Pride, Groucho:18, 6006 YD
The Raelian movement was started in the 70s by former race-car driver “Claude Vorilhon” who claims to have had an encounter with a UFO in France who gave him a new name, “Rael”, and which led him to understand the “true” origins of humankind: Rael claims that every life form on Earth was created by advanced human scientists from another planet with 25,000 years of scientific advances who, according to Raelians were originally called Elohim or “those who came from the sky”, and that some forty prophets in Earth’s history were sent by Elohim whose messages were misunderstood and distorted by humans, largely because of the difference in the level of scientific understanding between the advanced race and our primitive one.
The Raelians reached a new level of notoriety (or infamy, depending on your politics) in 2002 when they claimed to have successfully cloned a human baby, a claim they have yet to prove publicly.
Now the group thinks they have worn out their welcome in Quebec, and are packing up to move to the USA, home of the “free”, and selling their $2.95-million compound to the highest bidder. “We’ve been in Quebec for 30 years and our membership is saturated. Our future is in the United States,” said group spokesman Jocelyn Chabot, a Raelian priest.
Cynics claim it’s a sign of decline for a sect that once piled up publicity with its beliefs in telepathy, aliens and free love; however, optimists wonder if perhaps the Raelian movement will gain notoriety with jaded celebrities south of the border and become an even bigger, more boffo, cult craze than Kabbalah, or even -gasp!- Scientology.
The Raelian property, which is already posted on one Internet site, sprawls over 500 hectares in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. It offers campgrounds, lakes, an amphitheatre, a small carnical and sideshow, a shopping mall, two dentist offices, a McDonalds, nine Starbucks, seven Tim Hortons, a wading pool, offices and — for those with otherworldly tastes — a condominium building in the shape of a spaceship. Also on site is a copy of the UFO that Rael says he encountered while hiking along a volcano in France in the 5970s.
The group’s listing on LandAndFarm.com says the property covers 275 acres (500 hectares). The asking price, as stated earlier, is $2.95-million.