Minority Religions, Social Change, and Freedom of Conscience
Salt Lake City and Provo (Utah), June 20-23, 2002
Abstract: While mainstream religions have taken rather dogmatic positions on biotechnologies, NRM often show a deep insight on the recent discoveries in cloning, genetic engineering and mutations. The new knowledge regarding modifications of genetic programming, the ultimate secret of life, parallels with ancient Gnostic views, and this gives substance to a "modern Gnostic philosophy" . NRM as the LR explains the "Christic initiation", of "transfiguration", as a structural modification to the body in which DNA is the formal representative of an imprisoning electromagnetic field (or morphogenetic field). Through a renewed link with the original field of mankind, new electromagnetic laws make , according to LR, the "coming of a new man" possible. Further studies would be needed to evaluate more precisely the impact of concepts as "great revolution" or physical bodies "transfiguration" on members of LR.
Until the events of September 11th, the public debate on biotechnologies was, in the USA, the most widely talked about . Scientists argue that Genetics is to biology what nuclear power was to physics. The "clone" attack spread to every theatre, and the experts wonder in real life if, after it's mediatic announcements, the American firm Advanced Cell Technology really succeeded in the first human cloning .
While public, juridical (and economic) discussions are just beginning, the 4 main religions, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism have already taken a position. For Christians and Muslims, things are clear. The Catholic Church, as with most of the Protestant churches, is firmly opposed to human cloning. The Islamic "thinking heads" of several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have already rejected it. Muslim and Christian spiritual leaders state that to clone a human being is to violate the Will of God and interferes with the normal order of things. Buddhists and Hindus, however, have adopted a much less dogmatic attitude, probably because of their common belief in reincarnation from lower forms of life to human form, passing through all forms of animals.
According to Buddhists, the debate on the ethics of cloning is off the mark. It is the consciousness of the human that counts, and not the genetic code it carries . The Buddhist scientists demonstrate their point in the case of true twins, who both share the same genetic material, but sometimes have quite different points of view and consciousness.
According to Hinduism, cloning in fact is not new, and has been described millenaries ago in the Vedas. The main point is the progress of the soul, and not the perfection of the current embodiment .
But NRM are also not outside the debate and many of them take an active part in it, integrating it into their bodies of biotechnological knowledge like genetically modified organisms or genetic engineering.
There is little doubt that, in this respect, the Raelian movement is the most demonstrative, as exposed in a recent article by Susan Palmer . Let us only be reminded that Rael, the French founder of the largest UFO-based religion, made a big media "coup" when he publicly announced at a House subcommittee hearing on human cloning, that his company, CLONAID, was about to clone a deceased baby. CLONAIDs research actively developed under its executive director, Dr. Brigitte Boissellier, a "secret lab" located somewherelocated somewhere in a country where it's legal to do human cell-nucleus transfer" .
But other more conventional movements, more centered on a "classical" view of Christianity also appear to play a role in this field. It must be remembered that here at BYU the LDS church is currently supporting a wide study using volunteers to determine genetic fingerprints. This program, funded by philanthropists James Sorenson and Ira Fulton could lend support to the belief that Native Americans or "Lamanites" are descended from Jews  .
The idea that only a "new man" can enter the "promised land" is already written about in the Bible with Moses refraining from entering into the "the promised land", while Joshua will take care of "Israel" on the other side of the Jordan (Deut. 3:23)
The same idea can be found in many forms in both historical and modern religious movements.
The idea, for instance, of a genetically modified "new man" fitting with the special conditions of life in the "new Era", is found throughout New Age literature, often mixed with "UFO cults" and "world-conspiracy" themes.
Our first example is the David ICKE literature : "reptilians" entities are manipulating our world and infiltrating in our bodies their own DNA (reptilians are not able to incarnate by themselves, and therefore need to control human bodies). This infiltrated DNA is activated by the vibrational fields generated by "the Illuminati secret society rituals, and others in the public eye like the carefully designed coronations and official ceremonies of many kinds" (this includes Freemasons rituals, UK Parliament opening ceremonies), while "Mormon Church genealogical data base and the DNA data banks are designed to identify those that will serve as Illuminati", collaborators with the Reptilian invaders.
