A flying saucer religious movement that originated in France in 1973 from the claims of contact with extraterrestrials by former motor-racing journalist Claude Vorilhon. Vorilhon claimed that on December 1, 1973, he encountered a small humanoid being who arrived on Earth in a spacecraft. The entity, addressing him in French, told Vorilhon that he had been chosen to spread a message of love, peace, and fraternity to all people. The substance of their continued contacts was published in 1974 in The Message Given to Me by Extra-Terrestrials (originally published in French). Vorilhon was given a new name, Rael, by the extraterrestrials.
According to the space beings, humankind is the product of experiments by an extraterrestrial race, the Elohim (a hebrew term generally translated in the Bible as "God"). In their scientific experiments, the Elohim succeeded in creating life and eventually produced a humanlike creature. Their governmental authorities ordered them to continue their work elsewhere, and Earth was the chosen site.
The Elohim eventually left Earth, but returned in 1973 because of the threats of atomic war. The Elohim, according to Vorilhon, now wish to assist humanity in controlling aggressive urges that threaten the race with total annihilation. They have requested that an embassy be constructed where they can meet with world leaders. The construction of such a meeting place is high on the Raelians' agenda.
Rael organized those who read his book and adhered to his message into a Raelian movement. It is structured hierarchically. Leaders are termed guides, with Rael designated a sixth-level guide. He is assisted by 12 fifth-level guides scattered around the world overseeing the spreading movement. The growth of the movement has been assisted by the translation of Rael's work into some 25 languages. The movement moved into North America through French-speaking Canada in 1976.
American headquarters: P.O. Box 611793, North Miami Beach, FL 33261. Canadian headquarters: P.O. Box 86, Youville Sta., Montreal, PQ, Canada H2P 2V2. International headquarters: CP 225, CH-1411 Geneva 8, Switzerland.
Rael [Claude Vorilhon]. Sensual Meditation. Tokyo: AOM Corp., 1986.
——. Space Aliens Took Me to Their Planet. Liechtenstein: Foundation pour l'Accueil des Elohim, 1978.
——. Welcome Our Fathers from Space: They Created Humanity in Their Laboratories. Tokyo: AOM Corp., 1986.