BOOK 1 -- The Book Which Tells The Truth (Le Livre Qui Dit La Vérité), 1974
By Rael, or Claude Vorilhon
Critique by Punkerslut
My first encounter with the Raelian Movement occured when I started to receive several e-mails from Raelians. At that time, I had no knowledge of their ideas or beliefs. Apparently, several of my articles -- "Why I Cannot Be a Christian" and "Free Love Is Free Expression" -- had appeared in their newsletter. They had been placed there by Rael (as I am informed), who had visited my website and found it to be a source of inspiration and wisdom. As far as I understand, Rael believes that he was visited by an alien who informed him of a revelation, and he was sent as a messenger to earth to deliver this message and build an embassy for the return of these aliens. The ideas enshrined in the Raelian Movement go far deeper, but that is at least the introduction to their ideas. This book was sent to me, free of charge, thanks to Ricky Lee Roehr, a priest of the US Raelian Movement. Of course, I informed him, that I may even publish a critique of the book that was likely to be skeptical or doubtful, but he encouraged me to use my reasoning faculties with it. And so, with that, I give you the critique of Rael's book.
According to the first few pages of this book, Rael was visited by aliens at a crater in France. There are some things about his account that fuel my skepticism. Not necessarily are they inconsistent or contradictory, but simply unlikely. For instance, the flying saucer was a remarkably typical aspect of many UFO sitings. It didn't differ much in this account, either. Instead, it had a red and a green light to accompany the typical ideal of a "flying saucer." But, the idea of the saucer, is a remarkably human idea, going back for thousands of years. It was used in the first olympic games, where contestants would throw a discus (or "saucer") and see whose distance was furthest. Then, we come to the physical composition of what the aliens looked liked. They had, "two feet," "two legs," and resembled human beings a great deal, even to the degree where they had a beard. Furthermore, he had clothing. Another aspect of the alien which is a distinction between humans and other animals. He had skin without fur or hair (except for his head). The face of the alien was also astoundingly similar to the human face: two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. What we find, about this encounter, is that there is much more of a reason to believe that Rael actually saw a human being in an odd shaped craft, than he actually saw an alien. Human beings, as well as all other organisms on this planet, are specifically developed through the process of trial and error, with genetics giving random advantages and random disadvantages, with the fittest surviving and the unfit dying -- thus, we have what is called Evolution. Every part of the human body serves a purpose, save for those vestiges that served a purpose in an older state. Then, Rael sees an alien, from an entirely different planet with completely different conditions, and it resembles humans even to the point where it has a beard!
There is nothing inconsistent with it. There is nothing contradictory about it. But the fact is, being self-consistent and self-contained are not enough to believe something. For instance, a person could claim that there are invisible unicorns that had visited him (to use the infamous Atheist analogy). For a few brief moments, these invisible unicorns revealed them to himself, and then disappeared forever. He could give a detailed account of this experience, of what they told him, of the message they gave him to deliver. His story may be consistent. It might not contradict itself. By a contradiction, I mean that there are parts which conflict in the story. For instance, if at the beginning of the story, the unicorn is described as being 10 feet tall, and then later, the story details them as only 8 feet tall, this would be a contradiction. If the story did not have any contradictions, of a meeting taking place between a human and an invisible unicorn, it would have just about as much merit as Rael's account. Both are equally unsupported by evidence and rely only on a personal encounter of the being in question.
There is also the matter of Rael being selected as a messenger for the alien race. The alien gives him a paragraph of reasons why Rael was chosen. Here, I still find nothing that is necessarily contradictory. However, since the alien species obviously demonstrate a higher understanding of technology -- as Rael was quick to point out in his account -- why is it that they would need a messenger at all? The reason given in the book seems absurd. It claims that humans would not be ready for it. However, if this alien race was so superior, why is it that they chose a human being to deliver the message, instead of personally delivering the message -- something which would be comparably more convincing? The problem is identical with the Bible, or the Qur'an, or any religious text. It is a message delivered by god, to one human, to be spread out across the land. The question that any skeptic will allege against these religions, though, is, "If god is all powerful, why is it that he relied on a human being to deliver the message, instead of delivering it himself?" All of these religions are founded on this same idea. Perhaps we could have some proof of one religion over the other religions, by the "one true god" coming down and doing some magic tricks to prove his divine nature.
