Former members of the Raelian cult say attractive members of the movement cruise strip clubs and bars looking for lonelyhearts who are offered free sex - and plenty of it - to recruit them into the organization.
"They work the bars and the vulnerable ones are caught," said Steve Hassan [Warning: Steve Hassan is not recommended by this Web site. Read the detailed disclaimer to understand why.], a former Moonie who now helps "deprogram" cult members with the Boston-based organization Freedom of Thought.
"They use free sexuality as inducement and recruiting."
Former Raelian Pete Cooke was recruited into the cult by a dancer in Montreal's Kit Kat strip bar.
"I had been divorced for 16 years. I wasn't a misfit but I had trouble making friends and I was lonely and I got sucked right in," said Cooke, who spent two years with the cult.
The Quebec-based religion, headed by former journalist and race car driver Claude Vorilhon - who is known as Rael - believes humans were cloned by aliens.
Cooke, who has been out of the cult for five years and now lives north of Toronto, believes in UFOs.
"It wouldn't be such a bad place if you'd leave all the sex out. I'd never go back because of the sexual aspect," he said.
"I didn't like all the opening of genitals or all the focusing on the anus."
There are mandatory sensual meditation sessions in which a "guide" instructs Raelian members how to caress their breasts and nipples, how to produce and lick the odour from armpits and genitals and how to use a mirror to study and play with the anus.
Asked about orgies, Raelian Bishop Rickey Lee said: "There aren't orgies going on all the time."
Not every member is hustled into the organization in bars by hot-looking Raelians, said Mike Kropveld, executive director of Info-Cult, an organization focused on sensitizing the community to cult thinking.
"Some people join after going to Raelian meetings, which are also very touchy-feely," Kropveld said, adding that some of the women in the movement are in the sex and stripping trades.
"The Raelians appeal to them because they are liberal and that supports the women's lifestyle."
Some beautiful Raelian women work in strip clubs and recruit, said Eric Lamarche, a 17-year member of the cult who joined at the age of 18. He has since left the Raelians and now lives in Montreal.
"They attract them before one of the sensual meditations," he said. "Very good-looking men go to bars before the meditation session, too."