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March 15, 2004 | by  | in Opinion |
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What Would Raël Do?

Of the number of press releases that find their way into the office here, few are actually worth paying attention to. Still fewer are worth obnoxiously spamming my colleagues with, but when I see “Raelian Press Release” in the subject line of an incoming email, I get pretty animated, my friend. His Holiness Raël – best-selling author, singer/songwriter and race car1 driver – founded the religion 30 years ago come December. It’s based on an extra-terrestrial race letting Raël (a French former journalist) know that they used DNA to create mankind 1000s of years ago in their own image, keeping tabs on us via Jesus (who they resurrected through cloning) et. al. That makes the Bible Belt types getting het up over creation versus evolution look a bit misguided, really. Fascinating though the Raelian history of humankind is (and for more information see www.rael.org); it’s the press releases that are the thing. With a strong emphasis on science and, of course, immortality through cloning, Raelians campaign vehemently against any social structure deemed to be a result of oppressive and mythic structures based on any kind of religious underpinning. So, naturally, Raelian women commemorated International Women’s Day “by marching with their breasts exposed to protest against the repressive myth of God.” His Holiness asserts in the press release that women can put an end to the madness of oppression by becoming atheists, that they’ll be “invited to apostatize from their religion which blatantly condemns them for such ‘deadly sin’ as using contraceptives, divorcing, being a lesbian, having sex out of wedlock, being pregnant with a cloned baby…etc.” Now I’m pretty sure that any woman already marching with her breasts out doesn’t really need to be convinced. I’m also pretty sure that any woman pregnant with a cloned baby is unlikely to be Catholic, but I guess stranger things have happened. I’m kidding, of course. That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. Crack head.

Raël loves the ladies – in a respectful way, of course: “Women represent 55% of the world’s population and are steadily freeing themselves from the shackles of repressive, primitive, mystical beliefs. In the light of science, of their sensuality, of their femininity, they will soon be able to use the democratic process to rule and to insure our planet’s future because they instinctively know that femininity will save humanity.” Dude.
BUT! It’s not just women who would make great leaders (sensually, femininely, in the light of science), but also gay people. In February, Raël asked San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to secede from the US and create an independent gay state, in response to W’s proposed constitutional marriage amendment. “Many gay people are artists, highly educated and wealthy, and an independent gay state will see a huge inflow of capital, geniuses and art, and will thus become a very wealthy state, in addition to providing a safe haven for millions of people fleeing anti-gay persecutions.” What a fantastic idea! A quick survey of the office showed that there are any number of great names the new state could have; some of which aren’t even offensive. But here is the major flaw with this plan: Texas is the only State that actually has the right to secede. Plus, Gavin Newsom is married (to a woman), so is unlikely to be keen on doing himself out of a job. Or a home state.

It’s probably worth noting at this point that Raël has waged a long war on the media – vilifying them through press releases for publishing mean things about him. However, I remain safe in the knowledge that I do not number among his enemies – in fact, on his website, I got an exclusive invitation to the 30th Anniversary celebrations to be held in Switzerland later this year. “We hereby have the pleasure to inform you that you are part of an extremely limited number of journalists who differentiated themselves among thousands of reporters who were disrespectful , slanderous, made untrue remarks and that flouted journalistic ethics. These so-called journalists will be denied access to this historic event. Consequently, we are sending you this exclusive and privileged invitation to cover the international convention of the Raelian Movement celebrating its 30th anniversary,” he writes, “you can easily imagine, considering the politically correct or “media correct” predominant attitude toward our religious minority status, members of the media who uphold the journalist ethic of respect and objectivity are rare. We commend your steadfast attention to the truth and hope you will join us and share this unique and unheralded occasion with the world.” Praise from Raël is praise indeed, and, as if I needed another excuse to go to a fancy-pants resort in Switzerland, I am informed that celebrities His Holiness has named as guides have also been invited; meaning that I could be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lauryn Hill, Ramsey Clark and George Michael. Giddy up. The catch? Only fully accredited journalists are allowed to attend. Never mind, I’m pretty sure I can get that from the Internet, too.

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