Saturday, February 17, 2018

Raelism and Alien Abduction Denialism

According to the Raelian mythos, extraterrestrials (ETs) “that are capable of escaping their planetary system are always peaceful.” (Intelligent Design, p. 151).

The ETs in question here, are the Elohim of the Bible, that Rael interprets as translating to “those who came from the skies” (p. 11); a technologically advanced race of ETs who created all life on Earth - including human beings who were made “in their own image” (p. 19). These ETs contacted Rael and gave him the mission to build an embassy on Earth so that they can peacefully “return” and give humanity their advanced scientific knowledge. All religions were supposedly created by them for primitive people so that once humanity developed sufficiently, they would finally understand they were if fact mistaken as supernatural gods.

Peaceful ETs
That ETs are always peaceful is used as evidence to support Rael's claim that there have never been any alien abductions on Earth and there never will be. In the same time when Real vehemently declares any UFO reports as being those of the Elohim, he explains away abduction reports as being clandestine efforts by US secret services to create fear among people that ETs are dangerous in a bid to justify continuing with their military industrial complex in the absence of a terrestrial enemy such as the former USSR. As for the people who claim to have been abducted, coined as “abductees”, Rael explains how they are psychologically imbalanced people who are also prone to using drugs and alcohol:

History of the Alien Abduction Phenomenon
Belief in aliens has increased steadily since the birth of modern alien research in the 40s and 50s, following sensational news such as the Roswell UFO incident. Surveys in Western cultures estimated belief in aliens to be as high as 50% in 2015. And despite the fact that it is considered rare, a significant number of people also believe they have experienced alien abduction.

Present day awareness of alien abduction dates to the 1961 case of Betty and Barney Hill, who witnessed odd lights and experienced “missing time” and “lost memories” while driving. The reported consequences of abduction are often loss of memory, missing time, and problems such as sickness, sleepwalking, nightmares and psychological trauma.

Although the accuracy of the numbers is questioned, a poll by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research conducted 30 years after this account said that around 3.7 million Americans believed that they too had experienced alien abduction. However, many psychologists are less convinced, and think they can provide more down-to-earth, scientific explanations.

Scientific Explanations
While some hoaxes that were perpetrated mainly for financial gain or social advantage may be true in a few cases (such as with UFO “contactees” such as George Adamski and Billy Meier and cult leaders like Rael), there is no reason to assume that the majority of “abductees” were intentionally fraudulent in their claims. In fact, psychologists have come up with a number of plausible, scientific explanations for people’s supposed alien encounters.

Studies suggest that neuropsychological theories, particularly sleep paralysis and temporal lobe sensitivity, also could explain claims of alien abduction.

Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being conscious but unable to move, often with a feeling of fear or dread, and the sense of another presence – perhaps evil or malevolent, a feeling of pressure on the chest and difficulty breathing, and of being held or restricted to a lying position, all of which occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. It is noteworthy that Raelian Bishop Guide, Dr. Marcus Wenner, once mentioned this as an explanation for alien abductions in a Raelian publication.

Temporal lobe sensitivity is a theory that suggests the temporal lobes of some people’s brains are more vulnerable to influence from low-level magnetic frequencies. Michael Persinger, a neuroscientist at Laurentian University in Canada, is among those who believes that increased temporal lobe activity can explain paranormal experiences such as alien abduction. His theory is that magnetic fields stimulate the temporal lobes, resulting in hallucinatory experiences similar to those reported by alien abductees.

Another explanation of experiencing alien abductions depends on the personality characteristic known as the proclivity for fantasy. There are also other psychological explanations, such as dissociation – where an individual’s mental processes detach from each other and from reality, often in response to extreme or stressful life events. A tendency towards being fantasy-prone and dissociation has been linked in studies to childhood trauma and hypnotic suggestibility.

Psychologists argue that regression hypnosis, such as that popularized in the 70s by UFO enthusiast Budd Hopkins who wasn't formally trained as a psychotherapist, encourages the creation and recall of detailed fantasies. For example, it was under regressive hypnosis that Betty and Barney Hill's “missing memories” were “recovered. It’s for these reasons that it’s believed alien abduction experiences may arise from a combination of personality characteristics and susceptibility to false memories.

