Annual Fundraising Appeal
Over the course of 21 years, we’ve published many unflattering stories about Henry Kissinger. We’ve recounted his involvement in the Chilean coup and the illegal bombings of Cambodia and Laos; his hidden role in the Kent State massacre and the genocide in East Timor; his noxious influence peddling in DC and craven work for dictators and repressive regimes around the world. We’ve questioned his ethics, his morals and his intelligence. We’ve called for him to be arrested and tried for war crimes. But nothing we’ve ever published pissed off HK quite like this sequence of photos taken at a conference in Brazil, which appeared in one of the early print editions of CounterPunch.
The publication of those photos, and the story that went with them, 20 years ago earned CounterPunch a global audience in the pre-web days and helped make our reputation as a fearless journal willing to take the fight to the forces of darkness without flinching. Now our future is entirely in your hands. Please donate.


Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

or use

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

Making Contact

Raelians, Aliens and Evolution


Last week, I had dinner with Raël, international connoisseur of pleasure and “prophet” of the Raëlian Movement which includes about 80,000 members in 90 different countries around the world. Apparently, after watching a few of my shows, Raël recognized a kindred spirit in the cultivation of what I call “ethical hedonism” and what he calls our “right to pleasure,” and he asked his staff to make contact with me.

Raël is all about “making contact.” Before becoming a prophet, he was Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon, a singer/songwriter, then a journalist/race car driver, speeding down the highways and backroads of life like the rest of us. In 1973, while cruising around a volcano park in the center of France called Puy de Lassolas, he felt an irresistible impulse to pull over and get out of the car.

This is where Raël gets kind of unreal. But then, what prophet worth his prophesy only sticks to dull demonstrable reality? Think of the Prophet Elisha who beheld the Prophet Elijah in a Chariot of Fire taken up by a whirlwind into Heaven. How real is that? Anyway, at this point, Raël says he saw lights flashing in the dark sky, and a large silver flying saucer slowly touched down right there in front of him, within the ditch of a volcanic crater. A staircase unfolded from the belly of the ship (guess this was pre-"Beam Me Down, Scottie" spacecraft technology), and down marched a small, humanoid “alien” with vaguely Asiatic features and a neatly trimmed black goatee. This “extraterrestrial,” who called himself Yahweh (yes, like the most sacred Hebrew word for “God” in the Bible), told Raël that he was one of the Earth’s original “designers,” called Elohim (another Hebrew word for God or “gods,” or “those who come from the sky,” also in the Bible). Then, over the course of six mysterious encounters (none of which were photographed or witnessed by anyone else), Rael claims that Lil’ Yahweh gave him a “message from the designers” regarding science, religion, love, sex, relationships and eternal life, among other things. Rael accepted his “mission” to spend his life transmitting this message, as well as news of their imminent public appearance on Earth (preferably in an “embassy” he would build), to the rest of humanity.

The “message from the designers” is one of love, peace, pleasure and nonconformity, blending spirituality, sensuality, art and certain sciences. In some ways, these Alien Sex Secrets are rather similar to my own message of Ethical Hedonism and the Bonobo Way, though I did not have the benefit of learning it from any aliens, unless these aliens have disguised themselves as bonobo chimpanzees.

Over the years, Raël has engineered many commendable sex-positive public actions, from calling for the free distribution of condoms in schools to promoting masturbation for everyone; from worldwide campaigns to support sexual minorities to the creation of an association to help restore the clitorises of victims of female circumcision called Clitoraid. These are “good works” in the controversial field of sexuality, for which no other international religious organization has stepped up to the plate. For me, this more than makes up for the fact that journalist Raël happened not to have his camera on him when the Elohim came a’ knocking.

Nevertheless, UFOs and good sex works aside, I do have some major problems with Raël’s belief system, particularly his denial of the essential principles of evolution, which are the prime building blocks of biology, zoology, ornithology, anthropology, genetics and many other sciences. I can sooner tolerate Raël’s story about “Yahweh” and the little green (or whatever color) Elohim. After all, the original Yahweh/Elohim story is also pretty outrageous, not to mention nebulous and contradictory.

Every religion features some mythological, other-worldly story about the whole world being created in 6 days by a distinguished old guy named “God” (Hebrew), by an egg-shaped cloud breaking to release the matter of the universe (Chinese), by a bored deity named Atum masturbating into the void (Egyptian), or by the great god Eros blowing the Breath of Life into all things (Greek), which I like to call The Original Blow-Job. Then there are all the amazing tales of virgin births, resurrections, rivers being turned into blood and water being turned into wine. Raël’s “My Favorite Martian Visits France” story is no better or worse than any of these. The Raëlian Movement is controversial in many other ways, especially for their support of human cloning. They’ve sued and been sued, and as a fellow pleasure preacher in a society that tends to exploit people’s pain, I can sympathize.

But rejecting evolution? Might as well join the science-phobic ranks of creationism. Even the Pope says evolution can co-exist with any faith, whether in a Son of God or Extraterrestrial Creator(s). I “believe” in evolution primarily because of the mountains of scientific evidence. I consider it a "theory" only in the sense that the National Academy of Sciences defines theory as "a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature that is supported by many facts gathered over time," not in the popular usage of the word "theory" as a hunch, conjecture, opinion or speculation.

But I also have my spiritual reasons for my faith in the principles of change that Charles Darwin most famously (and imperfectly, but still brilliantly) identified: Because when I look into the eyes of my friend Lana, who happens to be a bonobo, I see my close cousin. And it’s not just that I have a bonobo fetish (though I do). When I look into the eyes of monkeys, I also see cousins, though more distant, and when I look into the eyes of my snake Eve, I see an even more distant cousin, but a cousin nonetheless.

So I am not going to become a Raëlian (surprise, surprise). But I have no plans to become a Buddhist either, and I’d still dig hanging out with the Dalai Lama. Thus, I enjoyed my dinner with Raël. Even if I evolved from monkeys, and he comes from outer space, we are friends and neighbors, sharing a common interest in the cultivation of pleasure, tolerance and peace.

Dr. SUSAN BLOCK is a sex educator, cable TV personality, author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure and hostess of Dr. Suzy’s Speakeasy. Commit Bloggamy with her at Email her at

© April 16, 2008.