Some press releases are looney

Whirled Peas, John Ford, assoc. editor

Like any newspaper, we get a large number of press releases, with the sender hoping that we will develop them into stories.

Some of the press releases we get are just, well, looney. I still remember the one from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) from several years ago requesting that I do a story on the amazing abilities of the periplaneta americana, or for those of us who don’t speak Latin (and that’s pretty much everyone), the cockroach. They even had a suggested title: “roaches have feelings, too.”

Yep, cockroaches are amazing. They are amazingly gross, amazingly disgusting, can wreak amazing havoc on your lungs if you have asthma, and make an amazing crunching noise when you step on them.

This request made it to my amazing round file.

Check out this latest press release, which originates from The Raelian Revolution, a group which proclaims itself to be the “world’s largest UFO related non-profit organization” with 60,000 members in almost 100 countries “working toward the first embassy to welcome people from space.”

Oooooo Kaaaayyyy.

The Raelians want all those who seek public office to undergo a brain scan. And they want the Neosho Daily News to do a story on it.

To quote from the release: “Speaking on behalf of His Holiness Rael, ( Dr. Marcus Wenner — a Neurobiologist who worked at the National Institute of Neuroscience and specialized in MRI scans states: “Mental and emotional balance is the least we should expect from the people running for public office. It’s not a matter of party or politics. It’s a matter of raising the criteria by which any person would be allowed to run for office.

“A simple brain scan can indicate the level of damage or functionality at a glance. Psychopathic tendencies, impaired judgment, emotional imbalance, brain damage, Alzheimer’s, drug or alcohol abuse, inability to handle stress, all the things one definitely does not want for our leaders, all these can be accurately detected. Even more scrutiny should be applied to all who run for a public office. These people should be required to prove they are mentally and emotionally competent. After all, these are the people we trust with billions in taxpayers’ money and even more importantly, they are in the position to use weapons of mass destruction.

“Only the best brains should be allowed to rule a country!”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of anyone in elected office, or heck, anyone in general, playing with a full deck. But how tightly wrapped are these folks?

For those not familiar with the Raelians, here’s a synopsis.

In late 1973, a French journalist named, what else, Rael, was contacted by a visitor named Yahweh, who was from another planet. Yahweh, a moniker sometimes used in evangelical religions as another name for God, asked Rael during a meeting held on a nearby UFO to establish an embassy to welcome these people back to earth.

Now, most journalists are somewhat like me and can establish very little on their own: perhaps a bar tab, or maybe a debate on Monday Night Football’s Packers-Rams game.

Furthermore, this visitor told the journalist that an advanced race, not God or evolution or Martha Stewart, created human beings with DNA. (Who created the DNA? The Raelian web-page doesn’t say). These advanced beings now want to come back: therefore, a space embassy must be built for them to welcome them.

That, in a nutshell, is what the Raelians are all about. Just good ol’ nudists waiting for God.

You may remember the Raelians from a couple years back. They’re the folks who said they could clone human beings, although (if memory serves me correctly), they didn’t offer any real proof.

They also hold “sensual meditation” seminars worldwide. I’m not sure what they are, but it must be great. The title sounds pretty great, anyway. Maybe they have them at Hefner’s house.

Here’s what satisfied Raelians are saying about the sensual meditation seminars on the Rael website.

“The seminars are like a deliciously welcoming rejuvenatory bath, a pleasure treatment, a window on eternity, a glimpse of infinity, an ocean of love, a rebirth of consciousness, a meeting with our parents from space, a journey of self discovery, a sacred adventure and much much more…”


But this one takes the cake, in my opinion: “For me, the courses are the university of happiness, they are a sort of laboratory where we are cultivating the seeds of the new humanity which will blossom and spread the pollen of harmony and universal consciousness.”

Call me skeptical, but a group of UFO worshipping, sensual meditating, baby-cloning, utopia-dreaming, gobbledy-goop-spouting, press-conference holding cultists think politicians need brain scans?

Perhaps. But let’s not accuse someone of playing without a full deck before counting all of the cards in ours.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Neoshoo Daily News, USA
Aug. 11, 2004 Opinion
John Ford, Associate Editor

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday August 13, 2004.
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