Raelian Abductions
Interestingly, from these regressive hypnosis sessions, Hopkins discovered many “abductees” were subjected to a “child presentation” in which the claimants were shown a child. Often, the children appear to be neither human, nor the same species as the abductors. Instead, the child will almost always share characteristics of both species. These children are labeled by experiencers as hybrids between humans and their abductors.

But, this is uncannily similar to what we find in Rael's writings, except that the ETs were humanoid but about 1.2 meters tall with a slightly greenish tinge. (p. 5)

In Rael’s first book (1974), while he was still known by his birth name: Claude Vorilhon, claimed that this act of creation of life on Earth - especially, humans in their likeness - was merely an “experiment” (pp. 10, 17, 39). Further on, Rael relates a story of how some of those Elohim scientists who came to Earth then “chose” and “took” the most beautiful daughters of humanity and had children with them.
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” Genesis 6: 1-2
“The creators living in exile took the most beautiful daughters of humanity and made them their wives.” (Intelligent Design, p. 19)
Rael then writes:
“When the sons of Elohim came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6: 4.
“There you have proof that the creators could have intercourse with the daughters of humanity whom they had created in their own image, and in so doing produced exceptional children. These actions seemed very dangerous to people on the distant planet. The scientific progress on Earth was fantastic, and they decided to destroy what had been created.” (p.19)
The Elohim government back in their own planet decided to destroy all life on Earth by showering the planet with nuclear bombs that supposedly resulted in the Biblical Flood. Yet, after such a blatant act of aggression, the Elohim decided to allow their human progeny saved by Noah to rule over Earth. One example Rael gives is that of the birth of Samson. The Elohim chose an infertile woman, cured her infertility, and then impregnated her without her husband’s knowledge:
“And the angel of Elohim came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her.” Judges 13: 9.
“It is easy to imagine what happened during her husband’s absence... It was an easy task for the scientists to cure her sterility. In this way she was made aware that she was going to give birth to an exceptional individual, and that she should take the utmost care of her baby. It was wonderful for the creators to mate with a daughter of humanity. This enabled them to have sons ruling directly on Earth, where the atmosphere was not suitable for themselves.” (p. 35)
This would mean, they had to take her aboard one of their spaceships to perform the procedure. The same was supposedly done to Jesus’ mother, Mary:
“The creators therefore decided to arrange for a child to be born of a woman of the Earth and one of their own people. The child in question would thereby inherit certain telepathic faculties, which humans lack:
She was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” Matthew 1: 18.
Mary was the woman chosen, and obviously her fiancé found these tidings hard to accept, but:

“Behold, the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him.” Matthew 1:20. (p. 65)
These two accounts are reminiscent of modern alien abduction stories where many women testify of being abducted and then inseminated to produce hybrids. Rael claims to be one such hybrid: the product of a union between an ET called Yahweh (the President of the Eternal Council of the Elohim) and his human mother. Rael relates the following conversation he supposedly had with Yahweh on the Planet of Eternal Life in this 2nd book (1975):
“The person whom you looked upon as your father was not your real father. After the explosion at Hiroshima, we decided that the time had come for us to send a new messenger on Earth. He would be the last prophet, but the first one to address Mankind asking them to understand and not to believe. We then selected a woman, as we had done in the time of Jesus. This woman was taken aboard one of our ships and inseminated as we had done with the mother of Jesus. Then she was freed after we had totally erased from her memory all traces of what had happened. ...[ ]... Your real father is also the father of Jesus, and that makes you brothers. You are presently looking at your father. Your foster-father was like Joseph, he was to take care of you and your mother until such time as you could provide for yourself.” (p. 290)
As far as I'm aware, Rael's mother Marie-Colette Vorilhon, has never gone through such regressive hypnosis to retrieve her “erased memory”, nor was his “human” father, Marcel Heimendinger, ever contacted by the Elohim to reveal the “true” nature of Rael's extraordinary birth (as they supposedly did with Joseph). Notwithstanding the story about the Elohim, Rael grew up as an illegitimate child whose father was already married to another woman. In a TV interview with Rael's mother and aunt, they discount Rael's story as harmless fantasy that may have some beneficial outcomes. Real's mother humors the interviewer using confirmation bias and synchronicity to say her name was similar to the mother of Jesus, Mary and that her lover was like a carpenter just like Joseph, since he ran a saw mill [1]:

