Testimony of Mark Woodgate


It was in 2003 that I came up with an idea for spreading the Raelian message based on the movie, “The Matrix”

The basic premise?

That the Raelians had discovered the ultimate of truths and in doing so we had escaped the Matrix. (In this context the Matrix represented the world we live in, where people are sleepwalking through life completely unaware of the truth of their existence)

Dressed in character we took to the streets with the purpose of finding others who might be ready to escape this ‘Matrix.’

7 years later I have discovered that the Raelian Movement is not what we have been led to believe (after extensive investigation), that in fact it is the Raelians themselves who have fallen victim to a very clever illusion…

Are you sufficiently open minded to question your existing paradigms? Or are you a sleepwalker – someone who finds their sleep very comfortable?

If TRUTH matters, then read on to discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes…

I remember the day I first discovered Rael’s book ‘The Message Given by Extraterrestrials’ at a local library in April 1994.

The explanation that life on Earth had been created by intelligent beings, and who were mistaken as gods, was a rational and logical conclusion for me – especially when presented with the alternative theory of a supernatural God and Darwin’s unscientific theory of evolution.

In addition, Rael’s book contained a philosophical element which was missing from all the other books I had read on this subject. Therefore it was this blend of science and spirituality that attracted me to the Raelian Movement. In my mind there was never any doubt that I had stumbled across the ultimate of truths – as I’m sure many other Raelians and former Raelians can attest.

From 1995 to late 2010 I dedicated myself to the Raelian Movement. As national guide for New Zealand I devoted a large amount of time (and money) to organising gatherings, lectures and mini seminars. Over the course of 16 years I attended 17 international seminars, gave numerous interviews to newspaper reporters, radio and television. Whenever any type of criticism was directed toward Rael or the Movement, I defended what I believed to be true.

I made it my personal mission to inform as many people about the Raelian message as possible. And like all Raelians, it was my dream to be at the embassy one day and welcome the Elohim back to Earth.

Therefore you may ask the question, why after nearly 16 years have I come to the conclusion that Rael’s encounters are merely a work of fiction? And on what information have I based my conclusions?

The question must also asked, why have a record number of long standing and committed Raelians left the Movement since the end of 2009? In other words, what do they know that YOU don’t?

It was in early 2010 that I was made aware of several books published in the late 60’s and early 70’s written by a French author by the name of Jean Sendy.

In 2009 a U.S. Raelian discovered that 3 of Sendy’s books were published in English, however prior to this they had been out of print for at least 30 years. (I later found out that some French-speaking Raelians had discovered Sendy’s books in the past, especially in France and Montreal, and as a result many Raelians left the Movement at that time)

Accusations followed that Rael had plagiarized Sendy’s books.

(nb: The majority of these books, including ‘The Coming of the Gods, Those Gods who Made Heaven and Earth and ‘The Moon – Outpost of the Gods’ have been purchased by Raelians from www.amazon.com and www.abebooks.com)

Upon hearing this news I was quick to dismiss the information. Why? In my mind I was 100% certain that the Raelian message was true and I never had any reason to think otherwise. (Whereas my family and friends just thought I was naive…as I’m sure many Raelians and former Raelians can relate!)

After all, I had been trained to disregard slanderous comments, criticism and rumours directed toward Rael and the Movement. Although upon greater reflection, I now realise that indoctrinated is in fact a far more appropriate word.

My unwillingness to explore this information is best understood by a test which was given to me (as well as other Raelians) at an international seminar when we expressed our intention to join the organisational structure of the Raelian Movement.

This test (we were unaware this was a test at the time) consisted of a panel of Raelian Guides telling the newcomer that Rael had been caught stealing money from the international Raelian Movement’s bank account and that he had made up the entire story about his encounter. In other words, that it was all a sham.

When I was told this news my heart sank and I became quite distraught. I remember thinking long and hard about the implications…
However, being the enthusiastic young man that I was, and still very much captivated by the Raelian message, I told the guide that I found this information very hard to believe. After all, intelligent design by ET’S just had to be the most logical explanation, and besides, to what end would Rael have invented such a wonderful story if it was not the truth?

