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Sex, State, and Technology in the Extraterrestrial Narrative Experience

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Jennie McGrath
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« on: January 22, 2008, 11:47:58 pm »


Sex, State, and Technology in the Extraterrestrial Narrative Experience

http://pages.slc.edu/~tsiddle/alien2

Since the end of World War II the UFO and its extraterrestrial inhabitants have been recurring characters in narratives of popular culture from science fiction films and magazines to advertising. To many individuals however, these entities have crossed the boundaries of popular culture to become very real players in their lives. To individuals who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens, construct elaborate theories of complex extraterrestrial conspiracies, or join UFO cults, the Alien plays a concrete roll in their lives. In the accounts of these groups technology, sex, and the government play extremely different roles. In the stories told by many abductees and conspiracy theorists, aliens embody the dark side of technology and act as sexual invaders who act in league with a corrupt government towards the ends of a technological apocalypse. In contrast to this ominous view, is that of alien “experiencers” and UFO cults such as the Raeliens who present technology in a messianic light, encourage sexual freedom, and view the actions of contemporary nation-states as endangering to a technological utopia. By looking into these drastically different accounts it is possible to see several of the hopes and concerns that occupy First World culture at the turn of the Millennium.


Mysterious flying objects and trips with alien beings to other planets have had a long history in the Twentieth Century but the marriage between the two is a fairly recent occurrence. In the late 1890s and early 1900s, for example, mysterious “flying ships” were said to be spotted over American cities, these ships were perceived to be purely mechanical, were said to come from the center of the center of the Earth, and be piloted by a highly industrialized subterranean civilization (Dean pp. 32-34). At the same time at this subterrestrial invasion from above Madam Balavatsky and her Theosophy movement were claiming to travel to other worlds (usually Mars, Venus, and the Moon) and communicate with highly advanced alien civilizations on the Astral Plane, where they were psychically given mystic truths by the spiritually wise civilizations on our neighboring worlds (Melton p. 2). In the early to mid- 1930s, alien “Contactees,” such as Guy Ballard and Willard M. Mangoon claimed to be taken aboard spaceships and taken to nearby planets to meet our “space brothers,” or beautiful culturally refined Venusians who lived in peaceful (and slightly kitschy) cosmic utopias (ibid. pp. 2-3). Reports of communications or encounters with extraterrestrials took a pause during World War II until shortly after the atomic blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki plunged the United States simultaneously into the Nuclear Age and the Cold War. In June of 1947, Kenneth Arnold, an amateur pilot, reported seeing nine silver craft hovering above Mount Rainier in Washington State that he described as moving “like silver disks skipping across a pond,” from which the media gleaned the term “Flying Saucer,” which has come to stand as the icon of most modern descriptions of UFOs (Dean p. 33). Though the Arnold sighting marked the beginning of a popular wave of sightings of disk shaped UFOs the American public didn’t encounter the pilots of these UFOs until September 19, 1961 when Barney and Betty Hill claimed to have been taken onto an alien spaceship in which they reported being the subjects of strange experiments, thus marking the emergence of alien abduction into the public consciousness (though it should be mentioned that in 1957 a Brazilian farmer reported being taken by aliens and forced to have sex with an alien woman thus making him the first abductee, though his story never really reached North American popular culture) (Bullard pp. 148-149).

Alien as Demonic Rapist or Divine Lover


Since the initial abduction of the Hill couple, the accounts given by alien abductees have managed to become fairly uniform in their course of events and subject-matters. In the abduction narrative, the alien and his spaceship become central to anxieties and hopes about sex, technology, and modernity. For alien abductees, their captors act as demons, angels, doctors, rapists, lovers, kidnappers, and/or prophets. This is evident in the common scenarios reported by abductees in which they are either taken by sinister uncaring aliens who restrain them and make them objects of distressing sexual experiments, or taken by benevolent aliens who carefully subject them to strange but non-sinister sexualized operations occasionally leaving the abductee with cured ailments or warnings about the course of human development.


