Chapter 1 – Discovery of the World’s Smallest Living Organism

“When the great innovation appears, it will almost certainly be in a muddled, incomplete, and confusing form … for any speculation, which does not at first glance look crazy, there is no hope.”

 

Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe

Early in the morning of 27 June 1989, a tall, bald French-born biologist of aristocratic mien walked into the Palais de Justice in Sherbrooke, Quèbec, to attend a hearing that was to set a date for his trial. On the front steps of the building were massed over one hundred demonstrators, who gave him an ovation as he passed by.

The demonstrators were carrying a small forest of laths onto which were glued, stapled, or thumbtacked placards and banners. The most eye-catchingly prominent among these signs read:  “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Medical Choice, Freedom in Canada!”  “Long Live Real Medicine, Down With Medical Power!”  “Cancer and AIDS Research in Shackles While a True Discoverer is Jailed!”  “Thank you, Gaston, for having saved my life!”  And, simplest of all:  “Justice for Naessens!”

Late one afternoon, almost a month earlier, as he arrived home at his house and basement laboratory just outside the tiny hamlet of Rock Forest, Quèbec, Gaston Naessens had been disturbed to see a swarm of newsmen in his front yard. They had been alerted beforehand – possibly illegally – by officers of the Suretè, Quèbec’s provincial police force, who promptly arrived to fulfill their mission.

As television cameras whirred and cameras flashed, Naessens was hustled into a police car and driven to a Sherbrooke jail, where, pending a preliminary court hearing, he was held for twenty-four hours in a tiny cell under conditions he would later describe as the “filthiest imaginable.” Provided only with a cot begrimed with human excrement, the always elegantly dressed scientist told how his clothes were so foul smelling after his release on ten thousand dollars’ bail that, when he returned home, his wife, Françoise, burned them to ashes.

It was to that same house that I had first come in 1978, on the recommendation of Eva Reich, M.D., daughter of the controversial psychiatrist-turned-biophysicist Wilhelm Reich, M.D. A couple of years prior to my visit with Eva, I had researched the amazing case of Royal Raymond Rife, an autodidact and genius living in San Diego, California, who had developed a `Universal Microscope” in the 1920s with which he was able to see, at magnifications surpassing 30,000-fold, never-before-seen microorganisms in living blood and tissue.1)“What Has Become of the Rife Microscope?,” New Age Journal, (Boston, Massachusetts), 1976. This article has, ever since, been one of the Journal’s most requested reprints. It is reproduced in this book as Appendix A. Developments in microscopic techniques have only recently begun to match those elaborated by Naessens more than forty years ago”

Eva Reich, who had heard Naessens give a fascinating lecture in Toronto, told me I had another “Rife” to investigate. So I drove up through Vermont to a region just north of the Canadian-American border that is known, in French, as “L’Estrie,” and, in English, as `The Eastern Townships.” And, there, in the unlikeliest of outbacks, Gaston Naessens and his Quèbec-born wife, Françoise (a hospital laboratory technician and, for more than twenty-five years, her husband’s only assistant), began opening my eyes to a world of research that bids fair to revolutionize the fields of microscopy, microbiology, immunology, clinical diagnosis, and medical treatment.

Let us have a brief look at Naessens’s discoveries in these usually separated fields to see, step by step, the research trail over which, for the last forty years – half of them in France, the other half in Canada – he has traveled to interconnect them. In the 1950s, while still in the land of his birth, Naessens, who had never heard of Rife, invented a microscope, one of a kind, and the first one since the Californian’s, capable of viewing living entities far smaller than can be seen in existing light microscopes.

In a letter of 6 September 1989, Rolf Wieland, senior microscopy expert for the world-known German optics firm Carl Zeiss, wrote from his company’s Toronto office: `What I have seen is a remarkable advancement in light microscopy. … It seems to be an avenue that should be pursued for the betterment of science.” And in another letter, dated 12 October 1989, Dr. Thomas G. Tornabene, director of the School for Applied Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), who made a special trip to Naessens’s laboratory, where he inspected the microscope, wrote:

Naessens’s ability to directly view fresh biological samples was indeed impressive … Most exciting were the differences one could immediately observe between blood samples drawn from infected and non-infected patients, particularly AIDS patients. Naessens’s microscope and expertise should be immensely valuable to many researchers.

