BRENDA BUTTNER, GUEST HOST: Joining me now is Rael, the former French journalist who is behind the Raelian movement as well as Clonaid, whose main goal is to produce the first human clone. Rael is the spiritual leader of the international Raelian movement.
Welcome, sir. And thanks for joining us.
RAEL, FOUNDER OF CLONAID: Thank you.
BUTTNER: Thank you.
BUTTNER: So your group did produce the first human clone?
RAEL: Not our group. We have to understand that the Clonaid project, the company and the Raelian movement are completely separate.
BUTTNER: Yes. But you founded Clonaid though, sir, yes?
RAEL: I launched the project five years ago after Dolly the sheep was cloned. I launched the project. It was just what you call an America a seed company.
BUTTNER: But you.
RAEL: And then.
BUTTNER: Sir, you want to clone humans, though, and this group that.
RAEL: I support the idea. And I launched the project and then Dr. Boisselier came and asked me, Rael, I can create a real company and really do it with a laboratory. And I say, OK, with certain conditions. And I gave her the baby, if you like, I gave her the project and then they founded Clonaid, which is a private company, which is completely separated from the nonprofit organization, we are.
BUTTNER: Right. But sir...
RAEL: . the Raelian movement.
BUTTNER: She considers you her spiritual leader. And you`re clearly behind cloning humans. Why no proof? Why would she provide no proof?
RAEL: Ask her. I don`t know. I don`t know anything about what is happening. I don`t even know where is her laboratory and I don`t know-I know nothing, and I don`t want to know.
BUTTNER: Well, do you.
RAEL: It is her company.
BUTTNER: Do you understand that we might be a little bit skeptical of that, sir, because she does claim you are her spiritual leader because you did provide the seed money, because you did found this group, because you did give the company to her?
RAEL: No, I didn`t provide any money. I just gave the idea.
BUTTNER: For Clonaid you did.
RAEL: No. Absolutely not.
BUTTNER: You founded the company then that spun off into.
RAEL: At the beginning it was a seed company which was just a P.O. box and an Internet Web site. And it was just to study the feasibility of the project. And then Dr. Boisselier came and she said, now I can really make real company, not a P.O. box. And we can start with a laboratory. And so she started this company and this project after. And I was not any more involved.
BUTTNER: Which you do support, though, you do support this whole concept.
RAEL: I support, of course, 100 percent psychologically, spiritually, I am 100 percent in support of what she is doing.
BUTTNER: And again, she does claim that you are her spiritual leader and she believes very much in you. Sir, why do you.
RAEL: Yes, because like everybody, she is-at the same time she`s private person with a scientific company and she`s also Raelian bishop. So, it`s two different things.
BUTTNER: All right. Let me grant you that, although I am a bit skeptical that you don`t have much more to do with that. But let me just ask you the question, why clone humans? why was it that you decided that that was an important thing to do and that you were inspired to do that? You met aliens at some point, sir?
RAEL: Not aliens. The word is not respectful. It`s.
BUTTNER: Excuse me, what would you say.
RAEL: . extraterrestrial beings.
BUTTNER: I`ll give you that.
RAEL: They`re named the Elohim. E-L-O-H-I-M. The Elohim. The Bible in Hebrew say the first Elohim did that. It`s never the word "God."
BUTTNER: OK. Excuse me.
BUTTNER: Well, sir, we could argue about the theological origins. But let me just ask you, you yourself were visited by aliens. Is that what you claim?
RAEL: I met Elohim, yes. In 1973. And they gave me this.
BUTTNER: And what did they look like?
RAEL: They looked like human beings. And they gave me this wonderful message explaining that they created life on Earth using DNA and mastering genetic engineering, a long time ago, and we are the fruit of this experimentation.
BUTTNER: So they look like human beings? They weren`t.
RAEL: Yes. They created us in their image, like the Bible said.
BUTTNER: OK. Sir, we want to-we have much more to discuss with you. I hope you`ll stay with you us right past this break. More on the founder of Clonaid, next.
BUTTNER: And I am joined once again by Rael. He is the former French journalist who is behind the Raelian movement as well as Clonaid, whose main goal is to produce the first human clone. And Rael is the spiritual leader of the international Raelian movement.
OK. Sir, just to recap, you were visited by aliens, you claim.
RAEL: Extraterrestrials, yes.
BUTTNER: Who looked like us and they said to you, it is important to-by extraterrestrials, excuse me, who looked like us and they said to you it is important to clone humans. Now, that is scientifically possible, sir. But ethically is it the right thing to do? Do you have any concerns about the ethics of this issue?
RAEL: Ethics is a word which has no place in science. Ethic is a good word for religious people. It is ethical for Christians to have one wife. But it is ethical for Muslim to have four wives. And ethics is for Jews it`s unethical to eat pork and it is ethical for Christian. So ethics have perfect place in religious affair. Not in science. What is.
BUTTNER: But sir, the lines are blurred here, think-if you only think of the baby, who may very we will be visited by premature aging, who knows what types of disease may hit this baby. This movement to clone humans is so fast, that we have no idea what will happen to the child. Do you care about the child?
