Cult head says cloning in Ireland would be 'a great thing'
The Irish head of a cult that believes that humans were first created by aliens says it would be "a great thing" if Irish parents were to seek to create a human clone here.
To date, however, Mr Emmet Glynn says he doesn't know of anyone in Ireland who has sought to avail of the services provided by Clonaid, a company associated with the Raelian sect.
Mr Glynn told The Irish Times yesterday he knew about the organisation's claimed cloning of a human being "weeks ago". He says the Raelian sect in the US gave him "inside information" about its bizarre claim to have won the race to produce a human clone.
As for claims that the sect practices free love, Mr Glynn dismisses these as media manipulation. "The Raelian seminars I attended were more like college than an orgy."
"However, we don't discriminate sexually. Everyone has the freedom to behave as they wish so long as they respect other people. Life is for enjoyment and pleasure, created by people who wanted us to be happy. If sex is just for reproduction, why does it feel so good?"
According to Mr Mike Garde, who monitors cults on behalf of the Christian Churches in Ireland, the Raelian movement is a "sex cult". "Its members are mainly men, who are attracted by that kind of thing."
Mr Garde says he has been contacted by the family of a cult member worried about their son "going off the rails".
Mr Glynn, who is just 21, describes himself as a "level 3" member of the sect - by contrast, Ms Brigitte Boisselier, the flame-haired research scientist who made last week's dramatic claim to have produced a human clone, is a "level 5" bishop.
The movement claims about 50 members throughout Ireland, and says 10 of these are active in the international network.
Bizarrely, it has The Late Late Show to thank for its recruits, many of whom joined after seeing the movement's founder, French sports journalist-turned-prophet Rael, on RTÉ. Rael was a guest on the programme in 1993, 1998 and last February.
Mr Glynn said he has taken a lot of stick since last week's announcement, though "all my friends accept what I believe in". He lives at home and admits his parents don't approve of his beliefs.
"A lot of people see human cloning as playing God. But we don't believe in God; we are atheists. We believe in science. The ethical and moral objections that have been raised belong to the past. In forty years cloning will become common practice. Unfortunately, some people will stay afraid and they will grow old and die."
Claiming last week's announcement is just the tip of the iceberg, he goes on to outline a vision for the future of the technology that most people would consider pure science fiction. This envisages the cloning of fully-grown human bodies with no memory and personality, and the transfer of an existing person's memory and characteristics to this clone.
Mr Glynn came into contact with the sect through his older brother David (30), who is now working for the organisation in Sweden.Mr Glynn says he hopes to bring Ms Boisselier to speak in Dublin next year. After the past week's deluge of publicity, he shouldn't have much problem finding an audience.
The US Food and Drug Administration said yesterday it is launching a probe into the Raelian sect's claims that it has cloned a human.
"We are going to probe the circumstances surrounding this alleged cloning. And we've started steps to look into that," FDA spokesman Brad Stone said. He said although the sect had claimed to have done the cloning outside the US, the FDA would still look into it. - (AFP)