Swiss court denies residency to controversial French guru

AFP News/October 2, 2008

Geneva - A Swiss court has denied residency to the French head of the controversial Rael sect, which believes extraterrestrials created Earth, after a canton said he posed a public order.

But guru Claude Vorilhon -- better known as Rael -- says he will appeal Wednesday's ruling before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, on grounds of religious discrimination, his followers said Thursday.

Moreover the decision does not bar Rael from spending up to three months in Switzerland as a tourist.

Both the Swiss federal court and the southwestern canton of Valais took issue with the sect's positions on paedophilia and human cloning, which are both banned in Switzerland. The movement claimed it had cloned a human in 2002 but never produced evidence.

"Public interest to abolish threats the integrity of minors and human dignity prevails above all other considerations," the judges said in their ruling.

Rael had argued he also opposed sexual relations with minors and that a cloning service the group allegedly ran in fact never existed.

Founded in France in the 1970s by Rael, a former auto journalist, the group claims 65,000 followers in 93 countries.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.