Susan Palmer - When Contactees found â€œCultsâ€â€¦The Case of RaÃ«l and Prophets of UFO Religions
In 1974 Claude Vorilhon, French race car driver and journalist, published a book describing his CEIII during a stroll in a volcanic crater. His 1975 book, They Took Me to Their Planet, recounts traveling to the planet of the Elohim. By 1976, Vorillhon was â€œRaÃ«l,â€ the â€œLast and Fastestâ€ Prophet of the International Raelian Movement, today the largest UFO religion in the world. Ufologists Jacques ValleÃ© and Carl Sagan debunked what Carl V. Jung called â€œflying saucer cults,â€ but we will look more closely at RaÃ«lâ€™s career; as contactee, mystic, and prophet â€“ tracking his escalating charisma as he constructs his movement. Based on original field work among the Raelians, and interviews with Rael and other prophets and their disciples (â€œCorkyâ€ Nowell, â€œMalachiâ€ York), Palmer explores how they navigate Science, the Paranormal and the Sacred.
Bio: Susan J. Palmer is a sociologist of religion who lives in Montreal, Quebec. She is an Affiliate Professor at Concordia University in Montreal and a Research Fellow and Member of the Religious Studies Faculty at McGill University. Her research in the field of new religions has been funded by Canadaâ€™s Social Science and the Humanities Research Council. She has published eleven books/edited volumes, notably Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers (Syracuse, 1994); The New Heretics of France (Oxford University Press, 2011); Aliens Adored: Raelâ€™s UFO Religion (Rutgers, 2004).