Life Extension Magazine®

Issue: Mar 2014

How Government Treated Those For Whom We Now Celebrate Holidays

Martin Luther King, Jr .and other visionaries were ruthlessly persecuted by whatever “authority” ruled in their time. Oppressive bureaucrats today restrain the development and dissemination of life-saving scientific discoveries.

By William Faloon, .

William Faloon
William Faloon

Martin Luther King Day is usually a slow time, so I decided to investigate this man for whom I knew relatively little about.

What struck me was how harshly our government persecuted Martin Luther King, Jr. and the number of times he was arrested for doing what he is now celebrated for.

I then began to note other American holidays that are based on individuals who were persecuted by whatever “authority” existed in their time.

Of course not every oppressed visionary gets a holiday. Preston Tucker, inventor of the first safe automobile, was arrested and almost did significant jail time. The big auto companies did not want to compete against Tucker’s safer cars, so they instigated a federal prosecution that stripped him of his assets and almost his liberty.1 (Most of Tucker’s safety features are federally required in today’s cars.)

How Government Treated Those For Whom We Now Celebrate Holidays
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Prisoner #7089
Montgomery, Alabama
February 24, 1956

Linus Pauling won the Nobel Peace Prize for leading the effort to ban above-ground testing of nuclear bombs. Dr. Pauling knew the radiation released into the atmosphere would have lethal consequences. The government rewarded Pauling by stripping him of his passport and threatening prison if he did not reveal who was helping him. This was done under the government’s theory that those against above-ground nuclear bomb testing were communist sympathizers. (The federal government admitted in 2002 that above-ground nuclear bomb testing caused at least 15,000 American cancer deaths.)2

Galileo was convicted of heresy at an inquisition trial for the crime of teaching that the earth is not the center of the universe. To avoid execution, Galileo renounced what he knew to be true and was given a “lenient” sentence of lifetime confinement.3

Galileo was not the first to figure out the solar system. Giordano Bruno was convicted of heresy for his teachings that the earth revolved around the sun. Bruno was burned alive at the stake.4

People today often forget the brutality with which visionaries were persecuted. We at Life Extension® don’t. This article will examine atrocities perpetrated against those who dared to challenge conventional dogma and how this relates to the sluggish pace of medical progress.

“On June 15, 1591, in the spectacular closing of the infamous North Berwick witch trials, Euphemia MacLean…was burned alive on Castle Hill in Edinburgh by the order of King James VI because, among other things, she had tried to assuage the pains of labor.

In the 16th century, pain relief during labor was considered to be witchcraft. It was believed that there was a physiological advantage to pain during labor.”5

—New England Journal of Medicine

August 6, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. graduated from high school at the age of 15 and received his doctorate at age 26.6 He first gained public attention when he led a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system. This happened after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man.7 During the Montgomery bus boycott, Dr. King was arrested, his home bombed, and he was placed under FBI surveillance.6

When leading a non-violent protest in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. King was arrested and sentenced to four months in jail. Pressure from John and Robert Kennedy secured his release.8

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Linus Pauling  

The FBI by this time had assembled a full-time task force to disrupt and destroy Martin Luther King, Jr.9

The FBI’s harassment campaign included mailing an anonymous letter that threatened to expose Dr. King’s personal lifestyle choices. Dr. King interpreted this letter as an attempt to make him commit suicide.10

Despite high profile arrests and the FBI’s disinformation campaign, Dr. King became the youngest man ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.11,12 Linus Pauling received his Nobel Peace Prize in 1962.11

Both Linus Pauling and Martin Luther King, Jr. were targets of harsh government persecution.

How FBI Targeted Martin Luther King, Jr.

How FBI Targeted Martin Luther King, Jr.  

For decades, the FBI operated a series of covert projects aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.13

These covert operations took place between 1956 and 1971.13 Tactics have been alleged to include discrediting targets through psychological warfare, harassment, wrongful imprisonment, smearing individuals using forged documents, planting false reports in the media, and illegal violence.14-16

The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”14

One of the most abusive of all FBI programs was directed against Dr. King.13 FBI records show significant resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive,” including Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and other civil rights organizations.14

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize” the activities of these organizations and their leaders.15

Under the direct influence of Hoover, many civil rights groups, particularly those focused on racial equality, were reclassified. Hoover’s justification for these illegal orders was his belief that civil rights groups were infiltrated by communists.16

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference was founded in 1957 and within 10 years, the FBI began monitoring and targeting the group for “intensified attention,” focusing particularly on its leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr.16,17

FBI Goes Ballistic When King Says “I Have a Dream.”