Alien abduction statistics show that eighty percent of reported alien abductees are women thus it is not surprising that most abductions appear to reflect feminine experiences and concerns. This is exemplified in the events that occur in the accounts of women who report undergoing negative experiences of abduction. In a typical account, a woman awakes to find herself surrounded by light and unable to move, she feels herself becoming weightless and by some means passes through the walls of her room to find herself in a circular space, small often (but not always) thin beings with smooth gray skin place her on a Y shaped table, she is naked, her legs are spread and a larger more commanding (either scaly reptilian or gray) being approaches her, the smaller creatures seem to follow its orders, the aliens then proceed to prod her. They pay a lot of attention to her ****, and eventually they penetrate her with a metallic apparatus, the larger creature puts its face very close to her and telepathically sexually stimulates her, she reaches orgasm and feels “violated.” She is then told (usually telepathically) that she has been impregnated (Bryan 16-19). During the operations many abductees assign genders and occupations to their captors, the smaller aliens they claim are female nurses who they describe as gentler and more elegant than their apathetic male counter parts, who are distinguished as bigger, rougher, and are always classified as doctors (ibid. p. 28).
At this point the abduction either ends or the abductee is given a tour of the ship and her ordeal is explained. She is removed from the table by the larger alien and is then taken to see various parts of the experiment in which she is involved, first she sees “external wombs” in which float fetuses in different stages of development, she is taken down a hallway and sees increasingly more developed fetuses until she sees babies in incubators, and eventually older children by themselves in empty enclosures. She is told that the children are hybrids, half human and half alien, and that she is carrying one of the hybrids in her womb (ibid. p. 21). Later the fetus is taken from her and raised on “a cold UFO,” often leaving the abductee sad for the loss of her extraterrestrial child (Lepsalter pp. 201-202).


In this typical abduction story, several features appear to reflect concerns, fears, and stresses that seem more or less specific to the lives of (born) women. To begin with, many features, such as the emotionless prodding and probing of the **** and the insertion of long needles into the abductee’s belly, seem to mirror specifically female experiences such as gynecological examinations and amniocentesis. Also the forced orgasm and impregnation at the hands of a demonic reptilian other (Bryan pp. 30-32), seem to suggest an anxiety of **** possibly by an ethnic other. The reports of the reptilian rapist seems to evoke the idea of the animalistic and his scaly dark skin stands in stark contrast to the relatively smooth (presumably white) skin of the abductee. This suggests that the reptilian rapist may be a valed manifestation of racial anxieties revolving around the idea of the bestial dark-skinned Diasporaic man come seeking to satisfy his desires on the helpless white woman. Lastly, the artificial wombs and stolen fetuses seem to suggest that after undergoing technological **** at the hands of an alien being, her ability to give birth and raise the child with which she is impregnated taken from her, thus rendering her unnecessary to the gestation and rearing of her stolen child, seeming to reflect both a technophobic angst that futuristic alien men can develop technology that replaces the biological functions of women and a more general motherly fear of being powerless to prevent the kidnapping of her young. Thus it can be seen that themes of medical examination, racial angst, technophobia, and sexual/matriarchal inadequacy emanate through the demonic experience of abduction.


Similar themes are apparent in the less common male abduction narrative. In the North American male narrative, the abductee finds himself similarly powerless in the operation room of a sinister or indifferent alien other, while he lays powerless on the table an electronic device is placed over his ****, he ejaculates against his will, and is then anally penetrated by a phallic apparatus (ibid. pp. 52-53). In this narrative the alien can again be read as a doctor whose operations seem to mirror gender specific medical ordeals such as prostate exams and again racial angst can be read into the experience, but there also seems to be an added dimension of homophobia to this model abduction. The event of the anal penetration of the male abductee seems to suggest his anal **** and thus renders the extraterrestrial Queer. The theme of anal **** and examination, it should be noted, appears to occur most often in abduction experiences from the USA. It can be contrasted with the very first abduction experience, that of Antonio Villas in 1957, a Brazilian farmer, whose tale involved being taken aboard a ship and being forced to have sex with an Alien woman (Bullard pp. 148-149). Though the aliens still appear to be equally sinister, the Brazilian aliens appear to be less technical, less medical, and less homosexual than the aliens invading the United States in that they prefer to use traditional biological means of achieving their ends of hybridization and don’t seem at all interested in the examination and penetration of the abductee’s anus. This suggests that the frequency of anal probing in the mythos of Alien abduction in the USA is perhaps due to a preoccupation of strait men in North-America with the protection of their anuses from invasion from alien beings who can be easily read as representing Queers and other alienated groups.


