Apocalypse Soon > Religions, Cults & Sects

Crazy Raelians


The Raelians, who claimed to have cloned a human and believe aliens created all life on earth by cloning, will land their spaceship philosophy in Birmingham with a public lecture Sunday.

"The first time I heard of this, it was very strange," said the featured speaker, French-born Damien Marsic, who is working on his doctorate in biotechnology at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. "I thought, 'How can people believe in these things?'"

Marsic will speak Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Birmingham Public Library auditorium downtown, explaining the beliefs of Raelians, a non-profit organization whose goal is to build an embassy to welcome back the extraterrestrials they say created earth.

"It's an informational lecture," Marsic said. "Our goal is not to convert people. We're just presenting information and inviting people to analyze this information."

The Raelians garnered international publicity on Dec. 27 with their so-far unsubstantiated claim of the first cloned human, a seven-pound girl named Eve.

Marsic said the cloning was claimed by a company called Clonaid, formed by Raelians, and he doesn't know if it's true. "I think it's quite possible," Marsic said. "I don't have any specific information."

The Raelian movement began in 1973, when French journalist Claude Vorilhon claimed a four-foot-tall alien visited him atop a volcano in France and told him the secrets of the universe. The alien arrived in a flattened-bell-shaped spacecraft, had long dark hair, almond-shaped eyes, olive skin and "exuded harmony and humor," according to Raelian Web site, www.rael.org.

Vorilhon took on the name Rael, wrote a book called "The Final Message," since renamed "The Message Given By Extra-Terrestrials," and began the movement to build an embassy to welcome back the aliens.

The Raelians claim to have 60,000 followers in 90 countries. Marsic said he is a member of a Raelian group in Huntsville that has five members. He said he does not know of any Raelians living in Birmingham.

Message to mankind:

Marsic said he was living in France when he read Rael's book 20 years ago. "Before reading the book I had never thought of this kind of idea," Marsic said.

"The book is a message to mankind," he said. "It is a religion with no god."

Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Muhammed were all prophets of the aliens, according to Rael.

"We believe that all those prophets were in contact with those extraterrestrials," Marsic said.

People mistook Buddha and Jesus for gods because they were so advanced, Marsic said. "They were taken as gods because they could not understand any other way," he said.

Marsic said he came to the United States five years ago.

"To be a Raelian and scientist is quite compatible," Marsic said. "Having a scientific mind is essential. Everything can be explained by science. We are living in a time where, thanks to science, we are able to understand who we are without believing in the supernatural anymore."

The code:

To join the Raelians, one must undergo a ceremony called "transmission of the cellular code" that looks similar to a baptism by sprinkling.

A Raelian priest or guide puts his hands in water, then puts hands on the forehead of the initiate, Marsic said.

The ceremony can be held on four dates in the year: the anniversaries of Rael's first and second encounters with aliens; the date of the creation of the first human being by the aliens, which they believe was on the first Sunday in April; or the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

"It's a symbolic date in the history of mankind," Marsic said. "We now have the ability to destroy ourselves technologically. We need much more wisdom to prevent this."

Prefer Jerusalem:

Meanwhile, the Raelians are looking for a place to build an alien embassy.

"If possible, it should be close to Jerusalem," Marsic said. That's where Raelians believe the aliens created the first humans, he said. But so far, no Middle Eastern countries have offered land to build the embassy. "It's been mostly negative responses," Marsic said.

So the Raelians may have to build their embassy elsewhere. Since the aliens have spaceships and the ability to land on French volcanoes, they're flexible. "It can be anywhere," Marsic said.


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