If you’ve seen Netflix’s four part docuseries Raël: The Alien Prophet, you may be wondering where Maitreya Raël — formerly known as Claude Virilhon, the founder of the religious group known as the Raëlians — is now.
Raël was born in 1956 in Vichy, France. Today, he is 77 years old. With a background as both a journalist and a musician, he started the Raëlians in the 1970s after writing a book called Le Livre qui dit la vérité (The Book That Tells the Truth).
The book describes Raël’s encounter with an extraterrestrial on Dec. 13, 1973 at a volcano park in France called Puy de Lassolas. Raël says that the alien told him that it was his destiny to become a prophet, sharing the message that an alien race called the Elohim had created humans through advanced scientific methods involving DNA. He also says he has visited the Elohim’s planet in outer space, where he posits that Jesus, Moses, Mohammed, and other prophets continue to live through human cloning.
Where Is Raël From Raël: The Alien Prophet Now?
According to Raël: The Alien Prophet on Netflix, Raël is currently living in Japan, where he continues to lead the Raëlians.
He landed in Japan after abandoning the original Raëlian commune in France and moving the group’s operations to Quebec, Canada.
But that settlement also disbanded following an expose into the religious group’s practices carried out by journalists Brigitte McCann and Chantal Poirier from the Journal de Montreal. Over a period of 9 months, McCann and Poirier infiltrated the group’s ranks under fake identities.
Raël’s website, Rael.org, describes the religious leader as the “last prophet,” and the Raëlian movement as “intellgent design for atheists.” He contends that “extraterrestrials created all life on earth.”
The movement’s goal, as shown in the docuseries, is to create an embassy to welcome the Elohim when they arrive on earth, which Raël has predicted will be in 2035.
Today, there is still a sizable base of Raëlians who continue to practice the religion in both Japan and Africa, the docuseries shows — and according to Raël’s website, there are over 100,000 members in 120 countries around the world.
All four episodes of Raël: The Alien Prophet are now streaming on Netflix.