In the Fall of 2000 Claude Vorlihon, who calls himself "Rael" visited San Francisco. Vorlihon leads a French "cult" called the "Raelians." His California visit was to announce his supposed plans to "clone humans."
He emphasized that this would enable gay couples to conceive.
This appeared to be a fund-raising publicity stunt by a man who claims that he communes with alien beings from outer space.
The former journalist now prophet offered no proof regarding his cloning claims, but he generated press stories in the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post and Britain's Guardian.
"Rael" set up and touted a business and website for this project. His company is called "Clonaid." But when pressed for specific details the "cult leader" was vague. However, he does seem to enjoy news conferences.
At one such conference he explained that an alien race from outer space actually created all life on Earth in a DNA experiment 25,000 years ago.
Vorlihon supposedly received this revelation in 1973 when an alien spaceship landed in France and emissaries from the outer space race called "Elohim" explained it all to him.
Rael claims he has 50,000 followers, largely located in Japan, France and the United States. No objective confirmation of this claim can be readily verified.
Vorlihon said,"We can have eternal life through cloning,"
Note: This article is largely based upon "Leader emerges for disciples of human cloning," The San Francisco Chronicle, October 12, 2000