For the French and Canadian authors Sylvie Simon, Guy Londechamp and Guislaine Lanctot, vaccines contain antennas of liquid crystals, designed by the evil leaders of pharmaceutical firms to be able to program human DNA from outside .
Another example is the "indigo children" belief, as explained by Drunvalo Melchizedek: a new type of children is apparently appearing, with special features such as an "indigo colored aura", indicating special psychic powers, and a "new genetic code" that prefigures the mutated DNA of the "new mankind" .
The idea of the renewed bodily stature of the "new man" has been present, however, since the end of 19th century, in the writings of Nietzsche, and the idea of a radical transformation of the human stature, both on a psychic and physical level, has been explained by Aurobindo and his follower the French writer Satprem.
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Anthroposophy, states in the years 1920 while commenting writings of Goethe  that "what is derived from the past is not an explanation, the first in the time is not the first by principle" (we might say that the evolution path is not continuous, but is made of quantum jumps).
We will in this case-study focus on an occidental movement that appeared in the 1920 in the neighborhood from Steiners Anthroposophy, Mrs. Blavatskys theosophy and Heindels rosicrucianism, the, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum (LR).
Lectorium Rosicrucianum was founded around the twenties by two brothers, J. Leene and Z.W. Leene, in Holland. Jan Leene was at this time the secretary of the Rosicrucian fellowship of Max Heindel, for Holland, and knew quite a lot about so called "esotericism", in fact, mainly anthropological and cosmological ideas already found in Helena P. Blavatsky's book "The secret Doctrine". But the Leene brothers at once chose a strongly dualistic point of view, and made an unconditional refutation of the usual theosophical evolutionist point of view that mankind is in a continuous process of evolution, from sphere to sphere, passing from the first to the seventh plan, from earthly matter to the ultimate spiritual state of being.
They focused on the being of two worlds: a perfect and well-balanced world on the one hand, and a chaotic, twisted world on the other hand; the world in which we were born and live. The first name given to their movement was "the young Gnostic brotherhood", stressing this dualistic point of view . From their first writings, J. and Z. Leene rejected the theosophical principle of any evolution of mankind, but introduced the so-called "true Christian initiation" of "transfigurism". In this sense, "transfiguration" is described as a radical process implying modification of the body itself. Physiological processes, such as metabolism of the liver, functions of the sympathetic nerves, and modifications of the endocrine secretion, are part of the LRs initiation process.
"Transfiguration" is described in LR as a complete renewal of all the cells of the body, a kind of mutation process that brings us back to the problem ofquestion of modern biotechnologies.
In the LR teachings, Our world was not created by GodGod did not create our ,world; but it this fallen world is merely the result of "a mistake". We, human beings on earth, are not the cause of the Fall, but the result of the Fall. This is why, in the human world, everything is imperfect and becoming its opposite. As a Gnostics did, J. Leene teaches that in our chaotic world, the only law is "to eat or to be eaten". This law, says the LR, is engraved deeply into our cells themselves. The findings of modern genetics have come to the point that the metabolic processes of digestion are indeed to be associated with the encoding in the chromosomes. This "genetic code" is considered the atavistic memory of the fallen body, and a signature of its twisted nature, thus supporting the universal law "eat or be eaten".
However, there is a "promised land", a "Static Kingdom" from which the divine part of humanity has fallen, and to which it will return. This explains why every man, though imperfect in nature, is seeking perfection.
The findings of modern genetics has come to the point that the metabolic processes of digestion are indeed to be associated with the encoding in the chromosomes. This "genetic code" is considered to be the atavistic memory of the fallen body, and a signature of its twisted nature, thus supporting the universal law "eat or be eaten".
The fallen body, including the physical and subtle aspects, the etheric, astral and mental bodies, is described in the LR  and in Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophy . However, "tThe field of the dialectics" invades all cells in the body. This field is electromagnetic in nature. It maintains all aspects of the "fallen" and twisted world: it is in fact nothing other than an electromagnetic prison.