It would seem that this feat alone should be worthy of an international prize in science to a man who can easily be called a twentieth-century “Galileo of the microscope.”

With his exceptional instrument, Naessens next went on to discover in the blood of animals and humans – as well as in the saps of plants – a hitherto unknown, ultramicroscopic, subcellular, living and reproducing microscopic form, which he christened a somatid (tiny body). This new particle, he found, could be cultured, that is, grown, outside the bodies of its hosts (in vitro, “under glass,” as the technical term has it). And, strangely enough, this particle was seen by Naessens to develop in a pleomorphic (form-changing) cycle, the first three stages of which – somatid, spore, and double spore – are perfectly normal in healthy organisms, in fact crucial to their existence. (See Figure)

— The Somatid Cycle —
The Somatid Cycle Credit: Courtesy of Gaston Naessens

Even stranger, over the years the somatids were revealed to be virtually indestructible! They have resisted exposure to carbonization temperatures of 200º C and more. They have survived exposure to 50,000 rems of nuclear radiation, far more than enough to kill any living thing. They have been totally unaffected by any acid. Taken from centrifuge residues, they have been found impossible to cut with a diamond knife; so unbelievably impervious to any such attempts is their hardness.

The eerie implication is that the new minuscule life forms revealed by Naessens’s microscope are imperishable. At the death of their hosts, such as ourselves, they return to the earth, where they live on for thousands or millions, perhaps billions, of years!

This conclusion – mind-boggling on the face of it – is not one that sprang full-blown from Naessens’s mind alone. A few years ago, I came across a fascinating doctoral dissertation, published as a book, authored by a pharmacist living in France named Marie Nonclercq.

Several years in the writing, Nonclercq’s thesis delved into a long-lost chapter in the history of science that has all but been forgotten for more than a century. This chapter concerned a violent controversy between, on the one side, the illustrious Louis Pasteur, whose name, inscribed on the lintels of research institutes all over the world, is known to all schoolchildren, if only because of the pasteurized milk they drink.

On the other side was Pasteur’s nineteenth-century contemporary and adversary, Antoine Bèchamp, who first worked in Strasbourg as a professor of physics and toxicology at the Higher School of Pharmacy, later as professor of medical chemistry at the University of Montpellier, and, later still, as professor of biochemistry and dean of the faculty of medicine at the University of Lille, all in France.

While laboring on problems of fermentation, the break-down of complex molecules into organic compounds via a “ferment” – one need only think of the curdling of milk by bacteria – Bèchamp, at his microscope, far more primitive than Naessens’s own instrument, seemed to be able to descry a host of tiny bodies in his fermenting solutions. Even before Bèchamp’s time, other researchers had observed, but passed off as unexplainable, what they called “scintillating corpuscles” or “molecular granulations.” Bèchamp, who was able to ascribe strong enzymatic (catalytic change-causing) reactions to them, was led to coin a new word to describe them: microzymas (tiny ferments).

Among these ferments’ many peculiar characteristics was one showing that, whereas they did not exist in chemically pure calcium carbonate made in a laboratory under artificial conditions, they were abundantly present in natural calcium carbonate, commonly known as chalk. For this reason, the latter could, for instance, easily “invert” cane sugar solutions, while the former could not.

With the collaboration of his son, Joseph, and Alfred Estor, a Montpellier physician and surgeon, Bèchamp went on to study microzymas located in the bodies of animals and came to the startling conclusion that the tiny forms were far more basic to life than cells, long considered to be the basic building blocks of all living matter. Bèchamp thought them to be fundamental elements responsible for the activity of cells, tissues, organs, and indeed whole living organisms, from bacteria to whales, and larks to human beings. He even found them present in life-engendering eggs, where they were responsible for the eggs’ further development while themselves undergoing significant changes.

So, nearly a century before Gaston Naessens christened his somatid, his countryman, Bèchamp, had come across organisms that, as Naessens immediately recognized, seem to be “cousins,” however many times removed, of his own “tiny bodies.”

