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"Physical Immortality Now" and the Media

Physical immortality is real living

The Media generally treats the promotion of "Physical Immortality Now" as expressed by Charles Paul Brown, James Strole and Bernadeane, among others, as either unwise and undesirable, or frivolous. In fact, that is the stance the media generally takes when it comes to reporting on any pursuit of or desire to live forever.

Journalists, and the Media outlets they work for, would have us believe that they are dispassionate and objective. But whether they realize it or not, in pursuing that desire to appear objective most, if not all, of them have developed a professional cynicism and skepticism as a defense against what appears to be their worst nightmare: to be the subject of a hoax; to be deceived by a person or organization; to be seduced by an idea.

This universal skepticism practised by journalists prevents them from being truly objective - either about the possibility of physical immortality, or the people who seek to live it. This is why most articles, or television programs, on the subject, question the wisdom of wanting to live forever while dismissing the concept flippantly.

It's as if, because the idea of physical immortality is so at odds with the accepted wisdom that death is inevitable, it can't be taken seriously. That because there's no proof, people who claim it as a possiblity, let alone as a reality, must be either stupid or crazy, and therefore deserve ridicule, or are fraudulent or charlatans and therefore deserve to be treated as criminals.

Throughout the years Charles Paul Brown, James Strole and Bernadeane have received more than their share of such treatment by the media - quite often with their background being used as a way of discrediting their message.


In 1960, Charles Paul Brown - a former night-club singer, fashion buyer and, at the time, Assembly of God minister - experienced what he felt as the flesh of Jesus Christ move within the cells of his own body: somewhat akin to the spiritual experiences of many "born-again" Christians.

The difference of this experience for Charles Brown was that he accepted the physicality of this "genetic transformation". This "Christing of the flesh", as he has described it, led him to recognize and experience in his own self that physical immortality is the true state for all people - that people aren't born to die, but to live without end.

At first he attempted to integrate this feeling for physical immortality into his religious ministry, but it soon became clear that the religious were not interested in physical immortality in the here and now, but in an eternal life as a result of death - their view of immortality was as a benefit of an afterlife.

Although he had to break from the church, as he initially perceived his message as the legacy of Jesus Christ, he started his own ministry, "the Eternal Flame", which he registered as a religious organization. With his wife Bernadeane, he spent many years preaching physical immortality around the country to any congregation that showed an interest. But what drew people to him and kept them moving with him was not so much his message of physical immortality now, as the importance he placed on each person - both as an individual, and as an essential ingredient in the collective whole.

Given the strong support and promotion of the belief that death is inevitable, Charles Brown had reached the conclusion that although all people carry physical immortality in their flesh, one person, himself included, cannot do it alone. Those who awaken to their physical immortality, need the support and encouragement of others who also experience their immortality, in order to truly end the death in their own bodies. His message became that people need each other to live and therefore have to make each other, and being with each other, more important than anything else - their differences, beliefs or prejudices.

In 1968, James Russell Strole joined Charles Paul Brown and Bernadeane, bringing his own passion to the expression of physical immortality now.

In 1971 they settled in Scottsdale and began to build a community of people who felt physical immortality with them. They travelled extensively, encouraging more and more people around the world to take on the value of their own bodies and claim their physical immortality. Along the way they became known as "CBJ" and changed the name of the organization to first, the "Flame Foundation" and then "People Forever International" - both reflecting their movement away from a religious focus and towards an international arena.

In the early nineties they embarked on a PR campaign to further their desire - that every person be given the opportunity to hear that they didn't have to die, and that physical immortality could be a reality for them. As they anticipated, their expression - that people can be physically immortal now, that death, for any reason, is unacceptable, and that human beings need to be valued above anything else - stirred controversy. What they didn't expect was just how intensely the media would try to discredit them and their message - largely through biased reporting.



