The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 6, 1998 · 42
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The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada · 42

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 6, 1998
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D2 THE VANCOUVER SUN. SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 1998 SATURDAY REVIEW LAZARUS from Dl I H '. , 1 f A His name, at least, is pure science fiction. Howard Turney took his new name from a character in Time Enough For Love, a novel by science-fiction author Robert Heinlein. The Lazarus Long of Heinlein's epic saga is centuries old and lives in a world where aging is a thing of the past. Over the years, his intelligence and imagination have been put to the service of a vari-ety of schemes. He spent a while in the restaurant business and he spent a while developing and marketing grocery products. He had an intensive shrimp-farming operation for a time and made a pile in the used-generator business. But if the name of Howard Turney is familiar to you - and it's possible that it is - it's because of a little discovery he made back in July 1990. At that time he was 59 years old and, by his own admission, going to seed. He had a 44-inch waist and his hands shook. He looked more like 70. Then, he says, he read a report in the New England Journal of Medicine concerning a study of Second World War veterans who had been injected with human growth hormone for a period of six months. The result, said the report, was that they lost 14 per cent of their body fat and gained 9 to 12 per cent more muscle mass. They also reported having increased energy, stamina and sex drive. At the time, human growth hormone was only available in the U.S. specifically for the treatment of dwarfism. However, Turney managed to befriend a doctor in Monterey and acquired a supply for himself. He took his first injection on Jan. 3, 1991, and has been injecting it on a daily basis ever since. "Feel that," he says, taking off his jacket and showing me his upper arm. I feet it. It's hard as a rock. He does no weight training or other serious exercise, he says, and yet his waist is now down to 32 inches. His hands no longer shake, his sight has improved, his hair has thickened and he implied to me, in not as many words, that the lead has returned to his pencil. . i .m A "I'm 66 going on 40," he said cheerfully, "And I've not had any negative side effects at all." He founded an anti-aging clinic administering human growth hormone in Mexico and then went on to set up a network of similar clinics in the U.S. He was famous for a while and, over a period of 18 months, television crews from around the world flocked to interview him. But when the drug manufacturers began distributing human growth hormone for themselves, he dropped the business and now has no direct involvement in anti-aging medicine. However, he knows some doctors who do. He hints at this when he tells me, "There are things on the horizon that people today can only dream about. We are not that far from being able to live multiples of what we look at now as the maximum lifespan." "What sort of things?" I ask. "Things I can't tell you about because they were told me in confidence," he replies. "Tests and studies are going on ...." Then he pauses. "Turn your tape recorder off." I do as he asks and then he tells me about a research project being undertaken by some scientists with whom he's acquainted. It involves the single injection of a retrovirus that would halt ageing in its tracks. More than that I cannot tell you. He tells me that tests have been successfully carried out on mice and that in a couple of years it should be ready for human use. Naturally such a drug would be unlikely to get approval from THEMENSA MIND GAME Applesauce You enter an orchard through three guarded gates and take a number of apples. When you leave you give the first guard half the apples, and one apple more. To the second guard you give half the remaining apples, and one apple more. You do the same for the third guard, and leave the orchard with one apple. How many apples did you gather ion the orchard? Answer on page D12 For more information about Mensa, the high-IQ, society, contact: Mensa, 13849 24th Ave., Surrey, B.C. V4A'2I II Gulf of yoc Mexico " . Cozumel i------JAa f Cancunif Isle of Pines 3 a lh . i Little . v ( Yucatan , , . 5? anCaan J ( Mexico J , ' Caan . Jamaica J Y L ; ' x Belize , , ," -. . ) I I Bahials. "V ' a ... ' , I yLliE-n ls" Misterioso I Guatemala"" " Bank I Honduras ' ) : J licensing bodies for years, if at all. But there's nothing to stop it being used in a state-of-the-art anti-aging medical facility in a new country where such restrictions don't apply. And if there should be only an infinitesimal chance that it might work, there are bound to be a lot of wealthy people, Americans especially, willing to pay a lot of money to give it a try. Prince Lazarus says has already negotiated the rights to administer it. However, as the Prince is keen to stress, anti-aging medicine is by far the least important of the three strengths of New Utopia represented in its giant waterwall. Its primary function will be as a tax haven that will The prince says he has sunk $400,000 of his own funds into the founding of New Utopia, but that's a long way short of the $216 million required for the first phase of construction. "out-Cayman the Caymans." Prince Lazarus foresees his new country becoming "one of the big financial centres of the world," a free-market oasis without government constraints where money can be made and stashed and the tax-man never calls. : But there's a possible problem with all this, and that's the question of whether New Utopia needs to be recognized as an independent country before it can operate as a legitimate financial centre. The Prince was initially keen to become a member of the United Nations and last year he sent a formal application to secretary general Kofi Annan. The response from the UN was that they would prefer to wait until New Utopia had actually been built before committing themselves to anything. However, Prince Lazarus has now cooled somewhat on the subject of UN membership. "They're trying to implement worldwide banking rules and regulations that are not in keeping with the philosophy of New Utopia," he says. "Plus they have a refugee policy for