The promise of immortality is core to many religions, but it’s rarely as literal as it is at The Church of Perpetual Life, a zealous house of worship in Hollywood, Florida whose members have decided they don’t want to die.
„We are fighting against involuntary death, and view immortality as the ultimate solution to every problem mankind faces,” said Bill Faloon, one of the church’s founders.
His parishioners call themselves “immortalists.” Other monikers include transhumanists, “longevity enthusiasts,” and “people who really are committed to the anti-aging concept.”
Whatever they call themselves, they all share one thing in common: They believe that science and technology will find a way for humans to live forever on Earth.
Motherboard’s Claire Evans visited the church and spent time with Faloon, who also cofounded the Life Extension Foundation Inc., which sells a variety of nutritional supplements that promise to do everything from protecting against eyesight degeneration to promoting cell regeneration. The Foundation says its primary goal is to fund research into anti-aging science.
Forever Young, a short documentary produced by Evans, Jaimie Sanchez, and Motherboard, explores the psychology of the church’s members, the history of transhumanism and anti-aging, and the reaction of the mainstream medical community to some of these ideas.
Gerontology expert Aubrey Grey, transhumanist and Sirius XM founder Martine Rothblatt, and Dr. Dinarine Maharaj of the South Florida Stem Cell Transplant Institute also make an appearance in the film.
The people Evans spoke to, including Faloon, seem genuine in their quest for eternal life. However, it’s hard to overlook the fact that the church was formed after the Life Extension Foundation had its tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS.
The Church of Perpetual Life Wants to End Deathism
Easter celebrations. The swearing in of President Obama with a bible. The Pledge of Allegiance’s “One nation under God.” Ted Cruz’s freakish evangelism. Even when we sneeze, many Americans still reflexively say: God bless you.
By Zoltan Istvan | MOTHERBOARD
American society exists in an engulfing religious framework—and that inescapable Abrahamic point of view leads to one ultimate goal: an eternal afterlife with the maker.
For the majority of Americans—about 70 percent—that is what they believe and how they live in this world.
Whether you like it not, America is a culture mired in deathism—the idea that human death is natural, inescapable, and ultimately desirable because it unites one with God.
Lately, though, the burgeoning transhumanism movement is challenging all that. Gerontologists, crynocists, singularitarians, biohackers, roboticists, geneticists, futurists, and anti-aging activists—all considered part of the transhumanist platform—are standing up and demanding humans conquer biological death.
Once seen as fringe, but now increasingly seen as potentially visionary, transhumanists are challenging the very nature of what it means to be a human being.
Motherboard recently featured a part of the transhumanism movement in an exciting and informative short documentary called Forever Young. The show focuses on the eclectic Church of Perpetual Life—a nonprofit transhumanist organization in south Florida aiming to combine spirituality, community, and hard science research. I recently spoke at the Church of Perpetual Life while on tour with my Immortality Bus. The church is a unique place, to say the least.
Forever Young explores the transhumanist and spiritual beliefs of some of the church parishioners, including businessman Bill Faloon, who co-founded the church in 2013. Faloon and the parishioners—nearly all who doubt the existence of an afterlife—are people bent on using the latest anti-aging science to live indefinitely.