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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 88B * [Part 2 of 2 parts]
     V E R I C O M M sm                 "Quid veritas est?"

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[Continued from part 1]


An Early Warning
     August, 1954. "It will not take many years to utterly
destroy the... encircling protective walls which surround this
planet and protect the earth from burning up by the sun's hot
rays," Walter and Lao Russell, Newsletter of the University of
Science and Philosophy.
     April 6, 1989. "Scientists reported yesterday that for the
first time they have detected an increase in "biologically
relevant" levels of ultraviolet radiation reaching the ground as
a result of the ozone hole over the Antarctica. This is the first
indication that the depletion of ozone... is beginning to cause
the potentially harmful effect that has long been predicted."
(Washington Post)

A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma
     In a way, the abrupt emergence of Russell's astonishing
hypothesis is in keeping with the peculiar tradition of the
ozone story, a tale rife with riddles and ironies. "One of the
most striking features of the ozone controversy [is] the extent
to which 'outsiders' played a crucial role in identifying the
threats to the ozone layer." (The Ozone War, page 11.)
     It was James Lovelock, now famous as the author of the
controversial Gaia Hypothesis, who first found CFCs persisting in
the stratosphere. Making the historic measurement required an
ultra-sensitive device. Unable to obtain any funding for the
research (he was dismissed as a "crank"), Lovelock built the
delicate tool himself, using his family's "grocery money."
     Ironically, Lovelock thought the chemicals might serve as
useful "tracers" for atmospheric study, and said they posed "no
conceivable hazard." "I bombed," Lovelock frankly admits. "It
turned out I was sitting on a time bomb."  (The Ozone War, page
     Sherry Rowland, who while on a "fishing trip for new ideas"
happened to hear early rumor of Lovelock's measurements at a
conference coffee klatch, was no more a part of mainstream ozone
research than Lovelock. In fact, he was not an atmospheric
scientist at all, but a chemist specializing in, of all things,
the chemistry of radio-isotopes. He and Molina, a young research
assistant fresh from receiving his PhD, never imagined that their
study would plunge them into the eye of a national cyclone of
     If Russell is right, and manmade nuclear reactions prove to
be at the root of stratospheric ills, then Sherry Rowland's
involvement provides one further irony: prior to his becoming
interested in the fluorocarbon work that led to the ozone
finding, he was funded by the Atomic Energy Commission. His area
of research? -- the chemistry of atoms produced in nuclear

Russell the Artist
     The story of how Dr. Russell came to sculpt his famous bust
of Edison is an example of his legendary versatility. At the age
of fifty-six, Russell had been an accomplished painter, but had
never handled clay in his life. As President of the Society of
Arts and Sciences, he felt compelled to make good on a commission
for the bust, which a fellow artist had accepted but was unable
to complete. He promptly got some clay and wired Mrs. Edison that
he would go and do it himself -- akin to a great conductor
suddenly picking up the violin for an unrehearsed recital.
     "It was a very unwise thing to do, perhaps, because with
such a great man as Edison as my subject, I might not have
survived a failure," he later remarked. "But I never let the
thought of failure enter my mind... The inspired belief that I
should do this thing as a demonstration of my belief in man's
unlimited power made me ignore the difficulties that lay in the
way. So I went to Florida with a mass of clay, but on my way
down, I spent the entire time absorbed in inspirational
meditation with the Universal Source of all inspiration."
     The resulting sculpture was to be one of the great mileposts
in his career; other commissions followed immediately, producing
busts of Franklin Roosevelt, General Douglas MacArthur, Thomas
Watson, George Gershwin and Leopold Stokowski, and finally a
twenty-eight figure monument to Mark Twain and the famous "Four

Russell the Social Reformer
     Founded 20 years earlier as an "ethical and moral movement
to bring culture, character and the Brotherhood of Man principle
into world human relations," the New York-based Twilight Club
brought together a network of such luminaries as Ralph Waldo
Emerson, Mark Twain, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Walt Whitman, Edwin
Markham and Alexis Carrell. (Alexis Carrell wrote Man The Unknown
-- a perennial favorite in macrobiotic circles -- during his
association with Russell and the Twilight Club.)
     Russell's long collaboration with Thomas Watson, another
Twilight Club member and the founder of IBM, led to the
introduction of moral standards and ethical principles in the
world of business. In his first of many meetings and lectures for
IBM personnel, Russell said he was "shocked" with the "jungle
philosophy of every man for himself" that then permeated the
business world, and he effectively replaced the philosophy of
"business is business" with the concept "that equal interchange
of goods and services between buyer and seller is the keynote of
tomorrow's business world." (The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of
the Universe, p. 24-25.)
     During the Depression years when so many businesses failed,
IBM continued to thrive. When asked the secret of their success,
Watson replied, "Go talk with Walter Russell."
     Abandoned during the WWII years, the Twilight Club was later
revived as the University of Science and Philosophy at Swannanoa,
Virginia. After Russell's passing in 1963, his work was carried
on at Swannanoa by Lao Russell, his co-equal partner in work as
in marriage.

