed them into a book which was first published in France in 1974.
These books have subsequently been reprinted many times with a more official book being published in 88, available on amazon. These books have been translated into over 40 languages and adequately explain that the religions of Earth, the primary religions of earth, are all the result of contactees, if you life. So Jesus was a contactee, he was met by Elohim and given a message which he adequately revealed to humanity, just like Muhammad did the same, Buddha did the same, Krishna did the same, Joseph Smith did the same, etcetera etcetera. And they adequately show in the final message, that all religions are connected. Which was something I came across just by reading them myself, and all of them actually talk about this final event – the time when the last prophet, the last messenger, would be on earth and give us a message that we could understand as opposed to believe in. Like Jesus said ‘I will ask my father‘. His father, Yahweh, who is one of the Elohim, to send an advocate in the future at a time when we can understand as opposed to believe and we are now in this time and of course we believe that Rael is that person who can adequately… That was foreseen or prophercised in all the ancient religions.
So from a Raelian perspective, all adherence to the primary religions are essentially correct, perhaps just to the inability of the writers of the time to understand the science of the creation, have therefore become rather mystical or ethereal. We see the Raelian religion been the religion of all religions that brings all the other religions together.
In a sense, these other religions are simply the result of an intergenerational game of Chinese whispers that have been diluted?
All these other religions are valid because they’re all representations of the contact the Elohim have had with humanity, they’re just written from the perspective from the people who received the message at the time and therefore they’re sort of loaded up with mystical content and misinterpretations. That was all foreseen, that was all understood, and now it serves as evidence that these contacts have all taken place and they are essentially, if read correctly, all saying the same thing and are a part of a thread of communication that lead to where we are now, where we can let go of the mysticism and understand the science behind it all.
Going back to the Elohim and their message to Rael, now please correct me if I’m wrong, my understanding is that if humanity can fully comprehend the Elohim’s message and put it into practice, then one day we’ll be able to cerate life on other planets too?
Yes, in fact this has been adequately revealed. The Elohim said to us this is something that has been going on indefinitely, infinitely, forever, throughout the cosmos, that one humanity creates the next humanity. Some humanities fail in which they reach a point we’re at right now where they discover super destructive weapons like nuclear weapons and if a humanity scientific outpaces the social-psychological development, then those weapons could be the key to that humanity’s destruction.
So throughout the cosmos you have humanities that reach the point we are at now, who are well balanced and continue their scientific progression which then enables them to protect their ability to travel through space and simultaneously protect their ability in regards to biological sciences and cloning sciences and so forth. And it becomes a very natural process for a humanity to seek out another planet that could be used as a place to create life and then you know we would go out to some planet and create life and create people in our image and have the same sort of story continue.
The caveat to that is that if we don’t have a psychological development that keeps pace with the scientific development we could end up in a position where, through mistake or malevolence or stupidity, the untold nuclear arsenals of planet Earth are unleashed in some horrible incident and all life on earth is extinguished. If that is the case, the Elohim have a sort of plan b to restore life on earth and hope the next time round we tend to develop on a more even peal.
Keep in mind that through their own sciences, especially cloning, the Elohim have discovered the secrets for eternal life. Again it’s going nothing to do with what people might call a soul and everything to do with people recreating a biological body and uploading that person’s memory, neurology, character and persona into that new body. And they can continue to live indefinitely within those bodies.
So for them although it’s been a huge amount of time since they set foot on planet Earth, if we were unwise and if we self destructed, they would just come back and repeat the exercise. Hopefully, of course, and it is the mindset of all Raelians and the certainly the message from rael, that we need to be very vigilant of humanity right now to avoid catastrophe and then naturally we would continue to progress with our own sciences like Craig Venter who made the first unique biological life form to have ever existed. It wasn’t a clone or a modification, it was brand new biology, a single cellular… Not so impressive but it was alive and it was created in a lab.
We’ve got the biology that is relevant to creating life and, assuming we don’t do something foolish, our adventure in space will start soon. And if we don’t chose the sensible way, then the Elohim will also seek to contact us and officially come back to earth and then, after we prove that we are peaceful, they will share with us their quantum amounts of scientific information that will aid and abet us in our journeys.
