A UFO sex cult is boycotting Shapeways over their refusal to 3D print objects for their “Swastika Rehabilitation Day”.
Today is a weird day in existence. A religious sect calling themselves Raelians — who are (at best) kind of similar to Scientologists and frequently referred to as a UFO sex cult — recently held their first ever “Swastika Rehabilitation Day” on 25th June.
The move was prompted when “New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) introduced a bill to ban public displays of swastikas,” says Raelian spokesman Thomas Kaenzig. “That would infringe upon the freedoms of speech and religion guaranteed by the US Constitution.”
The spine of the Raelian argument is that the swastika is an ancient symbol that existed long before fascism laid claim to it. Today it has become taboo, but it also has a long history with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. In fact, as a favorable symbol with positive connotations, it can still be found in temples all over the world.
It’s hard to say that reclaiming the symbol for its original meaning and cultures is a bad thing. But when the group sent their designs off to professional 3D printing service Shapeways to be fabricated… Well, they were met with difficulty.
“Shapeways, a 3D printing company, is refusing to print any design incorporating a swastika,” declares Kaenzig. “We’re asking all Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Raelians to boycott Shapeways services for banning this symbol so dear to us all.”
Shapeways Responds to UFO Sex Cult
The Raelians — who teach that life was engineered by aliens called the Elohim (which sounds like a character from Lord of the Rings), and that Jesus, Buddha and the like were actually messengers of the Elohim — have had an exchange of emails with Shapeways over the decision.
In correspondence shared by the Pro Swastika website, Shapeways Legal Counsel Michael Weinberg clearly explains the position of the company:
We are aware that the swastika has a long history that predates its adoption by the Nazis, and hope that it will have a rich future drawing on that history going forward. However, at this point we have concluded that for a significant portion of our users the primary association that a swastika brings to mind is with the Nazi party. The history of the Raelian “galaxy” symbol suggests that Raelians themselves recognize the ease with which the swastika – especially one embedded in a Star of David – can be interpreted in a negative light. As such, we have currently implemented a categorical ban on swastikas on our site.
None of this is done out of animus for any of the individuals and groups who use the swastika in non-Nazi related ways, to suggest that those individuals and groups are using it out of hate, or to suggest that those groups are not positive forces in the world. Instead, the decision is a judgement call that we made related to the current popular understanding of swastikas in many parts of the world. This is admittedly a judgement call where reasonable minds can differ, but it is decision we have made at this time.
This line of reasoning is not acceptable to the Raelians unfortunately, and so begins their official boycott of Shapeways and, presumably, every other 3D printing service that declines their business.
Ironically, since the stated goal of Raelianism is peace and love (and sex), picking a fight with a company operating with ethical consideration is a funny way to go about it.
(Source: The Jewish Press)
License: The text of "UFO Sex Cult Boycotts Shapeways Over Swastikas" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.