Send in the clones

The Daily Telegraph/February 13, 2004
By Simon Benson

They want us to believe that humans are descendants of aliens who arrived recently in UFOs. Now the cult known as the Raelian Movement claims its subsidiary company Clonaid has cloned a Sydney man at a cost of around $300,000.

They say that a week ago the unnamed man's wife gave birth to her husband's genetic twin in Sydney.

The organisation, which says it not only wants to clone humans but eventually transplant people's personalities into their clones, has come under attack from medical experts for making "outrageous claims" and preying on vulnerable people for profit.

One of Australia's leading reproductive experts, Professor Robert Jansen from Sydney IVF, said yesterday: "They claim life on Earth is of extraterrestrial origin.

"I think it is about time someone applied the Trade Practices Act."

Doctors fear that people with fertility problems can be emotionally vulnerable and can see offers like cloning as a last ditch attempt to have children.

So far, Clonaid would have made at least $1.5 million based on the fees it claims it charges.

While cloning is illegal in Australia, scientists claim it is unbelievable that such an organisation would have the technology to even attempt it.

Furthermore, cloning of primates such as humans has been shown to be far beyond current techniques used on other animals because of the complex chemical nature of human eggs.

However, the vice-president of Clonaid Thomas Kaenzig told The Daily Telegraph that the child - nicknamed Crocodile Dundee - was conceived in another country and born here to get around the laws.

The Sydney clone was allegedly born on February 5 although the Health Department knows nothing about it.

The cult now claims to have cloned humans in six different countries but has yet to provide any evidence.

It justifies its secrecy on the basis that if it proved it had cloned humans its French biochemist Brigitte Boisselier would go to jail under French law.

Mr Kaenzig said they used the same technology as was used in creating Dolly the sheep - somatic cell transfer.

But research has shown it is impossible to clone humans this way.

The Raelians' supreme spiritual leader, Frenchman Claude Vorilhon - otherwise known as Rael - wants cloning to lead to eternal life.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.