What I am going to delve into here is one of the deep questions of epistemology. What if the occasion were to arrise, where one of us was individually confronted with something so powerful, magnificent, and majestic, and we had no evidence of this encounter. What if one of us was truly to encounter an alien, and had no evidence of it. Could they expect others to believe them? Or not? First, we must understand that all encounters of this nature must be described by the witness in the most honest manner, assuming nothing. If you saw a flash of light across the sky, say that. Don't say that you saw a UFO, or that you were contacted by god, or that you saw a death ray. If you saw a flash of green, say that. Don't say that you saw an alien, or that you were contacted by Martians, or anything else equally presumptious. By describing what you truly saw, a more scientific and wise answer to what it is you saw, can be described. This doesn't necessarily apply in the case of Rael, though, because he claims that he was taken aboard an aircraft and engaged in conversation with an alien. For his mind to play tricks on him, in so many successive times, would be about as bewildering as a real alien encounter, perhaps moreso -- after all, it would violate everything we know about psychology, whereas nothing is known of the alien species as of yet. But, I digress.
The question: If I personally saw a UFO and had an interview with an alien, without having any evidence, would I expect others to believe me? I would not, because though I am speaking honestly, I have no evidence of these claims. But, would I still speak my mind on the matter, and write books on what happened? Indeed I would. I have written before that I believe every person should speak what their heart tells them, that their mind should not be confined in silence, that intellectual inquiry is a right and not a privilege. But, upon speaking my confessedly unfounded argument, could I expect anyone to believe me? I could not. I have, in certain debates, stated my opinion on the matter. Upon stating my opinion, some people have shown me immediate support and agreement. To some of these, I respond, "But if I were you, I would not believe what I am saying, because you have not yet heard the evidence I am going to present." However, that is how my whole philosophy goes. No creed should be held close as a conviction, unless there is reasoning or evidence, or something to convince you of it. Otherwise, it ought to be cast back into the sea of thoughts and ideas.
As far as Rael's experience with the aliens go, he remarks that he felt an urge to do everything that led to his encounter with them. The alien explains that he was communicated to telepathically to make him do what he had done. If this is the case, why is that the aliens have left me unscathed by their telepathical powers, and I go on to write a somewhat lengthy piece against them, when I feel no urge to defend belief in them?
The Nature of the Evidence
There is, however, evidence used by Rael to support his belief that aliens created the human race and visited earth. As the alien candidly states to Rael, after stating that he must listen to the alien, "...you will be able to defend yourself properly against those people who will not believe you and you will be able to bring them incontestable proof." [page 17, chapter 1] The evidence that is brought forward on behalf of the alien species is the interpretation of the Bible. By interpreting the Bible in particular ways, the alien tries to prove that the Bible was actually a testimony given by an alien to a human, a great deal of time ago. However, the interpretation of the Bible is accompanied by a rather thought-provoking limitation. "Only the parts of the Bible that I will translate are important. Other parts are merely poetic babblings of which I will say nothing." [page 20, chapter 2] These "poetic babblings," sometimes turn out to perfectly contradict the interpretation of other parts of the Bible, or at least the alien's interpretation of them. The question of anyone with an ounce of skepticism would be, "Is this evidence capable of justifying belief?" My contention is that it is not.
Take this one hypothetical scenario. Imagine that a person is walking holding a bowl of alphabet soup, and that they are among the presence of one friend. They trip, and the soup goes flying. Trying to clean the mess together, the first individual notices something. "Hey, look," he says, "It says, 'we are alive.' You see? It must be an unseen, ghostly force." The other person can say, "Yes, it does say that. But the distance between the W and the E is so great, and there are so many letters between them. It might as well say, 'WXADBE are alive.' And the R in 'are' is upside down. And 'alive' is spelled incorrectly. It says 'oliv.' Plus, all of the words are spaced out comparably. Besides, look at these letters down there. It says 'liarz.' It might mean, 'we are liarz.'" The first person could retort, "But you have to ignore the letters between the W and the E. And you have to ignore the fact that 'alive' is spelled incorrectly. And you certainly need to ignore the word 'liarz' at the bottom. The fact that it says 'we are alive' is incontrovertible evidence that there are ghosts." The second person may inquire, "But why is it that we must pay attention to those letters and ignore all of the others?" The first may reply, "Because I have the authority to make such decisions."
