NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Raelians Target Female Genital Mutilation

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The Raelian sect initially made NOTW in 1998 when "Bishop" Brigitte Boisselier ran a human-cloning start-up, planning to charge $200,000 to make identical twins. Raelian's core belief is that humanity descended from extraterrestrials arriving on spaceships whose inhabitants explained to Raelian founder Claude Vorilhon that life's purpose is to experience sexual pleasure. Recently, a Raelian "priestess," Nadine Gary, has turned the sect's attention to counseling victims of the anti-pleasure female genital mutilation which, though horrifyingly painful, remains traditional among some African societies. Gary enlisted a prominent U.S. surgeon to undo the procedure, pro bono. Wrote London's The Guardian, in an August item from the surgeon's San Francisco clinic, "just 12 minutes of delicate scalpel work [to restore the clitoris] removes a lifetime of discomfort."

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