A Living and Dying Universe
     Walter Russell often asserted that God's universe "is a
two-way, not one-way universe." The death force or "winding
down" principle is familiar to us as the force of entropy, the
famed Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Law of Entropy states
that all systems gradually lose energy (that is, energy becomes
less organized and therefore unavailable to perform work) through
dispersal of heat; hence, the universe is destined to die a "heat
     Russell disagreed, and detailed the mechanics of an
opposite, balancing force -- the life-organizing force, which he
also termed "generoactive." This force is the answer to the
riddle of Newton's apple, to which Russell alludes in his 1930s
Times letter. (Years later, Buckminster Fuller coined the term
"syntropy" to describe entropy's complement.) Russell also
likened these twin forces to the charging and discharging of a
battery, or the winding and unwinding of a spring.
     How rapidly or gradually a system unwinds after reaching
maturity depends on a variety of factors, principally its degree
of balance within its local environment. Thus the relaxation and
dissolution of life may occur as slow fermentation, decay, a
burst of flame or an explosion.
     "We do not say that a decaying tree, which takes fifty years
to go back into the ground, is exploding. If you burn it,
however, the flame is a series of quick explosions which will do
in two hours what Nature intended should take fifty years."
(Atomic Suicide?, page 23.)
     Central to Russell's scientific conclusions is this
observation: the state of rest, the source from which all life
arises and to which it ultimately returns, is the "normal" state
(to which Russell often refers as God, Mind or Magnetic zero.)
In other words, it takes increasing effort to "wind up" into
greater density (to live), while it takes literally no effort at
all, once a system reaches maximum compression, to unwind again
-- to die. Most significantly, the force of the unwinding/death
phase is proportionate to the total effort expended in winding up
to that point.
     For example, it may take many years of consuming steak and
ice cream, perhaps along with exposure to chemical contaminants,
to reach the condition disposing one to bowel cancer. The effort
expended by the individual, the food industry, the chemical
factories and even the cattle involved, are considerable; at the
point of maximum compression (when the body cannot hold itself
together any tighter) that mass of effort reverts into a
forceful, effortless unwinding. What goes in, must come back out.
     To arrest the course of the disease at this point requires a
tremendous, renewed exertion of compression and life effort,
commonly observed as the "will to live" factor or, in macrobiotic
thought, as the capacity to self-reflect and change one's
personal habits.
     In the case of human illness and dying, such a reversal
through renewed compression is often possible, just as it is
possible to arrest the burning of a tree with cold water, or to
slow fermentation with salt. It is not so easy to halt the
unwinding process of gunpowder, an electrical short-circuit --
or the decay of radioactivity.

The Spiral of Elements
     As in the life of his contemporary Georges Ohsawa, the
modern founder of the macrobiotic movement, Russell was absorbed
in his later years with both the cosmic meaning and the immediate
dangers of atomic science. Also like his Oriental counterpart,
Russell vividly and brilliantly expressed his grasp of universal
dynamics in a spiral chart of the elements.
     Russell's atomic charts placed all the atoms as points along
a continuous spectrum of increasing compression, much like the
notes of an ascending musical scale. The musical simile is not
casual: Russell's atomic scale is harmonically organized in
octaves, with the inert gases (helium, neon, argon etc.) acting
as the "keynote" of each octave. (Not surprisingly, Dr. Russell
was also an accomplished composer.)
     Russell held that the hydrogen octave, far from being the
beginning of the atomic scale, was in fact preceded by three
"inaudible" atomic octaves, yielding a full spectrum of nine
octaves. These first three octaves, involving wavelengths too
vast to measure, would be beyond the threshold of physical
sensing (that is, beyond detection by normal instruments of
science). It was the lack of this knowledge, Russell contended,
and the misconception of hydrogen as the first element that
forced scientists to view deuterium and tritium (which he had
originally called Ethlogen and Bebegen -- now well-known as
components of the "heavy water" used in today's nuclear
reactions) as isotopes of hydrogen instead of true tonal elements
in their own right. ("Isotopes" might be compared to the
"accidentals" -- sharps and flats -- of single musical notes.)
On the other hand, he asserted, that many of the higher octave
"elements" in fact are but isotopes of higher-octave versions of
     Carbon, lying in the center of the fourth octave, is held to
be the balance point of perfect stability and the mature
expression of the entire spectrum, and as such serves as the
basis for organic life. Russell pointed out that roughly 98
percent of organic life forms are composed of carbon and four
other elements (hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and silicon) which all
are grouped together with carbon in the fourth octave (except
silicon, a transmutation of carbon in the next octave up, which
forms the basis of the Earth's crust and of soil). In a sense,
the "purpose" of the entire atomic spectrum is to create carbon
life forms.
     The further one compresses past carbon, the more readily
will the pressure and heat of compression explode into decay.
The supercompressed elements of the 7th, 8th and especially 9th
octaves (radium, plutonium, etc.) are simmering at the breaking
point -- hence the tremendously explosive pressures of the
radioactive metals.