all their members. As a new little country, I cannot afford boatloads of people from Central America or Cuba or Haiti coming to my shores, because I have no welfare system, and I have no plans to have a welfare system." According to Ian Sawyer, a business consultant and offshore expert based in Sutton Coldfield, England, who has been appointed New Utopia's minister of corporations, UN membership is not a necessity. "There's no legal requirement Cow watchers paid to spot DAVID BROWN DAILY TELEGRAPH LONDON You can tell a lot about a cow by the way it moves. So much, in fact, that Britain leads the world with a new breed of professional cow watchers who tour the countryside to watch cows moving. Finely-turned ankles, well-shaped legs, a proud posture and a fluid, well-balanced gait that enables them to walk with confidence and ease are as important to today's cows as they are for a Miss World contestant. So, too, is a "capacious udder," the bovine equivalent of a full bosom. All of these factors affect the way cows walk - and the better they walk the more likely they are to live a long, productive to be in the UN," he told me. "And I think for the purposes for which New Utopia is being constructed, there will be no real major benefit." Sawyer has been obtaining views from banks and corporations on the matter of New Utopia's legitimacy, and so far, he said, he has had "absolutely nothing negative back on it whatsoeverThe offshore side of it can legally function once there is a physical presence there." The Prince says that when he last counted, there were 463 fully paid-up citizens of New Utopia. Citizenship is currently available to anyone willing to fork out a minimum of $1,500 US for a New Utopian five-year bond, which will pay 9.5 per cent annual interest. As the Prince points out, this is peanuts compared to, say, the $55,000 that a tax haven like Belize charges for citizenship. He's confident that by the time the birthday celebrations come around he will have his planned full complement of 4,000 passport-bearing New Utopians. "I have thousands and thousands of people who have been sent information who I'm sure are just waiting to see the construction start before they jump on the bandwagon," he says "Everything is very genuine, very straightforward and very above board," Sawyer reassured me, adding that he is "very confident" that New Utopia will be built. In fact he's already looking forward to living there. THE PRINCE officially changed his name to Lazarus Long three years ago. He'd decided there were too many Howard Turneys around, and anyway, as he puts it, "Prince Lazarus has a ring to it." He took his new name from a character in Time Enough For Love, a novel by the American science-fiction author Robert Heinlein. "I admired his philosophy. It was so close to my own philosophy," he says of his fic With the sign of thVdollar We will open the gates of our city to those who deserve to enter, a city of smokestacks, pipe lines, orchards, markets and inviolate homes ... With the sign of the dollar as our symbol - the sign of free trade and free minds - we will move to reclaim this country once more from the impotent savages who never discovered its nature, its meaning, its splendour. Those who choose to join us, will join us: those who don't, will not have the power to stop us; hoardes of savages have never been an obstacle to men who carried the banner of the mind. - from John Gait's speech to the nation in Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, the philosophical inspiration behind New Utopia. and contented life down on the farm. Jim Westaway watches more than most. Roughly 10,000 a year pass under his critical gaze as he taps their finer points and flaws into a hand-held computer. Westaway is field services manager, or chief cow watcher, for the Holstein-Friesian Cattle Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He and 10 colleagues spend hours noting the movements and vital statistics of pedigree cows and awarding them marks from one to 10 on their computers. "A cow must have good legs and be able to carry itself properly to enable it to cope with the milking demands on farms today," Westaway said. ' "I am looking for flexibility A philosophy close to my own ... "There aintno such thing as a free lunch." "All men are created unequal." "Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed. " "Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil." Quotations from the works of science-Action writer Robert Heinlein, who coined the name Lazarus Long. tional antecedent. The Lazarus Long of Heinlein's epic saga is centuries old and lives in a world where aging is a thing of the past. His "philosophy" amounts to a series of pro-individualistic slogans that can fairly be said to represent the thinking of the man who created him. Heinlein coined the phrase "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch," and among his other catchy apophthegms are "All men are created unequal," "Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed" and "Beware of altruism It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil." Heinlein died in 1988, but his works live on as seminal texts for the libertarian movement, which thrives in North America and in particular on the Internet. Libertarianism comes in many forms but, roughly speaking, it stands for the rights of the individual to make choices without government interference. Gun laws, drug prohibition and taxes are considered violations of a citizen's rights, and the welfare society is anathema. "He who governs least, governs best" is the libertarian motto. "The reason for New Utopia's existence is the philosophy behind it," the Prince says. He describes himself as "a moderate libertarian" and, like Robert Heinlein, he believes that democracy doesn't work, which is why it won't exist in New Utopia and why he has proclaimed himself a prince. "A democracy has to turn into a welfare state," he says. "The nature of a democracy is that people who have nothing or very little outnumber the people who have assets. And they will constantly vote people into power to give them more and more bread and more and more circuses. The welfare state cannot survive, as you saw with Communism." If Heinlein is an influence, the true philosophical inspiration behind New Utopia, indeed the person who could fairly be said to have written the blueprint, is