Journalists and reporters who have had a genuine interest in hearing us, like Larry King of "Larry King Live" on CNN, may not have agreed with us, but have overwhelmingly hoped we are right - that death is not "inevitable".
Unfortunately, that quality of response has been sadly lacking and, as with most organizations that have been around for nearly 40 years, we have received our share of bad press. This has largely been due to our persistence in talking about the subject, physical immortality, that most people are unwilling to even consider, let alone take seriously. It is this persistence, our passion of expression and our lifestyle choices that have led to a good deal of ridicule, prejudice and misrepresentation by most of the journalists and reporters we have come in contact with.
Perhaps the most blatant example of this was a television program and the subsequent media coverage that grew out of a court case against a woman we had gone into business with to purchase some local land. The lawsuit was filed against her by her own children in an attempt to have her declared incompetent to handle her own financial affairs. The case, filed in Oklahoma nearly 20 years ago, was thrown out by the judge as having no foundation.
The implication by the family, an "anti-cult specialist" - Mr Rick Ross - and the television reporter he incited to work against us, was that we had cheated her out of her money. The facts were that we purchased the land jointly with her and she was included with us on the title deed as joint owner. When we sold the land she was repaid the principal plus interest, as she would have been in any other successful business transaction.
When we met with Mr Ross and the television reporter, neither of them showed any interest in seeing the evidence. The reporter stated he wasn't interested in the truth only in his story, which became a smear program based on false "facts", innuendo and selective reporting.
Mr Ross and the television reporter took the family's unfounded accusations against their mother and us and used them as the basis for publicly attacking our integrity, morality and motives.
This stimulated other journalists to jump on the bandwagon so to speak, and spawned several similarly unfounded, often vague and frequently facetious articles.
Similarly, when we produced our financial accounts to show that there was no impropriety, various members of the media used them to further question our motives and sincerity.
At the time these attacks were made we had operated for many years as a non-profit religious foundation, first as The Eternal Flame, then as The Flame Foundation, and finally as People Forever International, when we were also known as CBJ. We believe this was one of the main reasons why we were villified so vehemently - because, although we came from a religious background, we had no attachment to any particular religious doctrine and our message was completely different from that of the religious status quo.
Through the late 1980's and early 1990's we continued to move away from a religious expression, recognizing its limitations, and finally dissolved the religious foundation. In 1996 we incorporated People Unlimited Inc. as a profit-making, self-development and coaching business. Since then, we have limited our dealings with the media to "live" interviews only, so that what we say can't be taken out of context or edited by an unscrupulous reporter.
This is because we realize that pursuing an unlimited life and encouraging people to value themselves and each other above anything else, stimulates controversy and is against how most people are choosing to live. We happen to believe though, that this is where true freedom lies. And we feel passionately that everyone should be given the opportunity to at least consider the possibilities.
Whether you agree with that stance or not it's important to be aware that most of the information that is being circulated about us is by people who have never met us, talked to us or even attended one of our events. So they really have no idea who we are or what we're about.
We happen to believe that our record speaks for itself. In the nearly 40 years we have worked together, neither we, individually or collectively, nor any of the organizations we have been responsible for, have ever been sued or been the subject of any other type of legal action.
So, should you come across any derogatory information about us, we ask that you please check the source. Read their disclaimers: judge for yourself just how much value to place on what they present as fact. Just because something has been published does not make it true. It is our opinion that anyone who is not willing to stand by what they say or what they pass on, is an unreliable source.
Unlike most of the people responsible for spreading this type of information about us and others, we say what we mean and we stand by what we say - we don't just regurgitate someone else's thoughts or words. And if we're wrong, we'll say so. We believe that all beliefs need to be challenged, including our own. We invite anyone to talk to us directly about their concerns, provided they'll be honest and accurate if they subsequently intend to report on their interaction with us.
We make this stipulation because it has been our experience that reporters are just as prone to edit the facts they use to suit the story they want to present - or their own beliefs - as they are to be unbiased. Their priority is often what they consider "news-worthiness" or "entertainment value" rather than "truth". This doesn't just affect the "facts" they choose to use, it also affects the "language" they use to present it with.
We particularly invite you to face us with any personal concerns you may have, and find out for yourself who we really are, before you pass judgement on our openness, integrity, beliefs or behavior based on these sources of questionable information.
We also strongly recommend that you don't let yourself be intimidated out of the opportunity to find out about having a living greater than you might ever have imagined.
James Strole, Bernadeane and Charles Paul Brown