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Religious Sect Claimed ‘First Cloned Baby’

PA News, Jan. 17, 2004, UK
Jan. 17, 2004
Stephanie Condron, PA News • Sunday January 18, 2004

A religious sect last year claimed to have produced the worlds first cloned baby.

But the announcement by the Raelian movement met with extreme scepticism from scientists and have not been backed by essential DNA proof.

The sect, which attracted world attention after making its claims, was founded in France in 1973 by former journalist Claude Vorilhon.

He says he met an alien who told him humans were extra-terrestrial creatures created in laboratories 25,000 years ago by aliens who had mastered genetic engineering.

Followers believe the only way to eternal life is through the replication of DNA. There is no such thing as the soul, but man can live on through cloning, according to the sect.

The Raelian movement claims a membership of 40,000 and has an international following. It founded the firm Clonaid in 1997 especially to clone humans.

Clonaids managing director is Dr Brigitte Boisselier, a French scientist who became a Rael in 1992. She began running Clonaid in 1999.

She holds a masters degree in biochemistry, a doctorate in physical chemistry and another PhD in analytical chemistry. She is also a Raelian bishop.

US-based Clonaid unveiled a picture of a cloned baby in March last year.

The firm said it had recruited 10 couples for the project and that five of the women had become pregnant.

Eve, the first so-called clone was said to have been born to parents in the United States on Boxing Day, 2002.

A second baby girl was supposedly born to a Dutch lesbian on January 3, 2003 and a third, a boy, was allegedly born in Japan weeks later.

The fourth cloned baby was born to Saudi Arabian parents on January 27, the group claimed. It was claimed the fifth cloned child was born on February 4.

Many scientists have dismissed Clonaids claims to have cloned humans because, despite promises, it has not provided DNA proof.

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