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 Ottawa Le Droit, Justice Maurice Laramee said arguments by Claude Vorhilon, who calls himself Rael, are "airy-fairy."
"It is strange, to say the least, that Rael should be offended by terms used about him when they are similar to those he uses when he judges ... followers of the Jewish and Christian religions," the judge wrote in a ruling handed down late last month.
In the column, published Jan. 23, 2003, Gratton promises never to write another word about Vorhilon.
Vorhilon 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.