DAYTONA BEACH -- Religious cult leader and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial emissary Rael, formerly known as Claude Vorilhon, has announced that he will enter the Daytona 24-hour race on February 1 and 2 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Rael will drive a 650 horsepower Argo BMW V-12, capable of speeds over 200 mph. His co-drivers in car number 19 will be the Indy car driver Butch Brickell and Edd Davin.
Claude Vorilhon was a French journalist and racing enthusiast in 1973 when he had the experiences that transformed him into a world-famous cult leader called Rael. The name, he said, was given to him by extraterrestrials known as the Elohim, who had previously engineered the human race and now wanted to communicate with humanity again. They told Vorilhon that he had been chosen as an emissary. This message became the basis of the worldwide Raelian movement, which today boasts 35,000 members in 84 countries.
Rael's book, "The Message Given To Me By Extraterrestrials," has reportedly been translated into 22 languages and sold more than 1 million copies. It relates his experiences, starting with a close encounter on December 13, 1973 at Clermont Ferrand, France. Rael says the Elohim took him aboard their spacecraft, explained their ancient relationship to the human race and asked him to create an Embassy close to Jerusalem so that they can openly and officially return to earth, in accordance with scripture. The Raelians have publicly announced that the Extraterrestrial Embassy at Jerusalem is one of their primary goals.
As early as 1979, famed UFO investigator Jacques Vallee pointed out in his book "Messengers of Deception" that Claude Vorilhon, aka Rael, had attracted considerable financial support and the mysterious backing of shadowy but powerful people in several countries. Vallee speculated that Vorilhon might have been chosen as a useful frontman for a global political plan involving deceptive UFO events, though Vorilhon himself might be entirely convinced that his experiences were real. Other investigators have suggested that the 1973 close encounters did not even happen to Vorilhon, but instead to a friend of his, who was so shocked that he entered a monastery, leaving Vorilhon free to adopt the story as his own. In any case, Vorilhon has proved charismatic enough to keep his movement growing in numbers and wealth to the present day.
Rael's Daytona racecar is sponsored by UFOLAND, a new center for UFO phenomena due to open doors next May in Valcourt (Quebec), 75 minutes northeast of Montreal, Canada. At UFOLAND, the public will be able to go inside a full-size (21 foot diameter) mockup of the UFO which allegedly picked up Rael in 1973.
Original file name: CNI - Rael Racer
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