LONGEVITY REPORT 42
Volume 5 no 42. First published December 1993. ISSN 0964-5659.
Super-Centenarians Are Made Not Born Edward Yarwood
Letters: Visit to FA Albin & Sons, Flurbiprofen, Terra Libra, Bozzonetti personal reports
Terra Libra Progress Report Frederick Mann
Dental Health Douglas Skrecky
Vitamin E Prevents Coronary Disease Douglas Skrecky
A Brief History of Death Brian Haines
What Will They Think? Chrissie Loveday
Cryonics to Nanonics - Everlasting life (Poem) Brian Blair Giles
But What if it Does Work? Paul Michaels
Unfortunately the electronic text of this article has been lost.
Super-Centenarians Are Made Not Born - Part Two
Edward Yarwood looks at the final stage of Mankind's Evolution, and the prospect of the Optimum Lifespan
And the Lord said, My Spirit shall
not always strive with Man, for that
he also is flesh : yet his days shall be
one hundred and twenty years"
A Time Haunted Race
The notion of time is one of the most difficult aspects of living for the human mind to come to terms with. For each of us before our birthday there is no time, as likewise after our deathday there is no time. This means all our days of this life we are destined to live in a bilateral time mode, the subjective time of our own days, and the objective historical time of the days of the human species.
The Russian mathematician P.D.Ouspensky put this most succinctly in the following words; Life in itself is time for man, for man there is not, and cannot be any other time outside the time of his life. Man is his life, and life is his time.7
For at least the past 500 years, from the early middle ages, Man in an absolute sense has been an horological being. The concept of the hour goes back much longer than this of course. As from the early times of Western Christianity the religious life has been ordered in terms of hours. But this didn't begin to become an absolute in the life of Man until the invention of the mechanical timepiece in the form of the clock. The clock as we know it today goes back to the mid-fourteenth century, around 1350. But it wasn't for another 150 years that the rigid segmentation of time into seconds, minutes and hours entered into the consciousness of Man in an absolute way. Prior to the innovation of the mechanical clock Man's only measure of time was the wholly arbitrary one of the falling of the shadows across the axis of the sun dial and the rising and setting of the sun, the darkness and the light. The sociologist Lewis Mumford rightly calls the mechanical timepiece the most important machine in the history of human technology. One could go further and say that contemporary Man is dominated by this aspect of his technology, as from the period of the Middle Ages when most people had no concern for absolute time, today we all carry round one of these machines strapped to our lower arm in the form of the wristwatch. Thus, even though we haven't a much greater understanding of time than our forebears, we've allowed ourselves to become enslaved by it.
So, for modern Man time is a dualistic phenomena in his day to day life, even though few stop to reflect on the true nature of this phenomena. Time for each individual born into the world is the duration between the dates in human historical time that define his birth and death-dates. Yet the consciousness of the majority is still so feeble that it's only a philosophical thinking minority that are fully capable of grasping the essence of Ouspensky's definition, that life and time in each human existence have a oneness, as for each, time is their life, and life is their time. Time is the one thing that contemporary humanity seems most concerned with, yet values the least.
The individual who would attain the Optimum Lifespan thus needs to rethink and reprogram his personal sense of time, which means he must become more conscious of it in an objective way, and escape from the tyranny that it exercises today, of Man in the technological mass. Contemporary humanity has become dominated by time in numerous ways, not least, in the number of years he is expected to live, all of which is mechanical. No one knows in any real sense how long is the true life expectancy of a human being, 70, 85, 100 are purely numbers which relate in our minds to the commonality of the years that we've become to think as the normal lifespan. So potent has become this fixation of numbers and the years of individual human life, that today in Western culture when a person reaches the age of 60 years it's automatically assumed that they are old.
In reality this figure as a symbol of incipient decrepitude didn't exist in the modem mind before the 1920's when the social mores in the United States started to dictate that that was the maximum age that a person was fit to be in full-time employment, and so ought to be immediately superannuated. No one knows what effects this negative social pressure has on the health and survivability of the human organism, as utility and work from the cradle to the grave has long been the normal lot of the human condition. Every human being alive and who has ever lived is or has been a unique existential entity, so although there has to be general laws relating to the individual lifespan. As the mere sake of social organisation in a complex technological civilisation such as ours, these laws have no absolute reality to the particular condition of the individual citizen. The thinking evolutionary conscious personality will thus seek means of obtaining freedom from such restrictions on his life. Faced with a seemingly insuperable problem, the mechanical, natural impulse of Mankind is to duck and hide. Around five hundred years ago with his demotion of the heliocentric system of astronomy, Nicholas Copernicus originated a scientific ideological seed that put in motion a trend that has finally in this last half-century run it's course.
It is quite astounding to think that as recent as 500 years past the whole of humanity inhabited a universe in which it perceived itself as virtually omnipotent, being at the centre of the entirety of manifest creation. The new universe of Copernicus was to set in motion a process that was going to de-egotise the species, the culmination of which that has come about in the last fifty years, with almost material annihilation from the cosmic scheme, science reducing the race to mere cosmic speck of sidereal reality. As recent as 1940 Mankind's true material position in the cosmic scheme wasn't fully known, in terms that is of the space-time dimensions of the extraterrestrial universe.
The astronomical work of Harlow Shapeley in the 1940's taking the original scientific impulse of Copernicus to it's ultimate conclusion. Before Shapeley it was assumed that all the stars that were in the manifest universe were a part of our own native island universe of the Milky Way Galaxy. A vast miscalculation had been made, which Shapeley rectified. Up until this time it was taken for granted that the star system of Andromeda was within our own personal universe, and lay some 200 million light years away. Shapeley discovered that Andromeda was an extra-galactic phenomena, in fact an island universe in its own right, larger than our own Milky Way, and was some 200,000 million years away in time. Suddenly overnight the cosmic reality of Mankind had grown to a dimension that all but numbed the human brain into extinction. Mankind in its insignificance appeared to be meaningless, the whole duration and existence being reduced to a millisecond. Great ideas take a long time to filter down to the mass of the race. Oddly, contemporary humanity's phenomenal capacity for communication hasn't improved the ability of Man in the mass for ideological absorption, in terms that is of the brain of the man in the street. The great idea of our epoch is that of the Optimum Lifespan and it's about to come of age.
Viewed superficially the latter section may seem to have been a digression. But that view is a misconception of my essential thesis. Above anything the Super-Centenarians of the future will be thinking people, a greater understanding of time in the human existential experience will be a vital part of their armoury in the maintenance of their significance, a significance that might never be fully comprehended by their less thinking peers. The organising of one's personal time is one of the few ways in which the individual might defuse the objective social pressures prone to negatively impose on his life.
The type of people that I imagine will desire and be happy to attain the Optimum Lifespan will be those who have gone beyond the mechanical purposes of biology and necessity that have always been the eternal motivations of the majority. They will see themselves as people with a mission, philosophically minded, first-rate intellects who will have thought through the whole condition of humanity in the cosmos. In short they will be people, as I say, with a mission, a mission to move the race forward; an elite aware of their related responsibilities and so willing to make the sacrifice of living lives that will inevitably have striking counterpoints to that of the usual social norms. Being aware of objective time in terms of years, weeks and months they will at the same time be conscious of the negative influence that has gathered like barnacles round these basic time concepts over the centuries. As octoptent beings they will naturally gravitate to a condition of living horologically with tendency to think in 1000 hour units - 42 days - rather than weeks and months, seeing themselves as destined Million Hour Humans - 115 years - cynosures of Man's immediate tomorrow. (Continued in the next issue with Towards A New Global Order)
From Mr Paul Michaels
I've been to see Mr Barry Albin Dyer, the UK funeral directors representing the Cryonics Institute. He's a real nice bloke. He looks a little bit like Elton John with hair, has a sense of humour and lives two doors down from Danny Baker, the disk jockey who I like. I've seen the casket. It is solid oak, titanium zinc lined. By the time they've finished packing up the dry ice, soldering a titanium zinc inner shield on with polystyrene over the top and a titanium outer shield and bolting down a solid oak lid with about 30 nuts and bolts it is air-tight. All that sits inside the oak casket. Inside the titanium zinc there's another gap where he's got some silica gel that will soak up any condensation. I could see where the money would have gone. There's no doubt about it, he would have spent some money.
