“Unraëlistic” (Alien visitors)


A year ago, I was sufficiently mortified by the anti-science movement that I started this blog. This month, I learned that Genesis Health System, where my son was born and where I have received emergency care, employs Reiki in its facilities. This has me so steamed that I am looking at how to take the Moline Skeptics from beyond a URL and an extension of my ego, and into an actual organization that affects change locally.

A little before my Reiki discovery, I corresponded with the president of the Quad Cities Creation Science Association after learning his group was sponsoring presentations by Dr. Charles Jackson, a creation scientist. I had planned on attending to ask Jackson about peer review, the Scientific Method, the Geologic Column, and so forth, but ended up having to work. Besides curiosity at how he would answer, I had looked forward to gazing upon a biologist who didn’t believe in evolution. Like the South Pole, I know it’s out there, but to actually see it would be fascinating.

The president floated the idea of a debate between our two organizations. I made this contingent on a satisfactory answer to the challenge, “Describe the Scientific Method and use it to explain how creationism works.” He conceded this could not be done, so there will be no debate, although e-mails may continue and we could even meet some day for informal dialogue.

While the correspondence was not emotional like the Reiki-in-my-hospital discovery, it was energetic and got my blood pumping. Around the same time, I started to watch a NOVA program on the anti-vaccination movement, but couldn’t finish after seeing the seven-week old with Whooping Cough. So with all this emotional investment of late, I’m looking to transition, for one post anyway, from serious to silly.

So here is the story of Claude Vorilhon. Like Saul on the road to Damascus, Vorilhon saw a light overhead, received a message, founded a religion, and changed his name. His new moniker was Raël. In 1974, he was hanging around a volcano in France when a member of the alien Elohim race came to chew the philosophical fat, and a movement was born. In graphic design’s most colossal blunder, the Raëlians adopted a symbol that fused the Star of David and a swastika.

Either the alien spoke French or Vorilhot spoke Elohimese, because language was no barrier as the alien explained that Bible verses revealed how his species had created Mankind and all other Earthly animals and plants. The Raëlieans had been created by someone else, with this cycle going back indefinitely. Now humans had advanced far enough to start creating life.

I don’t know if the Raëleians are doing this, but they do sell products that promise eternal cell preservation, which would be almost as good. In 2002, they announced they had cloned a human baby. Besides being the first Xeroxed human, he is also the first invisible one, since no one has ever seen him.

Raël was taken by Millennium Falcon to Elohim to meet religious figures and be told he was the final prophet, sent to usher in eternal peace. He also reports that the Elohim will return to Jerusalem in 2025, which will make for either the greatest story in the history of Mankind or a right-fine manifestation of ad hoc reasoning and the Backfire Effect. The promise that they will return in 2025 contradicts another Raëlian claim that the Elohim need an embassy.

This would be a place where aliens could land without fear of being attacked and without having to train their heat ray on us. Once the embassy is built, they will be able to tell us their secret knowledge, bestow eternal health, and shower us in lollypops. From the Raëlian website: “According to the Elohim, it must be built in a neutral location that has been granted rights of extraterritoriality and guaranteed neutral air space.” Sounds like the only options are Antarctica or the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Maybe if Raël is given a cruise ship, they’ll land there. This will allow us access to amazing technology, such as “Lilliputian machines capable of synthesizing any needed product in any quantity.” Everybody will have as much of everything that they want. Sounds like that could create space issues, but we could always synthesize more storage units.

Raëlians insist there is no soul or god, although their leader seems willing to fill the void. He claims the ability to perform miracles, but says people will only be ready to see them once the Elohim return. Like other UFO cults, Raëlians co-opt ancient legends and sacred texts, then cram their “interpretation” in to make it fit. This is easy to do, owing to the vivid imagery and elastic ideas in these types of writings. Raëlians explain the universal, timeless belief in deities to the fact that alien technology seems godlike to those created by it. The movement’s philosophy is summarized by the Simpsons Halloween episode where Lisa creates life from soda and her tooth. For proof of their positions, Raëlians offer UFO sightings, crop circles, exoplanets, and Dolly the sheep.

Once the embassy is built, paradise ensues, as the Elohim will tell us what they told Raël. Until then, best we can do is buy Raël’s products. Because while Raëlians are considered one of the New Religions, they pay homage to their predecessors by maintaining the requirement of tithing 10 percent.

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