After the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where his famous “I have a dream…” speech was given, Dr. King was singled out as a major FBI target. Under pressure from Hoover to focus not simply on communist infiltration of the civil rights movement, but on King specifically, FBI counter intelligence director Sullivan wrote:

In the light of King’s powerful demagogic speech. . . . We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and national security.”18

Soon after Dr. King’s famous “I have a dream...” speech, the FBI was systematically bugging King’s home and his hotel rooms.18

In July–August 1967, the FBI intensified its focus on Dr. King and other civil rights leaders and organizations. FBI offices were instructed to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of Black Nationalist ‘hate-type’ organizations.”16 A particular target was the Poor People’s Campaign, a national effort organized by Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The FBI monitored and disrupted the campaign on a national level, while using targeted smear tactics locally to undermine support for the campaign.16

Why Dr. King Was Deemed To Be A “Hate Type”

In 1976, a Select Senate Investigative Committee led by Senator Frank Church reviewed what documents it could obtain from the FBI’s multi-decade campaign that targeted a wide range of groups including those that sought out protection for women’s rights and those protesting the Vietnam War.

According to this Senate Committee, nonviolent organizations and individuals were targeted because the FBI believed they represented a “potential” for violence. The Black Nationalist counter intelligence program, according to its FBI supervisor, included “ a great number of organizations that you might not today characterize as Black Nationalist but which were in fact primarily black .”16

Thus, the nonviolent Southern Christian Leadership Conference led by Martin Luther King was labeled by the FBI as a Black Nationalist “hate group” and subjected to relentless government attack.16

Excerpts From Dr. King’s Famous Letter Written While He Was Confined In A Birmingham, Alabama Jail
Excerpts From Dr. King’s Famous Letter Written While He Was Confined In A Birmingham, Alabama Jail

Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested for his part in organizing a protest against racial segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The charges included demonstrating without a permit. While incarcerated, Dr. King wrote a letter on the margins of newspapers, which was the only paper his jailers gave him. These bits and pieces of paper were smuggled through his lawyers and became known as the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.” The purpose of this letter was to explain to other clergymen why he led a protest instead of fighting the segregation battle solely in the courts. Below are a few excerpts from Dr. King’s famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail”:

My Dear Fellow Clergymen,

While confined here in the Birmingham City Jail, I came across your recent statement calling our present activities “unwise and untimely.”

I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say wait. But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your 20 million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see the tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her little personality by unconsciously developing a bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking in agonizing pathos: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?” when you take a cross country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” men and “colored” when your first name becomes “nigger” and your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title of “Mrs.” when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tip-toe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”—then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.

Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood,

Martin Luther King, Jr.19

Senate Committee Findings Regarding FBI Counter Intelligence Program

The Select Senate Committee uncovered all kinds of wrongdoings committed under the FBI’s guise of protecting “national security.” In the Final Report of the Select Committee, the FBI Counter Intelligence Program was castigated as follows:

The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed on the constitutional rights of American citizens. The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served “national security” the law did not apply. 13

While intelligence officers on occasion failed to disclose to their superiors programs which were illegal or of questionable legality, the Committee finds that the most serious breaches of duty were those of senior officials, who were responsible for controlling intelligence activities and generally failed to assure compliance with the law…13

...the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association, on the theory that preventing the growth of dangerous groups and the propagation of dangerous ideas would protect national security and deter violence.16

This FBI campaign is all the more ironic when you realize that Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known for his steadfast non-violent approach to gaining civil rights.

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

– Einstein25

Signers Of The Declaration Of Independence

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were British subjects who fought against their own government.20

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the other founding fathers did not merely ascribe their names to a philosophical document. They signed their own death warrant.21

While these men are revered each July 4th, the government authorities at the time considered them traitors. Punishment for treason included torture and execution along with forfeiture of property.21

As Benjamin Franklin adroitly stated on July 4, 1776, “ We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang separately.”22

History books often gloss over significant details about the Revolutionary War. Most of us recall a few sound bytes, but not the cruel realities. A rational review of the historical record reveals that victory against the British was seemingly hopeless, but it nonetheless occurred.23

Those who led the American Revolution suffered horrific hardships, many losing their lives and property. While fireworks are seen throughout the United States each July 4th, overlooked is the fact that signers of the Declaration of Independence, and all others who supported the revolution, were viewed as criminals. Some were captured, tortured, and killed seeking to acquire the liberty we nowadays take for granted.

