Aerial advertising has always been a mainstay of the New Jersey Shore; it’s relatively cheap and invariably effective. Yet, one banner managed to simultaneously offend and baffle nearly the entire coast of LBI this past weekend. You see, most of LBI’s shoebies weren’t aware that June 23rd was the third annual Swastika Rehabilitation Day, so when a giant flying swastika nestled inside a Star of David careened across the pristine, summer sky, some beachgoers felt slightly
The banner, which appears to equate the infamous Nazi symbol with peace and/or love, was sponsored by the International Raelian Movement, a totally wacky group of people who want to resurrect the symbol from its modern connotation and relay information their leader, Claude Vorilhon (“Rael”), received from the alien UFO drivers he somehow communicates with.
Look, I’d normally be careful when using the word “cult” to describe any group, but I’m going go out on limb in this case, considering that their website greets users with this:
What if, out of the thousands of UFO sightings that occur each year, one person actually met the occupant – the “driver” of one of these UFOs? And what if this person were given information by this space-being that explained the secret history of life on Earth and its pending future? And, what if all this information had been published decades ago and acknowledged by thousands of people, including scientists and historians?
The group has sponsored or taken part in a number of weird events that aim to reclaim the ancient symbol which most agree originated in ancient India. Thomas Kaenzig, coordinator of World Swastika Rehabilitation Day, states on their webpage that “The swastika is one of the best traces left by those who created us, and the attempt to bury it as a symbol of violence and hatred only gives credit to the horrible Nazi ideology.”
According to Philly.com, the Jewish Community Center of LBI received “several” phone calls complaining about the ad. But, for Thomas Kaenzig, that’s all nonsense, “People say it’s offensive, [but] it’s like saying you can’t use the cross anymore because the Ku Klux Klan abused it.” I guess that’s logical, save for the fact that NO ONE HAS EVER SAID THAT.
Source and photos: Philly.com