Aliens Adored: Rael's UFO Religion

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Rutgers University Press, Nov 25, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 226 pages
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The Raelians came to the attention of the world in 2002 when the spokesperson for Clonaid, a company founded by Raelian followers, announced that the first human clone had been born--a claim that although has not been independently substantiated, prompted outrage and condemnation from scientists, religious organizations, and the White House. Aliens Adored is the first full length, in-depth look at the Raelian movement, a fascinating new religion founded in the 1970s by charismatic prophet, Rael. Born in France as Claude Vorilhon, the former race-car driver started the religion after he experienced a visitation from the aliens (the "elohim") who, in his cosmology, created humans by cloning themselves. The millenarian movement awaits the return of the alien creators, and in the meantime seeks to develop the potential of its adherents through free love, sexual experimentation, opposition to nuclear proliferation and war, and the development of the science of cloning. Sociologist Susan J. Palmer has studied the,Raelian movement for more than a decade, observing meetings and rituals, and enjoying unprecedented access to the group's leaders as well as to its rank-and-file members. In Aliens Adored she provides a thorough analysis of the movement, focusing on issues of sexuality, millenarianism, and the impact of the scientific worldview on religion and the environment. Palmer traces Rael's philosophy and the formation of the Raelian subculture. Rael's radical sexual ethics, his gnostic anthropocentricism, and shallow ecotheology offer us a mirror through which we see how our worldviews have been shaped by the forces of globalization, postmodernism, and secular humanism.

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