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Jewish World Review Jan. 6, 2003 / 3 Shevat, 5763

Phil Perrier

Phil Perrier
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Consumer Reports

CLONE THIS! Why "Rael" wants to be Hef | The whole thing is just plain weird. On December 26th, a woman bearing an uncomfortable resemblance to Paula Jones, named Brigitte Boisselier, held a press conference to announce that her group, Clonaid, had successfully cloned a human baby.

Boisselier, said the baby, "Eve," was an exact genetic duplicate of her mother, an unnamed American woman.

Though no scientific evidence whatsoever was given to support the claim, news of the "announcement" made front-page headlines worldwide.

Now, the same group claims a second cloned baby has been born to a lesbian couple from Holland; however, again, no DNA evidence has been offered and the baby's location remains a secret.

So who are these Clonaid people and why has the usually skeptical media run with a story that has more factual problems than O.J.'s alibi?

Clonaid (no, it's not a nasal spray) is the scientific branch- loosely speaking- of the Raelian sect, a religious cult that believes life on Earth was created by beings from Outer-Space.

In a dogged pursuit of the truth, this reporter did what any hard-nosed journalist would do, I visited the Raelian web site.

The Raelians claim to be the "largest UFO related non-profit organization in the world," with over 55,000 members in 84 countries.

The group was started by French race car journalist Claude Vorilhon. According to his bio, Vorilhon was (I swear I'm not making this up!) "conceived on December 25, 1945 and born on September 30, 1946, in Vichy France."

December 13, 1973: On the way to his office, Vorilhon felt compelled to make a detour to a nearby volcanic crater. (As we all have at one time or another) After walking to the center of the crater and enjoying a few moments of peaceful repose, right when he was about to leave, Vorilhon saw a small flying saucer heading his way. The saucer landed and a four-foot alien, with long hair, olive skin and almond shaped eyes, de-saucered and, in perfect French, invited Vorilhon into the craft to chat.

During their conversation, the spaceman told Vorilhon that human beings had been created by an alien race and deposited on Earth thousands of years ago; the alien went on to give Vorilhon the new name "Rael," and told him that he was chosen to create an embassy on Earth to welcome the aliens; and that the embassy should be in Jerusalem.

But, the alien said, his leaders would only come to the embassy after world peace had been established. (apparently, Vorilhon had been abducted by the most ill-informed alien in the universe)

The creature left "Rael" with instructions to tell the human race about their meeting.

The web site goes on to list a hodge podge of supposed alien influenced Raelian goals which sound not unlike a yard sale of Deepak Chopra cast-offs; among them, "hightened awareness," "self-love," and "sensual-meditation."

Another cornerstone of the Raelian platform is an almost Hefneresque belief in sexual freedom. The Raelians believe that where sex is concerned damn near anything goes -- including "threesomes, foursomes and moresomes," -- as long as all involved are consenting adults and "Rael," gets to see the video.

The Raelian sexual policy makes sense considering that "Rael" himself looks like the result of a cloning mishap involving the late Sonny Bono and a French Poodle.

After perusing the Raelian web site one is left with the impression that A) the Raelians are as goofy as a football bat. And, B) "Rael" is one very lonely man.

So DID the Raelians successfully clone a human being? Don't bet on it.

Will professional journalists lead with a story that reeks to high heaven, provided it's a slow news day? Just ask the next four-foot alien you meet.

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JWR contributor Phil Perrier is a Los Angeles-based writer and stand-up comic. Comment by clicking here.


12/12/02: Bigfoot: Myth or monster?
11/25/02: Wacko Jacko blows his stacko?
11/11/02: The "Toad Factor" --- proven yet again
08/19/02: In this game, nobody wants a souvenir!
08/08/02: Drawing the curtain on a 'forgiven' lifestyle
07/29/02: The end of the freak show?
07/03/02: Who died?
06/21/02: From death, life
04/09/02: Welcome back, Phil
03/21/02: The Hollywood Curmudgeon's Guide to the Oscars
02/15/02: Another piece of Americana bites the dust
01/18/02: I'M SPARTACUS!
12/31/01: Realistic New Year's resolutions
11/02/01: Return to narcissism with Emmys
10/19/01: White trash exchange program
10/01/01: A few shows that will not be on the fall lineup
09/25/01: What's important
09/20/01: A sleeping giant awakes

© 2002, Phil Perrier