Encountering the Russells
     On a quiet afternoon in 1979, I sat in a coffee shop
preparing my Kushi Institute lecture for that evening. As I
sipped my coffee -- I was allowed to, after all, I was a teacher
-- I was interrupted by two friends, both "senior" teachers.
(This particular coffee shop served as a hangout and meeting
place for macrobiotic teachers.) They joined me and began
discussing the usual topic of the day: How to get everyone else
to eat macrobiotically so as to establish one peaceful world.
One of the seniors noticed my recently acquired book, Dr. Walter
Russell's The Secret of Light, lying on the table beside me; and
they asked me who Dr. Russell was and what the book was about.
After the first few sentences of my reply, they both proceeded to
criticize both the book and its author for a good half hour.
     In the Boston macrobiotic community where I lived at that
time, I soon learned, to mention the Russells and their work was
like admitting that you did not understand the unique principle
of macrobiotics. The philosophical and scientific works of the
Russells were (and perhaps still are) considered unclear,
confusing and impractical. I, like my fellow students and
teachers, certainly did not want confusing or "foreign"
philosophical ideas to disrupt our established belief system
concerning the nature of macrobiotics. As far as we were
concerned, the macrobiotic truth existed here, and only here, in
our little community. The sun flag was raised high, and I was
dedicated, loyal, stubborn and very confused. So, I laid the
Russells' work aside, along with all else that did not fit into
my small world of dogma.
     Several years later, being a little older, not necessarily a
little wiser, but a whole lot more curious and frustrated with
apparent inconsistencies and impracticalities in my own
understanding of macrobiotics, I secretly began to explore the
works of Dr. and Mrs. Russell. At first I became more confused
and found myself resisting, especially when I read such bold
statements as, "Opposites do not attract," or "Like attracts
like." Wait a minute, I thought. Maybe my macrobiotic friends
were right about Russell -- there do seem to be inconsistencies
here. I soon discovered that the inconsistencies I was
encountering were not in their works, but in the limitations of
my own prior understanding. Gradually a new comprehension began
to open up.
     Their words penetrated deep into my soul. They were honest
words, words of wisdom, of love, and they were steeped in the
unifying principle of macrobiotics. Their expression was
extremely clear and to the point. The message was practical and
not at all confusing. There was nothing there to instill guilt or
     They spoke of the difference between knowing and thinking,
and how we all know all there is to know, yet do not always admit
it to ourselves. Dr. Russell was a perfect example of one who
knew. He had very little formal education, and used this to his
advantage. Through inspiration he became an accomplished
scientist, philosopher, artist, sculptor and musician.
     They spoke of how we as human beings can reinspire others,
yet can only be inspired by the One. And most of all, for me,
they explained the mechanism and process of the logarithmic
spiral -- the foundation of macrobiotics. The more I absorbed
their understanding, the more it seemed to add to rather than
detract from or conflict with my prior macrobiotic learning.
     Through the years that followed I began to incorporate their
understanding of macrobiotics into my own teaching and
counselling, always with the thought that I would meet Mrs.
Russell some day. For the past eight years I traveled throughout
the United States, teaching and encouraging people to study the
Russells' works, and giving out the address of the University of
Science and Philosophy. During this period I had not once
contacted the University to introduce myself. Why? I have no
idea. In 1987 I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia from New York.
Why? I have no idea, other than it seemed to be the proper move
for me. I soon learned that the University of Science and
Philosophy was only a twenty minute drive away.
     I called the University and introduced myself, and said I
would like to meet Mrs. Russell; I was given an appointment.
Days later, I drove out to Swannanoa with John Mann, who had
recently relocated Solstice from upstate New York to
Charlottesville. [Editor's Note: Why had we abruptly relocated?
We had no idea.] Arriving at the requested time, I introduced
myself to the staff and they said they would inform Mrs. Russell
that I was there. I stood among a group of approximately twenty
other visitors and watched as the most elegant lady I have ever
met began to descend the carpeted stairs.
     We had never met, yet she recognized me in the crowd
immediately, and invited me upstairs. As we sat, she proceeded to
tell me my life story in detail, from the beginning to the
present. She spoke as if she knew me when I was a child. She did!
And that wasn't all she knew -- for she, too, was a living
example of her and her late husband's philosophy.
     We spoke for a few hours on many subjects. She told humorous
stories about Dr. Russell and herself as if he were still alive.
"He is!" she said, "You can never die!" She spoke with a simple,
quiet conviction that was utterly disarming, and I felt as if I
were in the presence of honesty incarnate. Meeting Mrs. Russell
was an experience I will cherish forever.