He has also got a titanium zinc container. He said if they get a call the container comes out with them in their removal ambulance. They pick up the patient anywhere in the UK, they freeze down as fast as they can and even while the ambulance is coming back they will be preparing the body.
From P. A. Heasman
Lecturer in Restorative Dentistry,
University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
[In response to an enquiry I sent in following a photocopied article from Douglas Skrecky]
Thank you for your letter in which you discuss the possibility of using flurbiprofen oral irrigation applied through a WaterPik device.
We have indeed pursued this method of application several years ago, when we used a flurbiprofen solution as a treatment regimen in an experimental gingivitis model. Unfortunately, the results were somewhat equivocal and we decided to incorporate the flurbiprofen as a toothpaste preparation which would have the additional benefit of ease of application for the patient. We are also considering the use of flurbiprofen in a mouthwash preparation, as we feel quite strongly that if this drug is ever to be used in the treatment of periodontal diseases, we would need to ensure maximum compliance and this would not be particularly forthcoming if they had to use the solution with a subgingival irrigator.
Thank you for your interest in the work of this laboratory.
Personally it took me some while to get used to using a WaterPik, but now I wouldn't be without it.
It is amazing the amount of debris that is removed by this device, even after brushing teeth. Once your mouth is really clean after meals, if you are in a position not to clean it you definitely notice the difference.
Of course the problem is that many people are away from home for one or two meals a day and regular use of an irrigator may be impractical, although I do understand that battery models are available.
Initial problems are that the gums are often too tender, so you have to use it at low pressure to start with to toughen them up. It is at this point that I should image the compliance factor may be most predominant. Also, unless you get your arms and head in the right positions, water tends to run down your sleeve leaving you with a wet arm unless you change your shirt. (You have to keep your elbow at a higher level than your mouth, not a natural position!) A final problem is that I am told the original importers have gone bust and a new firm has taken over whose trade price for the WaterPik, which did retail in the USA a few years ago for $40, is £60. No I haven't got my pound and dollar signs mixed up. The retail price in the UK is now likely to be a shade under £150 including VAT.
From Mr B.W. Haines
Terra Libra, A new world order?
I am intrigued by a new world order where there is no government. It sounds such a great idea.
What does puzzle me with these people who want to put ideals before commerce all want to be paid so much for their knowledge. I would have expected them to put practice first and show what a altruistic principles can do.
Here we have someone who claims to have found a real relief to the normal run of disease. In fact the claim is quite amazing that such a gamut of ailments could be cured almost overnight, surely the whole world should be told the secret at once if freedom is to be attained.
Why not publish the secret and done with it. How selfish can you get? It does not auger a good start for this Terra Libris if we have to buy everything.
P.S. A chap called Horace Markley wrote a book in 1953 called "Farewell to the Common Cold" based upon the exposition of the Body Heat theory of Dr. Max Rubner in the last century. He was 85 when he wrote it. I suspect this system is as good as any to extend life, it worked for him and he published it to the world.
Terra Libra, just like any other endeavour needs to raise money. I hate passing out the begging bowl and indeed shun organisations that do just this. By seeking financial reward for its information sheets it seeks to raise its money in an ordered and precise way.
From Mr Yvan Bozzonetti
Internet, Usenet, Compuserve and the like.
If you have a computer and a MODEM, the world network of networks INTERNET allows you to get much information, mostly in the scientific domain. If you enjoy reading, you can get a full copy of the Library of the Congress for example. May be more interesting, there are all the genetic data to build back any known gene. Nature is full of advertising from industries offering to turn such data into real DNA sequences included in "vectors" able to carry them into cells. That may be the first step towards a real fountain of youth. More on my progress along this track in the coming issues.
DEMON INTERNET Ltd., 42 Hendon Lane, London N3 1TT, Tel. 081.3490063 offers a link for £12.50 + VAT at first and then £10. + VAT per month. There is no charge on connection time or the data volume exchanged. You can try to see for some BBS too, unfortunately I have no address here outside France. If you can (or want) to call in France, I can send a software free of charge.
Antioxidants from Dacrydium trees.
I have written before about Dacrydium trees, such the New Zealand Rimu (D. Cupressinum). In spring, all Dacrydium shed a sap extract with powerful fungicide, antibiotic and antioxidant (that is, antiviral) properties. This liquid, named copal, is known as hair restorer and a powerful conservator. It was used in the thirties as paint and varnish additive in that aim. I don't want to sell a hair lotion, so I give here the address to go to the source:
CEDAR LODGE NURSERIES, David and Noeline SAMPSON, 63 Egmond Road, 2 R. D. New Plymouth, New Zealand, sell Rimus for NZ$ 9.50 ( 0.9m subjects) or NZ$ 12.50 ( 1.3m subjects). Ask for a complete catalogue with many more Dacrydium trees. Many are small species such D. Bidwillii and fit well indoors. Rimus are giant trees up to 70 m but with slow growth rate, you can keep them indoor or in a green house for twenty years at least.
Most anti oxidants produce some free radicals less active than the ones they are scavenging. Nevertheless, an artificial product such BHT and the like may be dangerous to use in the long run. If the dosage is not well done, the free radical byproducts will be more copious than the original toxic waste we want to destroy. Natural anti oxidants on the contrary are equilibrated admixture of many products, each one destroying the free radical byproduct of the preceding element in the chain. In this way, copal is a very valuable anti oxidant without bad side effects.
Plants genetic mapping.
It is in fashion now for big pharmaceutical corporations to search for useful plant products; unfortunately they look only to largely expressed proteins in cells. On the other side, modern genetic sequencing demonstrates than most gene products (proteins) are never found in this way: the proteins are too short lived, too unstable outside the cell, produced only in unidentified particular circumstances... The only way out is to map the genetic content of the cells and then sequence each interesting DNA strand. Who will map Dacridium trees? Professional biochemists have too much work and too little money to do the job. As in the astronomy domain, where basic work on many subjects is taken by amateurs with good scientific capabilities, we must go towards a group of amateur biologists with serious background.
The Edinburgh Royal Botanical Garden produces a kit for schools with the capacity to map plant genetic make-up. This kit can't be sold, so its cost is covered by a course on its use. If you have some free time, I can pay for the course if I get the kit and some lecture notes from the course. For more information contact:
SAPS ( Science And Plants for Schools), The Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh EH3 5LR (contact: Mrs Geraldine Russell) Tel. (031) 552 7171 ext.465. FAX: 552 0382.
Amateur astronomers build very often their own telescope. The most costly part remains the main mirror when it get large. Today, most primary mirrors have a diameter up to 50 - 60 cm. Going from telescopes to mirrors making, I am assembling a grinding and polishing machine able to handle mirrors with diameters up to 2 m in a first time. When that activity will be well established, may be one year from now, the next step will be to buy a low pressure chamber for aluminizing the large mirrors. That chamber is too the main element to exploit freeze drying on whole people. Unfortunately, long conservation asks for very long drying, up to six months. A far cheaper solution would be to use short drying and chemical conservation in copal.
In fact, I can get an access to a large drying chamber right now for some mirrors and without too much problems for short freeze drying, unfortunately I have not the requested copal supply at hand. Needless to say, I am ready to buy that product in the £ 200.-400;/lbs range from any producer...Terra Libra Progress Report #1
by Frederick Mann - September 17, 1993
The creation of Terra Libra is progressing with leaps and bounds. In general, when you try to launch a "grandiose utopia" like Terra Libra, you are confronted with massive rejection. You have to contact 10, 20, or 50 "hot prospects" to find one who is interested. But, in the case of Terra Libra, the "hit rate" has been much higher than I could have hoped. As expected, many people who I think would benefit from involvement in Terra Libra,, flatly refuse or just ignore me. But, considering the number of people contacted, the positive responses have been quite spectacular.
