Canadian Press, Jan. 20, 2003
MONTREAL — Fresh from three weeks of whirlwind publicity over his cult’s claim to have cloned a human baby, Claude Vorilhon stood in front of his Raelian followers yesterday and soaked up their adoration.
The white-clad Vorilhon — who goes by the name Rael — gave a rambling address from the stage of a Roman Catholic church hall in Montreal.
He mixed praise of love and human cloning with harsh remarks about the media, the U.S., the UN and the prospect of war against Iraq.
Three weeks have passed since Brigitte Boisselier, a prominent member of the Raelian movement, astonished the world by announcing her company, Clonaid, had successfully cloned a human being.
Clonaid says a second clone has since been born, and a third is due imminently in Japan.
NO DNA S[LE
But, the company has reneged on its promise to furnish DNA samples for analysis to prove its claim, reinforcing widespread skepticism that it has the expertise to clone a human.
“It’s done,” Vorilhon an-nounced in front of a gathering of a few hundred supporters.
“I’ve informed the entire planet of my message.”
Part of that message is humans and all other living beings on Earth were created by aliens.
The message Vorilhon says he received from the aliens who visited him in rural France 30 years ago was one of love, not fear.
“It’s so important that our message should be brought to humanity by a baby,” he said.
Vorilhon spoke of an inevitable confrontation between power and love. He evoked a “political, journalistic and religious conspiracy to bring fear to the world.”
In particular, he denounced the U.S. for its threat of war against Iraq, as well as the UN.
“One baby is born,” Vorilhon said, “while at least 100,000 Iraqis will die in a new war — and yet the political world is in a frenzy about the baby!”
To loud applause, he said Boisselier deserves a Nobel Prize for her work in cloning. He also suggested if he dies in the next few years, she might succeed him as Raelian leader.
Meanwhile, a poll suggests Canadians were overwhelmingly opposed to cloning human beings, but there was more openness to cloning human embryos to help treat diseases.
The Leger Marketing survey suggested 84% of Canadians were against the cloning of human beings, compared with 5% who favoured it.