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New Religious Movement (Essay Sample)


An Evaluation of Raelians as an NRM


Raelians: New Religious Movement (NRM)
Raelians: New Religious Movement (NRM)
1 Founder
Claude Vorilhon who was later identified as ‘Rael’ is the founder of the New Religious Movement of Raelians. The former racer, musician and journalist of French decent founded the movement in 1974 after publishing ‘The Book that tells the Truth’. The aged "Rael" was born in 1946 in France. Rael was raised as a catholic while living in his maternal grandmother’s home. Ever since he was a young boy, he has maintained a keen interest in aspects of music, being a teen pop star who achieved considerable radio airplay as a youth. Rael formed the ‘Raelian Movement’ following a claimed encounter with an extraterrestrial being ‘Elohim’ from another part of the universe. He went ahead to state that he was privileged to visit the home planet of the being, which was ruled by another supreme being, named ‘Yahweh’. Since then, Rael has published a number of books regarding this form of NRM, which is the most widespread of all UFO (flying saucer of extraterrestrial origin) religions. The system of authority is centralized in these NRMs since the one who saw its vision remains the founder and torchbearer (Sentes and Palmer. 2000).
On the 13th day of December 1973, Rael states how he met ‘Elohim’ at a remote mountainous area in France. The Alien being descended on a hovering craft from the sky and told Rael he was mandated to spread the message of the NRM in the world. The movement was bestowed with a mission to advocate for intellectual or scientific advancement and civilization for the people of the world coupled with solemn messages of the importance of physical and sensual gratification of humankind. The NRM serves to establish an embassy in the world for the extraterrestrial beings with the aim of facilitating their return the world for purposes of increasing interactions and enlighten the human race in terms of intelligence and technology. This NRM also bears the mandate of unifying all humankind as depicted by Rael’s visit to the extraterrestrial location where he met Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad and Moses- representatives of the world’s major religions. In his second book, ‘Extraterrestrials Took Me to Their Planet’, Rael indicates that the NRM is guided by goals of spreading messages of peace, harmony and good health to people of the world (Rael 2004). It was subsequent to this that he founded the International Raelian Movement, which is a group of people attracted to the cause. To demonstrate the emphasis on scientific development, Rael published another book in 2001, ‘Yes to Human Cloning’, describing an ideology which would allow people to continually exist in the world even after normal death (Thomas. 2010).
2 Members
People join UFO religions most certainly, since they would love to believe their imaginations might be true. In turn, these NRM attract these people by developing ideologies that align with their interests. In so doing they create a comfort zone for them to stay in. it is only in cases where followers change their social perceptions that they are able to leave the movements, even so, they carry with them notable consequences depending on how deep they got themselves involved.
Members new to NRMs are expected to advocate the preexisting practices and ideologies in the societal setting. They adapt this practices as a form of clandestine or open orthodox way of life, in other words, they become norms for them. The beliefs of NRMs are purely inventive and fail to identify or associate with traditional religions; in fact, they build and follow a distinct customized path (Rael 2006).
1 Ideas, Symbols, and Rituals
Aside from the already stated idea of human cloning, the NRM proposes adaptation of nanotechnology, which would facilitate power generation at household level to allow complex scientific appliances to be set up at the same level, like in-house furnishings that are self-cleaning and can conduct other household chores with smart movement. In other words, this NRM proposes a scenario where humans do away with most their normal routine activities, which can be sorted out by agents of scientific engineering like biological robot-like machines. In such a case, people will be left with a lot of sufficient time to focus on aspects of additional intelligence building and physical gratification of sensual interactions. Furthermore, cloning would enable creation of designed and accustomed human beings that are perfect, it would also make possible the replacement of a dead pet that was loved by the owner (Sentes and Palmer. 2000). There is also the idea of extreme bioengineering of food crops, which could be achieved via molecular construction in a lab setting as opposed to traditional farming methods. These ideas would go a long way to make life easier for man. The NRM advocates for extremely liberal views in regards to sex, as a ritual that brings man closer to his natural environment. The movement believes that people should be free to do as they please with their bodies, as far as sensual gratification is concerned activities like masturbation, sex-oriented feminism and orgies are permitted and encouraged. In terms of identity, the followers of this NRM use the word ‘MADECH’ to term their movement (Thomas. 2010).
2 Controversies
A major issue of controversy in relation to this NRM revolves around the scheme of repairing FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), a project termed as ‘Clitoraid’. The NRM believes that circumcised women too have a right to regain the sense of sensual pleasure reduced by removing the Clitoris in the female reproductive organs. The NRM organizes campaigns on the same in many parts of the world, for instance, followers hold the ‘International Clitoris Awareness Week’ to sensitize affected women. In the recent past, feminists’ protagonists have come out to challenge the whole project and the manner in which it is conducted (Rael. 2006). They claim the NRM is conducting a neo-colonial exploitation of the very sensitive topic of FGM to win sympathizers and expressing it inappropriately to the public. Indeed, this issue represents a perceptive matter that attracts different reactions from different cultures; it ought to employ a defensive approach rather than an offensive one.
3 The Raelian belief that Human life on planet Earth was developed by Extraterrestrial Beings via...
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