Most incredible to Bèchamp was the fact that, when an event serious enough to affect the whole of an organism occurred, the microzymas within it began working to disintegrate it totally, while at the same time continuing to survive. As proof of such survival, Bèchamp found these microzymas in soil, swamps, chimney soot, street dust, even in air and water. These basic and apparently eternal elements of which we and all our animal relatives are composed survive the remnants of living cells in our bodies that disappear at our death. So seemingly indestructible were the microzymas that Bèchamp could even find them in limestone dating to the Tertiary, the first part of the Cenozoic Era, a period going back sixty million years, during which mammals began to make their appearance on earth.

And it could be that they are older still, far older. Professor Edouard Boureau, a French paleontologist, writes in his book Terre: Mère de la Vie (Earth: Mother of Life), concerning problems of evolution, that he had studied thin sections of rock, over three billion years old, taken from the heart of the Sahara Desert. These sections contained tiny round coccoid forms, which Boureau placed at the base of the whole of the evolutionary chain, a chain that he considers might possibly have developed in one of three alternative ways. What these tiny coccoid forms could possibly be, Boureau does not actually know, but, from long study, he is sure about the fact they were around that long ago.

When I brought the book to Naessens’s attention, he told me, ingenuously and forthrightly: “I’d sure like to have a few samples of moon rocks to section and examine at my microscope. Who knows, we might find somatid forms in them, the same traces of primitive life that exist on earth!”

Over years of careful microscopic observation and laboratory experimentation, Naessens went on to discover that if and when the immune system of an animal or human being becomes weakened or destabilized, the normal three-stage cycle of the somatid goes through thirteen more successive growth stages to make up a total of sixteen separate forms, each evolving into the next. (See diagram of the somatid cycle).

All of these forms have been revealed clearly and in detail by motion pictures, and by stop-frame still photography, at Naessens’s microscope. Naessens attributes this weakening, as did Bèchamp, to trauma, brought on by a host of reasons, ranging from exposure to various forms of radiation or chemical pollution to accidents, shocks, depressed psychological states, and many more.

By studying the somatid cycle as revealed in the blood of human beings suffering from various degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, cancer, and, most recently, AIDS, Naessens has been able to associate the development of the forms in the sixteen-stage pathological cycle with all of these diseases. A videocassette showing these new microbiological phenomena is available. Among other things, it shows that when blood is washed to remove all somatids external to the bloods red ceils, then heated, somatids latently present in a liquid state within the red blood cells themselves take concrete form and go on to develop into the sixteen-stage cycle. “This,” says Naessens, “is what happens when there is immune system disequilibrium.” It is not yet known exactly how or why or from what the somatids take shape. Of the some 140 proteins in red blood cells, many may play a role in the process. The appearance of somatids inside red blood cells is thus an enigma as puzzling as the origin of life itself. I once asked Naessens, “If there were no somatids, would there be no life!” “That’s what I believe,” he replied.

Even more importantly, Naessens has been able to predict the eventual onset of such diseases long before any clinical signs of them have put in an appearance. In other words, he can “prediagnose” them. And he has come to demonstrate that such afflictions have a common functional principle, or basis, and therefore must not be considered as separate, unrelated phenomena as they have for so long been considered in orthodox medical circles.

Having established the somatid cycle in all its fullness, Naessens was able, in a parallel series of brilliant research steps, to develop a treatment for strengthening the immune system. The product he developed is derived from camphor, a natural substance produced by an East Asian tree of the same name. Unlike many medicinals, it is injected into the body, not intramuscularly or intravenously, but intralymphatically – into the lymph system, via a lymph node, or ganglion, in the groin.

In fact, one of the main reasons the medical fraternity holds the whole of Naessens’s approach to be bogus is its assertion that intralymphatic injection is impossible! Yet the fact remains that such injection is not only possible, but simple, for most people to accomplish, once they are properly instructed in how to find the node. While most doctors are never taught this technique in medical school, it is so easy that laypeople have been taught to inject, and even to self-inject, the camphor-derived product within a few hours.