Thus, we find the basic reasoning behind Rael's evidence. He takes some parts of the Bible, to support his thesis that aliens created mankind. However, his evidence is more than just some parts of the Bible while ignoring the others. The parts that he uses to support his argument are bent, or twisted, or molded, so that they perfectly fit his argument. If there was a witness to a crime, and he described the suspect as a tall, black, male, one would be passing the bounds of reason by arguing, "See, OJ Simpson is a tall, black, male, so the witness must have seen OJ Simpson." But sometimes Rael completely disregards what the Bible says, and claims that it meant something else. For instance, Rael quotes Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth." But then the alien in which he is interviewing responds, "They [the aliens] 'created,' or in reality discovered the Earth..." [page 20, chapter 2] Drawing on the analogy I drew earlier, that is similar to a witness seeing a tall, black, male, and a criminal investigator responding, "It must have been Bill Clinton, because he is tall and white, but the witness must be mistaken by claiming the subject as being black." The hypothetical criminal investigator's reasoning, and Rael's reasoning, proceed on identical premises: disregarding evidence, or otherwise twisting it, so that it meets a subjective end.
As I demonstrated in the analogy using the alphabet soup, there is no real authority in which one can claim to interpret the work of another. However, in Rael's book, his argument of authority is that he is talking to an alien, who comes from a race of beings who are the alleged authors of the Bible. The problem with this is that it rests upon the faulty foundation in the previous section, where I argue that Rael's encounter with an alien is equally believable to anyone's encounter with an invisible unicorn. No evidence is presented in either case and both remain dependent upon an encounter. Thus, we have the nature of the evidence for Rael's case: it is highly subjective. It depends on an interpretation of the evidence which does not even directly support the argument of Rael. Now, onto the various interpretations of the Bible...
Some Incorrect Interpretation of the Bible
It would be a test of time and patience if I were to point out the flaw of using every verse of the Bible as evidence for Rael's ideas. So, I will only point out some, since all of them are based on the flawed nature of his idea of evidence.
In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
"They 'created', or in reality discovered the Earth..." [page 20, chapter 2]
The problem here is that it does not say "discovered." It says "created."
The Elohim saw that the light was good. Genesis 1:4
"...it was important to know wether the sun was sending harmful rays to the earth's surface and this question was fully researched." [page 20, chapter 2]
The problem with this is obviously. The previous verse claims that Elohim created light!
Of every tree in the garden you may eat, but of the tree of good and evil you shall not eat of it, for on the day that you eat it, you shall die. Genesis 2:47
"This means you -- the created -- can learn all you want, read all of the books that we have here at your disposal but never touch the scientific books, otherwise you will die." [pages 23-24, chapter 2]
Interestingly enough, it would be a lot more simple and coherent if the aliens were to write "of every book in the library," but they decided to be obscure. Plus, "death by scientific volume" is not a known cause for expiration.
The serpent... said to the woman... of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden... you would not die, for Elohim know that on the day you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened and you shall be as gods. Genesis 3:1-5
"Some scientists in this team [of aliens]... wanted to give them [the children of the earth] a complete education in order to make them scientists like themselves. So they told these young people who were almost adults that they could pursue their scientific studies and in doing so they would become as knowledgeable as their creators." [page 24, chapter 2]
The problem with the idea that the aliens wanted their "children" to be like scientists by eating the forbidden fruit, is that in the previous error, the scientists just remarked NOT TO eat it.
"You can see for yourself the number of geniuses born out of that [Jewish] race."
I do not argue that there have been many prominent thinkers, such as Karl Marx and Albert Einstein, were Jewish, but I do not believe that it is wholly responsible for their intelligence. It was their love of knowledge, their unbridled desire for wisdom, that turned them into the greatest thinkers. It was not that Galilei Galileo or Charles Darwin were caucasion that made them the greatest thinkers. Rather, it was their devotion to science that turned them into the creators of theories.
