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The Cryonics Summit and Proposed New Umbrella Organisation Ron Havelock
Effect of Ascorbic Acid on Longevity In the Nematoda Caenorhabditis elegans Vladimir V. Bakaev, Lyudmila M. Bakaeva
The Peril of Unchallenged Authority Olaf Henny
Fly Longevity Experiments 48-55 Douglas Skrecky
As Others See us John Howard

The Cryonics Summit and

Proposed New Umbrella Organisation

by Ron Havelock < >

I would like to pursue the issue of a summit agenda further, responding to Bob Ettinger's comments on Cryonet and expand further on my own.

He says: "I believe all the extant organizations are capable of protecting their current patients even if future business falls off to zero, which is unlikely. Even if our relative share decreases, as it certainly will, our absolute numbers should increase." I agree to the extent that both organizations have done just about all that they could do to protect their preserved patients, perhaps for the foreseeable future, but there is also a much longer and more tortuous unforeseeable future.

That future will very likely include legal, religious, and 'ethical' attacks, including demands that all frozen patients be immediately brought to room temperature and given a 'proper' burial. We should also keep in mind that those now frozen and being frozen with today's technology will have to be maintained in that state not only for many decades, perhaps centuries, during which time freezing technology will have advanced well beyond the present. I already detect a sentiment among some members that those not preserved through the latest vitrification procedure are worthless chunks of ice. Indeed, it has been suggested that some sort of malpractice action should be taken against those using more primitive methods. On the other hand, most of us realize, I think, that there is a certain principal at work here of 'first' and 'last', namely that the first [cryopreserved] shall be last [revived], and the last [preserved cryo or through some heretofore unknown technology biostaticized] shall be first [revived.] We cannot accept the alternative formulation that the last shall be first and the first never. Our debt and obligation to pioneers such as Dr Bedford must be sustained and as near absolute as possible. This, I think should be a collective burden of cryonicists, not one carried only by a particular service provider.

Ettinger also writes: "Umbrella organizations have been frequently suggested but have never come near realization. At the projected summer meeting in Michigan, and by agenda-building correspondence before then, CI and Alcor and ACS and perhaps others will review many options. Cooperation in various areas does not necessarily require creation of new entities. Dr. Havelock suggests an umbrella organization might be accorded more respect and create a better public image, and of course most industries have their own professional associations, but cost/benefit calculations are difficult."

I hear a concern for strained and overextended resources and talent. However, there are these needs that the current organizations can't or won't meet.

1. Objective, unaligned information clearinghouse.

Helping users understand their options and make intelligent choices. When I decided that it was time to reconnect a long-standing relationship with the movement, my first encounters were only with Alcor. From their publicity it was difficult to figure out what the whole field looked like and no way to realize that there was an alternative service provider. I could imagine myself moving to Arizona to take advantage of their facilities but it would require leaving my job, perhaps my wife, my friends and everything I valued about my present life except the life itself. Not an attractive prospect.

2. A charitable foundation. I have followed with interest Mr Swayze's situation and the gathering momentum to give him a paid-up membership in CI on a charitable basis. He will only be the first such case of many, and his special circumstances elicit much sympathy, but it is easy to see that a flood of such cases would produce a financial sinkhole for the service providers. There clearly must be a wall of separation between the service providers of today and the future, and the organizations promoting cryopreservation as a charitable endeavour. This wall must include the requirement that no one representing the charity also sit on the board or have any decision-making power with a service provider.

There are many issues to be sorted out here and there is a crying need both for some firm policies that make sense but don't do us PR damage by sounding too cruel, and enough of a financial base to follow through. One consideration is the need to have a budget strong enough to support carefully selected 'free' or 'discount' freezings when there is a clear public relations benefit such as a terminally ill child, strong parental support for cryonics, a willingness to fully publicize the event, and no other financial resources. It is also possible [who knows?] that an organization with a more purely charitable and non-selfish purpose might attract deep pocket donors in a way that our current service providers cannot.

3. A persistently pounding public relations office: pursuit of every opportunity to appear on radio and television and the print media. The purpose of this unit is to make us appear much larger and more important than we really are at present. [Bob, I seem to recall that your appearances on the Carson show were set up by endlessly repeated calls by Elaine, in effect, bugging the show to death, and it worked! Even when you were bumped, we got some free publicity.] We have come a long way since then and have done a lot that many can be proud of. The recent past ABC news item was a real gem. But there is still no time for sitting on laurels.

4. An organizational home base for those who have serious interest but are unwilling or unable to commit to one or the other of the service providers at this time. I know we make a big thing about signing up, and if you aren't signed up you aren't real, etc. I am glad I made that plunge a few months ago, but I dithered for reasons other than psychological commitment. I really didn't know which organization was best for me. I just loaded up my life insurance to make sure I could make the best choice when the time seemed right. I suspect that there are many others in that boat, and I think they need and deserve an organizational base in the cryonics movement. Perhaps the cryonet is it but I think there could be more. I am not sure what ACS is at this point so I don't know if they fill the bill and I am troubled that their home base and prime activities seem to be west coast only. This leads into my final point.

