The Gods must be crazy


Back in December, a little-known group called the Raelians briefly gained media notoriety after its planned mega-orgy, an event for world peace scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv on International Orgasm Day (more commonly known as Dec. 21), was cancelled amid public pressure.

Like a good enterprising reporter, the Jerusalem Post’s Carl Hoffman was curious about the group, which he describes as a "UFO religion" that has recieved a communication from the earth’s designers, known as Elohim. Hoffman tracked down some of the group’s local adherents in Israel and the result is a bizarre look at a "religion" that has attracted 250 followers in the Jewish state.

Hoffman reports:

Kobi Drori, 55, introduces himself as the Raelians’ spokesman in Israel and says, "We are a part of Judaism, of course. We are the secular part of Judaism." Asked if Raelian groups worldwide – even those in Arab countries – consider themselves "part of Judaism," Drori’s reply is an emphatic "Absolutely!"

Leon Mellul, 59, agrees. Unlike Drori, whose conventional appearance would enable him to pass as any high-tech company’s CEO, Mellul’s long gray hair and longer white beard seem much more a part of the surrounding Sheinkin Street milieu. He says, "I’m the National Guide for Israel of the Raelian Movement, which is the equivalent of ‘Bishop’ or ‘Grand Rabbi’ of the Raelian Movement – of the Raelian branch of Judaism in Israel. And I also take care of the whole Middle East region, which involves all the Muslim countries, the Arab countries. The movement began in December 1973 when there was a meeting between Rael and the Elohim. Rael is the name given to him by the Elohim. It is the root of the word ‘Israel.’ We consider ourselves as the real Jews. This is because we recognize the Elohim as our creators, but not as an entity or a god."

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