Swiss court denies residency to French guru
Guru Claude Vorilhon, leader of the Rael sect, is denied Swiss residency due to his group’s controversial opinions.8 October 2008
GENEVA -- A Swiss court denied residency to the French head of the controversial Rael sect, which believes extraterrestrials created Earth.
But guru Claude Vorilhon -- better known as Rael -- says he will appeal last Wednesday's ruling before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg due to religious discrimination, his followers said last Thursday.
The decision does not block Rael from spending up to three months in Switzerland as a tourist.
Both the Swiss federal court and the southwestern canton of Valais were concerned with the sect's positions on paedophilia and human cloning, which are both banned in Switzerland. The movement claimed it cloned a human in 2002 but never produced evidence.
"Public interest to abolish threats to the integrity of minors and human dignity prevails above all other considerations", the judges said in their ruling.
Rael argued he opposed sexual relations with minors and that a cloning service the group allegedly ran never actually existed.
Founded in France in the 1970s by Rael, a former journalist and race car driver, the group claims 65,000 followers in 93 countries.
[AFP / Expatica]