[This story is partly based on a February 28, 1997 PRNewswire release and a March 10 Business Wire release.]
In a public announcement issued on February 28, the United States Raelian Movement said that the recent cloning of a sheep by Dr. Ian Wilmut in Scotland is a confirmation of the messages transmitted by Rael, the religious figure and self-proclaimed extraterrestrial emissary formerly known as Claude Vorilhon.
Rael/Vorilhon was a French journalist in 1973 when he had the UFO experiences that transformed him into a world-famous cult leader who now boasts 35,000 followers in 84 countries. The name Rael, he said, was given to him by extraterrestrials known as the Elohim, who had previously engineered the human race and now want to communicate with humanity again. They told Vorilhon that he had been chosen as an emissary.
The Raelian Movement characterized the Scottish cloning breakthrough as "a first step toward eternity for humans." Their statement declared:
"When Rael, 23 years ago, brought a message from the Elohim, these extraterrestrials, who created all life on Earth scientifically in laboratories thanks to a perfect mastering of DNA, stated, among other things, that the mystery of the resurrection of Jesus was in fact a cloning performed at that time by the Elohim. Many were those who thought it was impossible."
The current rush by politicians and world leaders to limit or ban human cloning research, the Raelians said, "proves to what extent the technology, which was judged impossible, [is] now totally possible.... The cloning of human beings will fortunately happen in the near future and will become... a means for humans to reach eternal life.
"No committee of ethics in the world will be able to prevent humans from wanting to acquire eternity," the statement added.
Acting quickly to capitalize on the cloning breakthrough, Rael himself announced on March 11 in Las Vegas the creation of a new investor-backed company, Valient Ventures Ltd., which plans to offer a service called "Clonaid" to assist infertile parents in having a child cloned from one of them.
The Bahamas-based company will build a laboratory in a country where human cloning is not illegal, Rael said. In the first phase, Clonaid will subcontract existing laboratories to perform the cloning and will offer its services worldwide to wealthy parents. "Clonaid will charge as low as US $200,000 for its cloning service," Rael said.
Clonaid's scientific director, French scientist Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, Ph.D., says she sees no ethical problem with the procedure. "Parents have the right to decide to have a baby who will bear the genetic code of one of them. It's now common to see a dead parent father a baby through the process of frozen sperm implantation. Imagine the joy of a widow raising a child looking like her beloved deceased husband," she said.
Clonaid also plans to offer a service called "Insuraclone" which, for a fee of $50,000, will provide the sampling and safe storage of cells from a living child in order to create its clone if the child should die of an incurable disease or by accident.
Rael declared that Clonaid can "expect to have over a million customers worldwide interested in its services, as well as many laboratories [seeking] partnership in the venture."
Further information on Rael's projects can be found on the web at www.rael.org. Information can also be requested by phone (in North America) at 514-366-3734.
Original file name: CNI - Cloning.Rael
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