An Alien Prophet, UFOs, cloning babies, and anus inspections: Netflix’s new true crime doc will blow your mind
Posted by  badge Boss on Feb 07
Raël claims to be an alien prophet who has had contact with extra-terrestrial beings (Picture: Netflix)

To call ’s latest documentary wild is a huge understatement. It features baby cloning and UFOs… and that’s not even the half of it.

If you were left , baffled by true crime series or , about a dog inheriting a fortune, then you will need to brace yourself for Raël: The Alien Prophet.

Let’s start in 1992 when a man named Raël was invited on a TV show to talk about the religion he had founded known as Raëlism.

Except this wasn’t any ordinary religious movement: it was a group and ‘dangerous’ cult that claimed to have cloned a baby and had been accused of financial extortion and, most shockingly, advocating for child sex abuse.

Raël, now 77, denied all the claims against his movement, which he founded in the 1970s, while insisting that only adults were allowed in Raëlism.

However, shortly after his appearance on the TV programme – a French chat show called Ciel, mon mardi! [‘Heavens, it’s my Tuesday!’] – which put the child abuse claims to him, two adult male members of the cult were tried in court for raping an 11-year-old girl.

The girl said her mother, who was also in the cult, did nothing to prevent the men from raping her.

But who was Raël and how did he manage to set up such a controversial movement?

Real name Claude Vorilhon, Raël previously worked as a journalist and a singer, among other jobs, and started Raëlism after claiming he met aliens who travelled down from outer space on an intergalactic ship near a volcanic crate in France.

These extra-terrestrial beings, which he said were called the Elohim, told him that all life on Earth had been created through DNA manipulation and it was his life’s mission to spread their message to humans.

After claiming he was anointed as a prophet by the Elohim, Raël said he was beamed up to another planet where he said he met the Buddha, Moses and Muhammed, as well as Jesus, who he claimed was his brother.

While the group was shrouded in controversy, it’s was his appearance on Ciel, mon mardi! that sparked national outrage.

As far as the cult leader saw it, the TV show was just another means to promote Raëlism and recruit new members, having often appeared on national television to the bemusement of audiences.

Raël and his science director Boisselier, who claimed they cloned a human baby(Picture: Netflix)

He styled himself as a prophet, wearing his curly brown hair long and dressed in all-white robes. However, he didn’t anticipate the presenter Christophe Dechavanne’s line of questioning.

In archive footage obtained in the Netflix documentary Raël: The Alien Prophet, Dechavanne asked whether Raëlism suggested that its members ‘have new kinds of relationships with children.’

Raël responded: ‘Absolutely. In our movement, we are fanatical about freedom. We do as we like.’

Raël now lives in Japan and there are still members across the world (Picture: Netflix)

Dechavanne then read out an article published in Raël’s magazine, also named Raël, in which a member of the cult encouraged parents to ‘caress’ their children.

The shocking article said: ‘I must have been three or four. Granny was making tea. Grandpa in his nightshirt took me to bed.

‘He got in, took my hand, showed me my index finger, folded the rest, and moved it to my genitals, saying that it could feel good.

‘So, parents, caress your children, let them do the same to you.’

When Dechavanne read out the horrific piece, Raël responded: ‘Yes, well these are adults testifying about their experience, expressing their ideas. That’s someone’s view. We support free speech.’

After an outraged Dechavanne said ‘you can’t touch kids’, Raël said he agreed and insisted there were no children allowed in Raëlism.

Boisselier still insists that she successfully cloned a human baby (Picture: Netflix)

Understandably, his remarks sparked mass outrage across the country and, according to former French magistrate Georges Fenech, became a ‘legal matter’ which resulted in court cases.

‘We started to see trials where Raëlian officials were sued and convicted of sexual offences and the corruption of minors,’ he told the documentary makers.

In 1997, newspaper Le Devoir published a letter from Raël in which he said the cult had ‘always condemned paedophilia and promoted respect for laws that justly forbid the practices that are always the fault of unbalanced individuals.’

He also claimed he had been a victim of a plot targeting his movement and decided to move the Raëlian commune, known as Eden and nestled in the French countryside, to Quebec to escape the mounting hostility.

But the move to Canada didn’t end the controversy plaguing the cult.

Raël instead built UFOland, an ‘information’ and recruitment centre for the cult, visited by tourists from across the world, where he also announced plans to clone humans at a laboratory called Clonaid.

Raël with a recreation of the spaceship he claimed landed in France (Picture: Netflix)

The backlash to the development of the lab was intense, with many arguing that it was meddling with nature and an immoral attempt to play God.

It was only exacerbated when the cult’s science director Brigitte Boisselier, who previously worked as a research chemist, claimed she had cloned the first human baby, a girl known only – in an intentional biblical reference – as Eve.

The cult, however, refused to identify the baby and her parents or reveal their exact scientific method for cloning.

Later, they were taken to court by an American lawyer over concern for the baby’s welfare and to ascertain the child’s legal guardians, but the case was thrown out when Boisselier revealed the child was born in Israel and therefore fell out of US jurisdiction.

Fenech revealed there had been trials involving the cult’s members(Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

The existence of the child is widely disputed. Former Raëlian, Damien Marsic, who was in the cult for 33 years and worked alongside Boisselier at Clonaid, said they never cloned a human.

‘The announcement of the cloned baby was a descent into hell for me because I’ll tell you the truth: having experienced it from the inside, I can assure you it’s not true,’ he told documentary producers.

Meanwhile, to this day, Boisselier maintains Eve is alive and well. In the documentary, she said she occasionally but rarely speaks to Eve’s parents via a third party and insisted she was doing fine. She said there was ‘no purpose’ in revealing her identity now.

Cloning wasn’t the only other Raëlian practice to come under scrutiny. Those members who lived in the commune in both France and Quebec were encouraged to be n**ed.n**ed and instructed to examine their bodies, specifically their anuses, with a mirror.

Raëlians believe aliens known as the Elohim created life (Picture: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra)

Canadian journalist Brigitte McCann infiltrated the cult and took part in the practice. In the documentary, she said the anus examinations made her feel deeply uncomfortable.

‘We were told we must undress. You also had to touch your genitals. He asked you to. To smell it. I felt very uneasy,’ she recalled.

Raël was also accused of the mistreatment of women. In the cult, some young women were marked with a pink feather. This meant they could only have sex with their leader and were not allowed to ever refuse his demands for sex.

‘These women were sexual slaves. One of the conditions was that they couldn’t say no if he asked them for sex,’ McCann said.

Despite all the controversy, the cult still exists today and Raël now lives in Japan, where he continues to preach Raëlism.

For former member Marsic, though, Raël stole 33 years of his life.

‘It’s hard to admit,’ he said. ‘It’s as if at the age of 51 I had woken up from a 33-year hypnosis. What have I done with my life? What have I done with these 33 years?’

‘What am I going to do now?’ has contacted the Raëlian movement for comment.

Raël: The Alien Prophet will be available to stream on Netflix from February 7.