Raelians deny they offered

Canadian Press, Jan. 20, 2003

MONTREAL (CP) – A religious sect that believes aliens created humanity has denied offering a small Quebec political party $1 million to run candidates in the next election.

“Never, never, never,” Nicole Bertrand, spokeswoman for the Raelian movement in Canada, said in an interview Monday. “This is not our goal. . . We have no intention of doing politics. We have to spend the money that our members donate for the Raelian religion only.”

Bertrand said she first heard about the allegation from the media after a newspaper article appeared Monday in Montreal La Presse.

The president of the Parti democrate du Quebec made the claim of a donation offer.

Olivier Chalifoux said he would rather have “normal candidates” but that the party might take the money allegedly being offered by the Raelian movement, which he said wanted to field 60 candidates.

“It’s a little bit against my own beliefs,” he told CBC Radio. “But I’m not sure I have a choice.”

The names of potential candidates said to be representatives of the Raelians are not members of the movement, said Bertrand. Raelians claim to have 5,000 members in Canada, including 4,000 from Quebec.

Chalifoux said he would replace the Raelians, however, if other candidates become available.

“I would prefer normal candidates – I told my executives if I can find regular candidates, I’ll switch the Raelians for those people.”

Three weeks have passed since Brigitte Boisselier, a prominent member of the Raelian movement, drew international headlines by announcing that her company had successfully cloned a human being.

The company, Clonaid, says a second clone has since been born, and a third is due imminently in Japan.

However, the company has reneged on promises to provide DNA samples for analysis to prove its claim and experts are skeptical Clonaid has the needed scientific expertise to clone humans.

Chalifoux says his party has 1,000 members and 17 candidates. There are 125 provincial ridings in Quebec.

Chalifoux, an auctioneer by trade, was a member of the provincial Action democratique du Quebec party and placed third in the last provincial election in the riding of Megantic-Compton.

He also ran unsuccessfully in Quebec for the federal NDP in the last election.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday January 21, 2003.
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