UFO-focused Organization
When Rael started out in early 1974 with MADECH (French acronym for “movement for welcoming the Elohim”), most of his members were UFO enthusiasts. It was a very hot topic at the time. But, wishing to gain some control as the “messenger of the Elohim”, Rael had disbanded MADECH and came up with his 2nd book in late 1975 and transformed his organization as the International Raelian Movement (IRM). His cult is still centered around the UFO and ET phenomena. And the official Raelian website used to promote the IRM as “the largest UFO-related organization in the world”. Recently leaked internal documents suggest Rael’s followers consists only of about 18,000 and IRM members being less than 3,000 worldwide.

Whilst relying on the popularity of the UFO phenomenon to lend credibility to his claims, Rael always dismisses other contactees' and abductees' claims of extraterrestrial encounters as the result of psychological disorders or the use of drugs, which lends some credence to Rael in light of the probable causes explained at the beginning of this article, or that their encounters were genuinely an encounter with the Elohim, but were misinterpreted or mystified due to their prior beliefs.

Furthermore, many rivals have challenged Rael's prophethood, with claims of having some form of contact with the Elohim, including people from the ranks of the Raelian Movement itself. For these particular claimants, Rael publicly excommunicates them, not hesitating to label them as mentally ill. Most recently, he added his former long time partner, Sophie de Niverville to this list after she claimed to have received communications from them, going as far as publicly disclosing her medical history and instructing his followers to avoid contacting her, a common practice in similar groups.

Whenever a UFO sighting is benign, Rael jumps at the opportunity to claim that it was in fact his Elohim that were behind the event. Two of the most recent UFO sightings that garnered a great deal of media attention and internet hype – the Jerusalem Temple sighting and the UFO wave over China – were featured prominently on the Raelian website dedicated to promoting the building of an embassy for extraterrestrials.

Both have been thoroughly debunked.

Cognitive Dissonance and Circular Reasoning
Yet despite violent events such as the Biblical Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Trumpets of Jericho - acts perpetrated by the Elohim as documented by Rael in his own books, he still vehemently denies any possible aggression by space aliens as well as the “abduction” phenomenon, even though by definition, his mother's supposed impregnation falls into this category.

This is yet another demonstration of how cognitive dissonance is embedded within Raelism. On the one hand, all accounts of abductions are completely rejected – the universal law that prevents aggressive beings from leaving their solar system ensures that all extraterrestrial visitors are benign. Any claims contrary to this position are the result of psychological misinterpretations or deliberate lies. Yet, on the other hand, when some specific people in the Raelian narrative were taken and had procedures such as insemination performed upon them (without their consent), these are somehow not “alien abductions”, nor are they recognized as a form of violence or aggression.

While abductees believe in the ET abduction phenomenon, just like UFO enthusiasts believe in ET visitations, Rael obliquely discounts the former while promotes the latter.

One can conclude that Rael is a deliberate hoaxer who knows very well he hasn't met any space aliens himself and therefore alien abductions can also not ever happen. He uses the fallacy of circular reasoning to make it all sensible in his followers’ minds:

(1) ETs, i.e. Elohim are peaceful
(2) therefore, no violence and abductions can be expected from them
(3) but, his story records Biblical violence and abductions, especially of his mother
(4) but, these were all done for peaceful ends that will allow the Elohim to return
(5) therefore, Rael is the Messenger of peace who will welcome back the loving Elohim

Advocatus Diaboli

[1] In Alsace (Bas-Rhin), . Strasbourg, HAMANBURGER, at 10, rue du Vieux- March.-aux-Vins et GOTTWEISS ET HAMANBURGER au 5, rue Koenigshoffen en SARL.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

RAEL: Thief of Souls - Biography of a Liar

Download PDF of Maryse Péloquin's book:

Raël: Voleur d'âmes
Biographie d'un menteur

A bootlegged version with additional info:

Rael's Secret
The Suppressed History of the Raelian movement

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Evolution of Raelism's Scientific Denialism

Rael "selecting" RT's article with no comments
An article by RT titled "Scientists go ape after Indian minister dubs Darwin theory ‘wrong’" published on January 23rd mentions Satyapal Singh causing quite a stir last week after challenging Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution as “scientifically wrong.” “Since man is seen on Earth, he has always been a man,” claimed the minister, who has a PhD in chemistry. Given that “nobody saw a man turning into an ape,” Singh suggested a change in the curriculum.