Issues of racial and sexual anxiety in these negative abduction stories can be further emphasized by the accounts of abduction as a positive experience in which the alien is coded as a divine lover. In these encounters the abductee first finds herself surrounded by a vibrant white light which according to the theories of Carl Jung immediately associates the experience of the divine and angelic (Whitmore pp. 68-69). The abductee is confronted by the alien Other who inhabits the realm of the light, this encounter with the Other carries with it implications of sex and sexuality (ibid. p. 72), but unlike the previously mentioned encounters with reptilian rapists, the aliens are viewed in a substantially different light. These aliens are described as being tall men, apparently human, with fit musculature, long blond hair, and “nordic” features (Bryan pp. 30-32) thus giving them an appearance strikingly similar to male sex symbols such as Fabio. These aliens, though they perform similar experiments, penetrations, and inseminations on their female abductees, are described as being gentle courteous doctors who take time after the operation to comfort and talk to the abductees. In one case even going as far as asking to wear the abductees high-heeled shoes (Ibid. pp. 30-32). I feel that the divine alien’s similarities to Fabio provide a useful contrast to the bestial racialized features of the demonic aliens. Like the demonic aliens, Fabio is a foreigner but unlike them he is a man (instead of a half-animal), a European, and primarily the resident of white female fantasies. The divine alien can thus be seen as embodying the opposite side of the racial angst apparent in the reptilian narratives, manifesting a white romancer of white women while the demonic alien can be read as their black rapists.


Despite the extreme differences in these models of abduction similar concerns find themselves dwelling in the subtexts of these experiences. In both the narratives of demonic and divine aliens, there exists an extreme uneasiness about the implications of modernity (Rojcewicz p. 155) and the implications and shortcomings of its technologies. As Jodi Dean has pointed out in Aliens in America the negative abduction experience appears to coincide with the failure of the US space program to control outer space, that the inability of NASA to reach the promises offered by science-fiction and futurist imaginings of winning outer-space for the American nuclear family as well as the deterioration of the astronaut from frontiersman and national hero into just another worker has manifested itself into an experience of space colonizing its attempted colonizers (Dean pp. 110-111). The demystifying of space and the loss of hope in space age technology occurs alongside an angst caused by living in an age of disasters such as plane crashes, Chernobyl, AIDS, and many other events caused by technological failure or inadequacy creates the setting for nightmares of being invaded and overwhelmed by technology (Ibid. pp. 108-109). This arguably provides the cause for why many abductions seem to begin and end in the failure of technology. For example many abductees claim that their abduction experiences are always preceded by everyday electrical appliances severely malfunctioning, objects such as televisions, radios, and lamps are reported to turn themselves on and off, even when unplugged warning them of the arrival of their extraterrestrial examinations (ibid. pp. 113-115). Also most alien abductees claim that part of their experiences involve being exposed to machines intended to erase the events that take place in the spaceships from their memories, suggesting that the fact that they are able to remember their experiences at all speaks to the failure of even advanced technology (Bullard p. 160). These recurring themes seem to suggest that the narratives of menacing aliens seem to reflect certain technophobic anxieties.


It is perhaps expected that negative experiences of aliens would reflect concerns about technology, but a certain fear of technology is also evident in the positive abductions. In many abductions, after abductees undergo their operations they are given prophecies or warnings regarding the development of human technology. Usually they are told that activities such as the proliferation of nuclear weapons and depletion of Earth’s natural resources will eventually lead to the destruction of human life (ibid. p. 156). However the aliens in these accounts are also occasionally the bearers of hope occasionally being reported to perform miraculous acts such as curing people with ailments ranging from AIDS (Bryan p. 20) to color blindness (ibid. p. 26). In this account of the angelic alien as healer and prophet, there can be read the dark implications that modern technology has the ability to destroy human civilization and that it is not sufficiently advanced to provide solutions to any of their problems.


