I saw my alien shortly before I was thirteen.
Home alone that night, I was a lonely, troubled kid, primed for a little eerie magic, and I got it.
I walked into my bedroom and the alien was staring at me through the window — a classic — big-eyes, small-nose, domed forehead, a bizarre brown-green skin/fur/hide.
Those enormous, deep-dark eyes pinned me to the door like a butterfly in a collector’s case, paralysed with fright for what seemed hours. It was probably seconds before I broke the tension and escaped.
But where do you go when your house might be surrounded by aliens, or your mind by madness? I had to look again.
It was still there!
I nearly died. Then I scuttled into the kitchen where I could see my bedroom window from the side. Nothing. Gone. This view also made me realize the alien had to have been standing on air to be able to gaze into the second floor.
I never saw it again.
For years after my alien visit, I was convinced we were related, that I was a secret child of aliens, and one day they would come back and take me ‘home.’ I sure was a troubled kid.
I was lucky no one got hold of me in that disturbed state, because my over-heated imaginings coincided with the ideas of groups like the Raelians, a cult very much in the news these days.
On December 27, 2002, they exploded onto the front pages of newspapers around the world by announcing they’d cloned the first human. Their leader, Rael, has claimed that cloning is so easy it could be done by a “Japanese journalist in his kitchen.” This vaguely racist claim is as nutty as the rest of the cult.
So far, cloning has proved to be an inexact science. Even its famous figurehead, Dolly the sheep, developed major difficulties and she will not live a normal lifespan.
Though a few deformed clones have briefly survived, the wreckage of failed, monstrous attempts is more than your average strong-stomached individual can take.
Sadly, in some countries, this silly outfit can legally muck about with human beings in their lab, generously funded by a grief-stricken couple who gave $500,000 in the hope that their dead 10 month old child could be remade.
Rael, formerly known as Mr. Vorilhon, a French journalist and racing car enthusiast before the aliens (or Elohim) informed him that the long-gone Jewish refugee he thought was his father, wasn’t.
Yup, Rael, is also the son of an alien. The Elohim took him to meet Buddha and Jesus — the usual line-up of luminaries. They told him his duty was to spread free love and set up the big launching pad in Jerusalem for when they return. Raelians claim over 50,000 people believe him.
At least the Raelians are an improvement over those who believe ferocious, man-eating, lizard aliens are hiding behind the moon. They had a landing pad on the Twin Towers in New York, but ‘alien fighter’ Osama Bin Laden evaporated that site during his own cult’s brutal airplane attack.
Yes, it’s a strange, scary world out there.
The Raelians, apart from their foray into cloning, which must be taken with a grain of salt (they gravitate towards big publicity stunts), are a mild-mannered congregation with a plethora of physically attractive adherents, including a contingent from the sex trade.

Their advocacy of free love, orgies, and homosexuality has a tendency to cultivate good looking members, as it were.
There have been numerous, scarier cults.
The Branch Davidians had their last stand in Waco, Texas, preferring to burn to death rather than give up their guns. The Heaven’s Gate crowd, went to ‘sleep’ in rows of bunks, expecting to be levitated to a space ship waiting at ‘heaven’s gate,’ hidden behind the comet Halle-Bopp.
The AUM gang in Japan preferred poison over aliens, gassing thousands in a Tokyo subway.
The first known case of biological terrorism in North America was perpetrated by the red-clothed followers of Rajneesh. They poisoned a town’s salad bars and grocery stores with salmonella in order to make townspeople too ill to vote during an election, so that their members could win and take over the town.
Rajneesh owned 90 Roll-Royces, wore too much flashy jewellery, and fornicated like a mink. I knew one Rajneeshian. She was a beautiful, intelligent woman. I never had the courage to question her about her membership in this outrageous cult. I think she liked the sex without guilt.
Due to our society’s neurotic, deeply disturbed approach to sex, it’s small wonder cults prey on the sexuality of their victims.
What is a cult? My Oxford defines the word thus:
1a) a system of religious worship esp. as expressed in ritual. b) a religious sect considered to be unorthodox or anti-social. c) the members of such a sect. 2a) a devotion or homage to a person or thing. b) a popular fashion esp. followed by a specific section of society.
Most human behaviour displays cult symptoms, and many organizations use various ‘thought reform’ techniques. Groups ranging from the Catholic Church to the Marines have cultlike symptoms. Much of this behaviour is harmless, some is not.
If there’s one thing that cultism demonstrates about human culture it’s our craving to have someone else think for us.
Personally, I’d rather do my own thinking. Sounds easy. It’s not — it can get you into one whale of a lot of trouble. An independent mind is a rare and dangerous possession in these paranoid, conflicted times when our culture is striving to mould everyone in one stamp — the consumer.
Oddly,  studies have demonstrated even healthy well-adjusted people can become cult victims. Life is a lot easier when a higher power guides you. Sometimes, I think my life would be simpler if I joined a cult. Then again, maybe I already have without knowing it. My alien could be back any day now.