5. We need an organizational home base for those who are so geographically remote from either Arizona or Michigan to have a realistic chance of cryopreservation. There are many such, a whole group in Australia, a very active member in Alaska, some number in Japan, many in Canada [excepting southern Ontario which is well positioned for CI if they can deal with US customs and get across the bridge at Detroit. As a native born Torontonian, I can tell you it is more than a hop skip and jump from Toronto to Edmonton]. I can hear the howls of protest from Alcor and CI on this point. Please save me! I know you have members all over the place, but Alcor can't provide bio-transport, especially international and intercontinental, and CI doesn't yet have an international network of cooperating funeral directors [Bob, please tell me it aint so!]. Furthermore, there is no east coast cryonics entity, a sensitive point for me in Maryland, but where do you guys think everybody lives? At one time the Cryonics Society of New York looked like it would lead the way, especially when they were able to cryopreserve a young man with a fatal condition. I infer from sporadic Cryonet comments that that case and CSNY all ended in disaster but that seems to leave a big vacuum all along the eastern seaboard.

To my suggestion that it is time to have more serious and extensive discussions with the funeral industry, Bob Ettinger replies, "This is an ongoing effort, although it has been sporadic, and there have been many small successes. As for the big time, one of our CI members is a long-time golfing buddy of the CEO of the world's biggest funeral/cemetery operation, but so far has aroused no interest. It's just a numbers game, and our numbers so far are insignificant to large operators. But he (and we) will keep working."

My reply: good news all round, but I picked up on the key word, "sporadic." I think we have to be very persistent about this, especially in attending their professional meetings, whatever they are, and making presentations and trying to generate panel discussions and so forth again and again. Get them to start thinking about it and to keep them thinking about it. I also think this should be done not from the point of view of a service provider with a direct stake as a potential competitor or collaborator with a proprietary stake. Such presentations should make it much easier for individuals in different localities to approach their local funeral directors to set up personal plans.

We also need a third type of organization which can step in to assist new service providers who will eventually have to be developed in different regions, certainly one for Japan, one for Australia and one for Europe and or UK. This incubator function could be undertaken by CI or Alcor but they have their hands full already and they have a built-in conflict of interest, fearing a loss of memberships and a stretching of thin resources.

My apologies to all for such a long post but I think you will agree that it is all on-topic.

Ron Havelock,

CI member, Ettinger loyalist, but always open

Effect of Ascorbic Acid on Longevity In the Nematoda Caenorhabditis elegans

Vladimir V. Bakaev, Lyudmila M. Bakaeva

Institute of Internal Medicine, 2a, Vladimirovskii spusk, Novosibirsk, 630003, Russia

Author for correspondence: Vladimir V. Bakaev, box 45, Novosibirsk, 630107, Russia; telephone : 40-77-85; email:

Running title: Senior Scientific Worker

Key words: longevity, Caenorhabditis elegans, ascorbic acid


To study the influence of ascorbic acid on longevity of C. elegans this compound was added to their growth medium in different concentrations and at various stages of their life cycle (whole adult life, reproductive and post-reproductive periods). The positive effect of ascorbic acid on the longevity of C. elegans (to 60.6 per cent) was observed only when ascorbic acid was used from third day to the end of the experiment (whole adult life). It appeared to be reasonable to assume that

1) ascorbic acid is not able to rejuvenate C. elegans and

2) ascorbic acid has no property of "true geroprotector"; it is able to improve "the quality of life" only.


The experimental investigations of the effect of ascorbic acid on longevity are controversial and few. The validity of ascorbic acid use as a geroprotector is debatable. It was shown in experiments on 2000 drosophila that ascorbic acid in a concentration of 0.1 per cent is able to prolong mean longevity by 15-20 per cent (Hochschild R., 1971).

In other series of experiments with acorbic acid the longevity of mice was decreased to some extent (Tappel A. et al., 1973). In similar studies ascorbic acid (1 per cent) given to mice increased the mean longevity to 9-20 per cent. However, due to considerable weight loss this increase of longevity can be explained by lowering of food consumption (Massie H.R. et al., 1984). Ascorbic acid exerts a positive influence on the course of many diseases occurring in the elderly. Due to a relatively small increase of the maximal longevity these authors concluded that in investigated concentrations ascorbic acid exerts its positive effect presumably on the "life quality" and apparently ascorbic acid is not a true geroprotector. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of different concentrations of ascorbic acid in water solutions on the life span of the nematode C. elegans .

Materials and Methods.

In this experiment ascorbic acid was used in following concentrations (in mg/ml): 100; 10; 1; 0.1; 0.01; 0.001 and 0.0001. Three adult animals (3 - 5 days old) were kept in microtitre wells containing 0,5 ml of liquid medium (with Escherichia coli and without ascorbic acid) for 4 hours, then they were discarded and newborn larvae were transferred (one worm in one well) into the next wells (with ascorbic acid in the various concentrations) every day. This investigation was carried out at +21oC and in the dark. Testing between the control and experimental animals employed the Students test using Excel software.


In the first study we added ascorbic acid from third day to the end of the experiment (adult state). The results are presented in table 1.

Table 1. The effect of ascorbic acid added from third day to the end of experiment on the longevity of C. elegans (whole adult life)


of ascorbic acid (mg/ml)

n Longevity (days)
Mean±S.E. P Maximal
Control 24 13.9±1.5 26
100 24 toxic
10 24 15.6±1.5 >0.05 25
1 24 17.7±1.8 >0.05 22
0.1 24 22.2±0.7 <0.001 30
0.01 24 18.4±1.5 <0.05 29
0.001 24 19.1±1.5 <0.05 29
0.0001 24 16.5±1.3 >0.05 25

Thus, ascorbic acid is able to prolong significantly mean longevity of the nematoda C. elegans in comparison to control in concentrations 0.1, 0.01 and 0.001 mg/ml. The maximal life-span in these concentrations was increased too.