The guide paused for a few seconds and informed me that I had passed the test.
Upon realising that this had only been a test, I was overcome with emotion and I was filled with a huge sense of relief!
The guide then told me that one day the media and certain individuals might try to discredit Rael by making up lies, spreading rumours and presenting ‘proof’ that Rael is a con man. The guide said that I had to remain strong and stand up for what I knew to be true.
He then concluded by stating that I should tell no-one about this test – ever!

Having passed this test I felt very pleased with myself, for in my mind the fact that I had passed this test was confirmation that the Raelian Message was indeed, the truth AND that Rael was the man we understood him to be. It also dawned on me that I was one of only a few thousand people who understood this truth, therefore I felt incredibly privileged and decided that it was my responsibility to preserve this truth.

And what became of the newcomers who ‘failed’ this test? Several hours later these traumatized individuals were seated one by one before a panel of guides. (Intimidating to say the least!)
A guide then informed the individual that the Raelian message was TRUE and that Rael really was the last prophet after all!
However as these individuals had failed the test, the guides informed the new Raelian that they needed to work on themselves and gain the strength required to defend Rael and the Movement should this situation arise in the future…

So, what was really going on here?

It is only in retrospect that I now realize that this “test” was a very clever form of manipulation designed to blind me from the truth.

It is in fact an ingenious form of psychology designed to manipulate Raelians by increasing their sense of self worth in order to protect their group, their leader, and their philosophy.

Test or no test, it is my observation that many Raelians have become very closed minded to information that challenges their view of the world (A paradox considering that Raelians consider themselves to be some of the most open minded individuals on the planet.)

Because the majority of Raelians are 100% convinced that Rael is the last prophet and the Raelian Movement is the religion of religions, many are unwilling to listen to anyone who might offer new information or provide an alternate explanation. Instead, these Raelians are told to forgive and to have compassion for these ‘enemies.’

Therefore, it is this psychology and indoctrination that prevents many Raelians from exploring new information – including reading Jean Sendy’s books, this testimony, the findings of other Raelians, non Raelians and former Raelians!

In my case, this ‘test’ as well as years of indoctrination contributed to my closed-mindedness and unwillingness to question the paradigm I had formed about Rael and the Raelian Movement.

This insight may help you to better understand my reluctance to explore the information given to me – namely the remarkable similarities between Rael’s and Sendy’s books. (It actually took me a whole 6 months before I finally made the decision to delve into this further.)

The turning point came when I learned that a former Raelian guide by the name of Sage Ali had left the Movement after 17 years and had published his testimony. In his testimony Sage outlines the amazing similarities and co-incidences between Sendy’s and Rael’s books – in particular, Rael’s 1st book, “The Book Which Tells The Truth.”
See Sage’s testimony at: http://raelian.com/en/sage_ali.php

(Incidentally, I had met Sage at the Las Vegas seminar in 2005 and he struck me as one of the most intelligent & coherent individuals I’ve had the privilege of meeting – therefore I was curious to find out what he had to say)

So, I finally decided to read Sendy’s books (and with some trepidation I might add) to check the similarities and to form my own opinion.

I have to admit, after reading a couple of pages I began to feel guilty for the potential consequences – especially after learning that Rael himself had posted a warning on his facebook page.

See: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=207819395599&comments

As I read ‘The Coming of the Gods’ by Jean Sendy, there was a strong feeling of familiarity, and the more I read, the more I realised the improbability of so many amazing co-incidences’…

So, what were these amazing ‘co-incidences?’

Here are just a few:

  • The almost identical symbol published in Rael’s first book (!)
    See: http://www.rael.free.fr/main07_en.htm
  • The reference to “Elohim” meaning ‘those who came from the sky.’ It should be noted that the name “Elohim” and this subsequent translation is found in no other book other than Rael’s and Jean Sendy’s.
  • An illustration of the concept of infinity showing the atom, human being, solar system, galaxy etc on page 14 of The Coming of the Gods. (This illustration is easily recognisable in Raelian literature including Rael’s book, Let’s Welcome our Fathers from Space – pages 56 and 57)
  • The Tower of Babel referred to as a rocket ship
  • Reference to chemical education and the same example used by Rael re: transferring memory from one rat to another
  • Sendy’s books had references to cloning, infinity and geniocracy and a moneyless society.