another key figure in libertarian thought - Ayn Rand. Al- as bur symbol J. when the cow walks. It must not have knock-knees or anything like that - that would not do at all," he said. Information gathered by Westaway and his team is used to help breeders to weed out cows "You get some funny looks when you tell people what you do for a living." Jim Westaway, chief cow watcher with weak legs and to breed from cows with strong ones. "Cows produce double the milk they did 20 years ago and they need good legs," Westaway said. "A good cow could spend 10 years in herd but, if it has knock-knees, it just won't stand up to it." SB. L ROBERT HEINLEIN though generally written off as a capitalist fascist during the '60s and 70s, in recent times Rand has come to be seen as an influential figure, at least in right-wing business circles. A Soviet emigree who fled Russia with the coming of communism, she was the founder of "objectivism," which holds that the highest purpose of existence is to live for oneself, and that altruism is evil. Her most famous work was the vast novel Atlas Shrugged, published in 1957, which depicts a strike by America's most talented individuals. Tired of a collectivist society in which they are bled dry by their unappreciative fellow countrymen, the prime movers and money-makers disappear one by one to a hidden "The parameters of starting a country are much, much different from raising capital for something with a specific business plan and a specific return on investment expected in a certain time frame." John Shannon ; : : : ; . have been delays m getting con-valley in Colorado, where they . struction under way, he's confi-establish a new community dent that it will begin in the based on laissez-faire capital ism. It is called Gait's Gulch, af ter the strike's leader, a brilliant engineer called John Gait. In its own small way, New Utopia will be the concrete realization of Rand's fictional community, a haven for capitalists the world over who believe that all men are not created equal and that the welfare society can go to hell. "I have very little patience with people who will not work and will not contribute to their own welfare," the prince says quite simply. In fact, Prince Lazarus is not the first to attempt to put Rand's ideas into actioa In 1995, a group of businessmen placed an advertisement in the Economist magazine looking for oth- 5ft AYN RAND a well-turned calf It costs a farmer between 700 and 1,000 pounds to buy a good replacement cow for his herd. But he gets only about 250 pounds at most it he has to cull a young cow because it goes lame. The cull price has been low since the Government introduced strict BSE controls designed to keep cattle more than 30 months old out of the food chain. Edinburgh University has devised a computerized "cattle locomotion" scoring system to help the cattle watchers to assess each animal. Westaway said: "You get some funny looks when you tell people what you do for a living. ers to join them in founding i Laissez Faire City, a free-market paradise that would be built on . 260 square kilometres of land - leased from a friendly government. -.-t "When Laissez Faire City be- comes a reality," said the adver-tisement, "Rand's spirit will un- , "doubtedly become one with the rays of the sun which shall shine down on what may be ' come known as the miracle city of the 21st century." Laissez Faire City has yet to be built, and when last heard of, the trustees were contemplating Peru as the site of their great adventure. Another scheme was Oceania, a planned giant floating city w based on libertarian ideals, which attracted a fair amount of publicity a few years ago. "The problem was that it was conceived by a bunch of radical militiamen," the Prince says, tu "Everything was going to be ler j gal - you could carry an anti-. tank gun down the street if you : wanted. And they were going to .. have duelling made lawful. Now, who is going to invest ,,-their money in something like j this, where some drunk challenges you to a duel and kills ;,j you? There's not much incen-n.j tive there." ,v : ; ; Indeed a continued lack of in- ,j vestment means that Oceania ; still exists only as a web site. , - , Money is the key. The prince : ; says he has sunk $400,000 of his i 1 own funds into the founding of New Utopia, but that's a long way short of the $216 million re- ;, quired for the first phase .of construction. Raising capital is in fact the job of the New Utopia Development Tru$t, which is registered in Belize. Neither the prince nor any of his governors are members of the trust, which acts as an independent developer and will pay a small percentage of its construction costs to the New Utopian government. John Shannon, an entrepreneur based in Houston, is the trust's general manager charged with coordinating its activities. He told me that although there near future. "I wouldn't be spending any time at all on it if I didn't think , , it was very probable that it will be built, he said. , . ; . . The trust's problem, as Shan non admits, is that at the moment it's asking for a large leap of faith from potential investors. "The parameters of starting a country are much, much different from raising capital for something with a specific business plan and a specific return on investment expected in a certain time frame," he said. "This is a huge endeavour - it's a multi-faceted situatioa Once the platforms are built and once the people start coming down there, then it becomes a simple matter of capital investment, but until you get to that point, it takes mavericks pretty much to , go and do what could be con- sidered the biggest crap shoot ; in history." . ., When Shannon first heard about the crazy idea of New ,j Utopia, he decided that he had to meet the man behind it face ,. to face. "I wanted to look into his eyes J before I could feel comfortable i in believing it was real," he said. ; "I had to feel his honesty and in-. tegrity." VV So he looked into the eyes of i Prince Lazarus Long, and he was satisfied with what he saw, , So will it really happen? Can , it really happen? Prince Lazarus ;, is quietly confident. "It's unusur ., al, it's unique, it's never been . done before," he said. "But that doesn't mean it can't be done." , , The New Utopia web site is at , - X, ... W rr "But there is a serious side this job."0 to

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