left biblioblography: WHEN ATHEISM GOES BAD - OF SPACESHIPS, SURREALISM, AND SLAPSTICK SOPHISTRY

Saturday, January 06, 2007

WHEN ATHEISM GOES BAD - OF SPACESHIPS, SURREALISM, AND SLAPSTICK SOPHISTRY

Here it is - the item all the theists have been waiting for - an actual atheist religion.

I speak, of course, of the Raelians, whom the answers.com people describe as "Raël is the founder of the Raëlian Movement, an "atheistic religion" which he created in 1973."

It's fair to describe it as 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride' for secular humanists. It's a tale filled with secrets revealed, a following, a messianic figure, and...drum roll, please!...a recipe for immortality.

Yes, you read that last one right.


This Frenchman, name of Claude, a former race-car driver, had the 'truth' revealed to him by space aliens in a volcano crater. These folks, it turns out, call themselves the 'Elohim' (of all things!), and claim that they began life on earth. Yes, you got it: panspermia, of all things. Here's the entry:

"Raël claimed that an extraterrestrial being came out of the craft, and told him (in French) that he had come for the sole purpose of meeting with Vorilhon. The alien being gave Vorilhon a message and told him that it was his mission to pass this message on to the people of Earth. His meetings with the human-like extra-terrestrial lasted for six consecutive days, one hour each day, and Vorilhon describes them in his first book "Le Livre qui dit la vérité" (The Book That Tells the Truth).

In this book, Rael claims that every life form on Earth was created by advanced human scientists from another planet with 25,000 years of scientific advances who, according to Raelians were originally called Elohim or "those who came from the sky". Allegedly, some forty prophets in Earth's history were sent by Elohim, but their messages were misunderstood and distorted by humans, largely because of the difference in the level of scientific understanding between the advanced race and our primitive one."

So these 'elohim' took credit for Jesus, Moses, Buddha, etc. Oh, and can you guess the name of his otherworldly contact, the one who assigned our 'salvation' to ol' Claude? YAHWEH. He also claims to be the 'Maitreya' of Buddhist scripture.

Wow, this guy gets around, doesn't he?

Here's a laundry list of his 'vision' for us:
Human rights (the Raelians have written their own version), cloning, genetic eugenism, nanotechnology, and (get THIS!), geniocracy. That is, only the smartest people get to rule:

"While having a democratic electoral apparatus, it differs from traditional liberal democracy by instead suggesting that both candidates for office and the body electorate should meet a certain minimal criterion of intelligence. The thresholds proposed by the Raëlians are 50% above the average mean for an electoral candidate and 10% above the average mean for an elector."

Now, I've spoken at length before about humanity being the 'DNA love-chillun' of space aliens before. This particular one is far more appealing to the 'lost souls'. It's got all the proper ingredients: a charismatic leader, free love, ample reworkings of folktales (just enough to sound plausible to the gullible), an appeal to science, oh, and did I mention immortality? That's right: you can go CLONE YOURSELF, buddy! Via that startup company, Clonaid:

"Clonaid" is the alias for a self-described "human cloning company" associated with the Raëlian Movement (though not in a financial sense), which sees cloning as part of the path to immortality.

Many scientists in the field, noting the high incidence of malformations and fetal deaths in animal cloning, have condemned Clonaid for premature human experimentation. Clonaid's stance on this subject is that the same problems are true of animal In vitro fertilization (IVF), while assisted reproduction in humans has come a long way since the first test-tube baby in 1978.

Claims of success in human cloning

On December 27, 2002, Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, a Raëlian bishop and CEO of Clonaid, announced to the world press that Clonaid had successfully cloned a human being. Boisselier said that the mother delivered by Caesarean section somewhere outside the United States, and that both the mother and the little girl, Eve, are healthy. Dr. Boisselier did not present the mother or child, or any DNA samples that could be used to confirm her claim at the press conference, although she did explain the procedure which she intended to use to confirm her claims. It has subsequently become apparent that the announcement was made prior to genetic testing to evaluate whether the child in question is actually a clone: Dr. Boisselier was therefore stating her belief that her procedure had resulted in a clone, not announcing results showing that the child was a clone."

Here's the 'space-age' technology that's supposed to do this:









I'm sorry, but that looks like something I'd see in an MST 3000 spoof.

Let's never mind that:

"So far, no verifiable evidence has been presented by Clonaid, despite claims that they would do this within days of their initial announcement. They claim that the parents of the first cloned child have had second thoughts about submitting their child to scientific tests, following the U.S court order in January, 2003.