There were families who became upset when a relation would choose to move with, or financially support Charles Brown, Bernadeane and James Strole, and they would level charges against them in the media. And the media were only too willing to put the three of them on trial in the court of public opinion. However, the motivations of the people bringing the charges were never questioned, and Charles Brown, Bernadeane and James Strole were only once given the respect of a fair hearing by the media - on the "Larry King Live" show. It wasn't just that there was no evidence of wrong-doing - there was no wrong-doing.

But they were presented as guilty anyway - on the principle, I assume, that there's no smoke without fire. The media, in general, didn't like or didn't agree with what Charles Brown, James Strole and Bernadeane represented or were afraid to be fair in case they were charged with either gullibility or being biased in their favor. These supposed arbiters of public opinion seemed to be as intimidated by public opinion as anyone else is prone to be, if not more so. The reporters seemed to believe that their credibility depended on them not being seen to be in any way against the mainstream or the status quo when it came to questioning the inevitability of death.

Of the articles written about Charles Paul Brown, James Strole and Bernadeane, those that don't try to discredit them by citing unsubstantiated charges of brainwashing, sexual misconduct, mind-control or fraud - none of which ever occured - essentially end up making fun of them, of the idea of living forever and, by association, anyone who thinks physical immortality now is a good idea. The same can be said for the majority of the television programs they participated in. They can't refute the assertion that physical immortality now is a reality, they can only try and discredit it by making fun of the proposition, the way it is presented or the people who are presenting it.

The point isn't really whether you like or agree with anything James Strole, Bernadeane or Charles Brown say, or the way they say it - it's whether you have a feeling for yourself and other people to live. And it's pretty obvious, from the tone and language of their presentations, that most reporters don't. In fact Jeanne Marie Laskas in GQ, August 1991, actually wrote, "I wasn't even sure that I wanted to be immortal. Death, after all, is pretty intriguing. Death could be seen as an unpleasant event you have to go through like birth, before you plop into some new place, get smacked and start breathing a whole new oxygen". This pretty much sums up the prevailing rationalization of death as being the doorway to something else.

The articles also frequently convey a sense of distaste for, or imply that there is something wrong with, the fact that people who want to live forever actually show some concern about their health, or care about their appearance, or have a desire to experience a greater feeling of closeness with as many people as possible. It's as if they perceive a concern for one's health or appearance as mere vanity, and physical contact with non-family members as unhealthy or subversive.

One article quotes a self-proclaimed cult expert who made several accusations about Charles Brown, Bernadeane and James Strole, mostly to do with financial impropriety. What isn't mentioned is that this individual is a convicted thief and embezzler (a slight case of financial impropriety here?), he has a $7 million judgement against him for being found guilty of violating an individual's civil rights while supposedly acting as a "cult deprogrammer", and has been disowned by reputable anti-cult organizations. It seems as if research stopped when the available information fitted the story the reporter wanted to tell.

Charles Brown, James Strole and Bernadeane are the first to admit that they have made mistakes along the way - unlike some prominant people I can think of. They have also moved away from a religious expression because they recognize it's limitations - dissolving the religious foundation and establishing an incorporated business in the process - but still consistently give their passion for a deathless life to all people who have a desire to receive it.

Their primary concern is to make each person aware of their individual value and to show them that that value extends to them living forever - that no matter who you are, what you've done, your race or beliefs, you deserve to live. They are the only people I know who are promoting that kind of valuing of every person. And they are the only people who are devoting their energy to creating an environment in which all of us can live unlimited lives together.

Does that require commitment? Of course. Do they challenge accepted beliefs and dogma? Certainly. Do they make demands of people to live greater? Continually. Do you have to comply? No. Does your non-compliance mean you can't be with them? No. But if you don't like who they are, what they speak or what they ask for you and from you, why would you be with them anyway?

Although Charles Paul Brown, Bernadeane and James Russell Strole provide the greatest opportunity for people to come together and move in harmony in physical immortality, it may not be what you want, and you may not believe it's possible. But that is no reason to deprive others of that opportunity or to ridicule or discredit them for choosing it, as the media and others have attempted to do.

Physical immortality is real living - it requires a strong commitment, in the face of deeply entrenched traditional beliefs, to live beyond the limits of a death-oriented world.

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