June 26 is World Swastika Rehabilitation Day, according to the Raelians, and is celebrated worldwide. The date was launched last year by Rael, the group's leader who says that he was contacted by extraterrestrials in the 1970s.
"The goal is to return the swastika's true meaning of peace and harmony to this ancient symbol regretfully hijacked by the Nazis," said Brigitte Boisselier, Ph.D., International Raelian Movement (IRM) spokesperson. "I've been questioned often about my Raelian symbol, in which a swastika intertwines with two overlapping triangles that form a six-pointed star. People were obviously disturbed to see a swastika intertwined with a Star of David, but when they're told it was used for millennia and is still used today by many peaceful religious groups, especially in Asia, they look at our symbol in a very different way." Boisselier pointed out that the Pro-swastika group initiated by Rael now includes Buddhists and Hindus, who have used the swastika as a symbol since the very beginning of their religions.
Boisselier said it's important for Raelians to rehabilitate this symbol given to us by our creators, since they not only brought it to us but explained what it means.
"They said it represents the infinity of time, a very important concept that is now essential to the Raelian philosophy," she explained. "According to Rael, the universe is infinite in both space and time. It has always existed and will always exist."
Prior to its association with the Nazi party, the Swastika was used by the U.S. government, military and corporations, hockey leagues and for centuries, by various religions.
The problem, Boisselier said, is that our society wants to have a beginning and an end for everything, including the universe.
"That's the reason for the big bang theory, which is now more and more contested by scientists," she said. "Already in 1973, the Elohim were telling us that there is no beginning to an infinite universe, and this concept of infinity is essential to grasp before we can continue to advance scientifically from where we are now. By promoting the swastika, we're actually helping the world scientists who have a few minutes to share with us. They need to make this major paradigm shift to progress!"
Boisselier said Raelians also hope for progress in public understanding of the swastika.
"Last year, our Australian Raelian leader was arrested for holding an exhibit that illustrated the peaceful meaning of the swastika," she said. "That incident proved more than ever how highly needed our present action is. Hopefully the Australian police have now learned the swastika's true meaning and the Australian pro-swastika members will be able to convey their message without being harassed."