Raelians: City writer beats cult in court

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MONTREAL — In laughing him off as a “scatter-brained swindler” and a “clown,” an Ottawa columnist did not libel the cult leader known as Rael, a Quebec Superior Court judge has ruled.

Dismissing an $85,000 damage suit against columnist Denis Gratton and Le Droit, Justice Maurice Laramee said in a ruling late last month, arguments by Claude Vorilhon, who calls himself Rael, are “airy-fairy.”

Vorilhon claims that in December 1973, he was in a volcano near Clermont-Ferrand, France, when a radiant being emerged from an unidentified flying object, dubbing him Rael.

In 1975, he claims he was taken in a flying saucer to the planet of the Elohim — the alleged true creators of the world — where he met his half-brother, Jesus.

Laramee ruled that Gratton did not cross the line when he called Vorilhon “crazy” and a “fraud.”

“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, chances are it’s a duck,” he wrote.

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CP, via the Ottawa Sun, Canada
July 3, 2006

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