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Cult chief denies clone hoax • Wednesday January 8, 2003 (England), Jan. 7, 2003

The UK head of the Raelian sect, which claims to have produced the world’s first human clones, today denied the announcement was an elaborate hoax.

A freelance journalist who said he would oversee DNA testing to prove whether or not a clone had been produced suspended his efforts.

But Glen Carter, UK president of the Raelian movement, said journalist Michael Guillen had stopped his work because people had accused him of being a “lunatic”.

Mr Carter said the sect wanted to get the clones tested as soon as possible to “get the show on the road”.

Mr Guillen, a former science editor for US network ABC, was investigating the claims made by the sect’s research company Clonaid that a baby girl named Eve born last month was a clone.

A second “clone” was said to have been born last week to Dutch lesbians and Clonaid claims three more will be born by the end of January.

Mr Carter said: “I understand his claims and I understand what he said but it’s important to be aware that he’s faced a character assassination for the last couple of weeks or so in the US and beginning here, where he’s been called an idiot, a lunatic, somebody who’s not independent.

“To be honest with you I think he’s just showing his independence.

“It is true that until there is any evidence then there is always the possibility it’s a hoax, I just don’t believe that it is a hoax.

“If you want to compromise the safety of the family then yes you could end the situation in a second.

“But nobody at Clonaid from my understanding is prepared to split up a family simply to save their own faces, I think that would be hugely selfish.

“Just because no one sees the truth does not mean it’s an error, as Gandhi said.

“When the truth does come out and when the evidence is put forward, all this frustration will just be seen as exactly as I see it which is childish arrogance and vanity that scientists want to know now.

“Because they’re all frightened that they don’t get their grants from their governments to do the same thing.”

Mr Carter said he believed the second child, also a girl, would be the first to be tested.

The testing has been blocked by the American parents of the first baby, according to Clonaid, the company founded by the Raelian sect that believes space aliens created life on Earth.

In a statement, Mr Guillen said he had assembled experts to do the work but suspended the effort last night.

He said: “The team of scientists has had no access to the alleged family and, therefore, cannot verify first-hand the claim that a human baby has been cloned.

“In other words, it’s still entirely possible Clonaid’s announcement is part of an elaborate hoax intended to bring publicity to the Raelian movement.”

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