When you think of cults you probably think of women carving Xs in their heads or deadly Kool-Aid However, there’s one active cult that’s definitely not about that kind of stuff at all: Raëlism is a modern day UFO religion based around the idea that humans come from the stars and that we need to have as much sex as possible so that when our alien parents come back to earth we’re genetically pure. But really that’s just one of the Raëlian beliefs that will send your mind reeling.
This cult that worships UFOs was created by a French journalist named Raël who claims he was abducted by aliens in the 70s, and it’s one of the few thriving UFO cults left in the world. If the idea of a cult that worships real aliens has piqued your fancy then you probably have some very practical questions. For instance, how many Raëlians are there? Or, are there famous Raëlians? Keep reading to find out, but don’t be surprised if you run off to join this groovy alien sex cult.
The religion's founder goes by Raël but he was born Claude Vorilhon in France in 1946. Vorilhon was working as a "French sports car journalist" (weren't the 70s amazing?) when he was abducted by aliens at a volcanic crater near Auvergne, France. He claimed that the four foot tall green aliens who picked him up said that he was the perfect guy to explain the plan of the aliens to the world because he was just a regular guy. He wasn't some egghead who would complicate things with science, and he wasn't a writer so he wouldn't "make up convoluted sentences that most people wouldn't be able to read." Over a series of meetings the aliens explained their whole interplanetary deal to Vorilhon and finally gave him the name Raël. He began working on his first book of scripture during this series of UFO-based meetings.
Now that you know who Raël is, it's time to understand the extra terrestrials who tapped him to be the savior of earth. The aliens explained that they were the "Elohim", humanoid aliens who were 25,000 years more advanced than the people of earth. In fact they weren't just super advanced beings who wanted to help out earthlings - they had actually created humans in a lab and sent them to earth. Prophets like Jesus, Mohammed, and especially Raël were half-Elohim, giving them a pass to act outside of the norms of human behavior. That half-Elohim DNA also means that Raël is allowed to have sex with a special collection of women who have joined his religion. What a surprise.
What do the Raëlians actually believe outside of their leader's weird story about alien abduction and people being half Elohim? According to Glenn Carter, the President of the UK branch of the movement since 2002, explained to the Daily Mail that "Being Raëlian means that I believe in the fact that all life on earth was created by the Elohim; a society who came to earth 25,000 years ago specifically to create life." He continued, saying that their goal is to open the world's minds to concept that humans were created in a lab and not by some mysterious god. At some point they'd like to "create an embassy in order to facilitate and welcome the return of the Elohim to Earth."
To create an embassy the Raëlians need to have money, and to get that money they've made one of their main commandments that if you're in the religion you have to give 1% of your annual income to help the movement with its physical infrastructure. To be fair to the Raëlians, that 1% probably adds up to about as much as you would tithe to your church even if you weren't in a weirdo alien sex religion.
You may have noticed that the Raëlism logo is a mixture of a star of David and a swastika. Yikes. Thankfully Raëlism has an FAQ on their website that asks the questions that the world has on the tip of its tongue. Question #16(!) on their FAQ asks, "What's with the Swastika?" Yes, Raëlins, exactly what's up with the swastika? Unfortunately their answer doesn't provide much of an answer. "The star of David represents infinity in space whereas the swastika represents infinity in time i.e. there being no beginning, no end in time and everything being cyclical." In 1991 the Raëlians got the message that people don't like looking at swastikas when they were banned from opening "extraterrestrial embassies" in Israel and Lebanon and replaced it with kind of a Magic Eye spiral thing.