"Go Topless Day" a PR Stunt for Raelian UFO Cult

San Francisco Weekly/August 23, 2013

By Joe Eskenazi

"Go Topless Day," a forthcoming annual media stunt taking advantage of everyone's fascination with the female chest, is a public relations ploy for a bizarre UFO cult devoted to building an intergalactic Jerusalem "embassy" in preparation for the return of the space aliens that spawned the human race.

The website pitching the noontime Sunday breast fest at Dolores Park and 48 other worldwide events doesn't have a convenient "about us" feature to peruse. There is, however, an easy-to-miss link to a free download of Intelligent Design: Message from the Designers alongside the note: "Read for yourself the message for humanity that was given to Rael during his UFO encounters of 1973!"

Rael -- Claude Vorilhan -- is the Frenchman who claims that chance '73 encounter at a volcano park with a human being from outer space spurred him to "give up his much loved career as a sports-car journalist and devote himself fully to the task assigned to him by Yahweh -- the extra-terrestrial whom he met." This mission: serve as the prophet preparing "the population to welcome their Creators, the Elohim, without any mysticism or fear, but as conscious and grateful human beings."

And so: Boobs.

Those stirred by Go Topless Day's message of feminine empowerment might be a bit tempered by the messenger.

"Claude Vorilhan will get his people to do whatever it takes to get him in the paper," Rick Ross, a nationally recognized expert on cults, told SF Weekly in 2010. "Their leader [Rael] is a press report junkie. ... This guy is, in my opinion, is a cult leader. He has this group of people who'll do anything to please him and believe he was taken into outer space and is the spokesperson for the higher powers of the universe."

He's also a singer-songwriter of such ditties as Je n'ai pas bessoin de toi, and, appropriately for Go Topless Day, Toutes les femmes. And he's also an accomplished "race-car driver," listing his automotive achievements -- and race-car photos -- on his website.

Rael presents the rare trifecta of musician/race-car driver/prophet. His group's major endeavor is lobbying for the creation of that Jerusalem embassy the Elohim tasked him to build. That's what those UFOs over Jerusalem are really about. Or, as Rael's website puts it: This UFO sighting is much more than just a light in the sky, it is a reminder to the Jew people that their Creators are waiting for them to finally stop fighting and instead focus on their original mission, to welcome Elohim in the third temple.

You can only get so far with the Israeli government when you refer to them as "the Jew people." Perhaps it's easier to hit the barnstorming topless circuit.

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