Terra Libra was conceived in May 1993. In just four months a great deal has been achieved, as indicated below:
We have a range of reports, books, information packages, and services containing valuable, practical information individuals, groups, and businesses can apply to increase their freedom. "Paine's Torch," owner of ZENO Press in Colorado, will soon add his book A Personal Declaration of Independence: To Complete The American Revolution, as well as several reports, to the Terra Libra product line.
We have a marketing system that induces a significant number of people to become active Distributors. We already have active Distributors in America, England, France, and Australia.
Four newsletters/magazines have published articles on, and/or advertisements for, Terra Libra.
Our cash flow has been positive since June. An important factor that made this possible is that from the outset we focused on producing, marketing, and delivering valuable products.
In August I met with two Colorado enthusiasts, "Paine's Torch" mentioned above and his friend "HP." I expect that "Paine's Torch" in addition to making his writings available to Terra Librans - will become an active and successful Distributor.
"HP" has undertaken a project to issue Terra Libra passports, driver's licenses, car registration, and other documentation. He has been involved in earlier free country projects. He is a master practitioner of freedom technology. He is determined to follow through with the project to the point that Terra Libra documentation becomes generally accepted.
Also in August I met with two California enthusiasts who plan to give seminars on AIDS around the country, based on my AIDS report. They have arranged with Dr. Peter Duesberg (one of the world's leading virologists) to make a video. At their seminars they plan to sell the video, as well as a deluxe edition of my AIDS report. (If they properly plan their project - including making a detailed list of action steps - they should succeed.)
Mr. T.C. Fry, owner of Health Excellence Systems and director of the American Freedom Network, has been test-marketing my book The Economic Rape of America under the title How We Americans are Being Reduced to Peons and Paupers. The test-marketing has been successful enough for Mr. Fry to "roll out" the marketing effort on a wider scale.
"Terra Libra Holdings" has been "signed and sealed." It operates the Terra Libra "headquarters." It is a contractual company based on the Code and Rules of Terra Libra. Its unit of account is the gram of gold. Within a few months we expect to seek a listing on the Free Market Share Exchange in Orange County, California.
Ten days ago we sent out a test mailing to 1,000 freedom-oriented direct-mail book buyers. With the orders still coming in, the response rate is already 1.8% - we need about a 1.5% response rate to break even. Although 1,000 is too small a sample from which to draw reliable conclusions, it does indicate a strong possibility that certain Terra Libra products can be profitably promoted to certain freedom-oriented direct-mail book buyers.
Yesterday I returned from a week-long trip to L.A. and Orange County, California. I gave three formal Terra Libra presentations and met privately with several people. In a copy shop in Hollywood I started talking to another customer. I told him about Terra Libra. He gave me $5 to send him more information.
Mr. Bill Roker, an entrepreneur, businessman, and business consultant, became a Distributor. He will be launching various Terra Libra projects, including the publication of a monthly newspaper Terra Libra Press. Mr. Roker is available to provide business consulting services to anyone wishing to launch Terra Libra projects.
Ms. Lois Libra, both a licensed and a common-law attorney, is launching the Terra Libra Chamber of Commerce ("TLC"). TLC registers complaints about bad service and breaches of contract; provides mediation, negotiation, and arbitration services; other legal and paralegal services; and "Member of TLC" display emblems.
"ALH," a provider of free-market financial services, has undertaken to mail Terra Libra materials to his customers.
Three accomplished freedom-oriented Toastmasters, "MM," "HH," and "RR," have undertaken to create the "Terra Libra Speakers Bureau." "MM" was so enthusiastic after attending my presentation that within three days he prepared a 15-page project write-up for the "Terra Libra Speakers Bureau." "MM" has successfully chartered (launched) at least seven Toastmaster Clubs. "MM," "HH," and "RR" are also launching the "Terra Libra Supper Club of Orange County." It will hold monthly meetings, starting on October 21, 1993.
The number of people signing up as Patrons and Professional Liberators is growing steadily, as you can see from the Additions to #TL02 and #TL02A.
It is very significant that the strongest support for Terra Libra comes from people who share two qualities:
(a) They are practical, successful professionals and business owners;
(b) They are advanced freedom-thinkers who have studied the subject of freedom extensively and they have been involved with other organizations that promote freedom.
I believe I may have made a breakthrough in communicating freedom. It applies to both the already freedom-oriented and the "average brainwashed American slave." The breakthrough was inspired by "MM," one of the most accomplished Toastmasters in Terra Libra. He indicated that the message of freedom needs to be communicated powerfully, emphatically, and without restraint.
One of the topics I believe needs to be communicated is coercion. Many of the freedom-oriented are very aware of coercion, including its subtle forms. But they are less aware of the means to escape coercion, including the financing of coercion through paying taxes. In many cases, ignorance and fear prevent them from even trying to escape coercion. (Freedom technology can also be described as the practical means to escape coercion.) The "average brainwashed American slave," of course, is blind to all forms of coercion, except the most overt. They operate in the mode: "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
Definition of coercion: The initiation of force, fraud, or threat of force against others or their property; the use of force to overwhelm the will of another.
Coercion is the mode of operation of an ignorant, primitive, backward, barbaric savage - and most government. Coercion is brute force - though sometimes cleverly disguised. Coercion is an upside-down value. Usually it produces results opposite to those intended or claimed.
Coercion is evil and destructive. It is brutal. Coercion is slavery. The perpetrators of coercion imply that they own their victims - the minds of their victims, the bodies of their victims, the lives of their victims, the property of their victims.
The perpetrators of coercion imply that their victims are unthinking animals, machines, or robots that must be brutally forced to perform, to not perform, or to perform in certain ways. Thus coercion breeds unthinking puppets - who in turn perform brutal coercion.
Because they have been reduced to unthinking puppets, most people are asleep and blind to most coercion. They need to be told very emphatically about coercion - woken up, their eyes opened.
Compulsory government schooling is coercion at its most insidious. Its hidden purpose is to mold and mangle the young minds of innocent victims so they become freak subhuman puppets incapable of conscious thought. Prepare the victims so the perpetrators of coercion can live off them like parasites or cannibals. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, "He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance."
In economic terms, most coercion represents value destruction. I distinguish three economic sectors: public, private, and free-market. The public sector operates on the principle of coercion. In the private sector people mix coercion and free enterprise. People in the free-market sector practice real or true free enterprise.
Most of what is done in the public sector is value destruction. To the extent that people in the private sector participate in coercion and finance it through paying taxes, to this extent they destroy value. The free-market sector represents the pure creation of value. It could be that in the absence of institutionalized coercion, every man, woman, and child in the world would be a millionaire many times over.
Coercion is a synonym for crime. Government coercion schools are primarily crime factories. They teach their victims crime as a way of life. The more money spent on government "education," the higher the crime rates. Coercive government is institutionalized crime - a crime syndicate much more sophisticated, hypocritical, and destructive than the Mafia.
Most political systems are engines of coercion. Democracy is disguised coercion. Instead of personally perpetrating our coercion, we vote for - and finance through taxes - politicians, bureaucrats, police, and soldiers to perpetrate our vile atrocities (like the Gulf War, Waco, etc.). "Democracy is the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people," said Oscar Wilde.
Albert Camus, Nobel prize-winning author, said that we have organized the world so that if one person lifts his finger it causes somebody somewhere to die. When I buy gas for my car I pay some taxes. The government uses the money to commit atrocities like Waco - or to finance the army so it can napalm innocent women and children in Vietnam.
