The Raëlians are close to my heart. One of their subsidiaries, the biotech company Clonaid, announced in 2002 within spitting distance of my hometown that they were growing an army of human clones and were picking out an island off the coast of Brazil to finish their project. Naturally, the clones never materialized, nor did any way to verify that they were not blowing smoke up people’s nether orifices, but this stunt kept genetics at the forefront of people’s minds for another decade and kept my neck of the woods in the news, so I can’t complain too loudly. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Raëlians are mostly in the news lately for their occasional parades of topless women (in protest of laws that criminalize female but not male toplessness) and advocacy of comprehensive sex education.
For those who don’t know, the Raëlians are a UFO cult founded by former French car magazine writer and teen pop star Claude Vorilhon in 1973. He founded the cult after an encounter in a volcanic crater with a flying saucer, which convinced him to rename himself “Raël, messenger of the Elohim.” This encounter totally did not involve enough LSD to convince a sperm whale it could fly, no really.