People Unlimited, also known as People Forever, the Flame Foundation and CBJ, is a group of primarily 30 to 40-year-olds based out of Scottsdale, Arizona which entices members with the promise of eternal life. Its leader's first names create the CBJ title, at the head of the group are Charles Paul Brown, BernaDeane (who appears to dislike the notion of a last name and also insists on capitalizing the 'D' in her first), and James Russell Strole. All three of these people claim to be immortal.

How the explain this phenomenon is by a process called "cellular awakening", which, apparently, is when your body's cells are reprogrammed to regenerate indefinitely. Most creditable scientists would say that this is highly unlikely to be the case, and that's if they were feeling charitable. However, you can't just become an immortal on your own. You need to attend the groups seminars if you want any chance whatsoever of escaping the ravages of the fourth dimension. And once you do become immortal, you still need to keep in touch with other immortals, lest your immortality 'wear off'. The groups leaders claim that immortals require regular "cellular intercourse" with one another. Now, don't jump to conclusions, this does not imply actual sex acts, merely shaking hands and embracing can do the job just fine, although the three illustrious immortal leaders are fairly candid about the bed they all share. So how exactly are we to attend these meetings of the immortals? Well, it's a pretty simple process if you have an extra 650 dollars lying around. They hold them all over the globe, and currently boast over 30,000 members from 18 countries. No one wants to get old, after all.

A financial audit of the group showed that the three leaders made $431, 597 between the three of them in the 1992-93 fiscal year., and the event revenue was over 1.1 million dollars. Who knew that immortality could be so lucrative? But is there any proof that members are in actuality immortal? Well, there is some pretty solid evidence against least two "immortal" members of the group (members who had received their cellular awakening, and were acknowledged by the leaders as ready to live until the end of time), have died. One joined the group after being diagnosed as terminally ill, and, to the shock of the rest of the group, died. This was written off as a product of too much bacon. The leaders warned the person to not eat bacon, and his love of salty breakfast pork products ended his immortal life. I don't know about you, but I'd just as soon get old and die if the alternative involved not eating bacon. I mean, come on, vampires can eat bacon, can't they? The other immortal who died joined the group after testing positive for AIDS. He died. The leaders of the group claimed that he had been clipping obituaries out of the local paper. This, like bacon, can have a profound and negative effect on your immortal life, it would seem.

I have known James Strole, Bernadeane and Charles Brown of People Unlimited for over 20 years. And while they consistently challenge me to be a greater person, they always treat me with the utmost care and respect - continuously supporting me to be the most I can be at any given point in time. Their passion for me to live an unlimited life and the way they value me is extraordinary. And they treat every individual they move with with the same devotion. They are clear that all beliefs need to be challenged, including their own, and they are open for anyone to talk to them directly about personal concerns.

In my experience, the journalists and reporters who have had a genuine interest in hearing Jim, Bernadeane and Charles, like Larry King of "Larry King Live" on CNN, may not have agreed with them, but have overwhelmingly hoped they are right - that death is not "inevitable".

Unfortunately, that quality of response has been sadly lacking and, as with most people with organizations that have been around for nearly 40 years, they have received their share of "bad press". This has largely been due to their persistence in talking about the subject, physical immortality, that most people are unwilling to even consider, let alone take seriously. It is this persistence, their passion of expression and their lifestyle choices that have led to a good deal of ridicule, prejudice and misrepresentation by most of the journalists and reporters they have come in contact with.

At the time most of this negative publicity originated James Strole, Bernadeane and Charles Brown had for many years operated a non-profit religious foundation: first as The Eternal Flame, then as The Flame Foundation, and finally as People Forever International, when they were also known as CBJ. It is quite likely that this was one of the main reasons why they have been villified so vehemently - because, although they each came from a religious background, they had no attachment to any particular religious doctrine and their message was completely different from that of the religious status quo.

Through the late 1980's and early 1990's they continued to move away from a religious expression, recognizing its limitations, and finally dissolved the religious foundation. In 1996 James Strole and Bernadeane incorporated People Unlimited Inc. as a profit-making, self-development and coaching business.

While they realize that pursuing an unlimited life and physical immortality, and encouraging people to value themselves and each other above anything else, stimulates controversy and is against how most people are choosing to live, they happen to believe that this is where true freedom lies. And 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 them is by people who have never met them, talked to them or even attended one of their events. So they really have no idea who Jim, Bernie and Chuck are or what they're about.

Despite all the biased reporting - unsubstantiated statements presented as "facts", frivolous language and the flippant attitudes toward who they are and what they talk about, usually wrapped up in a "reporters" own prejudices - they have continued to move with an integrity and a passion for people to break free from the suppression of a death-oriented culture.

The truth is that their record speaks for itself. In the nearly 40 years they have worked together, none of them, individually or collectively, nor any of the organizations they have been responsible for, have ever been sued or been the subject of any other type of legal action.

And while many people have severed their relationship with Jim, Bernie and Chuck, in every case it's been because of their own personal issues, not because of how Jim, Bernie and Chuck have treated them.

So, should you come across any derogatory information about them, I suggest you check the source. Read any disclaimers: judge for yourself just how much value to place on what is presented as fact. Just because something has been published does not make it true.

My advice is to find out for yourself who they really are, before you pass judgement on their openness, integrity, beliefs or behavior based on third party sources of questionable information.

And if you have any feeling at all for a life without suppression and corruption, I  strongly recommend that you don't let yourself be intimidated out of the opportunity to experience a living greater than you might ever have imagined.

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