The camphor-derived product is named “714-X” – the 7 and the 14 refer to the seventh letter “G” and the fourteenth letter “N” of the alphabet, the first letters of the inventor’s first and last names, and the X refers to the twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet, which denotes the year of Naessens’s birth, 1924. When skillfully injected, 714-X has, in over seventy-five percent of cases, restabilized, strengthened, or otherwise enhanced the powers of the immune system, which then goes about its normal business of ridding the body of disease.

Let us for a moment return to the work and revelations of Antoine Bèchamp. As already noted, with the fairly primitive microscopic technology available in Bèchamp’s day, it was almost incredible that he was seemingly able to make microbiological discoveries closely paralleling, if not completely matching, those of Naessens nearly a hundred years later. We have already alluded to the fact that the microzymas in traumatized animals did not remain passive, as before, but, on the contrary, became highly active and began to destroy the bodies of their hosts, converting themselves to bacteria and other microbes in order to carry out that function.

While the terminology is not exactly one that Gaston Naessens would use today, the principles of trauma and of destruction of the body are shared in common by the two researchers. Had Bèchamp had access to Naessens’s microscope, he, too, might have established the somatid cycle in all the detail worked out by Naessens.

So what happened to Bèchamp and his twentieth-century discoveries made in the middle of the nineteenth century? The sad fact is that, because he was modest and retiring – just like Gaston Naessens- his work was overshadowed by that of his rival. All of Pasteur’s biographies make clear that he was, above all, a master of the art of self-promotion. But, odd as it seems, the same biographies do not reveal any hint of his battle with Bèchamp, many of whose findings Pasteur, in fact, plagiarized.

Even more significant is that while Bèchamp, as we have seen, championed the idea that the cause of disease lay within the body, Pasteur, by enouncing his famous “germ theory,” held that the cause came from without. In those days, little was known about the functioning of the immune system, but what else can explain, for instance, why some people survived the Black Plague of the Middle Ages, while countless others died like flies? And one may add that Royal Raymond Rife’s microscope, like that of Naessens, allowed him to state unequivocally that “germs arc not the cause but the result of disease!” Naessens independently adopted this view as a result of his biological detective work. The opposite view, which won the day in Pasteur’s time, has dominated medical philosophy for over a century, and what amounted to the creation of a whole new worldview in the life sciences is still regarded as heretical!

Yet the plain fact is that, based on Naessens’s medical philosophy as foreshadowed by Bèchamp and Rife, up to the present time, Naessens’s treatment has arrested and reversed the progress of disease in over one thousand cases of cancer (many of them considered terminal), as well as in several dozen cases of AIDS, a disease for which the world medical community sadly states that it has as yet no solution what-so-ever. Suffering patients of each sex, and of ages ranging from the teens to beyond the seventies, have been returned to an optimal feeling of well-being and health.

A layperson having no idea of the scope of Naessens’s discoveries, or their full meaning and basic implications, might best be introduced to them through Naessens’s explanation to a visiting journalist. “You see,” began Naessens, “I’ve been able to establish a life cycle of forms in the blood that add up to no less than a brand new understanding for the very basis of life. What we’re talking about is an entirely new biology, one out of which has fortunately sprung practical applications of benefit to sick people, even before all of its many theoretical aspects have been sorted out.” At this point, Naessens threw in a statement that would startle any biologist, particularly a geneticist: “The somatids, one can say, are precursors of DNA. Which means that they some-how supply a `missing link’ to an understanding of that remarkable molecule that up to now has been considered as an all but irreducible building block in the life process.” 2)Intriguing is a recent discovery by Norwegian microbiologists. On 10 August 1989, as Naessens was preparing for trial, the world’s most prestigious scientific journal, Nature (United Kingdom), ran an article entitled “High Abundance of Viruses Found in Aquatic Environments.” Authored by Ovind Bergh and colleagues at the University of Bergen, it revealed that, for the first time, in natural unpolluted waters, hitherto considered to have extremely low concentrations of viruses, there exist up to 2.5 trillion strange viral particles for each liter of liquid. Measuring less than 0.2 microns, their size equates to the largest of Naessens’s somatids. Much too small for any larger marine organism to ingest, the tiny organisms are upsetting existing theories on how pelagic life systems operate. In light of Gaston Naessens’s theory that his somatids are DNA precursors, it is fascinating that the Norwegian researchers believe that the hordes upon hordes of viruses might account for DNA’s being inexplicably dissolved in seawater. Another amazing implication of the high viral abundance is that routine viral infection of aquatic bacteria could be explained by a significant exchange of genetic material. As Evelyn B. Sherr, of the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, writes in a sidebar article in the same issue of Nature: “Natural genetic engineering experiments may have been occurring in bacterial populations, perhaps for eons.” What connection the aqua-viruses may have with Naessens’s somatids is a question that may become answerable when Naessens has the opportunity to observe them at his microscope and compare them with the ones he has already found in vegetal saps and mammalian blood. 