Of course, a joint statement by three science academies of India condemned Singh's statements as being "a retrograde step to remove the teaching of the theory of evolution from school and college curricula or to dilute this by offering non-scientific explanations or myths."

Rael shared this news on his FaceBook page and swiftly published it on his Rael-Science page on January 24th. Then the International Raelian Movement (IRM) issued a press release on January 25th about Rael offering his support to Singh. Rael usually makes his public statements under the the banner "COMMENT:"; however I was unable to find any.

According to Raelism, biological evolution is a myth. Under the title "Evolution: A Myth", Rael writes about his exchanges with Yahweh, his supposed ET father:
"you must dispel from your minds all uncertainty about evolution. Your scientists who have elaborated theories of evolution are not completely wrong in saying that humanity is descended from the monkey, and the monkey from the fish, and so on. In reality, the first living organism created on Earth was unicellular, which then gave rise to more complex life forms.

But this did not happen by chance! When we came to Earth to create life, we started by making very simple creations and then improved our techniques of environmental adaptation. This enabled us to make in turn fish, amphibians, mammals, birds, primates and finally man himself, who is just an improved model of the monkey to which we added what makes us essentially human.

In this way, we made human beings in our image, as it is written in the Bible in Genesis. You could have realized for yourselves that there is little chance of a series of accidents producing such a large variety of life forms - the colors of birds and their elaborate mating rituals, or the shape of certain antelope horns.

What natural need could lead antelopes or wild goats to develop curled horns? Or birds to have blue or red feathers? And what about exotic fish?

All that is the work of our artists.
" (Intelligent Design, p. 92)
To explain away how natural selection and genetic mutations drive the evolutionary process, Yahweh adds:
"Evolution of the various forms of life on Earth is really the evolution of techniques of creation and the increased sophistication of the creators’ work. This eventually led them to create people similar to themselves. You can find the skulls of prehistoric men who were the first human prototypes.

These were replaced each time by others more evolved. This continued right up to your present form, which is the exact replica 
[1] of your creators who were afraid to create anything highly superior to themselves, although some were tempted to do so." (p. 93)
IRM's press release supporting Singh
Raelism's stance on biological evolution falls clearly under scientific denialism akin to Christian Creationism. However, faced with the reality of scientific evidence backing the Theory of Evolution, even the Catholic Church has eventually adopted the idea of Theistic Evolution that claims that God has intentionally created mechanisms for his creation to evolve.

To my surprise, in IRM's press release, Raelian spokesperson Brigitte Boisselier (the perpetrator of the human cloning hoax of 2003) apparently attempts to change the rigid Raelian mythos concerning evolution and creation by stating:
Scientists are able to genetically modify species. In doing so, they show that random mutations are not the only path to explain how new species arose, but directed mutations by advanced scientists could be another way. It’s possible to imagine a large scale and deliberate genetic engineering undertaking responsible for simple protozoans, colorful birds, graceful mammals, and even Homo sapiens.”
Looks like Raelism itself is slowly evolving to become more compatible with real science by injecting "directed mutations" in its discourse to show an acceptance of biological evolution, but at the same time alluding that it was indeed ETs who deliberately created such mechanisms for life to evolve with the changing environment. LOL

Advocatus Diaboli

[1] The following is the description Rael gives of Yahweh: "I could see then this was certainly no child even though the figure was only about four feet (1.2 meters) tall. His eyes were slightly almond shaped, his hair was black and long, and he had a small black beard. I still had not moved, and he stopped about ten meters away from me.

He wore some sort of green one-piece suit, which covered his entire body, and although his head seemed to be exposed, I could see around it a strange sort of halo. It was not really a halo but the air about his face shone slightly and shimmered. It looked like an invisible shield, like a bubble, so fine that you could barely see it. His skin was white with a slightly greenish tinge, a bit like someone with liver trouble.
" (p. 5)

Copyright: Raelian Foundation
Being about 4 feet tall and having greenish skin aren't an "exact replica" imposed on us by our supposed creators.

