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.
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.
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.
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: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):
“Behold, the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him.” Matthew 1:20. (p. 65)
“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 :
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
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