Wednesday, February 10, 2010



In the 1998 movie "The Parent Trap", Lindsay Lohan played twins, Hallie and Annie Parker, who conspire to get their divorced parents back together, or something. The plot really doesn't matter. It was a typical Disney movie, a remake of a 1961 film of the same name. Moviegoers assumed that camera special effects were used to show Lohan in two places at once on screen.

What the public did not know at the time was that Lohan was cloned to produce the movie. Celebrity cloning is commonplace, and there exists a standard Hollywood policy that, for ethical reasons, clones used in movies (as stunt doubles and for plotlines involving twins) are destroyed once production is complete. Lately clones have also been used in the post-production publicity blitzes that often take place after filming, where stars appear on several talk shows, becoming ubiquitous on the late-night and talk-show circuit in the weeks and days during the run up to the film's release.

There have been several cases where celebrity clones have managed to take the place of the original celebrities, assuming the lives of the actors they were created to replicate. When "Parent Trap" finished filming in the fall of 1997, movie producers and Clone Wranglers (CW on most film credits) mistakenly destroyed the original Lohan instead of her clone. This is just one example of cloning mistakes and missteps involving the cloning of actors, politicians, and professional athletes.

Cloning technology, while advanced enough to produce exact duplicates of celebrities and politicians, is not perfect. A clone's capacity for judgment, self preservation and shame deteriorates over time. This explains the bizarre and often self-destructive behavior of celebrities such as Lohan, Tom Cruise (cloned during the filming of Top Gun for a stunt double), Anne Heche, Mel Gibson, Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods (cloned to make time for endless commercials and golf) and Elvis Presley. Presley was the first celebrity to be cloned, for the purposes of filming movies simultaneously at the height of his popularity. It was his clone that served the brief stint in the US Army (1958-1960). Presley's clone was never destroyed, and it is rumored that his clone is buried at Graceland, and the original Elvis lived as a recluse in Florida until 2001.

There is also wide speculation that all celebrities involved in Scientology are clones who have disposed of their original selves and formed their own religion. In 1992, the Los Angeles district attorney David Segal attempted to open an investigation into these allegations, but the effort was halted after a suspicious automobile accident ended his life.


Awareness about human cloning and its drawbacks may help people of all parts of society make informed decisions as human cloning becomes more affordable and commonplace. Monsanto and General Electric are said to be in works developing a consumer home-cloning kit. Are you ready to take on the responsibility of caring for and feeding your own doppelganger? Are you prepared to take the appropriate precautions to avoid being replaced by your clone, which will develop ambition and cunning comparable to your own? Are you willing to put up with the embarrassment your clone might cause as its judgment deteriorates and you get blamed for its increasingly erratic behavior?

If you have already been cloned, think for a minute. If you were a clone of yourself, where would you be most likely to bury your own body if you decided to kill your original self and hide the body? Now go to that spot and look around. If you find a grave already dug there, your clone may already be planning murder.

Cloning will be a part of the American experience in the near future. Start preparing today. Will you keep it in the spare bedroom or on a cot in the laundry room? Will it make passes at your spouse or significant other? Will it try to take your job? These are questions we should all be thinking about as human cloning is no longer science fiction, but science fact.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post. So where is the original Dan Manning? Inquiring minds want to know...

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at