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Brigitte Boiselier and
Brigitte Boiselier and "RaŽl"

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

From that inspiring story to a bizarre story. Genetic science is forging ahead presenting us with huge moral dilemmas. Once scientists in Edinburgh announced that they'd cloned Dolly the sheep, it was perhaps only a matter of time until someone tried to apply the same technology to human life. Now a cult based in Canada is claiming to have produced two cloned babies, the second born on Friday to a couple from the Netherlands. But there's no scientific proof that the babies are indeed clones - that will need DNA. I spoke to the cult leader Claud Rael and to Brigitte Boisselier, the director of the company involved, a sort of subsidiary in a way, of the Raelians, it's called Clonaid, and I began by asking them about their latest claim to have produced a second cloned baby.

Well the second baby was born yesterday night, it was ten pm local time where she was born. I will not disclose where it is for obvious reasons but the parents are a lesbian couple, they are from Holland and I can tell you, from what I heard from their voices, they are very happy.

And tell me, presumably they're not actually in Holland at the moment because of the law, but they come from Holland.

I will not disclose where the baby was born. I don't want, you know, anybody to search any country about the baby girl that was born at ten o'clock at that time. You know, I think it's safer for them, right now, just to, not to disclose where they were born, okay?

Brigitte, with animal cloning, as with Dolly the sheep, there were and are many unsuccessful attempts for every successful cloning. How many attempts did you make which were unsuccessful before these two babies were born.

Since Dolly was born, you know there have been five years of work, hard work on different species and also we, we did some attempts on human beings but knowing how to produce embryo - there is a huge difference between what you can do with human reproduction and animal reproduction. For 24 years there have been test tube babies done and the technology of assisted reproduction is well known in humans, it's not in animals. So that's the reason why they had so many defects, so many problems, that they also had with test tube babies, not a problem of cloning - okay? Now for to do our implant - before doing our implantation, we produced several hundreds of embryos just for testing, genetic tests and so on. But we did ten implantations, among the ten implantations, five of them were successful. So two babies are born now and we're expecting the, the, three other ones by the end of January, beginning of February.

But as you know, much of the scientific community has reacted to your claims with scepticism. What's stopping you from providing DNA evidence as proof? Is it the privacy of the parents, or legal problems in the United States?

Well it's a combination of both because at the beginning they wanted privacy - I told you that they will need at least three to four days before going home and, you now, they wanted to enjoy the baby alone. Now, going home, they discovered through the press that there were many legal problems that, that were behind the scene, and they did just, didn't want to have to face that. And it's true that by giving, or having an independent expert going to their place, or even going to a secret location, this independent expert would have the knowledge of who they are. And if this independent expert is asked by a judge to reveal who they are, he will have to do it. So that's the weak, the weak part of the test, and they were not ready to do that. And I'm, you know, even if we have a legal contract saying that they should do it, that that was the deal we had together, I have no heart to push them in that direction and I, I prefer to say well let's wait until they are really ready to do it. So they have said they will make up their mind on Monday and I'll let you know more about that.

Thank you Brigitte, let me turn now to your spiritual leader. Now you believe, don't you, that human cloning is in fact the first step to achieving eternal life?

Of course it is, yes. Right now the first step, what I call the first step in human cloning, is just helping infertile couple to have child. It's good but it's not so, so big deal. I mean if you want to have a clone of yourself, you give a cell to Dr Bosselier and she can make a twin brother or sister of yourself which will need, this baby will need nine months in the womb of the mother, then 18 years, then you have an adult copy of yourself. But it's not you. This child will have a different education, a different environment and can be a very different person of who you are. So when we will soon, and that's the way I hope Dr Bosselier will work with new laboratories to work in research of accelerated growth process. What is accelerated growth process is to be able to accelerate the cellular multiplication and the Elohim explained to me that it's the way to reach eternal life.

And in terms of your basic background beliefs, it was 1973, wasn't it, when you say that you first became aware of, and indeed met, extra terrestrial creatures?

Yes, in 1973, I was journalist myself in a race car magazine and I had this encounter with this very advanced civilisation, the Elohim, who gave me this incredible and wonderful message which explains our origin and they explained to me that they came on the earth a long time ago, there was absolutely no life on earth, and that through DNA and genetic engineering they created all life on earth - and not by cloning but by creating synthetic life from scratch, from dust. That's what how they, that's what how they did it and the Bible described what they did. The Bible is truth, but there is no God in the Bible. The original Hebrew bible, you have the first day Elohim did that, the second day Elohim, always the word Elohim. You can say Elohim is God, no, in Hebrew, Elohim means those who came from the sky. And so this is a description of a creation by extra terrestrial coming on the earth a long time ago.

And finally, moving away from the background philosophy and returning to cloning, Brigitte, when you do think the world will recognise and accept that you have indeed done what you say you have done?

I believe that even if we produce DNA tests they will still doubt that. It's kind of a, I wonder, you know I've seen for the last five years how it's going on. When a new technology arrives, you have the disgust first, the yuck effect. And then you have the fear, and then you have the doubts and then you have slowly to accept and then in, probably in five years from now, people will say well they say that this is okay, you know. That's the way it is. So they have doubts about what I said, what I do, did, but remember this baby was born on December 26th and she's alive and the parents are alive, the mother is, so there will be tests at any period of her life. I want these tests to happen as quickly as possible because it's my concern, it's my, you know, that's what I want to achieve. But not at any price. And I'm a human being and I am a mother and I understand her, this mother who has a baby, who desperately wanted one and she will, she will, she can count on me not to, not to jeopardise that.

Well thank you very much indeed. I don't know whether I'm just a traditionalist but I think I prefer the old fashioned version of eternal life rather than this one.


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