Wednesday, July 19, 2017 scrubs CLONAID

The official site for press releases by the International Raelian Movement (IRM), RaelPress, has scrubbed all news between January 2001 to May 2004 in an apparent attempt to disassociate itself from claims of human clones made by CLONAID during that time. That's the period when the CLONAID hoax was in the limelight.

A search for "clonaid" produces only 6 results from the entire press site. None of the entries make direct references to CLONAID's claim of being the first company to have successfully cloned a human being:

CISION PR Newswire has archived IRM press releases since July 2002.

It's been 20 years since Rael founded CLONAID (initially called Valiant Venture) as a publicity stunt. While it's claimed that the supposed cloning company is completely independent from Rael and the IRM, all of the people involved with the former were indeed all dedicated IRM members.

This pic of Damien still appears
on CLONAID's website
One such person is Damien M., who had devoted 33 years of his life to Rael. With a background in biotechnology, he was used as a poster boy for CLONAID as part of its scientific team.

However, more than a decade later, in early 2016, he was excommunicated by Rael for finally denouncing Raelian Bishop Brigitte Boisselier, who runs CLONAID, for lying to the media about producing human clones (to date, 13 clones have been claimed) to effectively publicize Raelism to the world. In fact, in 2003, Rael gloated about running a successful media campaign that allowed him to reach one of his 2 main goals: to spread the Raelian Messages worldwide (Susan Palmer, Aliens Adored, p. 191). Rael instead accused Damien of lying and making everything up before expelling him from his cult.

Damien, in a grievance letter sent to IRM's Wise Council towards the end of 2015, revealed how he was told by Boisselier to keep silent about them not having any human clones just before she made the public announcement of the birth of the first human clone baby, Eve, in December, 2002. He had worked with her on the project since 2001. By 2004, he was helping her occasionally until she finally abandoned CLONAID to devote herself to marketing stem cells through STEMAID instead (the UN had passed a non-binding resolution to ban human cloning at that time).

Damien testified that none of the 13 human clones had ever existed and were in fact all invented. Damien argued that this PR stunt had done more damage to the reputations of Rael and IRM. He noted how IRM had subsequently lost many of its members who felt betrayed realizing it a hoax, while new memberships were also dwindling. Damien also expressed his discomfort in having to defend Rael's credibility in relation to this media hoax [Contrary to when the letter was written, Damien is now convinced that Rael has always been in charge and is orchestrating everything with Boisselier being used as a blind follower].

Damien pointed out about how obvious it was to figure out that all this was a hoax in light of all the scientific literature we have to date. It was not until 2013 that a technique was finally invented to successfully transfer the nucleus of an adult human somatic cell into an egg cell (SCNT) to produce a viable cloned embryo by Shoukhrat Mitalipov (with the purpose of harvesting stem cells, and not for birthing cloned babies). Boisselier has failed to produce any scientific papers that backs up any of her claims. Her excuse about the need to protect a cloned person's privacy doesn't hold water considering the protocols and techniques used in research that guarantees the anonymity and privacy of subjects. Additionally, the controversial nature of human cloning isn't a good excuse not to publish research considering the multiple examples of controversial publications existing such as in test-tube babies, embryo editing, head transplants, etc.

Speaking as a scientist trained in evolutionary biology, Damien urged Rael and IRM to come off clean and expunge any mention of CLONAID from all Raelian literature, especially from the prefaces and postscripts of Rael's compilation ebook, Intelligent Design. He has also argued against using the pseudoscientific term "intelligent design" and Raelism's support of other pseudoscientific beliefs while hypocritically affirming "science is our religion".

Perhaps, Damien has been partially successful in convincing IRM to distance itself from CLONAID as evidenced in the recent deletion of all press releases related to CLONAID during the cloning fiasco at the turn of this millennium.

Here is a link to Damien's letter in its entirety. Full names have been redacted for privacy.

1 comment:

  1. Funny you're just now posting this ONLY because people are catching on with open eyes. Gotta discredit quickly, right?