Plus many more examples which you can find at: http://raelian.com/en/jean_sendy.php

I should point out that during the course of my investigation I quickly realized that almost no one in the movement (including guides) have ever actually read Sendy’s books from start to finish. I would even go as far to say that Rael is counting on this fact – ie: that most Raelians will be just as lazy.
Case in point, some guides have formed the opinion that Sendy was an evolutionist, however Sendy clearly wrote that evolution is a false theory!
Could there be a logical reason for so many similarities and co-incidences between Sendy’s and Rael’s books?

Some Raelians have speculated that Jean Sendy must have been contacted by the Elohim, however even Rael himself tells us that he is the only one to have received a message from the Elohim.

Or perhaps there is a much simpler explanation? An explanation that most Raelians do not want to consider…

In addition to Sendy’s books, the majority of Raelians are unaware of some important findings that have come to light in recent years.

This research has been compiled by former Korean Raelian, Wonjune Lee on his website at: www.raelian.com

These findings include:

  • The incredible similarities between Jean Sendy’s & Rael’s books as already discussed.
  • Former Raelian, Marie Helene-Parent, indicates in her testimony that Rael told her he knew Jean Sendy very well and they had drinks together in Clermont Ferrand. See her full testimony at: http://forum.raelian.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=59
  • Jean Sendy gave a lecture in Rael’s hometown of Clermont Ferrand in March 1974. Rael’s book was published a few months later – yet another co-incidence?
  • The circumstances that led up to the supposed encounter in December 1973 including a major economic downturn and Claude Vorilhon’s failing ‘Auto Pop’ magazine.
  • The testimony of Jean-Jacques Arene who revealed that he, Claude and some friends came up with the idea to launch a hoax involving ET’s one evening in 1973 – not for a moment suspecting that Claude Vorilhon would be bold enough to tell this story to the newspaper, La Montagne, the very next day!
  • The testimony / TV interview of childhood friend, Rolande Chevaleyre. Roland revealed that he met with Rael and he confessed that he had lied about his encounter with ET’s.
  • Rael claimed the infinity meditation was given to him by the Elohim, however the concept of infinity was clearly given to him in Sendy’s books and the actual meditation techniques were taught to Rael by former Raelian guide, Jean-Denis Saint-Cyr! (Jean-Denis specialized in teaching the Silva method of meditation)
  • The philosophical teachings taught by Osho in the late 60’s are remarkably similar to the Raelian philosophy. Sendy’s books may have formed Rael’s thesis, however Osho’s teachings have formed the spiritual component and are the foundation of the teachings at the Raelian seminars (see Sage’s testimony for more information including web links)

However, perhaps the most compelling evidence of all, is the testimony of Jean-Denis Saint-Cyr – Rael’s former right hand man from 1976 until 1990.

(See Jean-Denis’ website at: http://confessions.rael.jeandenissaintcyr.com )

Jean-Denis provides some amazing insights as he lived through the most critical years when Rael was still putting everything together and the Movement was in its infancy.

In late 2009, Jean-Denis published his book, ‘Confessions of Rael’ (currently only available in French) and on the 11th Nov 2009 he appeared on national television in Quebec Canada.

Jean-Denis’ tv interview (in French) is available for view at: http://videos.lcn.canoe.ca/video/49832386001/repmission-du-11-novembre )

In his book, Jean-Denis reveals the series of events that led to Rael’s confession in 1984 and his disclosure that he had never met the Elohim.