In the second study we added ascorbic acid from the third to the tenth day of the experiment (reproductive period). The results are presented in table 2.

When ascorbic acid solution was given to C. elegans in the reproductive period, it did not increase significantly their mean longevity in comparison with the controls.

In the third study we added ascorbic acid from the tenth day to the end of experiment (postreproductive or aged period). The results are presented in table 3.

Table 2. The effect of ascorbic acid on the longevity of C. elegans when added from the third to the tenth day of the experiment (reproductive period)


of ascorbic acid (mg/ml)

n Longevity (days)
Mean±S.E. P Maximal
Control 24 12,6±1,3 17
100 24 toxic
10 24 13,3±1,5 >0.05 20
1 24 13,9±0,8 >0.05 21
0.1 24 14,2±0,8 >0.05 22
0.01 24 14,6±0,7 >0.05 20
0.001 24 10,6±0,6 >0.05 16
0.0001 24 13,7±0,9 >0.05 22

When ascorbic acid solution was given to C. elegans in the postreproductive period, it did not increase their mean longevity in comparison with the controls.

Discussion. We studied the effect of ascorbic acid on the longevity of the nematode C. elegans. We showed that ascorbic acid in a concentration 0.1 mg/ml can significantly prolong mean life span of this nematoda to 60.6 per cent, being added from third day to end of experiment (table 1).

Table 3. The effect of ascorbic acid on the longevity of C. elegans when added from the tenth day to the end of the experiment (postreproductive or aged period)


of ascorbic acid (mg/ml)

n Longevity (days)
Mean±S.E. P Maximal
Control 24 19,7±1,1 26
100 24 toxic
10 24 9,3±0,2 <0.001 11
1 24 14,7±0,9 <0.01 20
0.1 24 14,3±0,7 <0.01 20
0.01 24 16,3±0,9 <0.05 24
0.001 24 18,5±1,3 >0.05 27
0.0001 24 16,5±0,9 <0.05 23

During the last several years a number of papers concerning the geroprotector effect of ascorbic acid (Jayachandran M. et al., 1996; Leeuwenburgh C. et al., 1998; Sahoo A. et al., 1997) as well as papers concerning gerontological investigations using nematoda C. elegans (McConkey D.J., 1998; Fukagawa N.K., 1999; de Grey A.D.N.J., 2000; Luckinbill al., 2000) has been published, but we are not aware of investigations concerning effect of ascorbic acid on the longevity of C. elegans . Massie H.R. et al. (1984) came to the conclusion that ascorbic acid exerts its positive influence on a number of pathological processes caused by aging (improved the "quality of the life") but this substance apparently is not "true geroprotector".

We showed that ascorbic acid was able to prolong longevity only after being added during nearly all of the life span of nematoda excluding the larval period (table 1). Perhaps, with a shorter duration of exposure, ascorbic acid is eliminated from the organism and is not able to rejuvenate nematoda (table 3). Although it is generally accepted that ascorbic acid is a vitamin only in primates and guinea pigs, it may be beneficed other species too (for example, nematoda). Additionally, Jayachandran M. and associates (1996) have shown that ascorbic acid is able to prolong life span in rats, although ascorbic acid is not considered a vitamin for these animals.

Acknowledgments. The authors wish to express their gratitude to Dr. Stephen D. Cohle (Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA) for helping in translation of the manuscript and Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA) for providing C. elegans (Bristol, N2).


de Grey, A.D.N.J., 2000. Noncorrelation between maximum life span and antioxidant enzyme levels among homeotherms: Implications for retarding human aging. J. Antiaging Med. 3, 25-36.

Fukagawa, N.K., 1999. Aging: Is oxidative stress a marker or is it causal? Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 222, 293-298.

Hochschild, R., 1971. Effect of membrane stabilizing drug on mortality in Drosophila melanogaster. Exp. Gerontol. 6, 133-151.

Jayachandran, M., Jayanthi, B., Sundaravadivel, B., Panneerselvam, C., 1996. Status of lipids, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant systems with vitamin C supplementation during aging in rats. J. Nutr. Biochem. 7, 270-275.

Leeuwenburgh, C., Hansen, P., Shaish, A., Holloszy, J.O., Heinecke, J.W., 1998. Markers of protein oxidation by hydroxyl radical and reactive nitrogen species in tissues of aging rats. Amer. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. C. 43, R453-R461.

Luckinbill, L.S., Foley, P., 2000. The role of metabolism in aging. J. Am. Aging. Assoc. 23, 85-93.

Massie, H.R., Aiello, V.R., Doherty, T.J., 1984. Dietary vitamin C improves the survival of mice. Gerontology. 30, 371-375.

McConkey, D.J., 1998. Biochemical determinants of apoptosis and necrosis. Toxicol. Lett. 99, 157-168.

Sahoo, A., Chainy, G.B.N., 1997. Alterations in the activities of cerebral antioxidant enzymes of rat are related to aging. Int. J. Dev. Neurosci. 15, 939-948.

Tappel, A.L., 1968. Will antioxidant nutrients slow aging process? Geriatrics. 23, 97-105.

The Peril of Unchallenged Authority

by Olaf Henny

The practise of cryonics makes people aware of the dangers from authority when it comes to preserving human life, and often debates on the subject bring comparisons with the Nazis, particularly when compulsory autopsy is being considered. The article that follows is written by someone who was born in National Socialist Germany and was 11 years old by the end of the war and lived under the somewhat similar regime in Eastern Germany before escaping to the West. It is included in Longevity Report in order to bring a new perspective into these matters.

