If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Raëlism or the International Raëlian Movement (IRM) is essentially a religion based on the belief extraterrestrials are our creators. This organization was actually founded by French native journalist turned leader Claude “Raël” Vorilhon back in the 1970s, only to soon be deemed cult-like owing to the practices he established. These included nudity, extensive sexual freedom, plus much more, all of which were followed at their safe haven — their Eden — as carefully explored in Netflix’s ‘Raël: The Alien Prophet.’
Raëlism’s Eden Was A Private Property
It was in the mid-1970s that IRM’s top executives realized their numbers were increasing day by day, and they thus needed a place to settle down — to really feel comfortable as well as at home. That’s when they kickstarted a search for a cozy yet massive property in their homeland of France, soon resulting in them falling in love with La Bastide in an unspoiled area of the southwest region. The precise location of this Tarn plot, standing in over 11 acres of meadows and surrounded by not just vineyards but also some of the most beautiful villages, is actually 81440 Puycalvel, France.
Raëlism thus ensured to make this private property their own before renaming it Eden, enabling members like Jean-Thierry Linard to really feel at ease while embarking upon their usual practices. This campground’s name obviously pays respect to the Garden of Eden in the Abrahamic religion’s tale of Adam and Eve, making it clear their aim for it from the get-go was to make it like paradise. And they did; “Eden was – – well, it was a real paradise,” Raëlian Brigitte Boisselier said in the original. “You arrived through this passageway. On the other side, there was a house with nature all around.”
But alas, the International Raëlian Movement had to part ways from this haven of theirs in the early 1990s after France banned the sect following claims of internal incest and pedophilia promotion. La Bastide was hence restored to its former glory, and it remains a luxury countryside gite to this day – a large part of it was built in 1610 yet it has since been updated with all modern facilities. Though arguably one of the very best parts of this estate is the fact it is steeped in medieval history since the wondrous town of Albi (also an incredible world heritage site) lies a mere 35 kilometers away.
We should mention La Bastide is made up of three fully equipped self-catering cabins/gites: The Cottage, The Farmhouse, as well as The Grange, with swimming pool access through all. There’s even free wi-fi available, but it’s the private south-facing terrace from which you get unspoiled views of rolling countryside plus beautiful sunsets that make every penny spent here worth it. You can actually rent this whole place to yourself, pick and choose the gites you desire, or simply make bookings for their yoga holiday specials, meaning you can decide upon a package that suits you.