Chuck Colson
"There is nothing out of the ordinary on the snowy country road that leads into Valcourt [Quebec] with its cedar log fences, silos, and bales of hay," begins the New York Times article. "That is, until out of nowhere emerges a faded blue sign depicting a flying saucer welcoming visitors to 'U.F.O. land.'"

No, it's not some lost piece of Disney World, Canada. U.F.O. land is the home of Raël, the founder of the Raëlians. Raël claims to be Jesus' half brother and the son of a human woman and a space alien. Journalists who meet with Raël must agree in writing to address him as "Your Holiness," but are forbidden to ask why they must address him as "Your Holiness."

Visitors to U.F.O. land can view a huge mock-up of the spaceship that Raël claims he boarded when he met with aliens in 1973 and 1975. The aliens, he told the New York Times, are "a little more like Japanese than European people, but they are not green. Their suits are green, yes, but not their skin."

The aliens explained the mysteries of life to Raël. Elohim, an Old Testament word for God, has been mistranslated, they said. Elohim really means "those who came from the sky," that is, space aliens who cloned the first humans. Salvation comes from cloning as well. When our bodies begin wearing out, say the Raëlians, we will one day soon be able to clone ourselves and upload our consciousness to the new, young body we've created. Thus science gives us eternal life. This will be in part possible through an artificial womb the Raëlians are developing called the "Babytron." And the Raëlians are the ones who founded Clonaid, the company that claimed in December to have produced the first cloned baby.

Raël waxes philosophical: "If you can clone a human being," he explained to the Times, "there is no God and no soul." Interesting logic, isn't it? He is saying there is no God and that he has proved we are a product of science. So he sets himself up as god.

Of course, there is no danger from the Raëlians. The cult is nothing but a farce. Raël's teachings about free love are no doubt more attractive to followers than his teachings about creation and cloning. But the Raëlians are a metaphor, an incredibly powerful one portraying in living color the deadly logic of cloning. Cloning, you see, makes us our own god. We create ourselves in the image we choose. Raël may be mad, but he is entirely logical.

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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