- Paperback: 244 pages
- Publisher: Rutgers University Press; None ed. edition (Sept. 29 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813534763
- ISBN-13: 978-0813534763
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #750,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Aliens Adored: Raël's UFO Religion Paperback – Sep 29 2004
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"Skillfully weaving together engaging narrative and careful sociological analysis, Susan Palmer has written a ground-breaking study that will be the benchmark for all future studies of alternative religions."
About the Author
Susan J. Palmer teaches religious studies at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec. She is the author of Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions and co-edited Children in New Religions.
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I've met some of the Raelians, and I've read a few of the books.........I don't have a clear answer on validity of Rael's [ Claude ] claims, etc....but....what if it's...true ?....Who[m] are these ELOHIM ????........
Palmer also calls Rael a "serial monogamist" because he has been married to the same woman for years. His past also shows long term relationships. But maybe Palmer didn't know about the inside activities of Rael's Order of Angels or the contracts some of them sign taking away their right to refuse sex with Rael whenever the "prophet" demands it. She doesn't say enough about Rael's finances and the naive members who donate their money for an embassy that will never be built. But she still gets a lot of things right. She describes some of the tactics used to recruit new members and get donations, including the last will and testaments of members leaving everything to the movement when they die. She also talks about the way Rael controls his media image and makes it seem like the world is against him. Rael's claims of "religious persecution" are perfect to keep members feeling protective of their "prophet" while they fight and manipulate the media to "help the world".
Palmer doesn't believe Rael's story for a minute. She describes him as "a great artist" and he uses his members to create a fantasy world that feels better to them than reality. Raelian seminars are fun for all and seem to be largely inspired by the teachings of Indian guru Osho Rajneesh. Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously. Rael the great artist seems to take the best of whatever he can find and adds it into his "message from the ET's." The good news is that the core values and ideas are mostly good, but truth doesn't seem to matter to Rael at all. The Raelian Movement claims to have tens of thousands of members, but this is Rael's best marketing trick of all. The truth is that the Raelian Movement is very tiny, and the big numbers are pure fiction. The "prophet" teaches his PR department to lie whenever it makes his movement look much bigger than it really is.
Palmer wrote that Rael is a "charismatic leader" and she is right. He can be very charming when it benefits him, and people are easily attracted to his personality. He is a bold leader who loves to push everyone's buttons while he constantly searches for the next big marketing angle. Members support him because they think they're helping the last prophet to save the world, and Rael benefits in the most typical ways, fame, money and women. Many people are leaving his movement now that the truth is coming out, so Palmer's book and others especially Sendy are making a difference.
An interesting read for people who've only heard the negative press reports about this group. Go on, BUY IT & cast your own impartial opinions!!
By not labeling Rael a cult leader, Palmer maintains the "objective" perspective like a true scientist - without which she wouldn't have obtained such close access to Rael. Yet in her objectivity she gives the benefit of too much doubt. Say it, Susan. Argue the point, if not only for those intellectual proponents of (ET) Intervention Theory - DNA co-discoverer Francis Crick, philosophical author Neil Freer, world renowned geologist Dr. Robert Schoch, etc. Please say it: "Rael must be a liar, considering the evidence herein." All of the hints at the fact are frustrating in their impotence.
This powerlessness of concept is precisely what has upset Mr. Jacques Vallee (see his review), whom Susan failed to contact/consult...as if to avoid confronting the reality of Rael's lies (in respect to the "Teesdale inheritance" fiasco, specifically). Why would internationally acclaimed author Vallee make up such a story? It's obvious who the more credible personality is, considering the credentials.
This vagueness likewise informs the reader inadequately of the "ancient astronaut theory", despite the superb point noted in mentioning French writer Jean Sendy (p. 28), whose groundbreaking book on the subject ('La Lune, Cle de la Bible', or 'The Moon: Key to the Bible', Editions Rene Julliard, 1968) may have been Rael's original inspiration. That is, if Rael knew more about his true target demographic, he might not have needed to get so sexually deviant in order to hone the group mentality of his virtual commune.
Rael's books - containing knowledge directly spoken from the ET-human "gods" in 1973 - may have been specific enough to describe characters from the Bible as their original Sumerian counterparts (and using the original "gods" names), had an important 1976 book been consulted (Zecharia Sitchin, 'The 12th Planet'). This would have enabled a less radical approach to the "religious" idea, a more socially acceptable theory of Mankind's origin. Perhaps this strays from the "review" category of writing, but I consider it applicable to think as if I were writing a book on Rael.
Palmer's suggestion that Rael's International Raelian Movement (IRM) has a chance of success similar to that of Joseph Smith of Mormon fame - frightening as it is - should argue toward a more judgmental thesis. Yet this thought comes as a relative fact! (See p. 77: "Rodney Stark's Eight Conditions for Success")
From the transparent base text of the "UFO religion" to the Teesdale inheritance hoax AND from the racist pro-Jewish ideology to the disappearing/nonexistent human clone media snafu, an argument forms from simple common sense.
This is all just my opinion, of course. Please don't sue me, Claude...I mean Rael. It was Susan's fault.