GoTopless encourages the women of Columbia to free their, um, minds.
Free your breasts, and your mind will follow. Such is the mantra of GoTopless.org
, an offshoot of a religious movement tied to UFOs that is bringing its fight for bare breasts to mid-Missouri later this month.
"When a woman takes her top off in public, there's a chemical reaction in her brain that is very powerful," explains Donna Newman, a Raelian priest and spokeswoman for GoTopless.org. "It's something men will never understand. We want it written into the Constitution that women should be allowed to go shirt-free in public. We were human beings before we're gendered."
Newman hopes dozens of women will join the cause August 26 at a rally in Columbia's Peace Park. She says GoTopless has already been in touch with Columbia's police department and received assurances that the group won't be breaking any laws. The city reportedly has no ordinance
on women going topless.
"This is about human rights and freedom," says Newman, downplaying GoTopless' association with the Raelian Movement -- a religion that believes extraterrestrials created mankind. "It is not a recruitment drive [for the religion]."
Raelism traces its origins to 1973 when Claude Vorilhon, a French journalist and race car driver, says he was abducted by aliens in his native country. (Aliens, btw, that looked a lot like Michael Jackson, circa 2007, according to images on the religion's website
.) After spending a week on their flying saucer, Vorilhon claims the extraterrestrials returned him to Earth with orders to spread the truth about creation as well as their message of love. Vorilon later changed his name to Rael. Tenets of the Raelian Movement include sensual meditation, masturbation and -- yes -- female toplessness.
This marks the fifth year in a row that Raelians and their GoTopless group have organized rallies in the United States. Newman, who lives in Florida (and swore she was topless when Daily RFT
reached her by phone), says the organization chose to add Columbia this year after reading a news article about Columbia's lax public nudity laws that many women may not know anything about.
"This is a call to all Missouri women to stand up for your rights," says Newman.
Yet that may be more difficult than anticipated. GoTopless is still searching for a local organizer for the Columbia rally. Interested ladies (or men), can email GoTopless here