Important notice:

It is not the intention of either the author or publishers to mitigate or in any way understate the crimes of National Socialism, but instead to use the subject as an example to discuss open mindedly how authority has used its power to override free will and cover up its crimes throughout history. If these matters are not discussed through fear of criticism, then some or all of the ideas of National Socialism can appear again under another name and another guise.


It is very difficult to get an insight into the perspective of the German people during the period from 1920 until 1945. First there was the Nazi propaganda drawing a picture of ignominy, abasement and humiliation which Germany suffered at the hands of the victors of WWI and how the Führer stepped forward and wrested Germany from these indignities and restored the nation to greatness and glory.

Then at the end of that glory came the sudden 180 degree turn. The heros from yesterday were suddenly criminals, the focus was on the atrocities in the concentration camps, the Nürnberg Trial and war crimes (those of the losers). The Germans were aghast, disbelieving, then ashamed guilt-ridden and in denial. The subject of the development of politics during that period was taboo and not discussed in any comprehensive manner. What I know and conjectured of that period is from my own experiences as a child, from what I have gleaned and postulated from countless snippets and brief references by adults and from statistical records. My guess is that in the early 40's Hitler had a 90% approval rating among the general population, but after the war it was almost impossible to find anybody who would admit to having been a sympathizer. That is why it is so difficult to get a first hand view of the mind set of the people during that eventful and important period of confusion, glory, devastation and ultimate shame and guilt.


It is difficult to be objective when writing about National Socialist history, as anything which could be interpreted as being aimed to show the Nazis in a more benign light may draw furious opposition. The British appear to be more open minded about this, than many other nations. As soon as the early 1950s, the film The Desert Fox (UK readers click here.) was produced in the UK, with James Mason playing the part of Erwin Rommel. That film was as free of anti German prejudice as you could only expect from a completely neutral source. I doubt that Americans could come up with a similarly unbiased production even today, half a century later. There are other examples of British maturity in assessing WWII action, the treatment in the British press of the ("Bomber") Harris plan to bomb predominantly residential areas as a means to demoralize the German troops. (See the Len Deighton novel and play Bomber)

I felt confident enough to discuss such matters on Cryonet before a rather sophisticated audience, relatively free of red necks. I trust, that the readership of the Longevity Report is of similar niveau. The Nazis had obviously a lot going for them, otherwise they would never have been elected. Some of it was good even by today's standard (that is part of the stuff that is dangerous to mention); some was good by the standards of the time, but frowned upon today; some of it was not so good, but simply expedient, given the economic and political climate in the country at the time; and - after they came to power - some was outright evil, crime against humanity and worse.

This was the basic fiscal situation in Germany at that time:

Now consider the preceding period of years of hyperinflation: wheel-barrows full of those by the government so copiously printed 'Million Rentenmark' bills were virtually worthless. If you wanted to do business you sooner or later needed hard currency, if just to preserve your liquidity. There was only one population group, which had access to hard currency: the Jews. Most of them had relatives in Britain, France, the US and elsewhere ready to do business. So when you were desperate for money, you went to a Jew and arranged a loan. Of course you had to post a collateral, usually your business. There was no usury. The rates were usually fair, around 2%. The problem was, that as soon as a German has spent some of it, he had no way to replace it. The Jews were no cutthroats. When the loan was up, there was usually little problem to get an extension. - But - sooner or later ... The inevitable consequences, although perfectly within the realm of fair business practice created an enormous resentment against the Jewish citizenry, which Hitler subsequently exploited as one of the main issues in his quest to gain power.

The Communists took assets from the rich as a matter of policy, forgetting that it only worked once. Once you have stripped the wealthy clean, you are not only left with an exhausted source, but have also removed the incentive for replenishment of it.

The Nazis on the other hand had a clear understanding of economics. They abandoned gold as a base for the security of the currency and based it instead on the gross national wealth. Part of that philosophy was to put able-bodied welfare recipients to work building roads or draining swamps, thereby adding to the pool of national wealth rather than draining resources away from it. I believe that if the Jews had cleared out as soon as the harassment started with the picketing of their businesses, they might have gotten away with most of their liquid assets. Enrichment by confiscating Jewish property was not the prime purpose, although it might have been a welcome side benefit. The prime purpose was solidifying the domestic power base, by eliminating millions of potential enemies within (as preparation for war) and by fulfilling the campaign promises of "returning German businesses to Germans". The Jewish incursion affected mainly small businesses and predominantly those that dealt in art, jewellery, oriental carpets, porcelain and crystal (hence Kristallnacht). There was still an enormous base of wealth in the form of ownership of land, industrial plant, livestock etc. That is what the Communists had their eyes on.

Comparing the Past and the Present

It is difficult to avoid the consequences of 11 September 2001 and the moral issues involved in any forum.

America has never had the intellectual insights, which come with losing a war to the extent, that the incumbent structure of government is eliminated. The American public has therefore never been exposed to the assessment of their conduct as seen from the perspective of their enemies.

I was a child in Germany during WWII and do have some perceptions to share.

One of the finest people I have ever met was my own father. He was also a Captain in the German Army and a member of the NSDAP (National Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei -, ie National Socialist German Workers Party) or as you all know it, the "Nazi Party".