The brute force of coercion needs to be replaced by the gentle finesse of conscious thought. Although it is not the most in-context analogy, the power of finesse can be demonstrated by the trim-tab. A huge oil tanker has a big rudder. The big rudder has a small rudder called the trim-tab. The small little trim-tab moves the big rudder that changes the direction of the ship.
Emphatically telling people about coercion - waking them and opening their eyes - may change the direction of society and bring about civilization. Shock people into cognitive dissonance. Most will probably run away, but some will start thinking.
Surviving Currency Collapse
If you read certain books (like The Great Reckoning by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees- Mogg; Bankruptcy 1995 by Harry E. Figgie, Jr.; The Death of Money by Joel Kurtzman; The Downwave by Robert Beckman; and How You Can Find Happiness During the Collapse of Western Civilization by Robert J. Ringer) and you examine "societal health statistics" (like crime, divorce, suicide, literacy, inflation, government spending deficits, etc.), you might reach conclusions like:
The "doomsayers" have been predicting calamity for decades, but life has continued "as usual";
Western civilization - and most of its currencies - have been gradually collapsing for many years;
An acute crisis, sparked by a sudden loss of confidence, could wipe out overnight what is left of many currencies (like the "US $" - more accurately, the "Federal Reserve Note").
A sudden complete currency collapse could result in most businesses (at least temporarily) ceasing operations. Supplies of food, water, and electricity may be interrupted and physical survival (particularly in cities) could become a problem.
The Terra Libra Solution
One of the basic ideas behind Terra Libra is that we create free-market institutions to replace the coercive monopolies of the public and private sectors. I distinguish three economic sectors: public, private, and free-market. The public sector operates mostly on the principle of compulsion or coercion. The private sector mixes voluntary exchange and coercion. People in the private sector tend to finance the public sector through paying taxes. Many also run to "big daddy government" for "special favours" involving coercion (licences, tariff protection, special interest legislation, etc.).
The people in the free-market sector practice real, true, or pure free-enterprise - voluntary exchange, voluntary competition, voluntary cooperation. They reject coercion: the initiation of force, fraud, violence or threat of violence against person or property; or the use of violence or threat to overwhelm the will of another. In short, they respect people and their property.
The "Terra Libra shift" is the shift of economic activities from the public and private sectors to the free-market sector. To accelerate this shift we need to create free-market institutions to make it easier for individuals and groups to shift their assets and economic activities into the free market. The most important free-market institutions we need to create are free-market currency and financial service systems, that are independent from public coercion. The people operating these systems don't recognize the "authority" of public sector coercion. They find practical ways to escape coercion.
Terra Libra thinking is that rather than trying to reform existing systems, we simply create our own alternatives. If you have to beg others to please change their system, you aren't in a very powerful position - you operate from weakness, you surrender your power. If you create your own system, you can operate from power - though you have to take security measures to prevent the elephant of coercion from trampling you into the dust!
A major consideration is that we need free- market alternatives for people to shift into, in case the public/private banking system collapses overnight.
ALH & Co. in Orange County, California is an "embryonic TELICUR" that has been in operation since 1986. It uses gold as currency. It interfaces with the current U.S. banking system. It can be used as a model to expand from.
Ideally, TELICUR needs to enable individuals to conduct financial transactions in a number of currencies (including gold and silver) from anywhere to anywhere in the world in privacy, safety, and security. Interfaces with current banking systems are necessary.
Apart from making a pivotal and decisive contribution to the expansion of freedom, the principals who launch TELICUR have the opportunity to become millionaires and billionaires. Imagine all or most of the financial services of the public/private sector shifting into the free market. That is a measure of the potential!
Personally, I'm not interested in being a banker. However, I am interested in helping to bring together a team that will design and implement TELICUR. There could also be several teams implementing competing systems. I am available to provide project design and management support. ECO - Earth Council Organization
The following appeared in The International Harry Schultz Letter of July/August 1993 (edited):
'Our "mental nation" concept landed on solid ground, piloted by our friend and subscriber of 28 years, Mans Schicht, of South Africa. We lunched in central Europe the other day and he explained his idea, tentatively called ECO, Earth Council Organization. It ignores national borders by being a passive, non-political, data communication-linked entity; philosophical yet practical; immune to the usual burdensome nationalistic limitations. It's in the mode of multinational corps that are sort of above or apart from normal national rules. Many international organizations operate in the same mode. But ECO would be more invisible, thanks to an electronic network, not as a gadget application but on a similar level as the world's airlink systems. A global organization (mental nation?) without real estate, built on "floating" communication. ECO would create border free laws and a code of conduct. International finance doesn't need a home base anymore. Neither do we, says Hans.
ECO's purpose: to free the individual from his bondage to the oppressive state; to give him a new sense of belonging and a solid anchor of morals and ethics to get the world back on a positive track and away from intrusive governments that have become suffocating monsters. ECO will not only use gold as a standard but use it as the exclusive means of exchange and store of value. ECO bookkeeping will be electronically transparent into all details. ECO will stand for open and free communication channels, trade, finances and information flow. Hardware needed initially: a personal computer with a modem or fax. If sufficient support shown, ECO plans to install a general combination service for bulletin boards, videotext, audiotext and cable TV access. Existing TVs and digital phones will get access to the system. If this ECO idea appeals to you, please write to Hans at PO Box 781507, Sandton 2146, South Africa (send a copy of your letter to me if you like). Hans is obviously an idealist, but that's what starts every useful cause." (The International Harry Schultz Letter, PO Box 622, CH-1001, Lausanne, Switzerland. For information, fax or phone fulfilment office in Belgium (24 hour service): Phone 32-16- 533684, Fax 32-16-535777. One year subscription: $275.)
I wrote to Mr. Schicht, sent him some Terra Libra materials, and suggested cooperation. He wrote back that ECO is explained in a book to be reprinted some time in the future, And Thou Shall Inherit the Earth. I don' t know how far developed ECO is, nor the probability that it will come to fruition.
Please let me know if you are interested in helping to launch TELICUR. Write to me your qualifications and what role you want to play or what contribution you would like to make. I will publish a Directory of people interested in TELICUR. This will enable anyone to contact anyone else. Consider signing on as a Terra Libra Patron and/or Professional Liberator.
We need practical business people with sound freedom philosophies. We need a leader for each TELICUR system (assuming there will be more than one). We need people with banking, financial, and related legal experience. We need people with electronic communication experience. We need people with computer systems design and programming experience (including encryption).
Interested people need to form themselves into a TELICUR project team (or multiple teams). The team focuses on quickly developing a product and/or service that can be profitably delivered. The project is designed so that a sequence of relatively small steps will gradually lead to a comprehensive TELICUR system. The first product might be a report that describes phase one of the TELICUR system. Urgent!!! Urgent!!! Urgent!!!
It is absolutely vital that TELICUR, ECO, or several such systems be created as soon as possible. Please contact me if you are interested. The people, technology, knowledge, skills, and experience already exist to create TELICUR, ECO, etc. We need to immediately help the competent practical idealists to get together and to get going! Help expand freedom and make a fortune!
You are welcome to copy, duplicate, or publish this report and distribute it as you like.
by Douglas Skrecky
If left untreated some cavities can continue to grow until they destroy teeth. Dentists derive their living from this (to them) fortunate fact. The materials used for fillings include amalgam, plastics and compacted gold. Amalgam fillings are inexpensive, but generate good repeat business as they last on average 8-10 years before they need to be replaced. Gold fillings cost much more than amalgam, yet last roughly only twice as long before they too need to be replaced.1 Plastic sealants are the newest competitors and have been picking up some business. The new dimethacrylate plastics have been found to last twice as long as the earlier cyanoacrylate based sealants and are now competitive to amalgam in this respect.2 Although more expensive than amalgam their high adhesion to enamel yields the considerable advantage that less tooth has to be destroyed to provide an anchor for the filling. Recently concerns have been raised about the low level release of mercury from amalgam and its relation to allergic responses such as oral lichen planus.3 Plastic sealants seem likely to continue to pick up market share.