And Yahweh saw that man had done much evil on earth and that his thoughts and inclinations were always evil. Genesis 6:5
"The 'evil' in question was the desire of human beings to become scientific and independent people equal to their creators. Being 'good', as far as those on the Elohim's planet were concerned meant the new human beings would remain primitive, vegetating on the Earth. Their 'evil' was their wish to progress, perhaps enabling them one day to catch up with their creators." [pages 26-27, chapter 2]
The obvious problem here is that the original does not say "the desire of human beings to become scientific and independent" -- it says "evil." It does not say "remaining primitive" -- it says "good." Perhaps if Elohim were not so vague in writing the Bible, I wouldn't be so skeptical.
You shall build it in stages, the lower, the second, and the third. Genesis 6:16
"The spacecraft had three sections..." [page 27, chapter 2]
Now, there's a problem with this. The Bible doesn't say "spacecraft." It says "ship," as in, a water-going vessel.
"So they [the Israelites] built an enormous rocket -- The Tower of Babel." [page 28, chapter 2]
The problem here is obvious. The Bible doesn't say "rocket." It says tower.
And there came two angels to Sodom in the evening. Genesis 19:1
"...the creators sent two spies to investigate what was going on." [page 29, chapter 2]
Again, the problem is that the Bible does not say "spy sent by the creator," but it says "angel," demonstrating supernatural power.
Then Yahweh rained down fire and brimstone from the skies of Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and destroyed all the plain, and all inhabitants of the cities, and that, which grew upon the ground. But Lot's wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:24-26
"And the [Atomic] bomb fell on Sodom and Gomorrah... [...]" [page 30, chapter 2]
"As you now know, burns caused by an atomic explosion kill those who are too near and make them look like salt statues." [page 30, chapter 2]
A nuclear bomb does not work in the manner described in the Bible. It is not raining "fire and brimstone." Rather, it is one object which is dropped, that causes a great explosion. Thus, it is not raining the explosion, but the explosion comes once the bomb hits the ground. Plus, if Lot and his wife were running together, if it killed her, him being five feet away wouldn't keep him alive.
And the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush, and behold, the bush burned with fire and, the bush was not consumed. Exodus 3:2
"A rocked landed in front of him, and his description corresponds to what a Brazilian tribesman might say today if we were to land before him in a flying vessel illuminating the trees without burning them." [page 31, chapter 3]
The problem with this, is that if the trees were illuminated, the tribesman would not describe them as "on fire." Though they may be primitive, they have at least mastered the art of fire. Not only that, but it was the flame of fire in the burning bush -- not a flying saucer -- that was talking to Moses.
There were thunders and lightnings, and thick cloud upon the Mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceedingly long... And Mount Sinai was altogether in smoke because Yahweh descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace and the whole mount quaked greatly. And the voice of the trumpet sounded long and waxed louder and louder. Exodus 19:16-19
"The creators were afraid of being invaded or maltreated by human beings." [page 33, chapter 3]
This, perhaps, is an astounding declaration of absurdity. The previous pages noted the magnificent technology of the aliens, from atomic bombs to "repulsion beams," and other high-tech gizmos. But, these creators are afraid of a primitive tribe that had not even mastered gun powder?
And the sight of the glory of Yahweh was like the devouring fire on the top of the Mount. Exodus 24:17
"Here you have a description of 'the glory' -- in reality the flying vessel..." [page 33, chapter 3]
It says "the glory," not "the flying vessel" in the Bible.
You shall accept whatever contribution each man shall freely offer. This is what you shall accept: gold, silver, copper, violet, purple and yard. Exodus 25:2-4
"They also decided they would like to live more comfortably so they asked the human beings to build them a residence..." [page 34, chapter 3]
If these Elohim/aliens are indeed much more advanced than human beings, technologically, then would it not seem dubious, or at least highly suspicious, that they are relying upon primitive people to give them their needs?