Alongside the hostility and inadequacy of technology implied by narratives of abduction, there also appears to be some aspects in which modernity and modernism are implicated in the subtext of abduction. It is somewhat unimaginable that the explosive advances of technology, increase of population, and globalization that stand as features of recent modernity would not create new other worldly belief systems (Gillette p. 462) and the experiences related to us by alien abductees appear to present such a belief system. Where as in the past, reports of the human interaction with the unknown were pinned on the actions of divine or demonic entities (Whitmore p. 77), the experiencers of abduction and UFO phenomena rarely credit their aliens with magical powers, suggesting instead that the extraterrestrial holds control over technology advanced enough to allow him to do impossible feats as if by magic. Also many abduction stories appear to contain a reaction to globalization in that the abductee occasionally is taken to other distant places during the course of their experience, for example one abductee reports being taken from her Texas home and brought to Paris and Israel over the course of her night long abduction (Lepsalter p. 200). Such an experience would seem to suggest a reaction to the increasingly shrinking nature of time and space brought about by technologies such as airplanes and more recently the internet which have permitted globalization to reach the level of intensity that it has today. These features of many abduction narratives show that the experiences may be a reaction to aspects of contemporary modernity.
Experiences of alien abduction also seem to suggests concerns about the lines drawn between nature and civilization, human and animal. The discoveries of Copernicus and Darwin revealed that the human species lived neither at the center of the universe or was biologically anything more than a “hairless ape,” but despite the popular acceptance of these claims and the ascent of scientific institutions as the central knowledge making apparatus of modern cultures, humanity has remained central to its cultural discourse (Zimmerman p. 238). This dynamic can be credited as contributing themes that are apparent in stories of human encounters with the extraterrestrial. For example, many of the negative abductions contain instances when abductees report being painfully tagged “like when human scientists tag animals,” which seem to emphasize an anxiety over the fact that humans are merely animals and that there is no logical reason why a more advanced species would treat them like humans treat animals (Lepsalter pp. 201-203 emphasis in original). This concern is also central to many of the more positive accounts of alien abduction, in which the abductee is told that they are one of the chosen ones, that they’ve been abducted because they are special, that they are of universal importance for the survival of the visiting alien race, and that the Earth is of central importance to a grand cosmic ecology (Bryan p. 20, Salba pp. 48-50, and Lepsalter p. 201). In both these scenarios the abductee appears to be reacting to an anxiety about scientific knowledge that displaces them from the center of the universal narrative, either by experiencing nightmarish traumas in which their worries about the uniqueness of humanity is confirmed by their being treated as animals or by having a more optimistic interpretation of the extraterrestrial experience in which the cosmic significance of humanity is confirmed, thus placing them back in the center of a universal story.


The abduction experience seems to not only be a reaction to features of modernity, but also has some features that make it appear to possibly be a reaction to the projects of modernism. The goals of many organized modernist movements such as the Dadaists, Surrealists, and Futurists (to name a few) held to goal of shocking the public and defamiliarizing the mundane to provoke extreme social change (Holsten pp. 41-44). Similarly it is argued that the experiencers of abduction, UFO sightings, and other extraterrestrial phenomena exemplify a mindset in which the “familiar is strange,” (Dean pp. 11-15) and the “paranormal is normal,” (Kravitz p. 23). This is evident in the previously mentioned facts that many abductions begin with inexplicable behavior of household electronics and the resemblance of alien operations to standard human medical examinations, which suggest that in the alien abduction there is a severe defamiliarization with everyday events and objects in the abductees life. This may suggest that abductees are suffering from the unintentional side-effects of projects intended to reorient the interactions of the individual with her world.

Aliens, Conspiracy, Agency and the Loss of Utopia


The standard alien abduction narrative usually ends after the abductee is returned to their home where they are left to make sense of the unusual happenings that have befallen them, but for some the nightmare goes on long after the abduction itself has ended. Some abductees report being visited by mysterious men in black suits who harass them and give them orders to keep silent about their experiences. Where these bureaucratic agents come from change from story to story, sometimes they are from the CIA, sometimes the Air Force, occasionally even the United Nations, but in all of their encounters with abductees their message is clear: keep quite (Bullard p. 153). When the Men in Black (whoever they happen to be) enter the abduction narrative, tensions between the individual and the state apparatus become apparent. A general theme of lost agency is already apparent in most abduction experiences (Dean p. 122) in that they involve a loss of the individual’s control of their life at the hands of beings who exist outside of their lives, but when mysterious bureaucrats appear to harass abductees, the state and its apparatus become implicated in the individual’s feelings of powerlessness.


