Some Well-Intentioned but Probably Misguided Alien-Followers Flew a Swastika Over the Beach on Sunday

Image via Twitter user Gifter Photos
A group intent on "rehabilitating" the swastika had a genius plan Sunday afternoon: flying a banner with a big ol' swastika on it over a portion of the shoreline, where it was spotted by beachgoers in Long Island, Rockaway Beach, and Coney Island. No possible way that could be misconstrued! Nope!

The tweets started coming in around 11:30 a.m., when sunbathers looked up in the sky, squinted, and said, roughly, "What in the fuck?"

Good question, young lady! We'll tell you what the actual F. Sunday was the fourth annual "Swastika Rehabilitation Day," according to ProSwastika, the site on the aforementioned banner. The gist of the "holiday," if we can call it that, is that before the swastika was a Nazi symbol, it was a Sanskrit one, and it's simply not fair to let the mean old Nazis appropriate the whole thing.

We'll let the ProSwastikateers take it from here:

The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit svastika (in Devanagari, स्वस्तिक), meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote good luck. It is composed of su- (cognate with Greek ευ-, "eu-"), meaning "good, well," and asti, a verbal abstract to the root as "to be"; svasti thus means "well-being." The suffix -ka forms a diminutive, and svastika might thus be translated literally as "little thing associated with well-being".

The swastika symbol is one of the oldest symbols on the Earth and can be found in all religions and traditions, on all continents!

"We want to fully rehabilitate this symbol that's so dear to billions of people," Thomas Kaenzig explained in a press release on the site. He's the president of the ProSwastika Alliance. He also believes in aliens.

Really. To make this story weird, in addition to being kind of offensive: The people behind the Ill-Advised Swastika Plane are part of a "UFO religion" called Raelism. Kaenzig is a Raelian Guide, one of the top levels in the group's spiritual hierarchy. The swastika is apparently special to the religion "because it intertwines with two interlocking triangles to form the Raelian symbol," according to their highly enjoyable website.

Raelianism was founded in the '70s (of course). Their spiritual leader is Rael, previously named Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon, a French former sports car journalist whose encounter with an extraterrestrial being in a volcano park led to the founding of his new religion. If this io9 piece is anything to go by, Swastika Day is probably the least weird thing they've done lately. They believe life on earth was created an extraterrestrial species called the Elohim. In 2002, they claimed to have cloned a human baby . In 2006, they announced plans to build a special Pleasure Hospital in Burkina Faso, designed to rebuild the clitorises of women who underwent female genital mutilation. They support the rights of topless people. They put out a lot of press releases.

It's all probably quite well-meaning. But still: once the Nazis touch something, we're just not sure it can be untouched. Might have to just let this one go, guys.

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The National Socialist German Workers Party did not call their symbol a “swastika,” they called it a Hakenkreuz (hooked cross) because it was a type of cross. German National Socialists did not call themselves “Nazis” and they used their hooked cross to represent crossed S-letters for their name: “socialists.” See the work of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry.

That is why the German symbol is turned 45 degrees from the horizontal and always pointed in the S-direction. GNSers had a lot of similar stylized alphabetical symbolism, for the “SS” division, the “SA,” the “NSV,” and even VW (the letters V and W combined for “volkswagen”). German National Socialists did not refer to themselves as “Nazis,” nor as “Fascists.” Some popular authors probably know that GNSers did not refer to themselves as Nazis nor Fascists, yet those authors never actually explain or emphasize the point, and that means that many Americans can read books by many popular authors and remain clueless about the fact that GNSers did not call themselves nazis nor fascists. Many people are so ignorant that they do not even know what German National Socialists actually called themselves. Many people are so ignorant that they think German National Socialists called themselves nazis and fascists, because those are the only words many Americans have ever heard or spoken in that regard in their entire lives. Many posts are evidence of the ignorance mentioned here. That is why they never comprehend that the hakenkreuz was used as S-letters for “socialism” because they do not know what Nazis called themselves.

In that sense, many people who claim that they want to defend the “swastika” only continue to defame it by using the wrong term for the German symbol and by failing to distinguish the German symbol by its orientation, alteration, and alphabetical symbolism for S-letters. They are vulgus profanum.

Anyone who wants to “save the swastika” from proposed laws to ban and criminalize its display, needs to stop defaming the swastika and start explaining that the German symbol was a hooked cross and used as S-letters for “socialism.”

Jnana Wepa
Jnana Wepa

Ignorance of history leads to negative reaction.

Spencer Tiberius Rappaport
Spencer Tiberius Rappaport

i do kinda agree on both points. One, let it go, Nazi's aint fading from memory anytime soon, and B. It does suck that a symbol of peace an inner well being was stolen like that for one day, people may look upon the American flag in such a light.

Natali Wind
Natali Wind

My grandparents (who were Holocaust survivors) used to own a hotel on Rockaway Beach. I can't even imagine what they would say about this...


Don't use genius as an adjective like that. . 

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