2017: The Year in Review

In case you’ve been kept in the dark, never heard of or just couldn’t be bothered with following the Raelian Movement, here is an overview of major events from 2017.


 

MARCH

Rael FOR and AGAINST Nuclear Proliferation

After heavy promotion of the One Minute for Peace action and supporting the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Raël urges smaller countries to obtain nuclear weapons (2017a; Raelianews, 2017) in order to defend themselves. This directly contradicts previous statements he’s made as well as going against the Elohim’s warnings about allowing the proliferation of nuclear weapons (Raël, 2005).

Furthermore, one of the key values of Raelism, that of absolute non-violence, is declared “temporarily abandoned” (Raël, 2017b).

Raelians have become divided over the issue and even high-level guides have questioned this new direction (Chabot, 2017).

You’re Not a Real Raelian if You Follow Dead Messages

Following the turbulence caused by the Pro-Nuclear Proliferation stance, Raël attempts to quell discussion about the topic by proclaiming that anyone not following his word and choosing to follow “dead messages” instead, is not a real Raelian (2017) in direct contradiction of the Messages themselves, as well as teachings he has given instructing Raelians to study the Messages well, and stay true to them (Raël, 2006).

Anyone who gave Raël’s claims any credibility based on the content of the Messages must now disregard the content, but continue affording him the credibility that was earned. In other words – just accept Raël’s word, without question.

Happiness Academy Movie US Premiere

On a more cheerful note, “Bonheur Académie(“Happiness Academy”), a film based on the Raelian seminars is released in the United States (Sheck, 2017). The documentary/fiction hybrid was written and directed by Kaori Kinoshita and Alain Della Negra and shows audiences the positive side of Raelian seminars in a fictional format.


 

JUNE

What About Ken?

Amidst all the Dead Messages/Pro-Nuclear Proliferation activity, the Australian Raelian Movement (ARM) begins to show signs of collapsing.

Two now-former Australian Raelians, Gerald de Jonge and Ian Mirabito had been pursuing justice for an elderly Raelian named Ken who allegedly lent his life’s savings to Raelian Guides, and despite many promises, was never repaid. The accused members’ have been known to have had past involvement with multi-level marketing and ponzi schemes (Personal communications, 2017) , however as no official investigation results have been released, it is not known if the ARM was involved in any of the alleged financial dealings.

A well timed reminder was posted by Raël on Facebook, advising Raelians that any financial dealings are their own responsibility and to not contact the Movement about such issues (2017d). It should be noted that on March 11, 2000, Raël formed the International Ethics Committee (Cartier, 2000) dedicated to managing and resolving financial issues between Raelians, in order to minimise any negative impact on the Movement’s spiritual activities. This was short-lived and disbanded 6 years later (International Raelian Movement, 2006).

Shaking the Tree

Perhaps these injustices as perceived by Roy Tyrrell, (one of the first Raelians in Australia), were enough to push him to start “Shaking the Tree”. Amid claims of having been given guidance by the Elohim, Roy began a campaign of publicly questioning both Raël and structures of the Raelian Movement claiming they had become corrupted and betrayed the Messages of Yahweh (Tyrrell, 2017). His videos and social media posts would often point out contradictions between the Messages and Raël’s more recent claims, particularly in regards to telepathy and the original intention of bringing mediums together and forming a new humanity.

All eyes were on Australia, watching to see how things would unfold (Personal communications). New social media groups formed and offered venues for discussion about current Raelian events, a far cry from the one-sided forums controlled by the Raelian Movement. It didn’t take long before warnings, excommunications and cancellations of Cellular Plan Transmissions (CPTs are the Raelian equivalent of baptisms) were being issued by Raël on his Facebook page (ca. 2017).

Rather than dissuade further participation in such discussions, some of these online groups grew and maintained their numbers, composed not only of vocal former members, but current Raelians silently sitting in the background. Many people described feeling an energy in the air, a sense of something big about to happen (personal communications). Former members, some of which had left the Raelian world behind many years before, reconnected, simply wanting to know what was going on and what others’ take were on these events.

Roy continues ‘shaking the tree’ and has his website can be found at http://thenewhumanity.info.

and has formed The New Humanity, stating that Rael and the Movement have become corrupt, yet still accepting the Messages as being true.

During his “tree shaking”, he brought up many contradictions between the Messages and what Rael has been claiming, particularly in regards to telepathy and the arrival of the New Humanity.

Various sources (personal communications) confirmed that many Raelians – former, current and questioning – were actively following the discussions on social media.

Under normal circumstances, the Movement would use forms of rumour control to contain the discussion, but with the advent of social media, there was a great deal of discussion, as well as exchange of ideas and information. New online communities appeared, with many former members, truth activists and “anti-raelians” taking part.