Given that Jean-Denis did not resign from the Movement until 1990 and that he only recently decided to come forward with this information, I had several questions, including:

  • Is it possible that Rael’s admission to Jean-Denis in 1984 was only a ‘test?’
  • Why did Jean-Denis continue to be involved with the Movement until 1990?
  • As it is now 20 years since Jean-Denis resigned from the Movement, what would prompt a man (now in his early 70’s) to go public after all this time?
  • Given that Jean-Denis book will only appeal to a select few, does he realise that his book is destined NOT to be a best seller?

Jean-Denis answers these questions definitively in his book. You will also find some very interesting insights in his letter of reply to Rael at:


I also had other questions such as:

  • Why would Rael have gone to such extraordinary lengths to create such an elaborate story and to deceive us?
  • After 37 years surely a man who knows he is lying would have succumbed to the pressure, the guilt and his conscience?
  • How is it possible for this man to continue to take advantage of thousands of people who genuinely believe he is the long awaited Messiah?
  • Is it possible that Rael is deluded and believes his own lies?

Here again, Jean-Denis answers these questions definitively in his book.

However, you can also find some extracts from his book (in English) at: http://confessions.rael.jeandenissaintcyr.com/en/rael/rael/foreward_confessions_rael.html

Concerning the cloning announcement:

My research reveals that this was nothing more than a publicity stunt – a hoax of epic proportions designed to put the Movement in the spotlight, to generate millions of dollars of free publicity and to lure potential customers into paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a technology that Clonaid does not possess.

Interestingly, many Raelians suspect this was a hoax, however they defend and justify this lie by stating that the announcement served a greater purpose, that it helped to increase awareness about cloning and generate interest in the Raelian message…(Ironically, these are the exactly the same words used by Rael)

During the course of my investigation I also discovered many questionable practices concerning the Movement’s money.

As Jean-Denis Saint-Cyr states on his website at: http://confessions.rael.jeandenissaintcyr.com/en/rael/rael/conclusion_confessions_rael.html

“Since the beginning of the Raelian Movement, Claude Vorilhon rests his strategy, his marketing on the necessity to collect as much money as possible to construct an embassy, a presumed place of welcome for the return on Earth of his Elohim.

Thirty years later, all the reasons are good to delay the construction of the said embassy. I learned from an official source that Brazil offered him a piece of land to realize “his” project. So, Vorilhon did not follow-up on this offer. Why? The project of construction of the embassy, would it not be simply a lure, a splendid pretext to squeeze-out always more money to inflate his chests?

Where is the money going meanwhile? Let us not forget it, LYING IS HIS TRADE”

The Raelian Movement’s basic tenet was to inform and never try to convince. In writing my testimony, I will also say the same to you. Don’t take my word for it, do your own research.
Read Sage’s testimony, check the comparisons in Sendy’s books, (available for download at www.raelian.com ) visit Jean-Denis website at: http://confessions.rael.jeandenissaintcyr.com and www.raelian.com and come to your own conclusions.

Despite what you might have been told, it is your freedom to explore this information. Those people who tell you otherwise are afraid that you will leave the group and that you might discover the truth.

I am certain that many Raelians will ask, ‘what piece of evidence convinced you that Rael is not who says he is?’ And my answer to that is very simple. There is not a single piece of evidence, it is the sheer weight of evidence, personal testimonies and first hand information that have led to my conclusion that the Raelian Movement is based on a lie.

There is something else that is very important to state.

It is also quite possible that those Raelians who discover the truth will still choose to stay involved with the Movement.

Why? As previously discussed, it all has to do with conditioning and indoctrination.

Confronted with this information, many Raelians will respond with disbelief and react with strong denial.
However, as this revelation does not fit their paradigm and challenges their long held sacred beliefs, they may ignore this information and continue to attend the meetings, the gatherings, the seminars – in other words, they will continue to contribute their time and money to a ’cause’ that does not exist.

The other reason that some Raelians may choose to stay is because they are afraid of leaving their guru and losing their Raelian friends.

Why dismiss this information? Why stay involved? Because WE WANT TO BELIEVE!

We want to believe in Rael and the messages. Raelians dream of welcoming the Elohim at the embassy.