When those pictures from the concentration camps were published at the end of the war, he was firmly convinced, that they were falsifications produced by the Allies for propaganda purposes. "We Germans don't commit such atrocities". Fact was, "we Germans" did. I don't think, that he had accepted this fact, by the time I left home 6 years later at age 17, to flee to the West. It was just too incomprehensible.

Side bars: -
  • God was of course on our side. -
  • I don't know about the CIA manual, but all Nazi manuals prescribed chivalry and respect for the enemy soldier. -
  • Hmm

Not all is noble in the "Land of the Brave". Sir Arthur Harris developed the strategy to concentrate bombing raids on civilian targets in order to demoralize the German army. This was fully supported by Churchill and executed by all Allies. Case in point the bombing of Dresden on February 14, 1945, potentially, depending on which of the below figures you believe, the biggest killing of civilian population in one night in world history. There were no military targets other than hospitals in Dresden. German figures (still during the war) put the casualties of indigenous Dresdeners at 225,000 with an estimated equal number of refugees from the eastern parts of the country, who had camped in the parks along the Elbe river for a total of over 400,000. Soviet reports after the war basically jibed with those figures. However in the western press they were quoted at 125,000 to 150,000.-. The truth lies probably somewhere in between, although I see little strategic purpose for the Germans in inflating these figures, since impact on the morale of Germans had become an issue in those last days of the war.

However the Soviets clearly had an interest in inflating the figures, while the West had one in deflating them. Bombing raids by the Soviets were negligible and almost exclusively limited to support for their ground troops

It is clear that atrocities have been committed by all parties, and they will continue to be committed until the denial of our own guilt ends; in history and ongoing. Unfortunately national fervour, as it is fostered during times of war and emergencies contributes to the glorification of the image of "our guys" and to the denial that "we Germans" or "we Americans" or "we Whoevers" do such things.

America has the opportunity to take the high road and set new standards by refraining from "news management" and pursue a policy of openness of reporting and civility of conduct, due to the fact that although it was hurt in this "War on Terror", it was and is in no danger of being destroyed . A good start would be to abolish that notion of trying anybody in the relative secrecy of military courts, with limited due procedure. Democracy is difficult. But isn't that exactly what we want to export? Don't we purport, to be fighting for civil rights? Can we deny others those rights, when it suits us and then expect them to respect our system? The Bush administration claims that it is fighting international terrorism, therefore, in my opinion, the culprits belong to The Hague, alongside with Slobodan Milosevic et al. But that would run counter the American (and Bush's) passion to kill everybody who is convicted (rightly or wrongly) of a capital crime. That will be interesting, when the extradition procedures for those start, who are caught in other countries in connection with the 9/11 atrocity and no European country will extradite, because the culprits would face the death penalty in the US. But that is another story.

How the Nazis created euphoria in the German Population

Mike Darwin posted articles on Cryonet concerning the significant achievements of Leni Riefenstahl in cinematic opinion forming. I am without the benefit of having read any of the books about her. However I have personally been exposed to the euphoric atmosphere her film productions created among the German public. Even though I was just a small child at the time, I sensed the powerful, uplifting impact they had on the adults in my life.

Albert Speer, Hitler's architect, is credited with bringing the German war production into high gear and condemned for using slave labour to achieve that. In 1942, when he took over and when the bombing of industrial plants in the from Britain easy to reach Rhein/Rhur areas by the Allies started in earnest, the monthly production of tanks (the smallish P4) was under 100. By 1944 it had risen to 400 of the much bigger Königstiger, despite the relentless bombing.

While the architect Albert Speer designed the monumental setting of the parade grounds featured in Triumph of the Will, he was not the founder of the propaganda technique used in her films. That was clearly the creation of Reichspropagandaminister Dr. Joseph Goebbels, an unequalled genius in mass manipulation. His technique was later also widely used by the communist leadership. I was exposed to it on both sides, as an enthusiastic and willing target by the Nazis and later as a hostile exposed to communist propaganda. The power of it is enormous.

Just a quick introduction to my situation at the time: In 1950 I was one of only seven students in my school, who were still refusing to join the FDJ, the communist youth organization, and found myself under immense pressure to do so. Instead I changed schools and ended up in a class, where there were 6 of us still on the outside. Only a couple of month thereafter I was again the lone resisting student in my class. I was clearly no friend of the system.

On occasion of the May 1st 1951 Workers Day parade, we were marching in true totalitarian style, ten or fifteen abreast, past a stage occupied by the then president of the GDR, Wilhelm Pieck, and his entourage. Chanting all around us, the loudspeaker proclaimed: "The president of the German Democratic Republic salutes the students of the Goethe Schule (our school)". Around me everybody was clapping with hands raised above their heads. It was mass frenzy and although I resented the guy, as I have resented few in my life, my impulse at the time was to raise my hands and join in the clapping. I resisted and clenched my briefcase instead, but I realized then how powerful the impact of mass manipulation can be.

It does not work in our present situation, because the profound concept of building of a new world by a new generation is missing or no longer credible as a mass movement setting. In Communism it was the new world, where everybody has equal rights and shares in the collective wealth for a better and brighter future. With the Nazis it was the prosperous future achieved through healthy living and strengthening of body and mind in order to evolve into a better, stronger people .

Those, who were not there, and know of Nazi atrocities will have difficulty understanding the mind set of the German people of the time. The 6 or 7 % of the population, who were directly exposed to those atrocities mostly disappeared quietly over night and faded from the memories of the general population. 99% of the rest of us had absolutely no idea, what was happening to them afterwards and the fraction of one percent, who were directly involved in those atrocities, did well for themselves by not talking about it, unless they wanted to share the fate of their victims.

