Canada’s police, tax and immigration authorities aren’t doing their jobs
National Post (Canada), Jan. 16, 2003 (Opinion)
Diane Francis, Financial Post
Who let sex guru Claude Vorilhon, a.k.a. The Great Rael, immigrate to Canada?
And who lets him remain here now that he and his dangerous followers are running around the world claiming to have cloned two humans and, as a result, have become discredited and notorious?
Canadian police and tax authorities should investigate the status of his organization in light of the questionable claims made by him and his fanatics. So should Canada’s hapless immigration and citizenship system that let this unacceptable French man into Canada, despite his track record in France, then let him become a Canadian citizen.
The Raelian founder, a so-called extraterrestrial “prophet,” immigrated to Canada sometime in the 1990s to root his “religion” here after he was driven out of France as a result of bad publicity and worse.
The Raelians now run a theme park in Quebec where flying saucers are scheduled to land in order to colonize the Earth in 2035. It’s also where orgies are held and where unknown amounts of money change hands, probably thanks in large measure to taxpayer subsidies in the form of tax receipts for donations.
A television documentary I viewed last week, which as aired in January, 2001, on France’s TV5, alleged Mr. Vorilhon owed about $500,000 in back taxes to the French government and had been implicated in various sex-related charges. His sect was also cited as one of the most “dangerous in the world” by a French government commission.
Obviously dogged by bad publicity at home, he shopped around the world for a country of convenience. He found Canada, as have thousands of other undesirables.
“Why would we let such a person in here as an immigrant, then give him and his cult tax-free status and citizenship?” said Myriam Strauss, a Toronto consultant from Belgium who brought the documentary to my attention.
“He is persona non grata in France and fled to Quebec. He now claims 5,000 members in Quebec, more around the world, and loves Canada because he got a tax-exempt status as a leader of a religious congregation. This is awful.”
These are the public interest issues involving this nutbar and his ilk:
- Did Mr. Vorilhon tell immigration authorities about charges or problems pinned on him in France when he made his application or arrived in Canada? If not, is this not grounds for deportation?
- Has he or have his followers ever been on some form of government assistance in Canada and, if so, can this be recouped?
- Have they used, or abused, Canada’s health-care system in any way involving either their sexual practices or cloning techniques?
- Does this cult, which requires people to participate in orgies and women to have sex with Vorilhon on demand, break any laws or transgress the rights of individuals or minors?
- Does the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency know how much money is coming into this charity, how it is obtained and from whom?
- Do Canadian tax officials audit this organization to assess whether it deserves tax-free status? How was this status obtained? Where does the money go? Is the money used strictly for charitable purposes or is it used to keep the founder in the lifestyle to which he’s become accustomed? The French documentary interviewed him about his participation in a dozen car races per year at considerable cost. He claimed that specific donations to defray his car racing costs were sought and that donors knew the purpose of the expenditures.
- Are police checking to see whether the handout materials, and statements, by the Canadian-based cult and his followers are true or whether they are fraudulent?
- Does the group’s propaganda contain disclaimers or is the cult allowed to make wild promises about cloning, living forever and extraterrestrials granting eternal life with impunity?
- Are the children of members of this cult being properly supervised and protected? The French documentary cited an alleged incident in France involving the rape of an 11-year-old by two adult Raelian followers in front of her consenting mother. (The documentary said the two men and mother all went to prison). Did these people immigrate to Canada too?
- Are the children of Raelians being properly educated under the law?
- Isn’t cloning against the law, and if it was undertaken by the cult anywhere, would that constitute grounds to remove its tax-free status in Canada?
A spokesman for the French government said it all when I called about him. “We’re not very proud of the fact that he is French.”
But the French were stuck with him. He was born there. It’s even less to be proud of that he’s now a Canadian.