By Saul Kent, President of the Life Extension Foundation
Our greatest weapon is the willingness of our members to send letters, faxes, and phone calls to political leaders. The activism of our members has given us the political clout to exert major influence over the political process in this country.
A Legal Assault On The System
At the same time we were developing our political capability, we also began to enter the legal arena by filing lawsuits against the FDA. Some of these lawsuits dealt with the FDA's assault on us, but others were on behalf of the American people as a whole.
Protecting the Rights of Alzheimer's Patients
A good example of our legal efforts was the Class Action lawsuit we filed in 1990 on behalf of millions of Alzheimer's patients who were denied access to Tacrine, an effective therapy whose approval had been blocked by an FDA smear campaign. The FDA tried to sabotage Tacrine and to destroy the career of Dr. William Summers, the scientist who discovered its benefits for Alzheimer patients.
While The Foundation's lawsuit did not lead to a court decision to force the FDA to play fair with Alzheimer's victims, its filing (and the evidence it presented) played a major role in persuading the FDA to approve Tacrine as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
Fighting For Individual Citizens
Another example is our legal program to help companies, clinics, and individuals who have felt the brunt of a system that operates for the benefit of the large pharmaceutical companies.
The Foundation provides legal advice and services, and political and psychological support for the victims of FDA tyranny. We know better than anyone how utterly devastating an FDA raid can be, and do everything we canto help the victims of this kind of abuse.
Standing Our Ground
Informing The Public At All Costs
The final tactic in our war against the FDA was to stand our ground on the actions that caused the FDA to attack us in the first place. These include making claims (based upon scientific evidence) for therapies that have yet to be approved by the FDA, and telling people how, where, and for how much they can obtain these therapies.
The Critical Decision
Our decision to continue providing accurate information about therapies for health and longevity was at the core of our struggle with the FDA. By refusing to back down on the principles that the FDA attacked us over, we made it clear that nothing could sway us from the pursuit of health, longevity, and physical immortality.
This stand is at the heart of what, ultimately, turned the tide against the powerful and wealthy forces we were up against.
The FDA Strikes Back
In the summer of 1989, an ex-employee told us she had received a subpoena, which would force her to testify before a Grand Jury in Florida. She had been told that the Grand Jury was investigating Saul Kent, William Faloon and The Life Extension Foundation. We soon found that the FDA had referred our case to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which had convened a Grand Jury to seek a criminal indictment against us!
During the rest of the year, subpoenas were sent far and wide in a massive "fishing expedition" for witnesses who might provide testimony that could be used against us. The search for such witnesses even led to scientists whose research we had funded.
The vast majority of these witnesses had little or nothing to tell the Grand Jury, but the FDA continued to send a parade of witnesses to the stand in the hope that they would, eventually, strike paydirt against us.
The Second Grand Jury
When the Grand Jury ran its course (18 months) without indicting us, the case was transferred to a second Grand Jury, which began to call witnesses all over again.
Many of these witnesses, which included current Foundation employees, were terrorized by the Grand Jury process, which forced them to testify without counsel, and in some cases, subjected them to verbal abuse and fear that they might be a target of the "investigation".
For example, one of our longtime employees, Ursula Arias, was called a liar repeatedly by U.S. attorney Alan Sullivan because she wouldn't admit that the purpose of her vacation trip to Europe was to further some nefarious mission that we had put her up to. Ursula was not only abused verbally for her entirely truthful testimony, but she also had her passport seized! She has yet to get it back!
The enormity of the tax-dollar waste of these multiple grand jury sessions is hard to imagine. The federal government spent enormous sums of money interrogating everyone we had ever had contact with. There was no limit to what the government would spend to get us indicted on "something."
The Raid In Arizona
While the FDA was squandering huge financial resources to find a "crime" to indict us on, they simultaneously raided the company in Arizona that was selling many of the products we were recommending to our members.
At the beginning of 1991, the FDA deceived the Arizona Board Of Pharmacy into thinking the nutrients you use every day are "unapproved new drugs", and that the sale of these "drugs" had to be stopped immediately!
So on Jan. 9, 1991, Pharmacy Board officials and FDA agents from California raided LEI without a search warrant and imposed an embargo on 42 of our most popular products, including Life Extension Mix and Coenzyme-Q10.