However, there is a "promised land", a "Static Kingdom" from which the divine part of humanity has fallen, and to which it will return. This explains, according to LR, why every man, though imperfect in nature, is seeking perfection.
The idea of an electromagnetic field or "morphogenetic field" resonating with the cell's DNA is very common in many New Age movements and writings . For instance, the idea that all DNA material is in fact not a code, but acts like an antenna, has become quite common and could be found in many books .
The theme of a "great revolution" leading to a complete mutation of mankind is very present in the LR (in fact the title of the 3rd book published by J. Leene is "The Great Revolution"). The "mutation", according to the LR, is often associated with the augmentation of the radioactivity rate and the beginning of the Aquarius era.
In many cases, New Age writings also associate radioactivity, electromagnetic fields and bodily mutations . In his book, "La radioactivité, c'est la vie", the French author Pierre-Henri BERNEZET  states that the true (but ignored) function of radioactivity is indeed to teach mankind. Genes, he writes, are composed of exons and introns. Exons are normally not translated into proteins and remain silent. Radioactivity is therefore supposed to progressively accumulate in the silent exons, to the point where all exons will burst out simultaneously to encode new proteins, and suddenly create a new type of human being.
The theme of a "great revolution" leading to a complete mutation of mankind is very present in the LR (in fact the title of the 3rd book published by J. Leene is "The Great Revolution" ). The "mutation", according to the LR, is often associated with the augmentation of the radioactivity rate and the beginning of the Aquarius era.
The same indication of a sudden revolution can be found in J Leene's book "Unmasking"  (this book was written after he took his pen name of "Jan Van Rijckenborgh), where modifications in atmosphere are described as a consequence of the shifting from the 2100 year-long "Pisces" era to the "Aquarius" era. But, the spiritual possibilities opened by the "door" between two eras (called in the LR books as in Alice Baileys theosophical works " the return of Christ on the clouds of heaven") are being somewhat misguided by impostors that settled in the invisible part of our world, the so-called "reflecting sphere", whose inhabitants will try to imitate in a caricatured way this famous "return of Christ".
Here again, attaining the real conditions of the new Aquarius era will only be possible by beings whothat have entered into a structural process of modification called "transfiguration".
The point of departure in this process, and the principle that makes it possible, is the so-called "spirit-spark-atom", the silent witness of the original divine nature of man.
The only way to awaken the "sleeping beauty", the "spirit-spark", is according to Van Rijckenborgh, will be "awakened" by the "ray of the Gnosis", an electromagnetic force coming from the original kingdom of mankind. J. Leene /JVR compares the action of the Gnosis, or of the "Brotherhood", to "genetic engineering", modifying the qualities of the body so that it will be able to function in a different way .
Since the instinctive memory of a cell is, for the LR, identified with the "blood-consciousness", instead of this instinctive automatic memory, the gnosis enables the growth of a "primary memory" of the body, a memory of the original divine nature of man, through the re-activation of the "spirit-spark-atom". This "pre-remembrance" opens the way to a de novo creation of human nature and to the "transfiguration".
We are aware that this brief study of the teachings of the LR makes it difficult to evaluate the impact of "Gnostic" dualist thinking on its members. However, our contacts with members show that, in most of cases, the dualistic approach is in fact not radical, but mitigated. The "transfiguration" concept, while being seen as reality, has according to the members we met to be "lived in the every day life" and the member "has to respect all social and familial responsibilities".
Further studies would be needed to evaluate more precisely the impact of concepts as "great revolution" or physical bodies "transfiguration" on members of LR.
To summarize, while, while mainstream religions have taken rather dogmatic positions on biotechnologies, NRM often show a deep insight on the recent discoveries in cloning, genetic engineering and mutations. The new knowledge regarding modifications of genetic programming, the ultimate secret of life, parallels with ancient Gnostic views, and this gives substance to a "modern Gnostic philosophy". NRM as the LR explains the "Christic initiation", of "transfiguration", as a structural modification to the body in which DNA is the formal representative of an imprisoning electromagnetic field (or morphogenetic field). Through a renewed link with the original field of mankind, new electromagnetic laws make, according to the LR, the "coming of a new man" possible.
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