What can be done to prevent cavities in the first place? Why do some cavities actually remineralize and heal themselves while others only grow and grow? Popular dietary recommendations for preventing cavities include increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and reducing intake of products containing added sugars as well as fruit juices. Milk is apparently safe as bacteria find lactose hard to metabolize, while dried fruits are highly cariogenic and should be avoided.4 Chewing sugar free gum after meals is believed to be beneficial since this stimulates saliva flow to buffer the decrease in plague pH which occurs after meals.5 Calcium carbonate supplements probably should be avoided as carbonate decreases the resistance of enamel to acid attack.6
The incidence of caries decreased after the water supplies were first fluoridated many years ago, but curiously the optimal amount of fluoride is still a matter for controversy. At neutral pH 0.03 ppm fluoride is more effective than either 0.3 or 1.0 ppm in remineralizing enamel, while at acid pH 0.3 ppm was the most effective.7 The dentin in root tissues apparently requires rather higher fluoride concentrations for optimal effectiveness. Using a pH cycling protocol 0.02 ppm was found to be as effective as 0.2 ppm, but inferior to 2.0 ppm in promoting remineralization of dentin.8 In general fluoride seems to be a double edged sword. Too much can cause fluorosis with its attendant mottling and pitting of teeth. Given that the water supply is already fluoridated the use of high potency fluoride drops or tablets is questionable. However the frequent application of very low doses of fluoride is another matter. For instance the use of fluoride containing chewing gum has been found to be more effective in inducing remineralization of teeth than fluoride free gum.9 Unfortunately fluoridated gum is not yet commercially available.10
Finally we come to brushing the teeth. Toothpaste manufacturers have for years correctly claimed that brushing with their product will help prevent cavities by removing plaque. However toothpastes contain abrasives and these tend to erode tooth surfaces.11 Could vigorous brushing without toothpaste keep teeth clean? Alas, when the author tried brushing without toothpaste on a chronic basis the growth of plaque on his teeth laid to rest any doubts about the value of this product.
1 Problems and Benefits Associated With Restorative Materials: Side-effects and Long-Term Cost 7-16 Vol.6 1992 Advances in Dental Research
2 Sealants Revisited: An Update of the Effectiveness of Pit and Fissure Sealants 77-82 Vol.27 Sup.1 1993 Caries Research
3 Documented Clinical Side-Effects to Dental Amalgam 131-134 Vol.6 1992 Advances in Dental Research
4 Extrinsic and Intrinsic Sugars: A Review of Recent UK Recommendations on Diet and Caries 64-67 Vol.27 Sup.1 1993 Caries Research
5 Changes in Plaque After Eating Snacks and Meals and Their Modification by Chewing Sugared or Sugar-free Gum 241-244 Vol.174 1993 British Dental Journal
6 Chemical Stability of Carbonate and Fluoride Containing Apatites 419-429 Vol.17 1983 Caries Research
7 Influence of Fluoride and pH on in Vitro Remineralization of Bovine Enamel 8-13 Vol.26 1992 Caries Research
8 Influence of Constant Fluoride Levels in Solution on Root Hard Tissue De- and Remineralization Measured by 125I Absorptiometry 100-105 Vol.27 1993 Caries Research
9 In Situ Remineralization of Subsurface Enamel Lesion After the Use of a Fluoride Chewing Gum 111-116 Vol.27 1993 Caries Research
10 An intriguing (but equally unavailable) alternative might be gum doped with a calcium salt in one half of the stick and a source of phosphate in the other half. When chewed the calcium and phosphate would be released and react to form calcium phosphate which could then precipitate onto teeth and directly aid in their remineralization, or so one would hope.
11 Microstructural Changes of Human Enamel Surfaces by Brushing With and Without Dentifrice Containing Abrasive 1-8 Vol.27 1993 Caries Research
Douglas Skrecky though it would be a quick job when I suggested a survey of dentistry. He now says that what he has discovered has made it far from a quick job and further articles will follow.
One suggestion that has appeared since the above was written is the use of calcium lactate in a mouthwash.
Vitamin E Prevents
by Douglas Skrecky
The true value of vitamin supplementation has long been subject to debate. On the one hand some enthusiasts advocate taking extremely high doses of virtually all vitamins, while on the other hand some FDA bureaucrats wish to ban all supplements containing more than the RDA of any vitamin. The public, which is left in the middle has had no objective guide to sort the claims and counterclaims of the above two opposing (and rather extreme) camps - until now.
A pair of studies recently appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine document the effect of vitamin intake and supplementation on cardiovascular disease risk on female nurses and male health professionals respectively.1,2 In both groups minor variations in dietary vitamin intake were found to have little or no effect on risk. Only when supplements taken for over 2 years are included does this situation change.
In nurses multivitamin supplement use alone reduced risk by 13%, vitamin C supplements had no effect, while vitamin E supplements of 100 IU or more reduced risk by 44%. A detailed breakdown of the vitamin E dose/risk reduction response was 44% for 100 to 250 IU, 44% again for 300 to 500 IU and 42% for those taking over 600 IU.1
In male health professionals, supplementation with modest amounts of vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, D, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc was did not alter their risk of cardio vasular disease. Vitamin C supplementation increased risk by 25%. Beta carotene was without effect on non-smokers, but intake of over 14,388 IU reduced risk by 40% in former smokers and by an amazing 70% in current smokers. Supplemental vitamin E of less than 25 IU reduced risk by 15%, 25 to 99 IU by 22%, 100 to 249 IU by 46% and over 250 IU by 30%.2
The facts are in. If you wish to avoid dying at an early age of cardiovascular disease take 100 IU of vitamin E per day. If you don't then don't. If you have ever smoked take 15,000 IU of beta carotene as well. Avoid vitamin C as there is some evidence it can increase risk, possibly via the metal catalyzed fenton reaction.3 If you wish to invest a little more in supplements try coenzyme Q10 instead as this has a potent synergistic effect with E in scavenging free radicals.4
1 Vitamin E Consumption and the Risk of Coronary Disease in Women 1444-1449 Vol.328 1993 New England Journal of Medicine
2 Vitamin E Consumption and the Risk of Coronary Disease in Men 1450-1456 Vol.328 1993 New England Journal of Medicine
3 Ascorbic Acid Oxidation: A Potential Cause of the Elevated Severity of Atherosclerosis in Diabetes Mellitus? 161-164 Vol.311 No.2 1992 FEBS Letters
4 Ubiquinol-10 is an Effective Lipid-Soluable Antioxidant at Physiological Concentrations 4879-4883 Vol.87 1990 Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
A Brief History of Death
by Brian W. Haines
Will you die, or will death come to you?
Of course a committed cryonicist will say neither, we never die: we will remain in suspended animation until the day of resurrection dawns when technology reunites us with the world again.
This question is quite important and needs careful consideration, and possibly is the most important question for the future technology. It is important because it concerns the point of intervention.
At present there is no actual known point of death. Various definitions have been devised as we know and these have all lead to difficulties in the "living dead" cases. In previous centuries it is highly unlikely there would have been any problem with comatose patients, in fact we know they had no problem as it is a modern phenomenon with no legal precedents. Part of the reason lay with the lack of the technical intervention by medicine, and part because the understanding of death was different.
The question of whether you choose to die or whether death is visited upon you is something that seems to have been lost.
Broadly speaking there are three images of death. In the first place there is the image of a body that has within itself its' own vile component that fights to manifest itself. The second image is one that sees death as an external force which visits itself upon the body and takes it. The third image is the concept of the battle of the forces of good against evil struggling to obtain the possession of the body.
In the word of today with the acceptance of a logical scientific approach to life such an analysis may seem out of place. The problem with that attitude is it heavily relies upon a combination of the first two ideas without any firm commitment to either. These images of death, even the modern one, are a cultural component of our present day conditioned thinking. It must be wrong and illogical to dismiss earlier concepts only on the grounds that they do not today have significance.
Every age has had its idea of death, ours today is only an extension of a long inheritance of cultural evolution. But evolution alone does not of itself bring about an absolute truth.
It has been said earlier societies were religiously based, while we today are scientifically based in our ideas about existence. The people of tomorrow may move to some other cultural system as yet undefined. Any one who awakes in a later age may find themselves unable to adapt to such a new system in much the same way as people of today find it hard to comprehend the fatalistic attitudes of previous generations who were so willing to accept death with little complaint.
There is more to it than this. It is the matter of the approach to reviving a body. Given that we do not have an absolute idea of the nature of death, how can technology decide upon a model for resuscitation? Death may be an internal cause, which at the moment is a reasonable front runner. The idea being the body itself has an inbuilt mechanism, to use the modern technological wording, or contains the seeds of its' own vile and rotting self, to use the peasant wording, means a system should be devised to counteract a mere ageing process. On the other hand if death is an external invasion, which perhaps can be aligned to the concept of germs and viruses, then the battle is not with the body at all, but with living conditions.
To fight the forces of divine intervention seems to be beyond the present parameters of technological expertise, so the third approach may yet spell disaster for attempts at rejuvenation if this is indeed the cause of death. Unless we are ourselves the Gods, in which case technology is in with a chance.
Perhaps it is worth going back through the ages to look at the way successive generations have viewed death. This places matters in a context which will enable us to see we do not have a monopoly upon a solution.
Earlier societies believed death was the result of an intervention. They did not attribute a personality to death, death was not a visiting entity. Death was the outcome of someone else's evil intention. It could be a witch, or an ancestor or a nasty neighbour. Later on, throughout the Christian and Islamic Middle ages, death was seen as the result of the deliberate intervention of God. There was no idea of "a" death as an individual entity.
A change came in the 15th Century with the appearance of a natural death. Death was seen as part of human life rather than the activity of a foreign agent. These changes are seen in the Dance Macabre. In Churches areas were set aside for the congregation to dance with the dead and to celebrate the joys of life. There were dances to fight against the spectre of death and dances to welcome the renewal of life being a mirror image of the dark side of death. Death becomes personalised as a being entwined within the mortality of life and ultimately an executioner and an event of the moment.
The proliferation of clocks and an obsession with serial time brought about a change in consciousness. Concern with an exact measurement and the recognition of the simultaneity of events and identity is sought in relation to a sequence of events instead of a life span.
This history of death is not complete. We still move between regarding the end of life with varying degrees of subjectivity depending upon religious factors, and the total objective logic of the scientific establishment. Your death is not a personal concern, the State intervenes to decree when and how you die.
For a very long time Suicide was a crime. It was also regarded as a moral wrong. The exact basis for such a judgment is not at all clear. In spite of the release from the criminal system, the moral restraint remains and euthanasia is condemned by the State.
The question to be resolved is whether it is your life to do as you like with or do you belong to a community which dictates to you how you should live and die. We seem to have moved to the position of ownership by the community, slaves to an overall system. Your life is not your own.
Death is treated by the establishment as an illness that must be cured. This is interesting because it means the medical attitude is one of immortality. It might be wise to disentangle the philosophy behind medical treatment before going on to consider the preservation of life. At the moment it would seem there is no point at which medical intervention is denied to any person at any age when the accepted standard of health falls below what is set as normal. The eighty year old will be taken in to hospital for care and maintenance as quickly as the eight year old. What is the object of treating people whose normal life span has already exceeded the actuarial limit? Clearly there is a belief life goes on and should be extended. There is no consultation with the patient as to the necessity of the treatment. Death is denied as being in the gift of the patient.
Recently there has been criticism of surgical procedures that wilfully are in opposition to the stated requirements of patients. These have mainly concerned women who have been subjected to Hysterectomies for no other reason than a surgeon took a decision to operate. The present position seems to be anyone who submits to surgical intervention has no legal control over the procedures that follow unless they can prevent any intervention in the first place, as was shown in the recent case of a mental patient who successfully stopped an operation on his gangrenous leg.
The situation is most unsatisfactory, it reinforces the view that the State owns the individual and can direct what course of treatment should be implemented. It follows from this that if death never exists and is no more than a description of yet another symptom of illness then their body remains for ever at the mercy of the State.
It is worth remembering that prior to the middle of the 19th Century death was not regarded as final. Many punishments included acts of violence upon the body after hanging. The standard punishment was, hanging, drawing and quartering. It was considered to be a lesser punishment if only one leg or one arm were severed after hanging. Cromwell was dug up specially to punish him. It is quite clear the State regarded a person as continuing as a personality right up to the time the body had turned to dust. We are not free from this today. There are many who take exception to the Mormons who perform some sort of ceremony to confer the benefits of their religion upon the ancestors of families who have no connection with their church. And there are others who feel it is desecrating the dead when it is proposed to raise ships that have been sunk within living memory. The concept of desecration carries with it the perception of some continuing personality.
Perhaps it is time to claim complete freedom. Freedom to continue and freedom to cease. Maybe we have the capacity for immortality and what we call illness is no more than a manifestation of injuries caused by the conditions of living in society. Moving towards natural living away from the toxic effects created by civilisation, freeing ourselves from the pre-conditioned thought patterns of our culture, and finding a role to fulfil may in the end be the solution to the threat of that thing called death.
Brian W. Haines
October revolution 1993
What Will They Think?
by Chrissie Loveday
It is now a few months since I joined the small band of Brits who prefer to be frozen rather than burned or left to rot. I didn't say much to my friends or even relations to begin with. Not that I had any doubts about my own commitment, rather I went through the usual human feelings, "What will they think?" Ironic really, as I have spent many years doing what I wanted to do and claiming that if I, (or the friend I was advising) believed a particular course to be right, then hang what anyone thinks and do it.
Things have changed now and I find myself chatting quite ordinarily about cryonic suspension to lots of people. The British, and I suspect, most other nationalities, talk little about death. We try to ignore the fact that it exists, thinking, I suppose, that when it comes we shall be either ready for it or taken totally unaware, thus knowing nothing about it. For the latter, we don't have to prepare but a number of elderly people have told me that they have had enough of life, for one reason or another. Often it is the pain of an illness that is proving too much. It is rarely a tactful thing to suggest that they could undergo cryonic suspension as it seems so alien to their beliefs. They perhaps think that they would face a continuing a life of pain in unfamiliar surroundings, and could not face that. Someone suggested to me that it was only young or early middle-aged people who would consider it, but I know there are older members who signed up late in life and my friend was very surprised. The older generation have got even more preconceptions to get over, more old traditions and values to overcome. Many people see progress as a threat to older values. I sometimes think that there has been so much progress in the past few years, that there won't be scope for more. Then I watch something on television that excites and interests me ... like the current work on genes ... and I begin to wish I had more time to learn and progress myself.
Perhaps this brings me back to where I began ... the discussion of cryonic suspension in everyday life. The possibility of having the chance to learn more, once the business of death is over and done with, remains a very thrilling concept. Hopefully, progress will be such that re-animation will be achieved and ageing processes reversed. Obviously, we need considerable progress and techniques to be developed, so that when we return, our newly open minds will be ready to receive all the messages that the future holds. Once only "foolish" eccentrics believed that man could reach the moon ... that illnesses could be cured ... that anaesthetics could work ... I could go on!
Cryonics to Nanonics: Everlasting Life!
by Brian Blair-Giles.
Suspended Animation: "Cryonics",
Of deeply freezing newly dead dames, gents,
Till medical computing "Nanonics"
Creates our resurrected permanence.
Cremate, nor bury, but cryonicise:
Nature's Evolution: Crematoria,
Crematoria, now to Cryotoria!