No man among your descendants for all time who has any physical defect shall come to present food to his God... Leviticus 21:17
"This is obviously to prevent sick or deformed people, who were symbols of failure and therefore unbearable to the eyes of the creators, from presenting themselves before them." [page 34, chapter 3]
Now that just doesn't seem charitable, kindly, or generous at all. "Here, I made you... If you end up being deformed, I don't want to see you." Not very responsible.
Make a fiery serpent and sit it upon a pole so that anyone bitten could look at it and live. Numbers 21:8
"As soon as someone was bitten he 'looked' at the 'serpent of brass,' that is to say a syringe was brought to him so that he could be injected with serum." [page 35, chapter 3]
Interesting interpretation. Of course, it would make much more sense if it actually said "injected" and not "looked at," and "syringe" instead of "pole."
I am here as captain of the army of Yahweh. Joshua 5:14
"You know that the very high voice of a singer can crack a crystal glass. By using highly amplified supersonic waves, one can knock down a brick wall." [page 36, chapter 3]
Why didn't they use the supersonic waves against Sodom and Gomorrah instead of just nuking them? Or, why didn't they just use something much more simpler (and less physically distressing) than a supersonic wave?
So the sun stood still, and the moon halted until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies Joshua 10:13
"This simply means that it was a flash war, which lasted only one day..." [page 36, chapter 3]
Again, it would have been a lot more clarifying if it was simply written, "the war lasted only one day," but noooo.... They had to go on and confuse the matter, by stating that the sun stood still.
"The human brain is like a huge transmitter, capable of sending out a multitude of accurate waves and thoughts. In fact, telepathy is nothing more than that. But this type of transmitter requires antennae, and the hair and beard are these antennae. [...] You have surely noticed that many of your scientists have long hair, and often a beard. Prophets and other wise people have them, too. Now you can understand why." [page 38, chapter 3]
Though this might be an interesting theory, I am unaware of any studies which confirm the existence of light waves radiating from the brain. Furthermore, the hair on the body is dead, organic material. It is not alive, like the antennae of insects. Also, the idea that long hair contributed to the developement of genius in thinkers, is absurd. I have had, in my time of writing essays, a shaved head, dread locks, devil-locks, and hair of eight inches in length -- and at all periods, I have still incessantly thought and inquired about matters. Plus, if it is true that long hair is responsible for creating intelligence, then why is it that there are few female physicists?
Yahweh was angry with Huzzah and struck him down for his rash act. So he died there beside the Ark of God. Samuel 6:6-7
"... they [the aliens] set up a transmitter-receiver which was transported in the 'Ark of God,' an apparatus containing its own atomic powered cell.... They [those who handled the ark] also suffered radiotan burns from the dangerous radioactive materials... The Ark almost fell over and Huzzah, trying to hold it up, touched a dangerous part of the machine and was electrocuted." [pages 39-40, chapter 3]
The problem with this, is that the Bible says that Yahweh killed Huzzah, not that Huzzah was electrocuted.
Yahweh said he resides in a cloud. I truly construct a house for you. [1 Kings 8:12-13]
"So the creators lived in a cloud, or rather in a vessel that orbits above the clouds. Imagine trying to make primitive people understand that." [page 40, chapter 3]
It's actually not very difficult. If the people were building a space ship (the "tower of Babel"), I'm pretty sure they can handle the idea of a vessel flying above the clouds.
