The Raelians, a Quebec-based, free-love sect whose efforts to replicate humans have horrified ethicists and mainstream scientists, is believed to have spent millions of dollars in the effort to fulfill one of the visions of its French-born founder, Claude Vorilhon, who calls himself the Prophet Rael.
The movement's bishop and chief scientist, Brigette Boisselier, said yesterday that the sect's biotech company, Clonaid, has implanted an American woman with a clone of herself and that the baby will be delivered by caesarean section. "It would be nice" if the baby could be born on Christmas, Boisselier told Canada's CTV television.
Based in Valcourt, Quebec, where the sect operates a sort of space alien theme park called UFOland, the Raelians advocate free love and believe that extra terrestials hatched humanity in a laboratory 25,000 years ago and then transplanted the new race to earth. Thus, in seeking to clone followers, "they are reenacting their own creation myths," Susan Palmer, a professor of religion at Dawson Colege in Montreal and author of a forthcoming book on the Raelians, told the Globe and Mail newspaper.
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