The International Raëlian Movement claims to be “the largest UFO religion in the world” with 60,000 members in 84 countries. Raëlians believe that scientifically advanced extraterrestrials known as the Elohim created life on Earth through genetic engineering, and that a combination of human cloning and “mind transfer” can ultimately provide eternal life. Past religious teachers, like Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad are said to have been sent by these scientifically advanced extraterrestrials to teach humanity. The Elohim are said to be planning a future visit to complete their revelation and education of humanity.

To be a Raelian means to practice meditation and visualization techniques. There are no services to attend, no God to worship. Members worldwide keep in touch over the Internet and by visiting UFO Land, the movement’s headquarters outside Montreal.

Raelians are also known for their annual “sensual meditation” workshops, held at UFO Land. The two-week camp includes fasting, meditating and the freedom to choose sexual partners.

Participants wear colored wristbands to signal their availability and preferences — already have a partner, would like a partner, homosexual, heterosexual. Raelians believe that enlarging their capacity to experience pleasure strengthens their immune system and telepathic abilities. After complaining of harassment by the French authorities, Rael himself has relocated to the United States then in Canada after the US have passed laws condemning cloning.

The Raelian movement’s Web site is www.rael.org