I could go on indefinitely, pointing out the problems of these verses, how they are based merely on interpretation, but it would only be at the patience of my reader. For this reason, though I have read through the whole of these interpretations, and found similar contradictions, I will end this part of the critique of the interprerations. To further his interpretive voice, Rael writes, "...it is just a matter of reading between the lines in order to understand." [page 44, chapter 3] In another part, when interpreting the Bible, Rael writes, "They should have written," [page 50, chapter 3] and then adds/deletes what is necessary to bend the scripture to his purpose. Or, the aliens spoke to him, "It would take many pages to name all the religions and sects that testify in a more or less obscure way to our work." [page 80, chapter 5]
The Nature of the Evidence (Continued)
From the first section, where I dealt with the nature of the evidence issued on behalf of Rael's case, I showed that he simply interprets various parts of the Bible to suit his needs. By using many great parts of the Bible, to be interpreted in some way or another, he manages to offer some sort of evidence for his claims -- no matter how faulty that evidence is. One may make equally just claims that the Bible was written 10 years ago, and that everything that said otherwise was rewritten entirely. Then, they can randomly interpret parts to say exactly what they themselves want. For instance, Rael claims that when someone was given food in the Bible, he was actually given a book. One person could easily take the whole Bible, and reinterpret it into the eighties. "By food," they may argue, "They actually meant that he was given a Quiet Riot tape, featuring a Grand Master Flash remix of Milly Vanilly." This might be followed by, "And by that, we can actually see that the Bible was written in the 80's. It's concrete proof!" Another person might make inferences from the Bible, to prove that it was written by a four year old. "And in this part, you can see how god gave food to the starving masses. The reason why a four year old would write about that, is because they're always whining for food themselves. And you see! That's demonstrable proof that the Bible was written by a four year old!" The difference between Rael's interpretation (or the interpretation of the alien he talked to, who has yet to be physically seen or heard of, by anyway besides Rael), the difference between Rael's interpretation and any other interpretation, is non-existent, except with the point they wish to demonstrate. Perhaps the Bible was written by aliens, or perhaps it was written in the 80's, or maybe it was just written by a four year old. If you want to change the meaning of what it says, you can prove almost anything. And it is the belief of the people, that the Bible is its own evidence, which makes it so dangerous.
The Religious Element
Almost proudly, this book regards Raelianism as "an atheist religion." However, when one reads this book, they will find many parts of religion in it. Besides the ability to interpret normal things as a source of divination, there is are other aspects which imitate conventional religion. For instance, to quote Rael, "Those people who have acted positively for humanity and who have truly believed in their creators and followed their commandments will be welcomed with great joy by the people of the era when this will happen. On the other hand, all the wicked people will feel shame before the judges and will live in eternal regret as an example for the rest of humanity." [page 52, chapter 3] Interesting that Rael has said this, because I could have sworn I was reading something written by the pope or some other "authority" on religion. It promises rewards for those who follow a certain belief (and the small little tagline of "doing good things"). This is absurd. If a man happens to believe that rocks are made out of chocolate, even though this isn't true, should I respond with smiting him to eternal misery and suffering; should I condemn him to constant and unending torture, for his beliefs? Certainly not. A man's mind should be as free as his soul. To threaten him with childish and infantile arguments because his mind cannot believe, is absurd and ridiculous. It goes both ways, though. If someone believes something false, like rocks are made out of chocolate, nobody will be offended, but they shouldn't be punished. If someone does not believe that I, Punkerslut, do not exist, I won't be offended either. I might take some novelty in it. But only if I have a big enough ego (which, possibly could be supplanted if I had full control of the Universe), would I require such homage. However, that's not what it is at all. Who is delivering the message for god? His trusty messenger! And how does his trusty messenger respond to skeptical and doubtful inquiries? "Oh, yeah? You're laughing at me when I say that I can communicate telepathically with the gods? Well! He just telepathed me, and told me to tell you, you're going to hell! HA!" It can aptly be described as the most childish means of reasoning being applied to the science of mythology, which is what can be found in Rael's writings.
One of the aliens makes the uncanny remark to Rael, "We, the creators, will only show ourselves officially if humanity is grateful to us for having created them. We fear that human beings might hold a grudge against us -- which we cannot accept." [page 58, chapter 3] It seems odd, indeed, that the "creators" would refuse to prove their existence by showing up, but that is the case of every deity whose religion is based on obtuse ideas. Also, this book regards Satan as "Satan the skeptic" [page 61 chapter 4] This is interesting, that evil becomes synonymous with skepticism. Also, we have a rather interesting phrase, "skepticism often goes hand in hand with aggressiveness." [page 92, chapter 6] If a Raelian honestly believes this, then I can only give them my heartfelt sympathy. If a man is skeptical of Nazism, of genocide, of the merits of a police state -- are we to infer that he must then be aggressive? But if a man is accepting of these ideas, of brutality and cruelty, and believes them without skepticism, should we believe that he is unaggressive, even if his creeds lead him into burning homes and killing families? Also, other religious elements: "It is important to us that they [humans] believe you without any material proof. This proves to us more than anything else that they are intelligent and so are worthy to receive our scientific knowledge." [page 92, chapter 6]
Another interesting aspect about this book is that all of the aliens in it, use technology that doesn't differ much in type or degree from Star-Trek! Several times you'll see "lasers" in this book, accompanied by "repulsion beams" and "healing beams." We also have teaching waves, or "amplified telepathic waves," used for teaching, or "electric laser welding torch" [page 70, chapter 5]. We also have the idea of "repellant rays" (always with the rays) [page 94, chapter 7]. Just as the aliens resemble human beings, so does their technology resemble our stories of future technology. In this regard, I do not think that much of it is original, but rather mostly coppied from pre-existing ideas. Had a truly foreign alien species been discovered, there would be wholly original ideas accompany it. Not ripoffs of Deep Space Nine.
