The Beginning of the Raelian Movement


"You, Claude Vorilhon, you will spread the truth under your present name which you will replace progressively with RAEL. Which means literally 'light of god' and if we translated more accurately, 'light of the Elohim' or 'Ambassador of the Elohim,' because you will be our Ambassador on earth, and we will come only unofficially to your embassy. RAEL can be simply translated as 'messenger.'1

Mr. Claude Vorilhon was born on Sept. 30, 1946 in Vichy, France.  In his book, "The Message Given by the Extraterrestrials,"2 Mr. Vorilhon recounts various memories of his childhood.  He states that he was conceived on December 25th, 1945, and was raised by his grandmother.  In his hometown, there was a strange man called Father Dissard, who was supposed to be the last living 'Pope' of the Druids.  Claude had an encounter with this man who would often look up into the sky and utter mysterious phrases.  One day, this man put his hand on Claude's head, causing a strange sensation.

Mr. Vorilhon goes on to tell us that at an early age he was fascinated by the number nine, he had normal episodes with bullies in school, lost his virginity at 14, became a successful musician, a poet, and eventually developed a passion for race car driving.  He even earned several racing trophies.

However, on December 13th, 1973, Mr. Vorilhon's life took a drastic change when he went to "a volcano overlooking Clermont-Ferrand in Central southern France."3 He had been enjoying the scenery for some time and was about to leave when he says "Suddenly in the fog, I saw a red light flashing; then a sort of helicopter was descending towards me... I could hear absolutely nothing, not even the slightest whistle. A balloon maybe? By now, the object was about 20 meters above the ground, and I could see it had a somewhat flattened shape. It was a flying saucer."4 He goes on to say that it was about 7 meters in diameter and 2.5 meters high with a white flashing light.  A trap door opened and a stairway unfolded down to the ground.  A figure about four feet tall descended.  It had long black hair, a small black beard, and was dressed in a green one-piece suit.

This alien claimed to speak all the languages of the earth and said that he came from another planet.  The alien went on to say that they had been watching him, Claude (Claude Vorilhon is now known as Rael), for a long time and that on this particular morning, through telepathy, the alien had drawn Claude to this location so they could meet.  What is particularly interesting is that this alien asks, "Have you read the Bible?"5 Claude asks why, and the alien says that he has many things to tell him about the Bible.  He entered the spacecraft with this figure, which Claude says had no apparent internal light source, but light was emanating from everywhere.  There were no instruments that you might find in an aircraft cockpit.  Chairs were translucent and very comfortable.

Claude was told that he was chosen because they needed someone who was intelligent, open to new ideas, and who was from a country where such new ideas were welcomed.  The alien also said it was because Claude had a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, and that this would be an "ideal link between two very important peoples in the history of the world."  Claude asked where they came from.  The alien answered that he was from a planet similar to earth but very far away.  The conversation soon ended, Claude was returned to the ground, and the spaceship disappeared into the midst.

The next day, Claude returned to the same place with a notebook and a Bible.  The spaceship reappeared, and he and the alien once again had a conversation inside the ship.  The alien then told Claude that a long time ago on their planet they had reached a high level of technical and scientific knowledge, and that soon we on earth would reach the same level.  The alien then asked Claude to refer to the Bible and said, "Only the parts of the Bible that I will translate are important. Other parts are merely poetic babblings of which I will say nothing. I am sure you can appreciate that, thanks to the law, which said that the Bible had always to be recopied without changing even the smallest detail, the deepest meaning has remained intact throughout the ages, even if the text has been larded with mystical and futile sentences."6 The alien then proceeded to radically reinterpret the Bible (for more information on this, please see the Bible connection with the Raelians).

After many such encounters with the alien, Mr. Vorilhon has now undertaken the task to spread the message of this alien to the world.  His movement has grown to thousands of members on every continent.  He has gained a strong financial base along with a publishing house.  He gives public talks and travels, accepting interviews as he tries to gather more and more converts to his movement.

  • 1. Rael, Claude Vorilhon, The Message Give by Extra-Terrestrials: At Last Science Replaces Religion, Canada: The Raelian Foundation, 2001, p. 84.
  • 2. Ibid., p. 115.
  • 3. Ibid., p. 13.
  • 4. Ibid., p. 13-14.
  • 5. Ibid., p. 166.
  • 6. Ibid., p. 20.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.