The French and their former colonized subjects are not known for their cults. Wines, cheeses, sneering existentialist dismissals of starry eyed sincerity, yes.
So when the French make a cult, you know it's going to have some good stuff in it. It's not going to be one of those self-deprivation, celibacy type deals.
Hence, the Raelians.
I post a link to their own website below, where you can experience the wonders of their flash intro, where the founder discusses his encounter with aliens or something. Both creepy and amusing.
According to their website, a French journalist, named Rael, who wears the requisite white space age costume of a genuine special person we should all trust very much met an alien who told him that:
Human life is "not the result of random evolution, nor the work of a supernatural 'God'. It is a deliberate creation, using DNA, by a scientifically advanced people who made human beings literally "in their image" -- what one can call "scientific creationism.""
This begs a certain question, which is, who made these scientifically advanced people? Or is it turtles all the way down?
Anyway, there are Elohim, special beings, all the religious figures were Elohim. And guess what? RIGHT NOW WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT? It's the Age of Revelation.
A flashing light in 1973s and you were given a message? Dude, no one gives credence to anything that happened in the 1970s.
Also, I have to ask the obvious question: Why believe it just because an alien told you? You can't even go off facial cues or tics or anything to tell if the alien is lying.
But I understand. If an alien told me something, I would probably also believe it. What accounts for this gullibility towards aliens? Aliens have as much reason to lie as anyone, I am sure.
The Age of Revelation thing though? I feel that! It feels like the Age of Revelation to me.
Cults tend to use either complete sexual freedom or sexual deprivation or some combination thereof and the Raelians use hot young people to entice new members.
But that's not the best part. The best part is that the Raelians are defying a number of national and international laws and attempting to clone human beings.
Why, exactly? They don't say. The Elohim want us to do it probably.
Which is the greater miracle, I ask you?
Anyway, they seem to be into the peace and love thing and so we should hope they don't do a Heaven's Gate or Jonestown move anytime. The only problem was that The People's Temple was also peace and love for quite some time. Anti-racism was a centerpiece of the Jim Jones' cult. Some cults start out nice, with lots of relaxing chanting and group meals and then sadly devolve into something more sinister.
Rael, formerly Claude Vorilhon, was once a pop singer. Apparently, he was also a racecar driver. Now, he's just a humble messenger of Elohim. Apparently, he was also a bad husband who terrorized at least one of his wives.
He also looked a lot like one of the Bee Gees:
I always thought that Barry Gibb looked like the nice one. Maybe that was just because he didn't need as much dental work as the others.
In 2002, there was something of a buzz about the Raelians successfully cloning a child. And this is clearly where the Raelians most amazing success lies: Public relations. That Time Magazine article! Who is their publicist? Lindsay Lohan needs that publicist.
Besides cheese, tightrope walking and hip theorizing, the French are extremely adept at biotech. The Raelians do appear to have their own company Clonaid, which claims to have cloned someone. Brigette Bosselier, the head of this company, has an actual Ph.D. Which isn't saying much.
So the question is: How did Barry Gibb/Claude Something or other/Rael manage to start and then disseminate this group of people? Sex may have been part of it. The Raelians are very sexually open, active and maybe if you get enough hot people in a cluster who are sexually available, anything is possible.
One man, who claimed Rael was breaking up his family and involving his children in orgies, attempted to murder Rael.
Also, they give meditation classes. And you know people will do anything to relax.
So there you have it: Promise the world aliens coming down to solve all their problems, and give them some nude yoga classes and you're pretty much halfway there with your own cult. Website flash and white jacket optional but highly recommended.