The Attack on Evolution
Interestingly enough, this book regards evolution as "a myth." Much like any other religion, this one believes that mankind was created in the image of some other being. Instead of god, the Raelians have used the idea of an alien. There are some questions, however, made by Rael, which could have been dispelled with great ease, if he (or his alien companion) had decided to take only a brief reading of books on Evolution. For instance, to quote Rael's alien mate, "What natural need could lead antelopes or wild goats to develop curled horns? Or birds to have blue or red feathers? And what about exotic fish?" [page 82, chapter 5] The reason why organisms have developed and evolved in a manner that has provided seemingly useless organs is quite observable: Sexual Selection. When it comes time to mate, a female partner will only choose whom she deems fit. Due to the intricate processes of consciousness, there is not a desire for the strongest, or the tallest, or the most fit, (at least, not a direct desire for it), but there is only a desire for that which appeals to the sense of beauty of the creatures of the Earth. A female peacock, for instance, will choose a male based on the beauty of his fern, despite the fact that it is wholly vestigial. The greater part of The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin deals with Sexual Selection.
The Attack on Democracy
"...your world must appreciate its geniuses and allow them to govern the Earth." [page 85, chapter 6] So we read what others have postulated upon: giving power to those who are most intelligent. This is what Rael has termed "Geniocracy," or rule of the geniuses. It must be understood, though, that his idea of kings being philosophers is hardly original. One may inquire, "How would the world lose by allowing the geniuses of the world to govern it?" In a time long ago, I would have agreed: the leaders of the world ought to be geniuses, they ought to be educated, they ought to be the defenders of reason and logic, and the opponents of superstition, hypocrisy, and dogma. How, though, would the population decide upon these geniuses? There is an inherent flaw of "Geniocracy," and that is, if any man was asked, "who is the most fit to rule this world?" they would respond by choosing themselves. And, if they did not, they would certainly respond by choosing someone who represents their values the best. To the Republicans, a genius would be George Bush. And to the so-called "Democrats," a genius would be Al Gore.
Furthermore, even if it were so decided that all geniuses were to have political power, this would endanger the fate of Earth much more than save it. By what writ can it be guaranteed that a genius would govern with the intent of the betterment of his people? A man of unbridled intellect, whose IQ test scores are higher than any others -- should we put him in control of everyone else? Even if he has a history of abusing everyone close to him? Even if he has a history of murder, rapine, and conquest? Even if he is subject to the vice of brutality and inhumanity? Certainly not. Heart and intellect are both necessary towards good conduct, but one without the other is doomed to certain misery and pain. Simply because a man is a genius, because he understands more what Plato said and what Galileo argued, does that mean that he is fully fit to govern the lives of everyone around him? I would argue not. The only person who can know for themselves what is best for them is the individual. And when individuals form a society, the only way that society can know what is good for it, is to make its own decision, through Democracy, or direct voting on laws.