If somatids were a “missing link” between the living and the nonliving, then what, I wondered aloud in one of my meetings with Françoise Naessens, would be the difference between them and viruses, a long debate about the animate or inanimate nature of which has been going on for years?

There was something, was there not, about the somatid that related to its non-reliance and non-dependence upon any surrounding milieu needed by the virus, if it were to thrive.

“Yes,” agreed Françoise, “to continue its existence, the virus needs a supportive milieu, say, an artificially created test-tube culture, or something natural, like an egg. If the virus needs this kind of support for growth, either in vivo or in vitro, a `helping hand,’ as it were, the somatid is able to live autonomously, either in a `living body,’ or `glass-enclosed.’ This has something to do with the fact that, while the virus is a particle of DNA, a piece of it, the somatid is, as we’ve already said, a ‘precursor’ of DNA, something that leads to its creation.”

To try to get to the bottom of this seemingly revolutionary pronouncement, I later asked Françoise to set down on paper some further exposition of it. She wrote:

We have come to the conclusion that the somatid is no less than what could be termed a concretization of energy. One could say that this particle, one that is “initially differentiated,” or materialized in the life process, possesses genetic properties transmissible to living organisms, animal or vegetal. Underlying that conclusion is our finding that, in the absence of the normal three-stage cycle, no cellular division can occur! Why not? Because it is the normal cycle that produces a special growth hormone that permits such division. We believe that hormone to be closely related, if not identical, to the one discovered years ago by the French Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrel, who called it a trephone.

The best experimental proof backing up this astounding disclosure, Françoise went on, begins with a cube of fresh meat no different from those impaled on shish kebab skewers. After being injected with somatids taken from an in vitro culture, the meat cube is placed in a sealed vessel in which a vacuum is created. With the cube now protected from any contamination from the ambient atmosphere, and anything that atmosphere might contain that could act to putrefy the meat, the vessel is subsequently exposed during the day to natural light by setting it, for instance, next to a window.

Harboring the living, indestructible somatids as it does, the meat cube in the vessel will, thenceforth, not rot, as it surely would have rotted had it not received the injection. Retaining its healthy-looking color, it not only remains as fresh as when inserted into the vessel, but progressively increases in size, that is, it continues to grow, just as if it were part of a living organism.

Could a meat cube, animated by somatids, if somehow also electrically stimulated, keep on growing to revive the steer or hog from which it had been cut out? The thought flashed inanely through my mind. Maybe there was something electrical about the somatid? Before I could ask that question of her, Françoise seemed to have already anticipated it.

“The `tiny bodies’ discovered by Naessens,” she went on, “are fundamentally electrical in nature. In a liquid milieu, such as blood plasma, one can observe their electrical charge and its effects. For the nuclei of these particles are positively charged, while the membranes, coating their exteriors, are negatively charged. Thus, when they come near one another, they are automatically mutually repulsed just as if they were the negative poles of two bar magnets that resist any manual attempt to hold them together.”

“Well,” I asked, “isn’t that the same as for cells, whose nuclei and membranes are, respectively, considered to have plus, and minus, electrical charges?”

“Certainly,” she replied, “with the difference that, in the case of the somatids, the energetic release is very much larger. Somatids are actually tiny living condensers of energy, the smallest ever found.”