Freeze a jolly good old fellow! Cheers! Ayes!
So say all of us Cryonicists! Lord
Runcie: "It's a wonderful idea, Lord,
If it works!" We must ensure it does work
All good people here on Earth: look forward:
Help our Astronauts desiring visits
To our nearby solar systems' planets!
Short distances compared with relative:
Our visual "Universe" is one of five.
Perhaps beyond these five expanses are
Yet large arrays of masses similar.
Beyond? Space aeons: mega - Universe?
God knows we'll utilise force gravity
To guide our travels Universally.
Humans, now, speed faster than anything
Less fast than this God-made space ship Earth's speed.
Man, existing here is but an Earthling:
Humankind, arise, win greatest lead!
Develop long longevity and lead
Forever? You will know when you succeed!
Nanonics, only, will be needed soon:
Providing everlasting life: great boon!
by Paul Michaels (Life Plus Ltd)
Introduction by John de Rivaz, (Longevity Books)
This description of a visit to the Cryonics Institute is reprinted from Longevity Report 42, December 1993. Mr Michaels is managing director of Life Plus Ltd., Freepost PO Box 24, Dunstable, Beds, LU5 5AX, suppliers of vitamins and nutrients. He and his wife have been interested in cryonics for some years, and he decided to visit the premises of the Cryonics Institute in order to see for himself what they have to offer. Here is what he wrote upon his return.
Roanoke is a pretty, tree lined, suburb of Oak Park, Detroit, Michigan USA. The houses are well spaced, set back from the road and no two designs seem quite the same, indeed within this setting some are unique.
Unique not in its appearance but in its occupants is number 24443 Roanoke, for this is the home of the founder of today's Cryonics movement Robert Ettinger and his delightful wife Mae.
Back in the early 1960's Bob Ettinger proposed that people could be stored in liquid nitrogen, after being declared legally dead, where the decay normally associated with demise would be suspended until the future, when these persons could be revived, rejuvenated and restored.
This theory was eloquently presented in the genuinely readable book The Prospect of Immortality. (Copies available from Longevity Books for £3 post paid - JdeR)
Then, indeed as now, there were many detractors as to the validity and desirability of this radical life affirming philosophy. (Proving yet again that for every signpost to the future there is 100 Guardians of the Past).
Convinced of the rationality of his ideas Robert Ettinger did what he could to promote his idea, and has devoted a tremendous amount of effort and time to discussing and arguing his case for Cryonic preservation, not only for the deceased but also the terminally ill.
(This in no way implies compulsion, Cryonics is only for those that choose it, witnessed by the fact that while both Bobs Mother and first wife are suspended, Bobs Father chose to forgo the procedure).
My own experience and perception of Cryonics had been quite distant, sure I had read the books, seen the TV documentaries and so forth.
Yes all very interesting I thought as I watched a Cryonics member, in a TV programme, tell an interviewer why he would be revived sometime in the future, to worlds of indeterminate wonder and possibility.
Yes all very interesting but I wasn't going to need it, science was working on the ageing problem, before too long breakthroughs would be made and life would get longer, increment by increment, and before we knew where we were death would be matter of individual choice.
I think I felt like this for twelve years or perhaps longer, I read anything and everything I could on ageing research, I started a small company selling anti oxidants by mail order, as these appeared a vital factor in helping to fight many facets of the ageing process.
I still feel that my original thoughts of a lifespan increase have validity, but the research is slow and underfunded, more money is probably spent researching new flavours for potato crisps than understanding the decline of our cellular systems.
Slowly and imperceptibly it began to dawn on me that perhaps I needed a real, meaningful LIFE insurance policy, as opposed to a Death insurance policy.
Cryonics was my only rational solution.
My wife and I discussed it often before actually deciding to do something about it. Are you really aware how excruciatingly difficult it is to come to terms with the repulsive fact that you, and the ones you love, are going to die one day? (Of course you are, aren't you?)
Just imagine, one day you close your eyes and CLICK- the universe ends.
No wonder people put off making out their Wills.
At the time we decided to sign up for Cryonics there were three organisations, all in the USA. (By the time this gets published there may be four).
Frankly at $140,000-00 (Yes $140,000 or approximately £100,000-00) per person I couldn't afford that sort of price, especially not if I wanted to sign my family up as well, and without them the proposition seemed far less attractive.
Yet that is pretty much the charge made by the two Californian based Cryonics Companies (Alcor and Trans Time). The charge is for full body suspension, there is a lower cost option of head only suspension but for a whole number of reasons I wanted the whole body contract option. (One of the main considerations was that I had seen proposals that our memories may not be just stored in our brains but in other parts of the body also. While this is far from a fact I feel it to be of importance, there are other factors, but this is a debate for another time and place).
For this sum both organisations will collect your remains as soon as possible after legal death has been declared, pack them in ice, remove the blood and replace it with what is, essentially, a sophisticated anti freeze. The remains are then cooled to liquid Nitrogen temperatures and stored in a container filled with liquid nitrogen (a temperature of minus 195.79 degrees C) topping up the liquid nitrogen as and when required until the time the person can be revived.
Until recently all the people signed for Cryonics lived within the USA, which although a large land mass made the collection and storage of Cryonics patients a relatively uncomplicated matter. (I use the term uncomplicated in its widest possible sense).
Living in the UK presented far more obstacles, especially concerning rapid cooling and preparation of the body after the declaration of legal death. As you can imagine this procedure is not an everyday undertaking (pun intended) and requires a deal of expertise to ensure it is done correctly.
Alcor sort of solved this problem when a UK Businessman put up enough funds to provide a unit in the south of England to which the patient would be taken, cooled in ice to await a team from Alcor USA, who would prepare the body and arrange for rapid despatch to the USA storage facility. Trans Time have no representation in the UK and show no interest to date of wanting to be involved in the European marketplace.
OK Alcor, well and fine, but that still left the prime deterrent:
The insurance policy funding route was way too expensive at my age (then 45) and I don't happen to have £300,000 to spare. (In fact I understand with the extra UK arrangements it would be more expensive than in the USA).
There came the sound of a door being well and truly closed and locked, with me and my family on the wrong side.
Well of course there was the Cryonic Institute in Michigan USA, but hadn't anyone I had met involved with Cryonics in the USA always had rather disparaging things to say about them.
They used poor equipment, the patients were stored in an undesirable area of Detroit, all in all the Cryonics Institute were a slow, low profile, shabby outfit.
Yet their charge for Cryonic suspension was $28,000-00 per person for the full body, a massive difference. Also they had held this price for years, even through periods of high inflation in the 1970's.
We had to know more about them, so we started to exchange letters with The Cryonics Institute, we found out that CI had only one full time employee and a "no debt" policy. They owned everything outright and invested their funds prudently across a wide range of investments, thus providing an excess of funds needed to maintain the facility and patients.
Also things are considerably cheaper in Michigan than in California and, all things being equal, CI looked, at least from the UK, a reasonable bet.
My wife, my son and I signed up with CI. There came the sound of a door being pushed open into the future.
There was, as always, a drawback, and that was CI had no representation in England, no facilities or desire to open any.
So I started to write and ring around Funeral Directors in the UK in an attempt to find one who would be prepared to collect a CI patient after legal death declaration and do a basic body washout, replace with a Glycerine solution and ship the body, in ice, to the Michigan facility for cool down to liquid nitrogen temperature and storage.
I was not very successful, I exchanged many letters, spent much time and could not find any Funeral Director who would show more than a passing interest. However, quite out of the blue, an English Funeral Director called Barry Albin who had seen some of John de Rivaz's Cryonic suspension articles in the funeral specialist magazine, Funeral Service Journal, decided while on a visit to the USA, to call Robert Ettinger.
Following their meeting Albin and Co were appointed the Funeral Home of choice for European CI patients. Barry Albin, an engaging, lively person, (not at all my idea of a funeral director) has manufactured a purpose built transport casket. Made from solid oak and lined with titanium zinc and double sealed with a styro foam lining for insulation has produced an excellent solution to the European resident who wishes to be signed for Cryonic suspension.
