For years, we’ve have had to blindly accept the numbers given by the Movement, despite the smaller turnouts at gatherings. In October, 2017, Raelianleaks.org released an alleged internal email providing a breakdown of the Raelian Membership as of September, 2017. Let’s find out how many Raelians there really are.
For many years, the Raelian Movement has boasted of an ever increasing membership in the press, at one stage claiming over 100,000 members in over 115 countries around the world (E.T. Embassy, 2017). News agencies have generally used similar figures although it is uncertain how they have verified these numbers, as the Raelian Movement does not normally give out information about their members.
Increasingly, people have been questioning these numbers, as attendance at Raelian gatherings has been dropping in many parts of the world, while the official numbers have continued going up.
Fortunately, with the recent revelations by Daniel Chabot, other Raelians may be finding the courage to speak out. Several leaks on this subject have been released on the Raelian Leaks website (Raelian Leaks, 2017a; 2017b; 2017c), however, most recently an email allegedly distributed to the Middle East team by Leon Mellul was released (Raelian Leaks, 2017d) revealing details of the Raelian membership as of the end of September, 2017 – far more current than any previously available documents.
So, How Many Raelians Are There Really?
According to the leak, there are 124,991 prospects, 18,111 active Raelians, and 5,625 former Raelians as of Septemer 30, 2017. To be clear, we arrived at these figures by adding several of the categories, as shown in the following extract. For active Raelians, we combined the total current Raelians, Structure Members and Members. For former Raelians we combined the remaining categories (not including the prospects).
While there may be some disagreement to this conclusion, (for example – whether all former structure members should be considered as ex-raelian, or if some members that haven’t had their transmissions done but are actively participating in Raelian activities should be counted as active Raelians), even if we were generous and counted all the former Raelians (yes, including the deceased members) that only adds another 5,625, making a total of 23,736 – it’s still a far cry from 85,000 members worldwide.
However, one particular number stands out from the others – the number of prospects. This is the only number coming close to the numbers claimed by the Raelian Movement, in fact surpassing it.
“Prospect is anyone in the database who is not a Raelian or an ex-Raelian.”
Is the Raelian Movement using the number of prospects to justify their claims?
In order to ensure that we were interpreting the information correctly, I asked former member and Raelian Database Administrator, Damien M, to confirm the meaning of these classifications and what the numbers were actually telling us.
“Prospect is anyone in the database who is not a Raelian or an ex-Raelian,” says Damien. “It’ s basically someone who downloaded a book, registered to the web site, or was added manually, whether they are interested or not by the RM (it can be a journalist, a student or whoever entered in contact with the RM or rael.org for whatever purpose [sic]).”
Then there is another number we need to look at – the number of Cellular Plan Transmissions (CPTs), that is, the number of Raelian baptisms since 1973. According to the latest email, the total stands at 21,168. While there are indications that at least 100 CPTs are unaccounted for, this figure also does not justify any of the claims of the exaggerated numbers.
Leaked Emails: Fact or Fiction?
So now we have two sets of numbers – those publicly stated by Rael and the Raelian Movement, and several leaked documents. I wanted to know if these were genuine, so I asked around to see if I could verify their authenticity.
Damien M. recalls some of the details, “I can confirm. I was the main database administrator until November 2015. At that time there had been 18000 TCP worldwide since the beginning of the RM, and 2600 structure members.”
Furthermore, I received several emails similar to the ones released on RaelianLeaks.org, all with the same formatting, from different time periods and sources, all correlating the statistical trends of the leaked documents rather than the public numbers.
- Transmission – Progress Report_ Feb 2013
- Transmission – Progress Report_ Aug 2013
- Fwd_ TCP August 6 [Usa-guides]
- Fwd_ IPT Report_ Sep 2015 [Usa-guides]
- Fwd_ [Planet-continental-guides] October 7th, Tcp [Usa-guides] December 13… TCPs around the Globe!
The email appears to be authentic. I created the script some years ago that sends these emails automatically
Another confirmation on the validity of the documents came from Cameron H., former developer of Elohim.net who states that “The email appears to be authentic. I created the script some years ago that sends these emails automatically. They occur on the first of every month and the figures are calculated directly from the Raelian database and then emailed to continental guides.”
Administrative Error or Just a Big Fat Lie?
Some may say that Rael depends on other people to look after administrative tasks within the movement and it is most likely he has been given inaccurate information when speaking publicly about the number of members his movement has. But at least one of the emails clearly mentions “Dear Maitreya”, suggesting he receives this information, so it’s unlikely that Claude Vorilhon is unaware of these numbers, and is therefore complicit, if not responsible, for deliberately misrepresenting the number of members the Raelian Movement has.
At the end of the day, is it really that important how many Raelians there really are? Both Rael, and his members would say ‘no’, and many would agree. So why lie about it in the first place? What value does the truth have if you need to use lies to spread it?
- E.T. Embassy. (2017, May 30). FAQ – What is the International Raelian Movement (IRM)? Retrieved January 09, 2018, from https://elohimembassy.org/faq/
- Raelian Leaks. (2017a, July 16). Apr 2008 Apostacy & TCP Results https://raelianleaks.org/apr-2008-apostacy-tcp-results/
- Raelian Leaks. (2017b, July 16). Nov 2010 Raelian Membership & Database https://raelianleaks.org/email-raelian-membership-and-database-nov-2010/
- Raelian Leaks. (2017c, July 22). Oct 2014 TCP Results https://raelianleaks.org/oct-2014-tcp-results/
- Raelian Leaks. (2017d, December 27). Raelian Membership (Sep 2017) – Email Report from Leon Mellul. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://raelianleaks.org/raelian-membership-sep-2017-email-report-from-leon-mellul/