Carrie Poppy tells the story (well, begins to…this is only part one) of her attendance at a Raelian Happiness Academy, a five-day gathering of people being initiated into the weird UFO cult of Raelianism. There is apparently some kinky group sex involved, though they seem to have missed out on most of it:
When the appointed registrar comes back in the room, he greets us with a pitiful shake of the head. “Oh no, you really missed all the good stuff,” he says. Ross and I look at each other. The “good stuff” is pretty famous, though we will all not refer to it directly for the next couple of days. The good stuff, according to Raëlian infidels, is not so much what you might call a “seminar” as what you might call “an orgy.” Stories abound of people getting naked in the seminars, massaging their genitals until they come, while onlookers try to pretend they aren’t onlooking. The “good stuff” allegedly means dressing up as the opposite sex (not the opposite sex from the one you were born with, which would be too banal a request, but opposite the one you go by in your everyday life, so for the trans-folks, it’s back to the identity you spent most of your life sloughing off, I suppose)—dressing up as the opposite sex and having a dance. Yes, a dance, the prom kind. Rumor has it these dances typically lead to everyone, save the minors, sleeping around. When Ross and I ask about the dances in our meetings, they all gaze at each other secretively and longingly. There were many times when I wanted to ask, “Should I leave you alone?”
And then there is the Raelian symbol:
But none of that matters yet, because above all the action is the Raëlian symbol, and it stares down at us with unyielding defiance. It’s gold and glittery and printed on a thick sheet of card stock. It is a Star of David, and inside, a swastika.
The swastika, you see, has been a symbol of peace and good luck around the world, until it was stolen by those darn Nazis, who turned it into something else altogether. And here it was again, meaning peace, harmony, and free love: all the things the aliens taught the Raëlians. And even though we’ve known that the swastika is their thing for quite some time, something brings the symbolism sharply into focus, when it’s there on the wall behind the religious leader still talking about clitoris rejuvenation.
“Reclaim the swastika,” says a brochure on the floor in front of me.
“You know,” I think, “sometimes it’s best to just let some things go.”
Indeed. Looking forward to reading part two. Who can resist kinky group sex and Nazis?
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