The rest of us (the then adults anyway) have experienced in the years prior to Hitler's election in 1932: 60 to 70% unemployment, galloping inflation, during which you started in the morning after negotiating a wage, which would feed the family for a day, and in the evening, when you got paid, it was barely enough to buy one cigarette. Tumults in the streets fist fights between Nazis and Communists, the Weimar Republic out of control. Then in just six short years Germany rose from being the economically most devastated industrialized country to the one with the highest living standard and with full employment. That was the foundation for the fanatic enthusiasm, with which the people supported the Nazis, and why their believe in the final victory of Germany was unwavering for so long.


I have posted parts of the above in Cryonet. Somebody repeated those posts in a different forum, with out obtaining my consent first (I would have strongly advised against it). This promptly drew accusations of aiding the dissemination of ideas of an unrepenting Nazi. I can respond to that only as follows:

Click here for a web site about Alec Harley Reeves, a WW2 inventor that is just gaining some recognition as old records come to light.

Fly Longevity Experiments 48-55

by Doug Skrecky <>

This is the 48'th update of my fly longevity experiments.

All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Here I examine the effect of removing the corpses of dead flies at each census.

Since I do not have access to CO2 gas, I placed the "no corpse" bottles in my fridge to temporarily reduce fly movement, so that corpses can be removed without live flies also escaping. One fly did escape during the day 9 census from the "no corpse 3" bottle, but the survival statistics were adjusted accordingly. Control bottles were also placed in the fridge as well at the same time so as to act as true controls. The population density in breeding bottles is much higher than in the bottles I use for longevity experiments. The risk of viral transmission would correspondingly be much higher in the breeding bottles. It makes sense that the presence of rotting fly corpses may aid in viral transmission. However it is not clear to me whether corpses are a risk to the few flies in each bottle of a longevity run.

Here I decide the matter with an experiment. As can be seen in these results, removal of corpses has no effect on fly longevity. The variations in survival I attribute both to random variations in fly ages at the start of the experiment, and random variations in degree of viral infestation. In the next run I will examine the effect of various dietary fibres on longevity.

Run #48

Percent Survival on


supplement 5 9 14 19 24 31 36 42 47 52 57 63
control 1 94 82 82 82 ? 58 29 6 6 6 0 -
control 2 95 84 68 58 ? 16 5 5 5 5 5 0
control 3 100 100 80 70 ? 55 30 25 10 0 - -
no corpse 1 100 75 70 65 50 30 30 5 0 - - -
no corpse 2 100 78 67 67 50 28 11 11 11 6 0 -
no corpse 3 100 84 56 33 28 11 6 6 0 - - -

This is the 49'th update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.6 C. I will be reporting the temperatures in future runs, since fly longevity is known to decrease with higher temperatures. Thus if abnormally long maximum survivals are found, such as the 118 days from a previous experiment, then this could be directly compared with the best results at similar temperatures that have been obtained in published experiments using the same substrain of drosophila.

In future runs I will continue to examine targeted supplements such as antivirals, or those which may protect against motor neuron degeneration. I will also be trying random testing of a wide variety of supplements as well, in a search for the unexpected. To date, with the exception of reducing the temperature (and metabolic rate) of flies, no intervention has significantly increased maximum fly survival. Caloric restriction, which has worked well in mice, and with some limited success in rats, is completely without effect in flies. No supplements have convincingly increased longevity by more than about 20%. Over a hundred supplement tests in flies have been published, which is about as much as my own home grown fly experiments have searched.

Conflicting results have been obtained in some published experiments, which have been attributed to pathogens covertly infecting some experiments. Under clean room conditions motor neuron degeneration has been found to be the major determining factor of fly longevity. Drosophila is thus an animal model of Lou Gehrig's disease (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92: 8533-8534 September 1995).

In my own less than sterile experiments, I believe virus induced mortality to be a major factor in fly longevity in the summer, unless freeze concentrated elderberry nectar is used in place of water. During the winter usually the last few surviving flies have lost their ability to fly before expiring, so viral infections are less of a factor in maximum fly mortality. My eventual goal is to reduce viral load enough, so that it no longer has a significant effect on mortality. My experiments will then become a straight forward slugging match against motor neuron disease. Thus far the most powerful protectant against what I believe to be viral mediated death has been freeze concentrated Knudsen Elderberry nectar. In a repeat of the experiment which yielded a 118 day maximum survival during the winter, during the summer survival was 32% at 49 days, and all flies had lost the ability to fly. Maximum survival was 54 days, or less than half of that measured in the winter.

The strong colour (and expense) of this juice has rendered it less than completely desirable for use as a water replacement. However if no more acceptable alternative comes to light in the next dozen runs, then it will become a standard water replacement.

In the current experiment I test the effect of a variety of fibres on fly mortality. No benefit was seen, and in the case of xanthan gum the reduction in longevity appears to be significant. The next run tests other dosages of some of these fibres.

Run #49

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 4 8 13 18 23 30 35 41 46 51
control 97 63 63 56 41 22 13 6 0 -
agar-agar 1 tsp 100 69 52 52 48 24 17 14 3 0
arabica gum 1 tsp 100 73 47 40 20 7 0 - - -
corn bran 1 tsp 91 64 64 64 55 27 18 0 - -
guar gum 1 tsp 100 59 55 45 31 3 0 - - -
pectin 1 tsp 93 56 41 30 30 7 0 - - -
psyllium 1 tsp 80 56 52 44 20 4 0 - - -
xanthan gum 1tsp 44 13 13 6 0 - - - - -

This is the 50'th update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.7 C.

