April 23, 2024

Raelian cloning a fake, after all

Revealed in Swiss court case

Back in December 2002 Clonaid, a company associated with a UFO religion called the Raelian Church, claimed that it had cloned a baby girl – the first artificial clone in history. It was a very slow news time and there was an uproar in the media. Even President Bush said that the development was “deeply troubling”. However, the Raelians were slow to produce proof and most observers subsequently suspected that it had been a publicity stunt for a sect whose beliefs are mind-bogglingly weird. (It sees cloning as a way to attain immortality.)

Now it appears that the sceptics were right. The sect’s founder, Claude Vorilhon — better known as Rael, wants to be a resident of Switzerland and to live with some of his followers there. This is opposed by the Swiss authorities because, they alleged, the Raelians supported paedophilia and reproductive cloning, which is banned by the Swiss constitution. In his defence Rael told the court that he opposed sexual relations with minors — and that the Raelian cloning service never actually existed.

Switzerland’s high court was not impressed. "Public interest to abolish threats the integrity of minors and human dignity prevails above all other considerations," the judges said in their ruling. ~ AFP, Oct 2