John Hancock knew this risk quite well when he signed the Declaration of Independence in large letters and stated, “ John Bull can read my name without spectacles. Now let him double the price on my head.24

Martin Luther King On The Duty To Break Unjust Laws

Dr. King was repeatedly arrested for civil disobedience, all in relation to protests for the civil rights movement. In his famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King called on all Americans to actively but peacefully oppose laws that were morally wrong. King wrote:

“You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.—Letter from Birmingham Jail19

What Does This Have To Do With Anti-Aging Research?

The public looks at government persecution against past visionaries and mistakenly thinks it does not occur in modern society. Even when national holidays are dedicated to persecuted individuals, the message about their heroism is not accurately portrayed.

If you are wondering what this has to do with anti-aging medicine, my response is it is highly relevant. At medical conferences I attend, the focus too often is how innovative doctors can stay out of jail.

At these conferences, attorneys give lectures to physicians about how to avoid becoming targets of modern day witch hunts initiated by overzealous regulators. The fear instilled by these spurious investigations is causing physicians to think twice before using novel approaches to save humans lives.

Even worse, scientific discoveries that could be translated into curative treatments are shackled by regulatory barriers that can take years, decades, or forever to overcome. That means creative ways of keeping us alive today are being repressed by government authorities. I have chronicled in past issues of this magazine and my books, shocking incidences of life-saving therapies being denied to Americans by uncaring bureaucrats.26-31

When I attend scientific conferences, doctors sometimes recognize me and extend their gratitude for protecting them and their patients from the FDA. I promise these progressive physicians that our battle to expose governmental abuses that suppress medical progress will not abate, despite risks to our personal liberty.

This month we feature an article that discusses the slow pace at which lifesaving therapeutic improvements are recognized. Even the simplest medical advances were opposed by those in positions of authority who felt compelled to guard the ignorance of the past.

Your support of Life Extension empowers a crusade to liberate scientific discoveries from the deadly impact of bureaucratic oppression. 

For longer life,

For Longer Life

William Faloon

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.-1963

Danger of Government-Controlled Science
Danger of Government-Controlled Science

Dr. Randy W. Schekman on the value of curiosity-driven inquiry. Excerpt from the Wall Street Journal, December 27, 2013

“The work in my laboratory probed the molecular basis of protein secretion in baker’s yeast. We had no notion of any practical application of this work, and yet after we learned that yeast cells use a pathway fundamentally the same as in human cells, the biotechnology industry applied this knowledge to engineer the production of commercially useful quantities of human proteins. One-third of the world supply of recombinant human insulin is produced in yeast.

Many of you can recount similar stories where an investment in basic science has resulted in a direct application to medicine and technology. And yet we find a growing tendency for government to want to manage discovery with expansive so-called strategic science initiatives at the expense of the individual creative exercise we celebrate today.”

(Randy W. Schekman is one of the three 2013 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded in Stockholm on December 10, 2013.)


  1. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
  2. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
    Available at: Accessed Feb. 27, 2013.
  3. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
  4. Available at: Accessed Feb. 27, 2013. Accessed March 15, 2013.
  5. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
  6. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
  7. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
  8. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013
  9. Available at: Accessed March 15, 2013.
  10. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  11. Available at: Accessed May 17, 2013.
  12. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  13. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  14. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  15. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  16. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  17. Available at: Accessed March 18, 2013.
  18. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  19. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  20. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  21. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  22. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013
  23. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  24. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  25. Available at: Accessed March 19, 2013.
  26. Available at: Accessed January 13, 2104.
  27. Available at: Accessed January 13, 2014.
  28. Available at: Accessed January 13, 2014.
  29. Available at: Accessed January 13, 2013.
  30. Faloon, William. Pharmocracy. Mount Jackson, VA: Praktikos Books; 2011.
  31. Life Extension Foundation. FDA: Failure, Deception, Abuse. Mount Jackson, VA: Praktikos Books; 2010.