Abductees and their supporters in the fields of ufology (the study of UFOs) and conspiracy theory have created several intricate narratives to attempt to find the culprits responsible for the abductees’ torment. The common narrative usually claims that the US government made first contact with extraterrestrials in the late forties, in the meeting the government forged a deal with the aliens to allow them to perform experiments on American citizens without hindrance in exchange for technological advances, the government then formed an agency called “Majestic-12” to cover up evidence of alien contact which several prominent politicians including George Bush (the Elder) is alleged to have belonged. The aliens it is often alleged have gotten out of hand thus prompting projects such as the Star Wars Defense Program to attempt to defend Earth from the impending alien menace (Bullard p. 158). A few individuals have even suggested that popular media has acted as a propaganda device used to influence popular opinion on aliens causing films such as E.T., Close Encounters of Third Kind and other cultural objects that depict friendly aliens as relics of the alien-government alliance and films like Independence Day and other contemporary films about U.S. soldiers heroically fighting against alien invasion to stand as evidence of the sudden rift (Dean p. 117-118). In these narratives their exists the accusation that the American elite has betrayed individual liberty to an anonymous alien oppressor that uses the state as a means of performing its will upon the hapless victims of the powerless masses.


Some even argue that this freedom has always been an illusion. That the U.S. has never really been free from the control of the British Monarchy. That British Royalty aided by Freemasons and Nazis have really been behind the scenes of American (and indeed world) history. That they have sold-out the U.S. to reptilian aliens who live in elaborate underground bases beneath Denver International Airport, Atlanta, and New York City. Social problems are the result of the underground alien menace: over 200,000 children disappear every year it is claimed and there can’t possibly that many kidnappers in the USA, conspiracy theorists like Alex Christopher argue, so clearly they’re being stolen by “Draconian” invaders and being used as slave labor until they collapse and are eaten on the spot (Christopher 4/26/96). In this interpretation of current events, all agency is lost within a power structure ruled by a small cabal of child eating aliens and power hungry humans, free will is oppressed by the reptilian hand of history.


These conspiracy myths, though they are probably paranoid fantasies, can be viewed as the result of contemporary realities. As one critic attempts to explain, the conspiracy theory is “ultimately postmodern because conspiracy both causes and relieves the postmodern headaches caused by the attempt to view the totality of everything.” (Kravitz p. 24) This is to say that conspiracy thought attempts to create a definitive model for why the current world situation exists by looking at the context of a situation as its cause which allows coincidences, rumors, and possibilities of what could have happened to be taken as central to the progression of things as they exist. Another explanation for the conspiracy mindset is that it creates an excuse for the nonexistence of utopia (Cubitt p. 16). The conspiracy myth is thus seen as a way of making sense of why none of histories revolutions or social movements have succeeded at creating a perfect world. The best explanation, I feel, is that conspiracies have come to implicate the government and the elite for betraying the masses because they’ve been involved in real conspiracies and cover-ups in the memorable past. Though the government is probably not consenting to have aliens perform experiments on its subjects, the government has blatantly lied in the recent past: Cold War nuclear testing poisoned several unknowing communities, the Tuskeegee Airmen were intentionally given severe cases of syphilis, and political scandals like the Iran-Contra affair and Watergate (Stewart & Harding pp. 293-295) definitely show that the U.S. elite have conspired in the past to conduct experiments that violate the health and safety of hapless victims, therefore it doesn’t seem too far fetched to implicate them as at least partially responsible for the current state of the world. The alien conspiracy myth can thus perhaps be read as providing a caricature of an actual state of affairs, though it is doubtful that a vast alliance of aliens and Nazis are responsible for the present’s inability to live up to utopian expectations, there is little doubt that small groups of CEOs and politicians make hushed deals that result in the ratification of trade agreements and other initiatives that don’t act in the interest of the average American all the time. Thus the creation of otherworldly conspiracy theories can be seen as being a folk reaction to a much more worldly set of situations.

Rael: Sex, Tech, and the Aliens Redeemed

In the above mentioned narratives, we have seen that the alien and the UFO is most often situated in such a way that technology and the state are viewed with great suspicion, ambivalence, and/or hostility, but there is another view of the extraterrestrial in which they are viewed in an entirely positive technophilic light. For UFO centered cults the alien and his technology are perceived as central to the assent of the human species into cosmic citizens. A good example of this is the Raelien Movement who, since their conception in the early 1970s, have been enthusiastic about the potentials of technology to save the world. The Raelien Movement counts its founding date as December 13, 1973, when Claude Vorilhon, a semiprofessional French race car driver and publisher of a small magazine for automobile enthusiasts, claimed to have been invited into a flying saucer in which he was told to change his name to Rael and disperse alien truths to humankind (Rael pp. 13-18). Since then, the Raelien Movement has claimed to have sold over one million copies of Rael’s book The Message Given to Me by the Extraterrestrials and to have gained 60,000 members in ninety countries (Raelien 2003).


The Raelien’s beliefs place extraterrestrials and an extreme love of technological advancement at the center of the human historical narrative. Rael proclaims to his followers that life on earth is the result of experiments in genetic engineering performed by an alien race called the “Elohim” (which literally means gods in Hebrew) (Rael pp. 19-25). After creating the new species, the Elohim left humanity on Earth to develop at their own accord, only intervening occasionally to give an exemplary human religious texts (such as the Old Testament, New Testament, and Koran) in which the aliens sought to slowly inform Earthlings of their otherworldly origins and shape their moral development (Ibid. pp 19-75). Along with this revelation of humanity’s alien past, Rael also preaches that humans should strive to achieve the extraterrestrials’ level of technology and to eventually enter into a cultural exchange with the Elohim.


The future advocated by the Raeliens involves a complete shift into a scientifically perfected society. They argue that humanity has a cosmic mission to meet their alien creators in the heavens. This mission entails as one of its first goals to solve global problems such as the existence of nuclear weapons and the dangers of overpopulation (Ibid. pp. 94-97). After these obstacles to human preservation are solved the Rael proclaims that the global political system should be shifted into a “Geniocracy” in which a small number of the most intelligent geniuses on Earth are given ultimate control, thus, he argues, allowing the rational to control everything instead of the flawed states that exist today (ibid. pp. 85-87). It is also necessary, the Raeliens claim, to build a futuristic embassy in either Israel, Palestine, or Egypt which would be used to house Elohim representatives to Earth, thus allowing the initiation of an epoch of peace and property (ibid. pp. 207-208). In these goals, we can see that the Raeliens see a link between scientific advancement and moral righteousness, therefore they can be seen as suggesting that a genius can’t possibly be a selfish or cruel leader, and the conception of the extraterrestrial being with godlike omniscience is thus concieved as being even less capable of immorality.


This conception of knowledge has lead to a fanatical technophilia on the part of Rael and his followers. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the obsessive Raelien love-affair with often controversial technologies of reproduction and the body such as cloning, abortion, plastic surgery, and gender-reassignment surgery. In his writings Rael insists that cloning is the key to human immortality and thus he lists it as one of his movement’s top priorities (ibid. pp. 97-25). This motivated Rael to form Clonaid in 1997, the first company to specialize in the creation of human clones, which has claimed to have produced five healthy cloned babies between December 2002 to February 2003 alone, but they refuse to publish evidence of their “accomplishments” until attempts to declare cloning illegal are abandoned (Clonaid 2003). Though Rael promotes cloning by evoking it as an option to subvert the inevitability of death, a look at the Raelien views on other technologies suggests that the embrace of cloning is just as much about promoting individual control over their bodies as it is about immortality. A study of Raeliens in Quebec, for instance, revealed that all members supported the use of contraception and abortions to prevent the births of unwanted children (Palmer p. 112), a disproportionate quantity of members had undergone some form of plastic surgery (ibid. p. 123), and that they all held a pronounced admiration for a transsexual woman who had risen to a high rank within the movement’s hierarchy (ibid. pp. 123-124). In this relationship to technology we can observe a substantially different perception of the interaction of technology and the body than that which appears in the experiences of abductees. In the abduction experience technology is seen as imposing itself on the body while the Raelien experience of technology proposes it as a liberator of the body from the constraints of nature.
There are several factors in the make-up of the Raeliens that contribute to this extremely different experience of technology and the extraterrestrial. One reason is cultural, Rael is French and thus it can be claimed comes from a substantially different background from most abductees. Abduction is overwhelmingly (though not exclusively) a phenomenon of American culture with an overwhelming majority of alien abduction reports coming from the United States (Bullard p. 150). Perhaps it is telling the answer given to Rael about why he was chosen to be the aliens’ representative on Earth is that he is French and was born shortly after the first atomic blast (Rael p. 17). Perhaps the American psyche is tormented by the fact that the USA was the first and only country to use atomic weapons against another country, possibly producing a cultural anxiety about the nation facing karmic retribution for its past actions, thus causing imaginings of technologically advanced extraterrestrial visitors to be assumed to be apocalyptic in their intention. Thus Rael, coming from a different cultural context might be more predisposed to interpreting aliens and their futuristic technologies as carrying the ability to bring positive change to human life.
Another prominent factor that might explain the different conception of extraterrestrials is in the strikingly different sexual make-up of the Raeliens when compared to Alien abductees. As stated before alien abduction is an overwhelmingly female experience thus it is perhaps important to note that men outnumber women two to one in the Raelien movement (Palmer p. 105-106), and that many of these men are Queer (ibid. p. 118). Though it is important to stress that members of the Raelien Movement choose to join it while abductees are never given the choice to be abducted (Bryan p. 13), Rael’s encounter with the Elohim appears to be an explicitly masculine narrative (Palmer pp. 125-126). There are no women in Rael’s cosmic adventure accept for a few robot “women” created by the Elohim to pleasure him during his stay on their nameless alien home-world (Rael pp. 156-161). This perhaps explains why Rael’s aliens encourage him to preach the values of “Sensual Education,” in which his followers are encouraged to try new sexual acts in order to become more spiritually fulfilled individuals, providing notable contrast to the sexually menacing presence that Aliens provide in America. Thus it can be seen that while the American abduction (female and male) usually associates the aliens with invasion and ****, the conception of the Elohim by the Raelien movement situates them as sexual liberators thus perhaps showing a diminished sexual anxiety on behalf of its members. Perhaps the members of the Raelien movement, being culturally alienated for either their sexuality or other socially unacceptable trait have come to identify with the idea of Rael’s sexually sympathetic aliens. Thus we can see that the alien(ated) is both redeemed and set up as redeemer by Rael’s conception of the Elohim as the hope for technological and spiritual transcendence of the worldly and the preachers of sexual liberation (it is perhaps no mistake that Rael claimed to meet his aliens in 1973 while the sexual revolution was still in full swing).

Conclusion

It has been argued that radically different conceptions of the alien exist in the lives of individuals who believe the extraterrestrial being is central to there lives. For most alien abductees it’s been observed that anxieties and fantasies about sex, race, medicine, technology, nature and agency help to create an image of the alien as a demonic rapist or malevolent doctor who strips the abductee of his or her humanity, or more positively as a divine lover who serves to affirm the abductees cosmic uniqueness and desirability. It has also been shown that concerns about agency and modernity in America are placed onto the figure of the alien invader in the revised historical narratives told in conspiracy myths. And lastly by considering new religious movements that place the figure of the extraterrestrial as central to human creation and salvation, such as the Raeliens, that differences in culture, sex, and sexuality can produce a conception of the world and the universe in which the alien, the scientist, and technological advance is conceived as important to humanity’s assent into becoming cosmic angents rather than as signs of the apocalypse. In all three of these cases it has been seen that the alien is conceived as being of grand importance to the history of humankind, either as the harbingers of doom or the bringers of salvation, and that the experiencer’s concerns or hopes about sex, race, technology and agency help to define the role they percieve the futuristic and otherworldly playing in the past, present, and future of Humans on the planet Earth.

Bibliography
Rael
The Message Given By Extra-Terrestrials
Canada: Raelian Foundation 2001

Raelien 2003
The Raelien Revolution
Clonaid 2003
Clonaid:News
Susan Jean Palmer
Women in the Raelian Movement
IN:The Gods Have Landed: New Religions from Other Worlds pp. 105-136
JR Lewis ed.
Albany: State Univ. NY Press 1995



[URL=http://www.clonaid.com/news.php]

[URL=http://www.rael.org/english/index.html]
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