A cardboard sign for a “free hug” which seems very innocent and yet: the sect Raël has called on its members around the world to fight against the rules of social distancing by relaunching street hugging campaigns, better known as name of “free hugs”. The Raelian movement, which claims tens of thousands of members around the world, announced in a press release relaunching this practice to fight against social distancing, deemed “criminal” and claims “the freedom to endanger one’s own life”.
This cult, founded in the 1970s by Claude Vorilhon, alias Raël, asserts that life on Earth was created 25,000 years ago by extraterrestrials, whom the founder of the sect claims to have met. Raël, who presents himself as the “messenger” of an “atheistic religion”, is a follower of cloning, “sensual meditation” and “polyamory”. The movement has been classified as a sect since 1995 by a parliamentary report.
Since 2014, the movement has used these “free hugs” campaigns to expand its recruitment and popularize its dogmas. According to the spokesperson for the international Raelian movement, Brigitte Boisselier, “the Raelian campaign of free hugs has already resumed in North America and Europe with great success”, especially during the Halloween celebrations.