Yet Democracy is unjustified, so Rael may argue. "The cell in your foot should not decide whether or not your hand should pick up a given object. It is the brain, which must decide, and if the object in question is good, the cell of your foot will benefit from it. It is not up to the foot to vote. Its job is simply to transport the body -- including the brain -- and it is not capable of judging if what the hand takes is good or not." [page 86, chapter 6] It is this thinking which has plagued and tormented mankind. It has destroyed homes, burned books, sacrificed lives, all so that the power of a society can lie in the hands of a few, instead of in the hands of all. To regard a citizen as simply one whose sole duty is to obey the laws, is to degrade society to a condition worse than the hunter gatherers. That a man's life, is worth no more than his ability to reply to his political superiors in a way that his conscience sees fit, or that a worker's life is worth no more than the amount of labor power that he can provide, these are the ideas which have justified every monarch, every despot, and every dictator in their pursuit of power. Crush dissent and destroy education! This has been the motto of our oppressors. Adolf Hitler was regarded as a genius by his people, much like Stalin or Mussolini, and those who disagreed, those who had the brevet and strength to raise their fist in opposition, they were crushed -- and their defeat was hailed as a victory for the people. Here we have the essential premises of Rael's ideology: absolute authority to brutal, vindictive leaders.
"Copernicus was condemned by a majority of incompetant people because he was th eonly one at that time who had a sufficiently high level of comprehension," [page 86, chapter 6] again, Rael's argument. However, how may we judge one to be a genius? In those days, the churchmen held this position. And by having leaders, who obstruct the truth, burn schools and libraries, and make it a crime to read (by leaders who are believed to be geniuses), the public is MADE incompetant to understand, by the rule of "Geniocracy," which may also be interchangable used with Dictatorship or Totalitarianism. And then we come to a lie, "This is a totally democratic system." [page 86, chapter 6] Democracy is the idea that every citizen should be a king, that no law is to be established that has the respect of the people, that the only leader to exist is the spirit of the people. When a person holds a position of power, either through representative government or any other form, cruelty, inhumanity, and everything opposed to the public interest typically gives way. I am an Anarchist, and I believe that Democracy -- the freedom and liberty of the public -- is the only way that truth and justice can be reached.
A Vindication of Communism
"...property ownership must be abolished without establishing Communism." [page 87, chapter 6] The fallacy of this argument is obvious: Communism is the abolishment of property ownership altogether! But, by property, let the reader understand that I am speaking of capital, or property which is capable of generating consumable objects, such as farms, factories, or mines, which make products.
In several instances in this book, Rael describes the idea of immortality as being a possibility. On page 97, chapter 7, he speaks of a method of living for eternity. The premises of this are as follows... (1) That every person is composed of cells, and that each cell contains the DNA for the entire organism. (2) That by taking that DNA and fully developing it with the proper nutrients, an organism can be recreated. Finally... (3) By taking the tissue of a dead man, using its DNA in conjunction with the proper nutrients, and redeveloping that person, the immortality of that person has been guaranteed. The problem with this, however, is that a twin of the original has been created. The memories we retain are not captured by DNA. There are no children who can look back to the memories of their parents. When identical twins are born, they share identical DNA, but their bodies are not governed by the same consciousness. Similarly, when a new body is reconstructed from the tissue of a dead body, it does not recreate the consciousness, or even the development of the brain, but only the organism's physical structure.
The primary argument on behalf of Rael's claim of encountering an alien is simply this: twisting the words of the Bible to meet his means. He can do this numerous ways. First, he can interpret a verse, or several words of a verse, in a manner that they say something else. "Food" all of a suddenly becomes "book," or "tower of Babel" suddenly becomes "rocket ship." On what grounds is he interpreting the Bible in this manner? None, but his own authority without evidence. A person might as well interpret "Food" as "Milly Vanilly album," or "tower of Babel" becomes "Quiet Riot concert." And then, by using this interpretation, they can argue that the Bible was really written in the 80's, where civilization originated. I have dealt with this before, in my critique, and I was simply summarizing my primary criticism of Rael. The are other remarks of Rael I felt impelled to reply to, such as his Geniocracy, or the attack on Evolution, or the idea of Immortality. With that, I leave the reader to his own conscience to judge the evidences for and against the Raelian Religion, and particularly, the nature of these evidences. But I must say this, before I end... I support, whole-heartedly, every person's right to speak their opinion, on any issue. If a man believes he went to space with the aid of extra-terrestrials, a crime would be perpetrated in silencing him. I am not arguing against Rael's right to speak, but I am utilizing my own right to speak that I may argue against his ideas.