You’ve just touched on a lot of really interesting topics I would like to circle back around to. Starting with this infinite cycle in regards to the Elohim creating life and humans one day possibly been able to do so themselves, is that how the Elohim were created or is Elohim a vague term that you prescribe to any ET life?
Contrary to sort of paradigms or dogmas that are sprouted by scientists today the universe is infinite, literally. There was no big bang. The universe is genuinely infinite in time and space, and in both directions. Infinitely large and infinitely small. Even when we start getting down to the atom and the particles that make up an atom, there’s no end to that journey.
So we say yes, they were created in exactly the same fashion – a scientifically advanced humanity arrived on their planet a long time ago, created life, which is them and they’ve now created us and if we don’t stuff it up we’ll go out and keep the chain going.
But they do mention, even just in our section of the cosmos, in the milky way galaxy, there are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of humanities who actually have contact with each other. There’s no intergalactic wars, no stress between these humanities because if your’re psychological development doesn’t keep pace with your sciences – it’s almost a natural extinctive process within the universe that any malevolence humanity will be destroyed, whereas a benevolent humanity will discover the sciences that will be able to go intergalactic. Therefore if you have any approach from another planet, one thing you can be sure of is that whomever emerges will practice peace and harmony.
Okay, swinging back to cloning, is Clonaid associated with the Raelian Movement?
Clonaid is not in any way part of the Raelian Movement. It was inspired by Rael but is a separate organisation headed by Dr Brigitte Boisselier, a biologist.
The Raelian Movement have an interest in cloning because it is the cloning technology that the Elohim use to create life and, if we’re going to go out and create life one day, we need to get our head around cloning.
Dr Brigitte Boisselier is a Raelian though, right?
She is a Raelian, yes. Has been for well over 20 years. I know her personally. I’ve spent time with her. And yep she’s currently active within the Raelian structure.
There are reports that her, or clonaid, are responsible for an actual living clone named Eve?
Yes, and a number other after that as well. She developed a technique to clone. I mean, cloning wasn’t new at that stage as you know – we’ve all heard of Dolly the Sheep. In fact, cloning technology goes back to the 60s, not successfully but the groundwork leading up to Dolly the Sheep.
And shortly after that, Bridgette announced she had managed to clone a baby. This was a child that had been lost, it died at a very young age of life and the parents approached Clonaid seeing what could be done and it was quite easy to take the mother’s eggs, denuclearise them, take that nucleus out and replace it with the complete DNA nucleus of the unfortunately deceased child. Meaning that that child was born 9 months later, Eve, was an identical twin of this family’s former child.
So it’s not the same child, we haven’t brought anyone back, it’s purely just a clone of the child that was lost. The family well understands that this is gonna look like the original child but will develop differently to how that child would have developed had it not come it’s unfortunate demise.
Biologically the same but psychologically different?
In regards to cloning immortality – cloning a new body and transferring your consciousness to it – you think that’s going to be an analog process rather than humans merging with computers?
No, I would say that from the interface point of view…. Perhaps the development of the cloned body is an analog process but the uploading of the person to be cloned – their value, data, the content of their neural net- will be uploaded to a computer, obviously a very sophisticated computer. You can imagine that if you die at 85 and wake up in a brand new body of a 20 year old and you would have all your memories, all your faculties, you would be you just in a brand new body.
How far away do you think that technology is or does it come with understanding Rael’s message?
Look I am confident people are working on it – we’ve got Clonaid and many other scientific organisations around the world who are breaking ground on the cloning aspect of the technology. You’ve got the Craig Venders of the world. We’ve already got all the sci fi movies that are leading to an almost prophetic outcome.
We must be close. In regards to a time frame, I really couldn’t say but clearly there are entities working on aspects that will be required, so it’s just a matter of time. Whether we have success in this area before the Elohim return or if we show adequately that we are a peaceful people and they return first and perhaps share that missing link with us.
You also spoke about the destructive potential of nuclear devices, I understand that the Raelian Movement protests nuclear proliferation adamantly?
