Religion in a Changing World: Comparative Studies in Sociology

By Madeleine Cousineau | Go to book overview

political party, the "Geniocracy," that proposes a world government based on a meritocracy--the rule of intelligent scientists and creative artists--after national boundaries, money, and the inheritance of property have been dispensed with.


CONCLUSION

This movement may well provide a model for the shape of successful NRMs in the future. In a society that produces buzzwords like "multiculturalism," "visible minorities," and "multiethnic," the Raelians' passionate assault on "religious racism" may defuse many of the popular stereotypes concerning "cults." Bristling with a militant tolerance, the Raelians almost parody political correctness.

Rael offers spiritual--or at least extraterrestrial--solutions to contemporary crises: the nuclear threat, environmental pollution, overpopulation, and the rights of women and homosexuals. He obliquely addresses the important issue of racial equality through a refreshingly "out-of-this-world" myth of seven alien races who created homo sapiens out of their own DNA (the blue and green ones died out).

Responding to a popular decline in science-as-faith, offering ultimate solutions to human suffering, the Raelians propose a renewed, fundamentalist faith in the omnipotence of science to disclose the mysteries of the universe. Finally, their aim is to unite the diverse cultures of postindustrial societies--with civilizations from other galaxies.


NOTES
1.
The membership figures released by the National Guides state that Quebec numbers 5,000 members, Japan around 1,000, and Europe, 10,000.
2.
This was announced in the October, November, and December meetings in Montreal.

REFERENCES

Ares Richard. 1981. "Les partis politiques--les églises." P. 294 in Fernand Dumont (ed.), Ideologies au Canada français 1940-1976, vol. 3. Québec: Les presses de l'Université Laval.

Bibby Reginald W. 1987. Fragmented Gods: The Poverty and Potential of Religion in Canada. Richmond Hill, Ont.: Irwin.

Bozeman John. 1994. "Success and Failure within Religious Movements." Paper written for SOC-852, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Rael. 1978. Let's Welcome Our Fathers from Space: They Created Humanity in Their Laboratories. Tokyo: AOM Corporation.

-----. 1992. Le racisme religieux financé par le gouvernement socialiste: halte à la violation des droits de l'homme en France. Geneva, Switzerland: La Fondation Raelienne.

Stark Rodney. 1987. "How New Religions Succeed: A Theoretical Model." Pp. 11-29 in David G. Bromley and Philip E. Hammond (eds.), The Future of New Religious Movements. Macon, GA: Mercer University.

Wright Stuart A. 1994. "The Family: Movement Adaptation and Survival in an NRM." Paper presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Albuquerque, NM.

-146-

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