Religious folk of nearly every stripe have something to say about cloning.
The Raelian Movement is no exception.
Founded by a Frenchman named Claude Vorilhon, the Raelian Movement is “the world’s largest UFO related, non-profit organisation,” according to rael.org.
Raelians believe “life on earth was created scientifically in laboratories by extraterrestrials whose name (ELOHIM) is found in the Hebrew Bible and was mistranslated by the word ‘God.'”
Vorilhon claims an alien life form visited him in 1973. The alien gave him a new name, “Rael,” and explained how the human race originated with the ELOHIM in a process that may be termed “scientific creationism.”
“We were the ones who made all life on earth, [but] you mistook us for gods,” the alien allegedly told Rael. “We were at the origin of your main religions, [and] now that you are mature enough to understand this, we would like to enter official contact through an embassy.”
So Raelians are working to establish an embassy so the ELOHIM can return.
Rael’s alleged message from the alien is dramatized at rael.org through an introductory animation. The world, as seen from outer space, is visited by an alien craft. From this slick pod the signs of the world’s major religions are jettisoned–the cross, the Star of David, the yin-yang and the crescent moon.
Raelians also believe the resurrection of Christ was an ambitious cloning experiment performed by the ELOHIM.
The Raelian site currently includes a link to the “Declaration in Defence of Cloning and the Integrity of Scientific Research,” a document signed by the world’s top scientists.
Rael and a group of investors launched a service called CLONAID in 1997, “the first company in the world to offer a human cloning service,” according to clonaid.com.
“CLONAID’s funding–reportedly $200,000–comes from an American couple who wish to clone their dead 10-month-old son, who died during a botched hospital surgery,” reported ABCNEWS.com. “Some of his genes were frozen before he died.”
Brigitte Boisselier, CLONAID’s scientific director, told CNN.com that 50 Raelians have already volunteered to carry the clone of the dead boy.
Boisselier said in a March 29 USA TODAY article that CLONAID plans to perform its first implantation experiment by mid-April.
“Who, today, would be scandalized to the idea of bringing back to life a 10-month old child who died accidentally?” said Boisselier at clonaid.com. “The technology allows it, the parents desire it, and I don’t see any ethical problems.”
Cliff Vaughn is BCE’s associate director.