     -- Steve Gagna

     Editor's Note: Mrs. Russell was a perceptive person. Early
in our conversation, she looked straight at us again and said,
"This started in 1954." She was referring to the '54 University
Newsletter, no doubt; but she spoke so emphatically, Steve and I
could not help glancing at each other -- could she have known
that we were both born in 1954? She smiled. Later, she abruptly
turned to us and nonchalantly commented, "You know, Dr. Russell
never smoked cigarettes or drank coffee." Bingo, I thought.

     -- Ed.


"Atomic Suicide?" (1957, 304 pp.), discusses the nature
of matter and its relation to the world of spirit. It also
provides a broad introduction to Russell's general cosmology. One
fascinating section is devoted to excerpts from the contemporary
popular media about the dangers of nuclear power. A lengthy
introduction by Lao Russell includes a biographical essay on
Russell's life. (Solstice Library)

"The Secret of Light" (1947, 288 pp.) is a thorough exposition of
Russell's cosmology, more completely and systematically presented
than in Atomic Suicide? (Solstice Library)

"The Man Who Tapped the Secrets of the Universe," by Glenn Clark
(1953 edition, 57 pp.), is a short, highly accessible biography.
(Solstice Library)

"Home Study Course." Available from the University, this is a
thorough, comprehensive course of study of the Russells' work in
all its dimensions. (See ad this page for the Home Study Course
and other Russell books.)


"Holoscene" (formerly "Spiral, Lord of Creation"), by Jerry
Canty; 144 pp. Canty's most thorough explanation of Russell's
work to date. Available directly from Canty in photocopy for $25
ppd. Jerome Canty, Box 5256, Chico CA 95927.

"The Atomic Age and The Unique Principle," Georges Ohsawa.
Written towards the end of his life, The Atomic Age presents
Ohsawa's most incisive perspective on the atomic frontier and the
20th century challenge. (Solstice Library)

"World Crisis Solutions Foundation Newsletter," issues 1-4.
Written by Dr. Tim Binder, these four newsletters contain brief
overviews of some of Dr. Russell's insights and Dr. Binder's
efforts to pursue the radiation/ozone-depletion connection. The
Newsletters also contain condensed articles on a variety of other
vital health and environmental issues. $20 for set of four. NW
169 Blodgett Camp Road, Hamilton MT 59840 (406) 363-4041.

"The Ozone War," Lydia Dotto and Harold Schiff, Doubleday & Co.,
1978. A fascinating account of the discoveries and controversies
surrounding Sherwood Rowland's work with the Ozone Hole.

"Protecting the Ozone Layer," Chapter 5 of The State of the World
1989, Worldwatch Institute, NY.

Appendix A.


Around 1958, the significant implications of the Earth's magnetic
fields and radiation belts for future military activities were
what drew the attention of government physicists. Nicholas
Christofilos, a physicist working at the University of
California's Livermore Radiation Laboratory, developed
techniques to harness and control the energy released in hydrogen
fusion reactions. Christofilos used magnetic confinement fields.
When the Soviets launched Sputnik I, Christofilos decided that
the earth's magnetic field could be used to contain an
artificial band of relativistic electrons. He speculated that
this artificial radiation belt could be made intense enough to
destroy satellites in orbit. The belt would produce worldwide
radio noise on the HF and VHF radio bands that carried the bulk
of military communications. By accurately calculating the site
for an explosion of a nuclear device, it's effects could be made
to occur over a specific target area. Christofilos urged that
the government test his postulates by exploding a nuclear device
in space. Christofilos superiors at Livermore placed his papers
under top security control and advised the President's Science
Advisory group of the matter. The resulting program became:



Explosion    Locale         Date            Yield   Altitude

Argus I    South Atlantic   Aug 27, 1958    1KT     200KM

Argus II   South Atlantic   Aug 30, 1958    1KT     250KM

Argus III  South Atlantic   Sept 6, 1958    1KT     500KM


Starfish   Johnston Island  July, 9 1962  1.4KT     400KM


USSR       Siberia          Oct 22, 1962  200KT     UNK

USSR       Siberia          Oct 28, 1962  800KT     UNK

USSR       Siberia          Nov 1,  1962   1+MT     UNK

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