Or is it possible that these dreams have been given to us to divert our attention from what is really going on? Is it possible that these dreams are nothing more than the fanciful imagination of a very intelligent man who has mastered the art of deception and whose motives have nothing to do with building an embassy?
My research suggests this to be the case…

To disregard this information is to be ignorant. However is ignorance really bliss? Or does truth matter?

To stay involved with the Movement, to continue to fund the activities of the Movement and contribute toward the supposed ’embassy’ would have constituted a serious dilemma for me.

I could have chosen to withhold this information, to continue to attend the seminars, to organise gatherings and to keep up the facade, however to do so would not have been in keeping true to myself.

It goes without saying that the philosophy itself has helped many people to raise their awareness and contribute to their self development. The Raelian Movement has also made its voice heard regarding many humanitarian issues.

This can not be denied.

In regard to Sendy’s books and the internet:

While it’s true that many French speaking Raelians discovered Sendy’s books many years ago and left the Movement at that time, the recent discovery of Sendy’s books in English has had a more powerful impact because the internet has made it difficult for Rael and the guides to excommunicate former Raelians as effectively as they did in years gone by.

Rael has always been very good at manipulating his followers, and in cases like Jean-Denis, Marie-Helene Parent, and others, Raelians were told to completely sever ties with these ex-Raelian “defectors.” They were considered to be “enemy infiltrators” or “had succumbed to negativity and needed time alone” – either way it was made clear that Raelians should not be in contact with them at all. Other “poetic” justifications have been used such as “cancerous cells must be cut off in order to save the larger body.” (What happened to the “love the differences?”)

So, most ex-Raelians in the past were never in a position to tell their own stories until the internet finally gave them a place to be heard. Ironically, these people were among those whom Rael trusted the most, the ones who were chosen by the “prophet” and the Elohim, yet suddenly they were deemed to be “enemies” and were described as “lost” and/ or “negative” as a result of outside influences and their own “weaknesses.”

The Raelians who know me well are fully aware of my former devotion to the Movement, as well as my level of integrity and honesty. In my own case, being Raelian had become a part of my identity and I took my “mission” very seriously.
Therefore the fact that I have gone public with these ‘revelations’ may be truly confounding or surprising for some.

I am also fully aware that many Raelians (some of whom are my best friends) may choose to disassociate themselves from me. Therefore my decision to resign from the Movement has NOT been an easy one. (I lodged my resignation in early December 2010)

(nb: Jean-Denis also gives his insights concerning the potential repercussions of leaving the Movement and why he delayed his resignation)

The transition to fully accepting this truth is not easy and I can empathise with how you might be feeling as you read these words…
There was a period of transition for me, however now I am filled with a sense of liberation – and ultimately, my happiness does not depend on belonging to a group or being guided by a guru.
I may have left the Raelian Movement however I still have a sincere love for humanity, and my goal is to help others and contribute to making the world a better place.
There have always been clever hoaxers and con-men throughout history, and Rael will not be the last.
Rael is a very intelligent man, a masterful orator, persuasive and cunning.
His hidden agenda and the conviction with which he has committed himself to his cause is masterful – and his ability to manipulate and deceive without conscience is truly disturbing…
For these reasons I have no doubt that Claude Vorilhon will be remembered as one of the greatest hoaxers of modern times.
My observation is that most Raelians are very honourable people and their intentions are admirable and pure.
It is for that reason that I have written by testimony in the hope that they will choose to investigate further, and in doing so will no longer be taken advantage of by the Raelian Movement.
I would like to conclude with this:

Over the years, Rael has made many onstage references such as, “even if it isn’t true, it is still beautiful” or “if it is only a dream, then my dream is better than their reality.” I’ve even heard Rael ask the audience, “Even if it isn’t true, will you stay with me to build this dream? Good! Then it doesn’t matter if it is true or not!”

And at a Canadian seminar several years ago, Rael said…

“You know, I love comedy, and I love playing jokes – and one day, maybe when I take my last breath, I will share with you the greatest joke of all.”

The question is, who will have the last laugh?

– Mark Woodgate Former Raelian & National Guide of New Zealand