On January 10, 2003, a U.S. court ordered Clonaid to reveal the identity and whereabouts of the alleged cloned baby.

On October 9, 2003, newspaper Le journal de Montréal published an article accusing Clonaid and the Raelian organization of maintaining an outright hoax in its claims regarding cloning a human baby.

Dr Boissilier has since stated that providing such evidence of her claims would have her jailed for up to thirty years, following a law passed by the French government in 2004 that prohibits any French citizen from performing cloning within France or abroad."

Nutshelling it: no proof whatsoever.

It's all standard messianic stuff - the lone visionary, who is the only connection to a mysterious outer source of wisdom no one else can experience, pontificating from on high, borrowing freely from chimerical mythology, and of course, the 'Judas' meme.

"The biggest media brouhaha arose in 1992 when Rael appeared on the French TV talk show "Ciel mon Mardi," hosted by the popular journalist Christopher Dechavanne. Towards the end of the show (where Rael’s liberal views on sex were critiqued by a priest, a social worker, and a psychologist), an [apostate] ex-Raelian [Jean Parraga] suddenly appeared and unleashed a diatribe claiming that Rael was holding his [i.e. Parraga's] wife and children prisoner, had engineered the breakup of his [i.e. Parraga's] family, and personally presided over child sacrifice and pederastic orgies at the Sensual Meditation camp.

This apostate, Jean Parraga, was elegantly dressed and played the role of the concerned father and heartbroken husband. What was not mentioned was his criminal record as a drug dealer and car thief, and his attempt to shoot Rael to death in August 1992."

They do have the earmarks of a cult, as follows:

  1. A movement that separates itself from society, either geographically or socially;
  2. Adherents who become increasingly dependent on the movement for their view on reality;
  3. Important decisions in the lives of the adherents are made by others;
  4. Making sharp distinctions between us and them, divine and satanic, good and evil, etc. that are not open for discussion;
  5. Leaders who claim divine authority for their deeds and for their orders to their followers;
  6. Leaders and movements who are unequivocally focused on achieving a certain goal.

No on 1 (they actively participate in gay parades and women's rights), yes on 2 and 3, I'm neutral about 4, yes on 5 and 6. Four out of six.

They have some pretty interesting pet theories. For one, they believe that Noah brought DNA from all the animals onto the Ark. Also, we could clone suicide bombers, so they couldn't achieve 'paradise', and then be punished for their crimes.

Just how dangerous are they, though? Not very. No kidnappings, no insertion of key figures in government, no pedophilia, no violence (that I'm aware of), no coercion, no stocking of ammo. All in all, they seem to be a more benign bunch. Extra-terrestrial flower children, if you will.

It's as silly as most I've researched, but, in the words of Douglas Adams: 'Mostly harmless'.

Till the next post, then.

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8 comments:

vjack said...

Religion? We don't need no stinkin' religion!

karen said...

What's with the attraction of loonies to volcanic craters?

Why don't the emissaries come and oversee the first batches of cloning, till we get up to speed on the technology? The cloning machine gizmo doesn't have nearly enough bells and whistles to it. It looks like a transformer and switch station for a model railroad to me.

Thanks, Rael, but no thanks. I don't want to live forever, and it scares me to think of certain others living on and on and on!

Exceptionally smart people really fall for this bunk? Twilight Zone music, please.

remy said...

Holy Crap!! I has one o' them cloning machines only I thought it was a battery recharger.

I'm off to make a me.

remy said...

OUUUUUUCH!
Word of warning: Don't ever attach someting connected to electricity to your nipples.

karen said...

remy
ROFLMAO











and still...
ROFL

Thanks ;-D

Krystalline Apostate said...

vjack, apparently some folks have got to have something to believe in.
karen:
Maybe it's because it's a warm hole? ;)
remy:
Don't ever attach something connected to electricity to your nipples.
Anything to break the ennui, ey?
Start w/9-volts & iced nipples, & work your way up.

Mesoforte said...

Cloning couldn't let you live forever. The chain that forms conciousness wouldn't be carried on in the clone of yourself, and the clone would develop into a different person than you because of the enviromental factors.Genetics only makes up a small part of who people are.

You know, on the earmarks of a cult that you listed, Xtianity falls under all but two for most people, all of them for some.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, MF. No doubt there wouldn't be 'carryover'.
I think that Claude lifted it from Spiderman, or vice-versa (GG cloned Peter P., then there were 2 Spideys).
& hey, religions ARE cults. At least in my book.