As for the bubble, Yahweh later explains: "My face seems to be in the open air, but really it is protected by an invisible shield composed of repellent rays inside which I breathe different air from you. These rays let waves pass through, but not air molecules. It's a bit like the way you prevent fuel deposits escaping from certain ports in your technology by using emissions of bubbles." (p. 105)

But in Rael's alleged 2nd encounter with Yahweh, Rael relates: "I noticed one difference right away. He no longer had on the spacesuit that had seemed to make a halo around his face the first time." (p. 146)

Asked about this apparent contradiction, Rael brushed it off as "psychology" (p. 228). Read my take on this here. LOL

Thursday, January 18, 2018

[RAELIAN DISINFO] Rael used a Human Cloning HOAX from the '70s

Rael claimed the following in his book "Sensual meditation" published in 1980:
"An American millionaire has already had a child which was produced purely from one of his own cells without the female element modifying his genetic code." (p. 49, Sensual Meditation, e-book 2002)
He was referring to David Rorvik, who in his book "In His Image: The Cloning of a Man" (1978) made the startling claim that the world's first human clone had been born. Rorvik was not just a random eccentric whose claim could be dismissed. He was a respected writer who had worked as a medical reporter for both Time and the New York Times, and therefore he spoke with some credibility. His publisher, J.B. Lippincott Company, itself was a well-regarded publisher of medical books.

According to Rorvik, he had been approached in 1973 by a wealthy American millionaire who wanted to create a clone of himself. The millionaire, whom Rorvik referred to as 'Max' in order to conceal the man's identity, asked Rorvik to manage a research project with this aim. Rorvik accepted the challenge and used his connections as a well-placed science writer to recruit the necessary scientific talent. The scientific team was flown to a lab located on a secret island somewhere 'beyond Hawaii,' where after five years of experimentation they succeeded in creating a viable human egg containing Max's DNA. They implanted the egg into the uterus of a surrogate mother (an island resident code-named 'Sparrow'), and nine months later the first human clone was born.

Human Egg Cell
It's interesting to note that Rael emphasized how the alleged clone "was produced purely from one of his own cells without the female element modifying his genetic code" despite Rorvik stating "a viable human egg [i.e. an ovum] containing Max's DNA" was created. Even with our current cloning technology called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT), a donor ovum is required. Ova contain tiny bits called Mitochondria that remain after the cell nucleus is switched using SCNT. This is true even with normal fertilization: the mitochondria of the ovum remains, while the sperm cell's mitochondria is discarded. While it's true the female mitochondria won't modify the genetic code in the cell nucleus, this female element nevertheless will remain. Moreover, mitochondria contain DNA of their own.

Nuclear transplantation in amphibians
using embryonic cells as nuclear donors
Going back to Rorvik's claims, scientists, were skeptical. They argued that Rorvik's claim could not be true because the state-of-the-art in cloning technology was nowhere near the level required to produced a human clone. The cloning technique he described was loosely based on a procedure that had been successfully used to clone a frog in the mid-1960s. However, it was well known that this technique would not work in mammals because of the differences between mammalian and amphibian biology. Moreover, it should be noted that the transferred cell nucleus was not from a somatic cell, but embryonic cells.

Rorvik's book sold extremely well and sparked national debate about the ethics of cloning. However, within months Lippincott and Rorvik found themselves in court when they were sued for defamation by J. Derek Bromhall, a British scientist whose research had been cited in the book. The court asked Rorvik to provide concrete evidence of the existence of the cloned boy. When he failed to do so, the court ruled that Rorvik's book was a "fraud and a hoax." A year later, in 1982, Lippincott agreed to pay an unspecified amount of damages to Bromhall.

Rorvik's motivations for perpetrating the hoax remain unclear. Money might have been a factor, although he lost a great deal of what he earned from the book to legal fees. Alternatively, he might have hoped to draw attention to the ethical issues raised by the startling advances being achieved in the biological sciences. During the 1980s these advances spawned the biotechnology industry and in 1997 allowed the (true) cloning of a mammal, a Scottish sheep named Dolly. In this sense, although Rorvik's story was not true, it was, at least, prescient.

Rael never updated his book to reflect the court's ruling in 1981. Perhaps he took inspiration from it to perpetrate his own human cloning hoax through Clonaid in 2003.

Advocatus Diaboli


Update: In late January, 2018, the first successful cloning of primates has been announced.