NBC4 Reports: 'Clone Baby' & Raelians
("NBC 4 News," May 5, 2005)
Los Angeles, USA - COLLEEN WILLIAMS: You have heard their claims, we asked for proof. A group says they cloned humans. Some claim they are a sex cult. I asked the leader about the cloned baby.
WILLIAMS: They call themselves the Raelians. A videotape is shown to recruit prospective members of the movement. Their core belief is that all life on earth comes from aliens from outer space. It was started in 1973 by a former French race car driver, turned spiritual leader, who is reported to have had a close encounter with an extraterrestrial. He is now called Raël, meaning, messenger.
FOLLOWER: Raël's wonderful. He's a great person and leader.
WILLIAMS: Two years ago, Raël and his followers made headlines, claiming to have successfully cloned the first human baby. The company was Clonaid, founded by Raël, and run by Dr. Brigitte Boisselier, a Bishop in the Raelian movement.
WILLIAMS: Has she told you there is a cloned baby?
RAËL: Not one, seven or eight.
WILLIAMS: In a rare interview, Raël agreed to talk to us about the so-called cloned baby.
WILLIAMS: If it is such a big deal, why not introduce these cloned babies to the world?
RAËL: According to what Dr. Boisselier is saying, it is by respect for the family and the babies.
WILLIAMS: Have you seen the cloned baby?
RAËL: I see nothing. I am like you. I am looking like you…
RAËL: Of course.
WILLIAMS: Because you know there are doubters. If you came up with the proof…
RAËL: I know, but, every spiritual leader in the history of humanity had more doubters than believers.
WILLIAMS: But critics like James Underdown say a movement that boasts of combining spirituality and science has to provide proof.
UNDERDOWN: They don't want to provide the evidence or have people who know what they are talking take a look at the evidence. Until they do that, they should not be taken seriously.
WILLIAMS: Despite the skepticism, the movement is growing. 65,000 followers worldwide in more than 85 countries and there is a push to recruit in the U.S.
RAËL: Right now, the extreme conservatives, people in America, are becoming more and more, you know, fanatic, traditionalists. I think my field of loving the differences, of trying not to judge other religions, but to find what is similar, what we have in common and to love everything and to mix everything together. The best way to have a peaceful future.
WILLIAMS: Right now, they number over 100 in Southern California. But Raël insists those numbers will grow, with the first awakening seminar ever held in the U.S. Some describe this annual seminar as a cross between a nudist camp and new-age retreat.
RAËL: Seminar is about sensual meditation and also to find happiness within yourself.
WILLIAMS: Raël says they are not a cult. He says cloning already is antiquated, and the next step is an artificial womb from which babies would emerge in just a matter of hours.