I was thunderstruck. What, I mused, would the great Hungarian scientist Albert Szent-Györgyi, winner of the Nobel Prize for his discovery of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and many other awards, have had to say had he, before his recent death, been aware of Naessens’s discoveries? For it was Szent-Györgyi who, abandoning early attempts to get at the “secret of life” at the level of the molecule, had predicted, prior to World War II, when still living and working in Hungary, that such a secret would eventually be discovered at the level of the electron, or other electrically related atomic particles!3)For more recent discoveries relating to the electrical basis for life, readers are also referred to two fascinating books by Dr. Robert O. Becker, The Body Electric (New York: Quill, William Morrow, 1985) and Cross Currents (Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1990).

Probing further into the world of the somatid and its link to life’s basis and hereditary characteristics, I asked Françoise if Naessens had done any experiments to show how somatids might produce genetic effects on living organisms.

“I’ll tell you, now, about one experiment we have repeated many times,” she answered, “whose results are hard for any orthodox biologist to swallow. Before describing it, let me add that it is our belief-as it was also Antoine Bèchamp’s – that each of our bodily organs possesses somatids of varying, as yet indescribable, natures that are specific to it alone. But the whole ensemble, the `family’ of these varying forms, collectively circulates, either in the circulatory or the lymph system. On the basis of this experiment, we hold that, as a group, they contain the hereditary characteristics of each and every individual being.”

As described by Françoise, the experiment begins by extracting somatids from the blood of a rabbit with white fur. A solution containing them is then injected, at a dose of one cubic centimeter per day, into the bloodstream of a rabbit with black fur, for a period of two weeks running. Within approximately one month, the fur of the black rabbit begins to turn a grayish color, half of the hairs of which it is composed having turned white. In a reverse process, the fur of a white rabbit, injected with somatids from a black one, also begins to turn gray.

Astonishing as this result, with its “genetic engineering” implications, might be, the effect of such “somatid transfer” from one organism to another also, said Françoise, produces another result offering great insight into the role played by the somatid in the immunological system. “When a patch of skin,” she continued, “is cut from the white rabbit and grafted onto the empty space left after cutting a patch of similar size from the black rabbit, the graft shows none of the signs of rejection that normally take place in the absence of somatid transfer.” What this might bode for the whole technique of organ transplant, attempts at which have been bedeviled by the “rejection syndrome,” we shall let readers – especially medically trained readers – ponder.

footnotes

1 “What Has Become of the Rife Microscope?,” New Age Journal, (Boston, Massachusetts), 1976. This article has, ever since, been one of the Journal’s most requested reprints. It is reproduced in this book as Appendix A. Developments in microscopic techniques have only recently begun to match those elaborated by Naessens more than forty years ago”
2 Intriguing is a recent discovery by Norwegian microbiologists. On 10 August 1989, as Naessens was preparing for trial, the world’s most prestigious scientific journal, Nature (United Kingdom), ran an article entitled “High Abundance of Viruses Found in Aquatic Environments.” Authored by Ovind Bergh and colleagues at the University of Bergen, it revealed that, for the first time, in natural unpolluted waters, hitherto considered to have extremely low concentrations of viruses, there exist up to 2.5 trillion strange viral particles for each liter of liquid. Measuring less than 0.2 microns, their size equates to the largest of Naessens’s somatids. Much too small for any larger marine organism to ingest, the tiny organisms are upsetting existing theories on how pelagic life systems operate. In light of Gaston Naessens’s theory that his somatids are DNA precursors, it is fascinating that the Norwegian researchers believe that the hordes upon hordes of viruses might account for DNA’s being inexplicably dissolved in seawater. Another amazing implication of the high viral abundance is that routine viral infection of aquatic bacteria could be explained by a significant exchange of genetic material. As Evelyn B. Sherr, of the University of Georgia’s Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, writes in a sidebar article in the same issue of Nature: “Natural genetic engineering experiments may have been occurring in bacterial populations, perhaps for eons.” What connection the aqua-viruses may have with Naessens’s somatids is a question that may become answerable when Naessens has the opportunity to observe them at his microscope and compare them with the ones he has already found in vegetal saps and mammalian blood.
3 For more recent discoveries relating to the electrical basis for life, readers are also referred to two fascinating books by Dr. Robert O. Becker, The Body Electric (New York: Quill, William Morrow, 1985) and Cross Currents (Los Angeles: J. P. Tarcher, 1990).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *