|Rael in black djellaba at seminar in 1982.|
He always used to wear black until a
famous journalist pointed out to him that
most spiritual leaders he had interviewed
always wore white.
The ofﬁcial report was that he needed to rest, and it was time the infant movement “learned to walk alone.” A Raelian publication 20 ans: La génération des pionniers (Twenty years: The generation of pioneers; 1994) gives the ofﬁcial reason for Rael’s absence from the 1984 July summer camp:
“Rael in Retreat: Rael has decided, after 10 years of spreading the message, to go on a ‘spiritual retreat’ in a place held secret for an indeterminate period of time where he will continue to watch over the well-being of the movement that must function well without him”. While Palmer reports other variants of this event , in an interview with her in 1994, Rael reiterated:
“No, I took a year off because I was tired. The mission was so important for me, I was overdoing it and realized I was not practicing what I preached—to relax, avoid stress, lead a healthy life. After I went to the planet where I saw my body re-created and realized I was eternal, I felt I could push myself, ignore my health right now because I knew I had eternity to enjoy myself. But I lost ten kilos; I was not enjoying life anymore. I realized I was burnt out and needed a rest. So I stayed in France and visited Quebec for one year.”Susan Palmer ends the episode in her book by lamenting, "That missing year is still a mystery."
However, former Raelian Bishop Jean-Denis Saint-Cyr published his book titled "Confessions de Raël à son ex-bras droit" (Confessions of Rael's Right-hand Man, 2009) in which he revealed what really transpired in 1984. According to Jean-Denis, Rael had spent 2 months of his sabbatical year at his home in Montreal.
For Jean-Denis, 1984 is perfectly etched into his memory:
"For me, in 1984, in the close intimacy of Claude Vorilhon, I had a year so incredible and memorable."
|Rael, while wearing his famous|
black wool cap, during a brief
public appearance at the end of
the 1984 seminar. Jean-Denis is
sitting next to him.
When Jean-Denis went to the airport to pick him up, Rael was wearing a black woolen cap that covered his entire head despite the hot weather. Jean-Denis refrained from questioning Rael about his strange attire. Jean-Denis also noticed something about Rael didn't seem right. Rael was:
"[g]oing through an existential crisis, a depression that affected him both in morals, from the point of view of his friendliness and his mental state. Nobody could have imagined at the time - and even today - what I was going to be the only witness. To help him, I listened to him, protected him."The day after his arrival, to Jean-Denis' great surprise, Rael wanted to be reassured and asked him to come near him. Jean-Denis describes what follows:
"A stone's throw from me, takes off his wool cap and says, gravely and austerely, "Jean-Denis, look at me" (meaning "Look at the physical state of where I am"... he had a completely shaved head, or rather cut in bulk: it was horrible!)."Rael then desperately pleaded Jean-Denis to help him decide whether he should just go back to being a journalist or restart his singing career all over. Rael confided in Jean-Denis that his wife and mother of his 2 children had filed for divorce. Rael explained that even though he could have all the women that he wanted, he needed his wife, Christine for without her he's "very bad". He explained that the past 10 years had been a major upheaval in his life and that he was now wondering what he should do to continue...
Then, Rael dropped the bomb on Jean-Denis and confessed:
"Extraterrestrials, would not be so... Do not talk about it, Jean -Denis. In the 70's it was very popular, but... really... have I had contact?"Jean-Denis paraphrased:
"you mean that you have not been contacted...?" And then Rael confirmed, "I have not been contacted ... you understand everything!" His response was fast and dry, just as articulated, even before Jean-Denis could finish his sentence with "by aliens?" Rael just nodded and raised his hand as if to signify in a still and silent body language: "You have understood everything." Jean-Denis describes Rael, "His head moved up and down, down and up, as an android, a robot with a human appearance. It was clear, he did not want to repeat what I had just said, that he had not been contacted." Then finally Rael acknowledged, "Well... I was not..." before falling silent again.
Some time later Rael sent Jean-Denis and Claire a thank you postcard.
Less than 5 years after Rael's confessions, Jean-Denis resigned from the Raelian Movement in March 1990. Jean-Denis kept Rael's confessions secret until 2009 when he wrote about them his book.
Following the release of Jean-Denis' book, Rael made an attempt to assassinate his character by ironically telling Raelians that Jean-Denis was expelled from the Movement because he diverted funds and computer hardware for his own personal business and that he's just in it to become famous and sell his book (Contact 366, p. 8; read also Jean-Denis' reply to Rael's slanderous libel here).
Fortunately, Rael's libel can be proven from an announcement in the Raelian publication Le Raelien (The Raelian) and from other letters related to Jean-Denis' voluntary resignation... not exclusion.
|Written on the cover of The Raelian:|
"Resignation of the National Guide!"
(44 AH = 1990).
|Jean-Denis leading a meditation.|
Turns out much of Rael's mysteries including 1984 isn't much of a mystery after all. What goes around comes around. In 1997, Rael allegedly confessed to his boyhood acquaintance Roland Chevaleyre about never meeting ETs. Perhaps the human Claude Vorilhon inside the fictional Rael finds solace by confessing his lies now and again but his sociopathic persona would probably never publicly admit it.
Rael (whose hair is growing back),
his ex-wife Christine and Jean-Denis
in Cannes in January 1985. Rael is
in civilian clothes.
 Terrusse, Marcel, and Michèle Richard. (1994). 20 ans: La génération des pionniers (Twenty years: The generation of pioneers). Nimes Cedex, France: Mouvement Raelien.