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Raelians prepared to clone Dracula as they search for eternal life • Saturday December 21, 2002

Canadian Press, Dec. 19, 2002

MONTREAL (CP) — A French scientist nicknamed Frankenstein by some critics and who claims to be involved in human cloning says Dracula is alive and keen for some cloning action.

”Oh yes, we have been contacted by him,” said Brigitte Boisselier, director of Clonaid, a human-cloning company established by the Raelians, a religious sect whose members claim to be descendants of extraterrestrials.

“Yes, he’s alive, he is living in Berlin and he has no hair,” she said in an interview from the eastern United States.

When not talking to legendary vampires, Boisselier has found time to produce what she is calling the world’s first human clone. The girl is expected to be born in a few weeks, she added.

Besides advocating cloning, Raelians support free love and believe Jesus was an extraterrestrial, They also recently garnered attention for urging high school students to renounce their Roman Catholic faith.

The Raelian Church of Canada is an officially recognized religion in Quebec. The Swiss-based, hedonistic movement follows the concept that humanity was created as part of a lab experiment. Their efforts at cloning follow their belief that it will help them reach eternal life.

The Raelian Movement was started by Rael, a former French race-car driver, who established a compound southeast of Montreal.

Following an appearance before the U.S. Congress last year, Rael seemed delighted about his prominent perch in the halls of terrestrial power.

”There has always been skepticism of leading scientists,” he said. “Look at Columbus, look at Galileo.”

And after five years of personal attacks, Boisselier said she’s learned to even laugh about the skeptics.

”People are calling me Frankenstein,” she said. “I tell them, imagine Frankenstein is calling Dracula. That should make people laugh a lot.”

Boisselier hammered back at critics, particularly politicians like U.S. President George W. Bush, who called cloning an affront to human dignity.

”If I look at the people that are trying to give me a lesson, they are the ones killing and putting billions to produce bombs to kill people on the other side of the earth so they have no lessons to give me,” she said.

The group claims to have also contacted the Japanese royal family to help the heir to the throne to produce a male heir.

”The cloning of today is having a baby,” said Boisselier, 46, a French national who earned a PhD in chemistry in Texas. “But we hope that one day we will be able to accelerate growth and go back to a body that is a full grown up and hopefully download personality.”

That development, which could be realized in 50 or 60 years, would make terrorism attacks like Sept. 11 inefficient, she said.

While conceding that human cloning may be possible, critics challenge the moral ethics of putting children at risk of abnormalities and birth defects from an untested scientific experiment.

”This kind of stuff just scares the Canadian public,” said Dr. Jeffrey Nisker, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Western Ontario and co-chairman of Health Canada’s advisory committee on reproductive and genetic technology.

”They see Frankenstein and they see human animal crosses and all kinds of stuff which isn’t what our researches in Canada are doing.”

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