Thinking is Bad for You

With a major shake-up within the Raelian Movement looming, Raël implements measures to shift his followers’ attention away from any information that may threaten his position or expose him. Through his teachings and rhetoric, he gently nudges their focus to forgetting, forgiving and not thinking. You read that correctly – the Religion of Science is against thinking. (Raël, 2017c, 2017e)


 

JULY

Success of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

After the public success of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Rael subtly attempts to attribute its success to “his” One Minute for Peace campaign (yet another idea borrowed from someone else).

As critical thinking is suppressed within the Movement, Raelians are further convinced of their mission to be humanity’s consciousness and that their actions strongly impact the outcome of such events.

Nobody questions the fact that they are working for non-proliferation at the same time as promoting nuclear proliferation.

Prior to this outcome, the Movement was counting down to humanity’s destruction (3 Days to avoid Humanity’s Destruction, 2017), therefore Raelism can now be considered a doomsday cult. Furthermore, the Movement created a new deadline of October, 2017 which has since passed and to the best of our knowledge, has not resulted in the destruction of humanity.

RaelianLeaks

The Raelians get their own version of “wikileaks” in the form of RaelianLeaks. The website promises anonymity for uploading leaked documents from the Raelian Movement and has delivered a few gems since its inception.

Here at the Raelian Truth Network, we’ve been able to corroborate leaked worldwide Raelian membership database reports with several sources (2017), confirming once and for all that the reported number of Raelians has been grossly exaggerated by Rael and his Guides in all media reports.


 

AUGUST

Vegetable-Gate

Taking a break from his increasingly gloomy social media posts, Raël complained about Facebook blocking his account for 24 hours after posting an image of a vegetable that was mistaken for naked buttocks by the Facebook algorithm, and in typical fashion, he incited his followers to boycott Facebook  unless the social media giant publicly apologised. (2017f, 2017g, 2017h).

It’s uncertain whether the boycott ever took place or not, as the Elohim’s final prophet was back online and posting on his favourite social media platform, just a little over 24 hours later.

For those who may be wondering – Mark Zuckerberg’s Honourary Guide status (Raelianews, n.d.) was not revoked.


 

OCTOBER

Chabot Resigns

Following in the footsteps of his siblings, prominent and long serving Bishop Guide, Daniel Chabot resigned after a brief sabbatical. The former Planetary Responsible (Global Head) for Raelian Teachings, explained his reasoning for leaving the Movement in a resignation letter titled: ‘The Balance – 40 Years of Raelism’ (Chabot, 2017).

His departure and the eventual cancellation of his Cellular Plan Transmission (CPT) prompts increased discussion amongst the Raelian community, followed by other prominent resignations from the Movement


 

DECEMBER

Humanity’s Survival

Despite the 99% chance of humanity’s self-destruction as first advised by the Elohim during their second encounter with Raël (2005b), humanity has beaten the odds and failed to destroy itself for the 42nd year in a row.

As Raël claims that he is in direct contact with the Elohim (Raël, 2005a), we have to assume that any changes to this assessment would have been reported. Yet, year after year, humanity defies the odds of only being able to survive 1 year out of every 100. Either that or perhaps the Elohim do not understand statistics the same way we do on Earth.

What is most unfortunate however, is where there was once a time when the Raelian Movement could easily stand out from other New Religious Movements and still be considered harmless (Masterson, 2014; Palmer, 2004), these days the group would be hard pressed to convince anyone that they are not just another ‘doomsday cult’, close to it’s expiry date. A review of Raël’s social media posts shows a strong fixation with negative themes, in particular the destruction of humanity. According to the self-proclaimed prophet, not only is it inevitable that humanity will destroy itself, but his proclamations go one step further and encourage it (2018), a notion quickly accepted by his followers (Bernik, 2017).

For an outsider, what quickly becomes apparent is Raelian “doublethink” – a term first coined by George Orwell in his book ‘1984’ describing the act of holding two opposing views simultaneously (McArthur & McArthur, 1992). Today, Raelians fight for nuclear disarmament by promoting nuclear proliferation, for peace while wishing for humanity’s destruction, for women’s rights by supporting an order of women dedicated to serving Raël’s domestic and sexual needs, against the religious colonisation of Africa (Back to Kama, 2017) while accepting and supporting a Frenchman colonising Africa with his religion.

With where it’s at today, perhaps the Raelian Movement should be considering its own chances of survival.

 


References

 

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Aramel Martin

Former Raelian structure member, one time area manager for Sydney, Australia and editor of the Australian Raelian Movement's newsletter - "InformAction", Aramel founded the Raelian Truth Network to unite other truth activists working to expose the truth about the Raelian Movement and its founder, Claude Vorilhon and to provide resources to members - past and present - to maintain their cognitive liberty.

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