In the current experiment I test the effect of different doses of a variety of fibres on fly mortality. No significant benefit on average longevity was seen. I attribute the poor maximum longevity of the control bottle, to their being only 10 flies in this bottle. The toxicity of xanthan gum is here confirmed. Some protein sources are tested in the next run.

Run #50

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 4 11 16 22 27 32 37 43 49 56
control 90 50 40 30 20 10 0 - - -
arabica gum 1 tsp 100 65 59 59 35 29 12 12 6 0
arabica gum 2 tsp 89 61 50 44 11 11 11 6 6 0
corn bran 1 tsp 100 38 38 25 25 25 13 0 - -
corn bran 2 tsp 100 71 36 14 14 14 14 14 7 0
guar gum 1/4 tsp 100 30 30 20 10 10 0 - - -
pectin 1/4 tsp 100 52 48 39 35 19 10 6 3 0
xanthan gum 1/4 tsp 72 0 - - - - - - - -

This is the 51'st update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.9 C.

For this experiment I used an older breeding bottle, that had seen a lot of mortality, and which I would expect to be heavily infected. Control survival showed this batch was indeed suffering from the fly equivalent of the black death. Only egg albumin failed to improve survival. Of the supplements tested, rice polishings and soy protein offered the most impressive results. Soy genistein is known to exert a strong antiviral effect on at least some types of virus. Since soy protein is not expensive, I've added it to some new batches of breeding bottles. My eventual goal is to eradicate virus induced mortality.

Run #51

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 4 11 16 22 27 32 37 43
control 81 5 5 0 - - - -
albumin 1 tsp 86 29 7 0 - - - -
rice polishings 1 tsp 100 81 69 69 31 19 6 0
Na carboxymethylcellulose 1/4 tsp 90 35 30 20 5 5 5 0
soy protein 1 tsp 100 79 79 64 43 14 7 0
taro starch 1 tsp 90 62 62 38 10 5 0 -
wheat gluten 1 tsp 86 67 38 10 10 5 5 0
whey protein 1 tsp 100 75 56 38 6 0 - -

This is the 52'nd update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.7 C.

For this experiment I used a newer breeding bottle, that I would expect to be less infected, as well as have fewer older flies. To no great surprise control survival was much better than with the last run. Policosanol is a supplement used in very small doses in humans to protect against cardiovascular disease. However in aged humans a reduced cholesterol is associated with a lowered immunity. Although there is no proof that policosanol has any adverse effect on human immunity at recommended doses, the current results indicate that overindulging in this supplement may be counterproductive. A human consuming the fly food in this experiments would ingest about 200 mg of policosanol per day. Recommended dosage is 5 to 10 mg/day.

Vanilla proved to be quite toxic, but peppers improved average survival, presumably due to an antiviral effect. The surprisingly poor maximum longevity with black pepper I attribute to neurotoxicity. Activity levels were greatly increased in black pepper exposed flies, and to a much lower extent with cayenne pepper.

Run #52

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 5 10 16 21 26 31 37 43 50 59
control 88 75 75 75 75 63 44 25 6 0
pepper, cayenne 1/8 tsp 100 92 92 92 83 83 67 58 8 0
pepper, black 1/8 tsp 100 100 100 100 88 82 53 18 0 -
policosanol 6 mg 97 62 43 32 30 27 11 0 - -
stevia 1 packette 95 95 80 55 55 55 45 40 10 0
vanilla 1/4 tsp 100 36 7 0 - - - - - -
watercress 1/4 tsp 100 100 93 93 60 60 33 7 0 -

This is the 53'nd update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.9 C. Slightly more water was added to the gelatin bottle so as to prevent the flies from drying out. In this experiment I seek to replicate the results with soy protein, and rice polishings, which had the two best survivals in run #51. The current results confirm that these supplements are beneficial for survival. Gelatin may be detrimental because it is a low quality protein, that may impare immunity. In the next run I take a closer look at rice, and soy proteins.

Run #53

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 7 12 17 22 28 36 43 52 57 62 68
control 93 79 71 64 57 50 36 14 0 - -
channa flour 1 tsp 92 92 92 75 58 17 0 - - - -
gelatin 1 tsp 73 64 45 9 9 0 - - - - -
rice polishings 1 tsp 94 94 82 82 71 65 41 18 0 - -
soy protein 1 tsp 100 100 100 100 86 71 50 21 7 7 0
whey 1 tsp 87 80 73 60 47 27 7 0 - - -
green pea flour 1 tsp 93 93 87 80 60 20 0 - - - -

This is the 54'th update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.3 C. In this experiment I seek to further examine rice products, as well as soy protein. I did not expect rice bran to be beneficial since it contains a lot of fat, and all tested fats have reduced fly longevity in published experiments. However since rice polishings have at least some fat in them I decided to test rice bran anyhow. A relatively new breeding bottle was used, with a lot of young, fairly healthy flies.

Rice bran turned out to be positive early in the experiment, but neutral later on. The early results could be due to chance. Rice polishings and rice protein turned out to be beneficial only during the first month. Soy protein exerted a beneficial effect throughout the experiment. This is consistent with a powerful protective effect against some viruses. However at the day 58 census, neither of the two remaining control flies could fly, while several could still do so in some of the other bottles. Soy and rice may exert a small retarding effect on motor neuron degeneration.