Absolutely. If you can imagine it from, I would suggest a common sense perspective but certainly a Raelian perspective, the dropping of the bomb of Hiroshima – such an unfortunate event, reckless, I’m surprised people aren’t more concerned that this took place, not to mention it was followed up by Nagasaki.
But this herald in a whole new chapter for humanity, essentially revealing 1) we have the technology to extinguish life instantly, on a very large scale and 2) we had the lacking in psychological fortitude that would allow us to actually use this technology.
And now we find ourselves at a point of time when multiple nations of the world have outrageously large nuclear arsenals and, with all the geopolitical machinations that are currently going on, it’s not much of a stretch to think that one of these nations may do something stupid – it may be a mistake or it might just be a deliberate moment of sheer madness that unleashes their nuclear arsenal, which would just create a chain reaction.
So from a Raelian perspective, while there are any nuclear weapons on planet earth, our future is in doubt. If we were to remove all nuclear weapons, there may be unfortunate war but you just can’t kill every living thing on planet Earth with regular munitions. With nuclear devices, yes you can extinguish all life.
So for Raelianism, it’s certainly something that’s pointed out in the message – EG the Elohim have told us the greatest threat to our survival is our nuclear arsenals. So the the non proliferation does not suit us because it means that certain counties will still have massive arsenals and could easily certainly destroy all life on earth by themselves. The only relevant outcome is no nuclear weapons at all.
Do you think our nuclear capability is what’s stopping the Elohim from returning?
The Elohim have suggested to humanity via their messenger Rael that on numerous occasions over the past 50 plus years they’ve actually thwarted what could have amounted to a nuclear Armageddon. I won’t go into details but they obviously have technology that is truly awe inspiring and well beyond ours and at a few tense moment in history they’ve been able to neutralise the nuclear weapons that could have brought about our demise. They [the Elohim] won’t necessarily stop us indefinitely from destroying ourselves if we continue to pursue this reckless path, but they have thwarted such outcomes a number of times up until now.
Were there any other social issues that Raelian Movement supported? My understanding ins that you are quite accepting of the LGBT community?
Hugely, yes. From a Raelian perspective, we as people have the right to chose a way of life with the only rule that’s required being respect. The Raelian Movement right around the world – and it’s rather powerful on that level because we’re based in over 90 countries so we could get a directive via email that tomorrow we’re all to congregate outside of a particular embassy or outside a particular organisation headquarters and that could be quite confronting for these entities when they realise that in over 15 major capitals suddenly there was a group of people standing outside with banners and signs chastising them for whatever or hoping to enlighten them or whatever.
But yes the Raelian Movement is very much identifying with and supporting unconditionally, as long love, peace and harmony are involved, the LGBT Movement. I’ve personally walked along with my Raelian brothers and sisters through the gay Mardi Gras. We had our own float many years running, I think 6 or 7 times I’ve done it and we’re thinking of going back next year.
That’s a little bit strange considering some of these other religions you claim have spawned off Raelian prophets – Christianity and Islam, for example – they’re quite intolerant of these people?
Look, yes, the explanation the Elohim gave is that, just like they did with Rael, a communication was had face to face and then that person wrote down the outcome of that communication – whether its Joseph Smith or Mohammad or indeed Buddha or Jesus etcetera.
Keep in mind that the mindset of the person receiving the information cannot be compared to our ability to process information because we’re born into a scientific society and these people have no idea of the sciences so it was very difficult to get that information across.
Also keep in mind that the messages have been unfortunately distorted, in some cases quite deliberately by the organisations that have been founded around the religion. So we suggest that the original Judaic Abrahamic content was rather pure and accepting of all – just like Jesus’s message or Buddha’s or Mohamed’s – but over time, as these books were transcribed and rewritten, you had the case of not only the Chinese whispers phenomena but also the mindset of the inadequate people who were charged with those responsibilities. They started to load up these texts with their own thoughts and belief systems and this is where you get this unfortunate attack against certain groups. But the Raelian message made clear that that is not a misinterpretation, it’s a deliberate addition, an unofficial addiction, that was never part of the original content.
“This type of philosophy, this type of idea, can always be met with laughter and cynicism but we’re kinda bulletproof to that.”