LE Magazine August 2003
Playing Chess With Life
At age 81, Dan Mayers lives life in the fast lane
This month's profile is in an unusual format. The subject who it is written about insisted on authoring it himself. Dan E. Mayers has been a member of the Life Extension Foundation for the past two decades. At 81 years of age, not only does Dan travel the world like a teenager, but also competes in world-class chess tournaments. Dan has been able to document an enhanced state of neurological function by the scores he is awarded at these international chess events.
From a physical standpoint, Dan winters in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he skies throughout the day, despite having been told years ago that he was suffering from severely arthritic knees that would cripple him. Instead of opting for surgery, Dan experimentally developed a high dose supplement program that appears to have reversed the cartilage degenerative process in his knees. He also appears to have been able to reverse the angina he first encountered when he suffered a heart attack in the early 1960s.
Dan E. Mayers is a physicist who was involved in "The Manhattan Project" at the Los Alamos Laboratory during World War II. One of Dan's jobs was protecting the scientists working there from the lethal effects of radiation. It was at Los Alamos that Dan learned first hand about the cell damaging effects of radiation.
What has impressed us most about Dan is his willingness to volunteer his time to assist companies that are inappropriately attacked by agencies like the FDA. In one instance, Dan played a legal game of chess with a government agency and succeeded in backing them into a corner they could not escape from. While most people would avoid this kind of confrontation at any cost, Dan found that dealing with arrogant bureaucrats to be especially stimulating and looks forward to future challenges.
People like Dan E. Mayers have taught the FDA the hard way about the perils of attacking truthful scientific principles. Not only does the agency have to battle health organizations head on, but also faces legal challenges from the organizations' loyal supporters who are not about to let their life extending supplements be taken away. Over the past 15 years, this "fifth column" of counterattack by health enthusiasts has resulted in government agencies losing legal cases and retreating in the opposite direction. Dan E. Mayers has no problem launching relentless counterattacks against agencies like the FDA who he views as impeding the progression of medical science.
Profile of Dan Mayers
By Dan Mayers
Aged eighty one, I am in radiant health; my physician assures me that I may live indefinitely if I avoid fast cars and the Mafia. In this chaotic world, everyone enjoys strokes of luck; the secret is to take full advantage of them. In this I have excelled.
Running monopolies is my profession. I love capitalism, free competition and the American way of life. But nothing is as enjoyable as a closely held monopoly. All my monopolies began with a stroke of good luck.
My highly intelligent parents raised me according to modern precepts; I grew up wholly unfit for any gainful occupation-I regarded working for a living with profound distaste.
I have never worked a day in my life; business is merely another hobby to be pursued with dedicated passion. No normal businessman can compete with an enthusiastic hobbiest. I played chess, with the world as my chessboard.
My parents gifted me a superb education and gave me two pieces of sound advice: Freedom is the ultimate goal, and the only reason to make money is to buy time. I added two corrolaries: Making money must be amusing, and if one is rich, one meets a better class of women. These precepts have guided my life.
On graduation in 1944 I was drafted and assigned to Los Alamos where they were making atom bombs. They were the laboratory nightmares of mad scientists, which killed two cities.
I met all the leading scientists, either through my work or at my simultaneous chess exhibitions. I was the 1939 N.Y.C. High School Champion. Oppenheimer, Bethe, Feynman, Uhlam, Teller…Laura Fermi were in my group and I sometimes picknicked with the Fermis on weekends.
I took up card magic seriously, taking lessons from Dai Vernon, the century's greatest magician, during furloughs and practicing six hours a night. Sometimes I dealt blackjack weekends in Doughbelly Price's Saloon in Taos, banking the game and splitting the winnings with Doughbelly. All his games were crooked.
Demobilized, I spent six months collecting minerals, making one of the century's greatest finds-Adamite at the Mina Ojuela, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico.
Harvard invited me to become a graduate student, working towards a Ph.D. After three years my professors threw me out in disgust with an M.A. after discovering, to their intense chagrin, that I was making more money than they were. They told me to stop wasting their time.
While a Harvard student I was running my optical calcite mine in Chihuahua, had become the world distributor for Optovac Inc.-whom I had saved from bankruptcy, was smuggling goods by air into Mexico, was acting as buying agent for Mexico's leading stone dealer and purchased the output of Chatham Research Laboratories, who grew emeralds. Perhaps my professors had a point.
After winning the New England Chess Championship I spent nine months in Brazil, helping my friend Ing. Theophilo Badin. The climate was unbearable and I left.
For the next few years I traveled about Europe and the Far East, cherishing my monopolies and becoming an expert skier. Then I had my life's greatest piece of luck: hiring a gorgeous English secretary-traveling companion.
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