I came across theebradmiller.blogspot.com a couple of weeks ago, specifically to the page dedicated to Psychic TV Live at Fondation Raelienne, making me wonder what was up with those wacky Raelians , haven't really thought about them since they said they were cloning people a few years ago. Bouncing around Google I discovered that within a week they would be celebrating their New Year in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, so I reached out to some friends and made plans to meet there. If you need some background on the Raelians you can find it here, this post is going to go on a bit too long already....
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny Friday afternoon. I rolled into Strawberry Fields to find Greg and Alexandra waiting for me on the grass a short distance from the where the Raelians were having their celebration. Greg said that I had just missed a ritual using tuning forks and it looked pretty wild. They were now meditating with a gatekeeper standing guard. Anytime anyone would come up to ask a question he would politely shoo them away. Curiosity got the better of me so I approached him and asked him what was going on. He whispered that I should come back in a few minutes and I would know when. Eventually everyone stirred and I thought, ok, this is the time.
I approached the crowd while there was a rite going on that seemed like a baptism. A Raelian named Kelvin came up to me and we chatted a bit, he explained that it was the "Transmission of the Cellular Plan," essentially the baptism into the Raelian faith where my DNA would be sucked into the priestess, processed in her internal computer and transmitted to an alien satellite. VALIS? I have no idea what came over me but I had to do this. I had to take part in the Raelians most sacred ceremony. Eventually it was my turn. I stood before a priestess named Sylvie, she was from Montreal. Her assistant was next to her holding a bowl of water. Sylvie made me agree to some specifics, as in that I came there on my own free will, there is no "God", and their main cult leader Claude Vorilhon was the last prophet. Ok, well, yeah, I came there on my own, God to me is indescribable and every religion thinks their main guy is the last one, it would be kind of weird if they didn't say that so I'm cool with that, so yeah. Sure.
She dipped her hands in the water and placed them on my forehead and neck. A feeling of calm came over my body, a warm wave of everything being right in the world. It felt amazing to be alive, in the a field in Central Park, having my DNA sent to outer space...
Greg and Alexandra's transmissions followed and we were given some
paperwork to fill out. When asked what religion I was raised in I
replied atheist, Alexandra said Christian and Greg replied that he was
raised Jewish. They were given an extra sheet so they could send them
to their previous religious organizations, denouncing their old
beliefs. I asked who that would be important and Sylvie replied that it
is helps new Raelians feel that they have started a new journey. Sure,
this is an obvious cult move, separate you from your past life, but hey
man, what do you expect?
There was a bit of a Q & A, we would ask questions and Sylvie would answer them. There was an African American couple that had showed up a little late, they had come in from out of town. Tunnel traffic, you know? They had a bunch of questions, very detailed about the specifics of the DNA transmissions, exactly how and what was going on. "How does the DNA get processed in the priestess's body? How does it get transferred to the aliens computer? How is it stored there?" Personally, I think the guy was missing the point. I would have loved to have sat next to him in Sunday school. How exactly does Jesus's blood turn to wine? How did he get beamed up into the sky at the end of his run? How did the Holy Ghost impregnate Mary? Do Scientologists wonder how Xenu got the volcano to blow up at the right time? Did anyone ask L. Ron what the genetic make up is of the body thetans? Jeez...
Things started to wind down a bit so I asked Sylvie if she would do another meditation. Although excellent it was standard guided meditation fare, listen to the trees, listen to yourself, absorb positive energy, that sort of thing, a very relaxing thing to do in Central Park on a sunny day. Afterward most of the group was going to go grab a bite. I was invited along but thought my time with them should come to a close.
I'm not sure what I really feel about the Raelians at this point. A very diverse group, there were people there from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and even Florida. People really from all walks of life looking for something, anything to help them make sense of the confusion of life. Personally, I have to look to Krishnamurti who said on his break from the Theosophists that "...Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path."
That being said, I really won't argue too much with a space religion that believes in peace, individuality and sexual liberation. Who am I to dismiss those ideas, no matter where the message is coming from?
Oh, hey, I'm going to be in Chicago this weekend but if you are around Manhattan the Raelians are having a demonstration against unfair laws forbidding the exposing of breasts. Please note that the website is really really really NOT SAFE FOR WORK so clicker beware. http://gotopless.org <-NSFW!