At the time of deanimation, as most Cryonicists call death, Albin and Co state they can collect the remains in an open titanium zinc container, in their ambulance, and perform the washout and anti freeze infusion while packed in ice in this container, during the journey back to Albin and Co London premises. There the patient is placed into the purpose built casket, with either wet or dry ice, and shipped by air to Michigan. Barry thinks that from the moment they are notified of the need for their services the entire operation can be carried out and the patient would actually be received in Michigan USA WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS.
To find someone of Barry's obvious competence and ability to get things done is quite astounding, and indeed fortunate.
The cost of Albin and Co's service is currently £3,000 (say $4,500) and this can be funded either through Albin and Co trust arrangements, CI's trust arrangements or some mutually acceptable method.
This means that we now have, in the UK, a way of obtaining full body suspension, preceded by a professional preparation and shipment, for the sum of around $32,500-00 (say £22,000-00) per person. Yes, still quite a large sum BUT 75% LESS THAN ANY KNOWN ALTERNATIVE!
In any event most people spend more than that in a lifetime on Motor Cars, Houses and possibly even Holidays, and a Life Insurance premium on £22,000 really is virtually inconsequential at almost any age.....Go on - check it out.
So what prompted me to write all this, especially when I don't remember having ever written in about Cryonics before ..................
Well, I visited Barry Albin's London premises to check out the casket for CI on the 17th September 1993 and was impressed by the sheer professionalism and expertise of this business, established incidentally over two hundred years ago, I spent a couple of hours with Barry and was shown every courtesy by a very busy person who is well aware that he is unlikely to make any money from Cryonics within the next 10 years or so, and yet I got the strong impression that he felt Cryonics is a logical extension to the Funeral business and he is delighted his is the first company to establish transatlantic links with an American Cryonics organisation.
On the 21st September 1993 I landed in Detroit Metropolitan airport, after the customs formalities I wandered into the arrivals lounge and was met by a man in his early seventies holding a picture of a Phoenix rising. (He had told me he would be with a big bird but in my quirky English way I had assumed something different!)
Bob's second wife Mae was also with him and although we none of us had met before I was treated like a long lost friend.
They drove me to their home in Roanoke mentioned at the beginning of this article, and proceeded to overwhelm me with hospitality.
I had to be careful about what I said to Mae because I only mentioned I wanted to buy a new Walkman as mine was broken and the next thing I knew she was telephoning all the electronics stores to find which one stocked the one I wanted and then insisted on driving me to the Shopping Malls in which they were situated and staying with me, walking through these huge complexes.
Mae is, I think, 79 and very busy most all of the time looking after Bob and helping to run CI, that they should afford me so much time and goodwill, and put up with my onslaught of humour speaks volumes for their good natures.
I was put up (or should that be down) in their spacious basement for my one week stay and during that time I went to look at premises for sale in the local area. CI's current premises are now reaching capacity with 11 patients in storage (and two cats!)
Bob wants to purchase a unit around 8000-9000 sq ft in size. CI already has the funds for such a building so the "no debt" policy continues.
We looked at two units and the one I liked the most was in an area about 15 minutes from Oak Park in a place called Troy. The site was semi landscaped at the front, with a large grass lawn and several trees. The unit had an attractive brick and glass frontage, and was set off by the trees. I thought how attractive this would look on any future CI promotional brochure.
Industrial areas look VERY different in Michigan to the ones I see in the UK!
On Thursday 23rd September we went to "The Lab" as Bob calls it, where the patients are stored in large white fibreglass containers. There I met Andy the one full time CI employee. He and Bob showed me around the unit and I could see why the search for larger premises was underway. Space was really at a premium.
Actually the detractors of CI were right about one thing, the area in which the patients are currently stored does look fairly run down and unattractive.
Yet none of the patients were complaining about this. In any event if the new premises end up looking like either of the one we visited then nothing I was told about CI will have any substance.
I was very impressed with the way CI does as much as it can themselves, Andy and Bob showed me some fibreglass strength experiments they were undertaking, I also learned that storage in fibreglass units is a lower cost option than stainless steel for three reasons
1. The actual cost of the raw material is lower.
2. The "boil off" of the liquid nitrogen is less and
3. It is far cheaper and easier to repair.
At last I was beginning to realise some of the reasons why there was such a large difference in the prices between CI and the others.
On Friday 24th September Bob and Mae took me on a tour of both the good and not so good areas of Detroit. The older run down areas seemed to emit menace and foreboding from the very brickwork and broken windows, in the lane next to our car two other cars collided with a loud metallic crash....I nearly jumped through the roof...nervous...me?
From there Bob took us through to the lakeside areas where Michigan borders with Canada, what a contrast, vast open areas of parkland, lakes as far as the eye could see. Beautiful vistas, sparkling water, huge expensive houses set well back from the roads and Autumn coloured trees just everywhere.
This has to the major visual asset of the Detroit area millions of fabulous trees, Oaks and Maples and others I didn't know but all stunning.
That evening I was finally allowed to pay for something and I bought us all a meal at a lakeside restaurant. It was a normal meal out for me with the waiter trying to decide whether to come to terms with my humour or simply ask us to leave. In the end we stayed and enjoyed fine food, fine wine and even finer conversation. (It said on the menu "If you require more water simply ask the waiter". As there were at least 1000 million gallons of the stuff splashing the side of the building from the lake I didn't bother). The rest of my time there flew away with a mega meal at the Skyline restaurant, a mere 28 floors up, looking out into a rain swept night, all in the company of other Cryonicists.
The building was five years old yet looked, inside and out, as though it had been finished yesterday. The night was excellent, Royse Brown, a very active Cryonicist, signed with CI but also does work with Alcor and Trans Time drove for three hours or more for the meal and conversation, then drove back again, hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did Royse.
I was taken to see a local presentation of Guys and Dolls in a local theatre, run on a part time basis, yet it all looked and sounded as good as anything I've seen put on at Shaftsbury Avenue.
I got to take Bob and Mae's dogs for a walk on the Sunday, the sun was bright and the dogs showed me how to get right round the block, quite a way for just two rows of houses.
On Monday Mae actually let me take a taxi to a Mall for some last minute shopping on my own (She didn't really, I made the arrangements and went while she had a lie in).
That evening Bob gave a talk on Cryonics to a group of Libertarians, some nights you realise just how wonderful it is to be alive.
I abhor almost all forms of authority, and to be in the company of a group of people who feel the same is superb. The night evaporated before my very eyes, humorous and serious, Bobs talk was one of the first I've heard on Cryonics that wasn't confrontational. His approach is low key, rational and positive. He obviously keeps well up to date with the latest developments in Nano technology, Life extension research and makes his case thoughtfully and with conviction.
His talk was well received by everybody present, with the usual question and answer session at the end. Mae and I took some photos (Say Mouse) and that was the end of my visit to CI.
All during the week I stayed in Oak Park doing the aforementioned things people were coming in and out, Bob's brother Alan looked in with some medical equipment, another Lady whose name I am sorry I cannot remember and so on.
My thanks to you all, but primarily to Bob and Mae Ettinger it was a trip I will never forget.
I returned home the following day.
On the way back I decided I don't want to frozen in liquid nitrogen or frozen in anything at all really, I want to go on living, enjoying life and the company of other like-minded souls, but in reality I know I have made the best choice with the facts of life as they are now.
And what if Cryonics really works? Well then we get another chance to spend some more time together without the shadow of death.
WOW! If you can be happy at all right now, knowing that it will all end one day and you have no say when and if, think how much happier we can be when we lose that shadow.
Right, that's the Cryonics taken care of, now exactly how do we raise half a billion £'s to start the major anti-ageing research programme?
Paul Michaels 9th October 1993
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