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Aliens Adored: Raël's UFO Religion Paperback – September 29, 2004

3.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Palmer, a professor of religious studies at Dawson College in Montreal, offers a rare full-length analysis of the Raelian movement, which made headlines in 2002 when leaders claimed to have successfully cloned a human being. Palmer is a scholar of new religious movements, and the book undertakes some serious academic questions (including a thoughtful discussion of the Raelians as a test case for Weber's thesis on the routinization of charisma), but it is also downright fun, even dishy. Palmer has spent more than 15 years observing the Raelians and their controversial leader firsthand, and she shares her own experiences and impressions within a balanced portrait of the history, organization and theology of the group. Drawing on interviews, participant-observer accounts of Raelian meetings and analyses of the movement's increasingly sophisticated public relations outreach, Palmer profiles a fascinating new religion still struggling to define itself. Her tone is sometimes admiring, sometimes critical, and always intrigued.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Palmer treats seriously a religious movement that many do not, thanks to its otherworldly philosophy that incorporates UFOs, openness toward sexuality, reliance on science over spirituality, and enthusiasm for human cloning. The International Raelian Movement was born in December 1973 in France when its founder, sports journalist Claude Vorilhon, encountered extraterrestrials who told him that life on earth was genetically manufactured (cloned) millennia ago by alien scientists from a saucerful of their own DNA. Vorilhon took the name Rael, moved to Montreal, and now claims to have 60,000 adherents in 60 countries. Palmer has researched the group since 1987, and she analyzes its organization, ethics, theology, prophecies, leaders, and followers, and compares it to other millennialist and UFO religions. A crucial chapter recounts its controversial 2002 announcement that its genetic laboratory, Clonaid, had produced the world's first cloned human. Hoax, hype, or breakthrough? Palmer has her suspicions but offers a generally objective account of the Raelians and the significance of their "bridg[ing] the cultural and cognitive gap between science and religion." George Eberhart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (September 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813534763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813534763
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #820,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Susan Palmer is right with most of her impressions. Raelians are mostly good people being duped by a con man who isn't all bad. He gives them hope and makes them feel important with a special "mission" to save the world, and he spreads a mostly positive message that makes sense but isn't very original. As another reviewer said, Palmer did point out that Jean Sendy might have been Rael's inspiration (he claimed he learned everything directly from the ET's). But Palmer only mentioned one of Sendy's books. She didn't mention Those gods who made heaven & earth; the novel of the Bible. and she also missed The Coming of the Gods. If she had read the other Sendy books, she would see more clearly that Rael's first book is not very original at all.

Palmer also calls Rael a "serial monogamist" because he has been married to the same woman for years. His past also shows long term relationships. But maybe Palmer didn't know about the inside activities of Rael's Order of Angels or the contracts some of them sign taking away their right to refuse sex with Rael whenever the "prophet" demands it. She doesn't say enough about Rael's finances and the naive members who donate their money for an embassy that will never be built. But she still gets a lot of things right. She describes some of the tactics used to recruit new members and get donations, including the last will and testaments of members leaving everything to the movement when they die. She also talks about the way Rael controls his media image and makes it seem like the world is against him.
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Format: Paperback
I obtained this book to understand the Raelian Movement a little better, as they've had so much bad publiciity from people who are not broad-minded enough to be able to understand that "everyone of us is different". And what a great book it was - it didn't "bad-mouth" the Movement & didn't support it either. It was written in impartial terms, for which I commend its author.

An interesting read for people who've only heard the negative press reports about this group. Go on, BUY IT & cast your own impartial opinions!!
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Blessings in Holy Sound-Yeshua !
I've met some of the Raelians, and I've read a few of the books.........I don't have a clear answer on validity of Rael's [ Claude ] claims, etc....but....what if it's...true ?....Who[m] are these ELOHIM ????........
Namaste,
Omody
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Format: Paperback
Professor Palmer, writing as a sensitive and impartial scholar, has written the best introduction to this interesting movement.
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