Cult apologist Susan Palmer likes to call the controversial “Raelians” her “friends,” and proclaims that they are now the “world’s largest UFO religion,” within an article run by Trinity College’s online newsletter.

The Canadian religious studies teacher recounts, “My Raelian friends boasted that membership had skyrocketed from 50,000 to 60,000 since [making their clone claims].”

However, whatever Palmer says must be taken with more than a grain of salt. She is a self-professed “cult lover” who has been paid by such groups to defend them in court.

Palmer chooses to describe Raelian leader “Rael,” as a playboy and a sportsman and a social satirist.”

However, news reports routinely refer to him as a “cult leader.”

In fact, Rael’s own family sees him quite differently than Palmer.

The man’s real name is Claude Vorilhon. And the aunt who raised “Rael” calls him “little Claudy.” When confronted about her nephew’s claims of communication with alien beings from outer space she says Vorilhon is a “cornichon” (pickle), which is French for nitwit.

Palmer disregards Vorilhon’s personal history and seems to be deeply invested in Raelian myths. After all she has a book coming out about the Raelians.

“The [cloning] affair was…an unqualified success. The media…played right into his hands…[and] for the first time elicited a direct response from the Vatican,” says the seemingly infatuated Raelian chronicler.

Palmer doesn’t seem to care that the clone claims were a hoax, or that the group reportedly bilked a couple for a considerable amount of cash. She is impressed by “little Claudy,” even if his family is not.

Don’t expect this religious studies teacher to critically or objectively analyze anything about Rael or his Raelians. Palmer has pronounced the group “benign” and she is invested in that position, despite serious allegations of sexual abuse and various investigations still pending in France.

Perhaps that’s why when the cult apologist “bumped into a group of [Raelians]…they pecked [her] cheeks enthusiastically.”


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