RAEL: Of course. And you know, 22 years ago, the first test tube baby was born. Louise Brown. And exactly the same people with the same ethical ideas said, oh, it is terrible. They are playing Frankenstein. They are playing God. They will create a monster. The children will be handicapped forever. What is the result? 22 years later, in the world we have 200,000 children born through IVF, babies.
BUTTNER: But sir, look at-this is a different issue. This is cloning.
RAEL: It`s the same.
BUTTNER: Look at Dolly, who was the sheep.
RAEL: No, no.
BUTTNER: Who has.
RAEL: Dolly is a sheep.
BUTTNER: . huge health issues.
RAEL: No. Absolutely not.
BUTTNER: You are.
RAEL: This is a lie.
BUTTNER: You are making decisions.
RAEL: This is a lie.
BUTTNER: No, no, no, sir, I am sorry, that is scientifically proven.
RAEL: Absolutely not. The only thing they say about Dolly, she is already older than her mother. She has a beautiful life and she has arthritis and you also have arthritis, maybe you have, millions of people have arthritis and they are very happy.
BUTTNER: But, sir, you are making decisions about this baby`s life that are not up to you or scientists.
RAEL: You know, every minute, you have on the Earth thousands of children born with handicaps. No legs, no arms. And they are made sexually.
RAEL: Yes, it is result of sex. And you know, recently.
BUTTNER: Which is completely different than cloning, sir.
RAEL: . you have Siamese twins. Let me speak, if not, I have nothing to do here. You have two Siamese twin brothers, the doctors had to kill one to have the other one survive. If these two babies were made through cloning, everybody would say, look, they create monster, it is terrible, it should be banned. No, there were the fruit of a sexual intercourse.
BUTTNER: No, no, no, now sir, it is not.
RAEL: And nobody says you should ban sexual intercourse.
BUTTNER: It`s not that we think that the baby might be monster, but certainly you can understand that the concern of the baby, it seems, is not being addressed here. You don`t care about the baby.
RAEL: No. Of course we do. And what if, because nobody think about that , what if, and this is what disturbs (UNINTELLIGIBLE), what if the baby is perfectly healthy? Then they have a bigger problem.
BUTTNER: Fine. So there`s one healthy baby, how many embryos were created to create this baby, which is another issue. And what happens to them? Are they thrown away?
RAEL: That is not a problem. You know, you can have a consent with the little-it`s not embryo. It`s so small that you need a microscope to see.
BUTTNER: Oh, sir, that must-that may be. And this is up to argument, the very origin of life and you are throwing them away.
RAEL: It depends on the philosophy of people. It depends on the religion of people.
BUTTNER: Is that what is happening though? is that what`s happening when you clone a human out of thousands of embryos you may get one and the rest are thrown away?
RAEL: You say embryo, people see a little baby, like that. It has nothing to do with that.
BUTTNER: Then whatever you call it, I agreed with you about extraterrestrial versus alien, you listen to me on this one. Whatever you call it.
BUTTNER: Whatever you call it, are they being thrown away, the embryo?
RAEL: Embryo not, stem cell, yes.
BUTTNER: Can you see why that is an issue?
RAEL: No. Absolutely not.
BUTTNER: That a human life that you have created that you can throw in the garbage bin.
RAEL: Every day in IVF fertilization hospital, thousands of little, what you call embryo, that are stem cells, just the beginning of life, you need a microscope to see it, are discarded. And they are put in the garbage. It is happening every day.
RAEL: It is good to use that to create life.
BUTTNER: It is a very different issue. But let me ask you.
RAEL: It is the same issue and it is so shocking to hear somebody thinking that is a science life or pro-science. We give birth when now people are thinking about killing thousands of innocent Iraqi people, children, women.
BUTTNER: All right. Let`s not get into that. Let me ask you a question.
BUTTNER: What is your vision? What is your vision? You create one human baby, what do you see in the world?
RAEL: I see in the future thousands of children being born through cloning, right now you have 200,000 children born through.
BUTTNER: Thousands of babies looking just like their mother?
RAEL: You ask a question and I can never answer (UNINTELLIGIBLE) why having me?
BUTTNER: Sure. Excuse me. Please. Go right ahead. Excuse me.
RAEL: You have 200,000 children in the world born through IVF now. And you will have in the future, very soon, you will have thousands of children born through cloning, perfectly healthy. It will as accepted as it is for IVF. And then the next step is much more important. We can envision, soon, I am not talking about next century technology. Two, thanks to cloning, to get ourselves eternal life. That`s the goal.
BUTTNER: Oh, so eternal life is the goal next?
RAEL: Yes, true cloning, meaning right now you clone yourself, if I take a cell from your body we create a baby after nine months in the womb of the mother.
BUTTNER: So you want lots of people looking like you are, or like their mothers running around, is that what you would see?
RAEL: No, only one, when you die, you create--you clone yourself, and you transfer that data information inside the brain of the person you clone, and then you can live eternally.
BUTTNER: All right, sir, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate airing your views.
RAEL: My pleasure.