Run #54

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 4 9 14 20 26 33 42 47 52 58 64 70 74 79
control 100 83 80 77 77 70 43 33 17 7 0 - - -
rice bran 1 tsp 100 100 100 100 89 72 50 33 11 0 - - - -
rice polishings 1 tsp 93 93 87 87 87 67 40 40 20 7 7 0 - -
rice polishings 2 tsp 100 100 95 89 89 79 42 32 11 5 5 0 - -
rice protein 1 tsp 100 100 100 93 93 87 40 13 7 7 7 7 7 0
rice protein 2 tsp 92 92 92 92 75 67 50 42 8 0 - - - -
soy protein 1 tsp 91 91 91 91 82 82 64 36 36 18 18 9 0 -
soy protein 2 tsp 100 94 94 94 94 88 69 50 38 19 6 6 0 -

This is the 55'th update of my fly longevity experiments. All bottles contain 1/4 tsp citric acid as a standard additive. Recorded average temperature during the experiment was 25.5 C. I used the same breeding bottle, as the previous run. However quite a few flies had since died in this bottle, which did not have antiviral soy protein in it. The control results again confirm that these flies are not very healthy. The benefits noted in the tansy, and tarragon bottles I believe to be due to an antiviral effect. In the next run the effect of both rice protein and citric acid are tracked.

Run #55 Percent Survival on Day
supplement 4 9 15 21 28 37 42 47 53 59 65
control 93 80 13 13 7 0 - - - - -
ammonium chloride 1/16 tsp 100 50 0 - - - - - - - -
aucubin 0.48 mg 100 87 27 7 0 - - - - - -
escin 50 mg 100 73 0 - - - - - - - -
galega 1/4 tsp 100 69 0 - - - - - - - -
lemon balm 50 mg 100 63 13 0 - - - - - - -
tansy 1/4 tsp 100 90 70 50 40 30 30 30 20 10 0
tarragon 1/4 tsp 100 73 64 55 36 27 18 18 9 9 0

As Others See us

John Howard

New Hope International Review - http ://

NHI Review, 20 Werneth Avenue, Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 5NL

Longevity Report #87

Longevity Report is described as the Newsletter of Longevity Books. This seems to be an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Cryonics -- the deep freezing of people, usually suffering from illness, in the expectation that in the future they would be able to be thawed and cured.

Robert Ettinger starts this issue with a piece about the possible problems of different members of the same family having different views on being frozen. Science fiction readers might know Ettinger's name (as I did) from the publication in the 1960s of his The Prospect of Immortality in Worlds of Tomorrow by editor Frederik Pohl.

I did not find much of Longevity Report very interesting, as I am not interested in being frozen and then (hopefully) revived. The contributors seem to look on this uncertain process as the gateway to immortality -- the only way in there would be, presumably, if you don't believe in any form of afterlife apart from the body. At least Cryonics seems to be good secular stuff. But there is the issue that it could be arrogant to assume that there is any sort of right to the prolonging of life by such (currently) unnatural means.

I was prompted to visit some of the websites and links mentioned in the magazine, and I was surprised that you can be frozen for as little as $28,000, all costs included. Presumably that at least ensures that it won't only be the rich who gain immortality. But will the future want the burden of reviving and curing people from the past, who will presumably need a lot of mental adjustment as well? And expect to live for ever?

As a long-time science fiction reader I found that reading Longevity Report produced the frisson of classic sf ideas being discussed as if they were at least a partly realised fact of life. (Although spelling Sir Arthur Clarke's name wrong spoilt the newsletter's credibility somewhat!)

Longevity Report is designed for enthusiasts for this particular "sfnal" notion, Cryonics -- an enthusiasm that I don't share, interesting though it is. There is too much of the evangelical crusade to convert, too much of the reliance on a secular heaven (the future) which is no replacement for the only heaven there can be, the here and now.

reviewer: John Howard.

Comment on "the issue that it could be arrogant to assume that there is any sort of right to the prolonging of life by such (currently) unnatural means."

What is arrogance is to impose your views on anyone else by force. It is not arrogant to have those views and implement them upon one's self. To suggest "Everyone should by cryopreserved. It is for their own good. They will thank us in the end." That is arrogance.

Unfortunately this isn't as easy as it sounds, because, for example, most children would prefer not to go to school, go to the dentist and so on. Is it arrogant for their parents to impose these things on them? Probably not, because we observe that if someone is not educated they have less of a life than someone who is, similarly with looking after your teeth.

But with matters such as whether there is a natural continuance of existence of consciousness somewhere else after death or whether cryopreserved people can be restored by a future (and therefore only conjectured) technology no one person or even group can say with absolute certainty. Therefore it is arrogant to impose views about these subjects on anyone else. It is not arrogant to express your own views. It is only arrogant to say someone else is stupid not to agree, or to use force to impose your own ideas.

There are arguments with cryonics, of course, that it does not provide immortality, only expended life. No one can know they are immortal until that have lived an infinite time. Therefore cryonics does not oppose religion quite as much as popularly supposed. After all, Jesus went around raising those given up for dead and healing the sick. What are cryonics patients but people given up for dead? Jesus told his followers to copy his actions. The cryonics societies are trying to do just that. The other argument is that if you forced someone into cryonics and they were reanimated and didn't want to be, then they could easily end their lives in a manner of their choice.

If one the other hand reality is that consciousness ceases with annihilation of the body, then there is a simple world for forcing someone away from cryonics against their will.

It is "murder".

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