Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine August 2006

As We See It

Inventor of Safer Automobile

By William Faloon

By William Faloon

Millions of Crippling Injuries

Most car accidents do not kill people. There are, however, millions of serious injuries suffered each year in automobile accidents. Some people suffer pain, disfigurement, and crippling disabilities for the rest of their lives as a result of car crashes.

Preston Tucker recognized the dangers of being in an automobile and designed a car that would have spared millions of Americans bodily injuries and death. The federal government did everything in its power to deny Americans access to Tucker’s automobiles, and the total number of Americans who have needlessly suffered as a result is incalculable.

Who Defrauded Investors? The Government!

The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed it was “protecting” investors from securities “fraud” perpetrated by Preston Tucker. Yet the Tucker Automobile Corporation was on the verge of mass producing the Tucker Torpedo, and had nationwide dealerships and 100,000 eager customers waiting to buy Tucker’s cars. There is not a car company in the world today with this many Americans desperately wanting to purchase its first models.

Preston Tucker was ready to take on the entire automotive industry with a better, safer, and less expensive car when the federal government indicted him and forced the closure of the assembly factory into which investors had poured over $15 million.

Prosecutors had the nerve to tell jurors that Preston Tucker had defrauded these investors, when it was corrupt federal officials who obtained a perjured indictment that guaranteed a 100% loss to all those who provided funding to the Tucker Corporation. The federal government was clearly protecting the economic interests of the large auto companies against Preston Tucker and not the hard-earned money American citizens invested in the Tucker Automobile Corporation.

In the United States today, various governmental agencies claim to be “protecting” Americans against all kinds of so-called “unapproved” medical therapies. Based on the sordid history of regulatory agencies that are beholden to the pharmaceutical industry, a clear analogy can be drawn between the governmental atrocities committed against Preston Tucker in the 1940s and the numerous “criminal” charges that continue to be brought against alternative medical practitioners today.

The media seems to focus on any kind of unfavorable report about foods and supplements, while ignoring virtually every single positive published study. Interestingly, pharmaceutical companies spend tens of millions of dollars a year to influence the media. Preston Tucker was often viciously attacked in the media by journalists who were thought to be in the pocket of the big auto companies.

Illegal and Unethical Acts Perpetrated Against Preston Tucker

From the very beginning, Preston Tucker ran into opposition from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an agency of the federal government. The first sales of franchises (the right to sell future Tucker automobiles, if and when they were produced) brought an SEC investigation. Tucker complained that selling dealerships was not the same as issuing stock, but the SEC investigated anyway.

The SEC later caused costly delays in approving the initial Tucker stock offering. By selling stock in Tucker Corporation to the public, Tucker was inviting them to join his enterprise, to become part-owners and accept the risk of ownership—by sharing the profits of success or the losses of failure. Funds generated from dealership and stock sales provided the money to design and build the first Tuckers in 1948.

The SEC, however, never stopped harassing Preston Tucker. The established auto industry did not want new competition, and their “Senator from Detroit,” Homer Ferguson, led the battle to crush the Tucker Corporation. Further energizing the investigation of Tucker was SEC Commissioner Harry McDonald, also from Detroit. Regional SEC Chief Thomas B. Han apparently hated Tucker and was relentless in his efforts to bring him down. The SEC may have spent more money investigating the Tucker Corporation than the Tucker Corporation spent designing and building the “car of the future.”

Preston Tucker’s dream to build the car of the future was extinguished by corrupt politicians and government bureaucrats who made sure that a superior automobile would not compete against the established automakers.

Bureaucracy Prevents Cancer Center from Opening!

In 1999, I announced in this column that Life Extension was setting up a medical center that would provide every single scientifically documented cancer therapy. We built and furnished a 4,400-square-foot medical center, but it could not even get off the ground.

One reason was that no matter how hard we tried to comply with the law, practicing comprehensive oncology was virtually impossible in the regulated environment imposed on physicians today.

The government has succeeded in suffocating medical innovation by erecting enormous bureaucratic barriers. Physicians with novel ideas who try to bypass today’s labyrinth of Byzantine rules risk not only their license to practice medicine, but also their personal liberty.

The chilling effects of government restrictions on medical advancement are nothing short of paralyzing. Why should any doctor today risk everything he has to provide patients with improved care?

From One of Preston Tucker’s Last Interviews

“When government agencies become tools of private monopoly, individual initiative and enterprise are doomed.”12

—Preston Tucker

Car Life magazine, December 1955

Medical oncologists make big money setting up chemotherapy centers that provide only FDA-approved drugs. While the failure rate of these drugs is frighteningly high, chemo drugs are approved by the FDA and fully reimbursed by Medicare and most private insurance plans. Oncologists have no incentive to make heroic attempts to utilize novel cancer treatments, which insurance will not pay for and which the government and media condemn.

When Life Extension tried to hire medical oncologists to work at our medical center, they all were impressed with our innovative approaches to cancer treatment. None of them, however, was willing to risk his license or sacrifice his lucrative “chemotherapy bonuses” by prescribing the kinds of multimodal therapies we recommended. These oncologists did say that if we ever set up our facility, they would send their family members to us rather than expose them to the mainstream oncology they practice for a living.

Never Forget the Past . . . or You May Die as a Result!

There is nothing we can do today to reverse the heinous criminal acts perpetrated against Preston Tucker by our own government. We can, however, recognize that big business continues to improperly use federal agencies to suppress innovation in a way that causes tremendous consumer injury.

This month, we report on how a multibillion-dollar drug company—Wyeth—is trying to use the FDA to stop compounding pharmacies from selling bioidentical estrogen drugs. Wyeth makes the drugs Premarin® and Prempro®, which have been shown to increase risks of breast cancer,13-26 heart attack,27-34 stroke,35,36 and dementia.37-39 Premarin® consists of conjugated estrogens extracted from the urine of pregnant horses. Compounding pharmacies offer natural estrogen compounds (for far less money) that have not been shown to cause these lethal side effects.

Instead of coming up with a safer estrogen drug, Wyeth would prefer that the FDA vanquish the competition, leaving the estrogen drug market wide open for Premarin®. Educated women often refuse to take Premarin® because of its lethal side effects, yet if Wyeth has its way, conventional doctors will prescribe lots more of this proven carcinogen.

What Wyeth is doing is not unusual. Big drug companies have historically used the FDA to suppress lower-cost competition. This fact is most easily demonstrated by the FDA’s recent mass seizure of lower-cost prescription drugs Americans had ordered from Canada. The FDA contends it is “protecting” consumers from potential counterfeit medications. The reality is that the FDA is protecting drug company profits, just like the SEC protected the auto giants in the late 1940s by destroying Preston Tucker.

For longer life,
image
William Faloon

References

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2. Pearson, Charles T. The Indomitable Tin Goose: The True Story of Preston Tucker and His Car. Minneapolis, MN: Motorbooks International Publishers & Wholesalers; 1974.

3. Available at: http://www.lemurzone.com/airbag/belts.htm. Accessed May 17, 2006.

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39. Shumaker SA, Legault C, Rapp SR et al. Estrogen plus progestin and the incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment in postmenopausal women: the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2003 May 28;289(20):2651-62.