Jacobsen: To begin, what was life like growing up, developing into adulthood?
Kuya Manzano: I was 10 years imprisoned in a Catholic boarding school. So I had ample time to learn how the Bible works and how priests operate. Church in the morning and night, every day.
Jacobsen: How did you find the Raelian movement?
Kuya Manzano: I love controversial people who are brave enough to go against the grain and fight the conservative madness that the Catholic church has dominated the world with. So, I found these crazy Raelians and I started learning more online. Because I am an Activist Atheist and they are too and they are taking real actions around the world.
Jacobsen: What eventually convinced you on the logical coherence and empirical veracity of the faith?
Kuya Manzano: If you read the books by Rael it makes way more sense than any other religion out there. No miracles, no magic, just science, technology.
Empiric is kind of confusing. ‘Cause even the things we think are true, proven through science nowadays, might change. Science is always correcting its mistakes, therefore, science is always wrong. Though it is nicer to stick to science than to magic. Bravo for correcting the scientific theories whenever there is a new truth discovered.
I wasn’t there when the world was created. I wasn’t there when the UFOs abducted Rael. It just makes sense, pretty possible. And fits my logic more than other explanations out there.
Jacobsen: As a way of life, what are its theories about the nature of the world and our origin, and recommended ethic for how we should behave towards one another in the world?
Kuya Manzano: This is the best part and why I embrace the Raelian philosophy, because of the values it brings. Just love one another, give freedom to your partner, be free with sex. We are pro-peace, female rights, gender equality, meditation, health, cloning, automation, happiness.
Everything has a creator, things that happen by accident can’t be so complex as a chair, a computer, a human, a fish.
We believe everything is eternal and infinite and that matter is recycled. And the Elohim, the extraterrestrial race that created us also modified the planet a little and created different kinds of life forms in a laboratory. Same as others did with them before. The process in infinite, cyclical. No beginning and no end.
Jacobsen: Now, your position is “Raelian Life Guide.” What do you do in that capacity? What are some of the downsides of the work that you do, e.g. violent or verbally abusive interactions with people who do not believe and may even be anti-Raelian to an aggressive degree? What are some of the upsides, e.g. personal fulfillment in helping others in some way within the constraints of the Raelian ethic?
Kuya Manzano: As the national guide for the Raelian movement in the Philippines, I can introduce new members, take decisions on actions to be taken by the group, communicate with the international structure.
I find more aggression from the Atheist community than from the Religious one actually. We are an Atheist religion and hope to get respect from both sides though. Some atheists think we replaced gods by aliens but here there is no praying, no worshipping, no commandments (just loving yourself!).
Upsides, I find hundreds. It totally changed my life for the better. We focus on building happiness. A vital need, I see a certain lack within humanity around the world, whatever belief or lack thereof.
We teach how to be happy, healthy, how to meditate, and philosophy – and personally, I even teach people how to be wealthy by applying the Raelian principle of Paradism (paradise on Earth where all work is done by automation and we can just enjoy life).
Jacobsen: Any final thoughts or feelings in conclusion?
Kuya Manzano: I love the Atheist community. I thank you for your activism. I am an activist Atheist since years ago and I personally host many events of different Atheist organizations here in the Philippines.
Before becoming a Raelian, who is an Atheist, I was a regular Atheist for 20 years. Now, I am still an Atheist. I have a life guide that makes me and others happier.
I invite the Atheist community to read the messages from Rael at http://rael.org free books download.
And to follow the social media of the Philippine Raelian movement
Thank you so much for this opportunity.
Love and Infinity!
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Kuya Manzano.