Chapter

The Raëlian Movement

Susan Palmer

in Controversial New Religions

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156829
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784806 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019515682X.003.0017
 The Raëlian Movement

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The Raëlian movement appears to be the largest and fastest-growing UFO religion of the decade, claiming to have up to 60,000 members. It is also controversial, like many other successful, evangelistic, and apocalyptic new religions. But closer examination suggests that the source of the notoriety appears to be in their policies regarding the media. Since the early 1990s, the Raëlians have launched a series of publicity campaigns designed to shock, titillate, and capture the media’s imagination. It is argued that by presenting controlled “outrages” with a clear social orientation in publicity campaigns — such as “Operation Condom” in front of Catholic schools and the Baby Eve cloning announcement — they direct the image of the movement in the public space and deflect the more serious charges usually aimed at new religious movements.

Keywords: Raëlian; UFO; media; publicity; religious movements

Chapter.  6247 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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