unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for
light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet
Darkness For Light
Greetings. In Revelation, chapter 13, we read, “He (the false prophet) doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live”.
Jesus, in His famous discourse on the End Time in Matthew, chapter 24, said; “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
The image of the beast and the abomination of desolation are considered one and the same by most Bible prophecy teachers, and it placement in the “holy place” also marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation. This is also referred to as the last three and one half years of the seven year covenant which the anti-christ confirms according to Daniel 9:27.
One thing however that is not generally noticed or pointed out, and that it is the “miracles” which the false prophet is able to perform that helps to convince the people of the world “that they should make an image to the beast”. This apparently must happen before the Great Tribulation begins, possibly during the first half of the seven year covenant.
There has been a tremendous amount of material recently written concerning the “singularity”, which would seem to fit right in with the concept of the “image of the beast”.
(A very brief description of the Singularity is as follows: “The technological singularity is the theoretical emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood.” Wikipedia)
What this may mean therefore is that there may be mighty manifestions of Satanic power before the Great Tribulation even begins. As the scripture states; “by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; (he deceives the people of the world) saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
Also notice “the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live” apparently occurs before the Tribulation begins and his image is placed in the “holy place”.
We live in an age of global deception.
“We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” – William Casey, CIA Director (from first staff meeting, 1981)
And we all know what follows in the remainder of the chapter: the mark of the beast.
There will be a mighty widening of the eyes for those who have not discerned the “signs of the times”. Matthew 16:3
Do you believe in angels? ("For thou hast made him [man] a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." Psalm 8:5)
By Joel Miller
Published October 21, 2012
A friend once messaged me to mention an encounter with an angel. The way he started his note is very telling: "Would you think your old friend crazy. . . ?" Though we agree on many things, there was a basic and curious assumption that while one of us might believe in angels, the other might regard such belief as loony.
It turns out that he had little cause for worry, as I do believe in angels. In fact, some 77 percent of Americans do, according to an AP-GfK poll late last year.
Belief in angels is actually quite widespread in certain parts of the world, though far from universal. While Italians and Croatians are on par with Americans, for instance, no more than a third of Danes believe in angels--somewhere between 25 and 33 percent, according to the European Values Study. The English are similarly low; just 36 percent believe in angels, according to Gallup.
These numbers seem to roughly correlate to belief in God. Americans, Italians, and Croatians overwhelmingly profess belief in God, while less than half of Danes and barely half of Brits do so.
We are looking here at a cultural dividing line. On the one side live those who believe in the divine, in the spiritual. On the other live those who do not. The former are obviously more likely to believe in angels, and the latter--materialists and secularists--definitely not.
That the line exists is unremarkable, as is the disbelief of the secularists. What I find most intriguing, going back to my friend's concern, are the Christians who find reason to disbelieve. The surveys point to some of this skepticism; people who profess belief in God do not necessarily believe in angels.
There are many reasons for this, but I'm struck by two primary reasons. The first is that materialism has inoculated our entire culture against the spiritual, and even professed believers are more affected by this than most of us realize.
Stephen Freeman, an Orthodox priest and popular blogger, often speaks of the two-story universe to explain things. Since the Enlightenment we have a tendency to divide the spiritual and the material and cordon them off in separate domains.
By consigning the spiritual to the second story, in time we forget it's there. Like a trinket in the attic, it has little bearing on our daily lives. Angels become an afterthought in a two-story universe--if they're ever considered at all.
The second reason is that the fear of superstition leaves many believers uncomfortable with angels. Any serious focus on angels smacks many of us as, variously weird, naÃ¯ve, and possibly even idolatrous. Discounting angels serves as a defense mechanism against the excesses of the New Age movement or folk piety run amuck.
Both of these two reasons are problematic. The first tends to demote God to a theoretical concept rather than an active presence in our world. And the second tends to make him a solitary friend in a narrow relationship. Both tend toward a sort of reductionism, tightening the bounds of spiritual experience to an ever-shrinking area. Angels are a casualty in both scenarios.
Whatever these two extremes, healthy Christian spirituality walks a middle path populated by angels, and the best place to become acquainted with this balanced and helpful way is by looking at the early church and how they understood the spiritual world--something I attempt in my book "Lifted by Angels."
Augustine famously envisioned the created order split in two camps, one of light and the other of darkness, one of love and devotion to God and the other of pride and alienation from the Creator. He termed these camps "the city of God" and "the city of the world."
Note that there are just two cities in this scheme. Augustine said that we should not "suppose four cities, two of angels and two of men." Rather, "[w]e may speak of two cities, or communities, one consisting of the good, angels as well as men, and the other of the evil."
Unlike the secularists who disbelieve in angels, and Christians who keep them at arm's length, Augustine presents us a picture of immediacy and proximity; there's no second story to separate us. In his view, heaven isn't far off. Its borders cross our very own, and we share our city with angels. No surprise then that Augustine elsewhere suggests we consider them our neighbors.
Traditional Christian spirituality assumes the presence of angels. While we should eschew pop culture notions and take pains to ensure that our understanding squares with the ancient and honored view held in the church since its beginning, we should nonetheless embrace the belief.
Angels, as Augustine and all the theologians of the early church recognized, share the world with us.
Young blood can reverse some effects of ageing, study finds ("For the life of the flesh is in the blood." Leviticus 17:11)
Blood from young mice improved learning and memory in older mice, and increased connections between their brain cells
17 October 2012
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il surrounded by children. Young blood reverses some of the effects of ageing in mice. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
It is rumoured that the late Kim Jong-il would inject himself with blood from healthy young virgins in a bid to slow the ageing process. Remarkably, the North Korean dictator might have been onto something. Experiments on mice have shown that it is possible to rejuvenate the brains of old animals by injecting them with blood from the young.
Saul Villeda of Stanford University, who led the work, found that blood from young mice reversed some of the effects of ageing in the older mice, improving learning and memory to a level comparable with much younger animals. He said that the technique could one day help people stave off the worst effects of ageing, including conditions such as Alzheimer's.
"Do I think that giving young blood could have an effect on a human? I'm thinking more and more that it might," said Villeda. "I did not, for sure, three years ago."
He presented his results at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans on Wednesday.
Villeda connected the circulatory systems of an old and young mouse so that their blood could mingle. This is a well-established technique used by scientists to study the immune system called heterochronic parabiosis. When he examined the old mouse after several days, he found several clear signs that the ageing process had slowed down.
The number of stem cells in the brain, for example, had increased. More important, he found a 20% increase in connections between brain cells. "One of the main things that changes with ageing are these connections, there are a lot less of them as we get older," said Villeda. "That is thought to underlie memory impairment - if you have less connections, neurons aren't communicating, all of a sudden you have [problems] in learning and memory."
The work builds on a paper published last year in Nature where Villeda and his colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine found that the brains of young mice began to age more rapidly when exposed to blood from an older mouse. The number of stem cells in the older mice's brains also increased after receiving blood from the younger mice.
In the latest study, which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, Villeda also tested the behaviour of the rejuvenated mice. He took blood plasma - the fluid portion of blood that is not cells - from two-month-old mice and injected small amounts, around 5% of the total amount of blood in a mouse by volume, into 18-month-old animals eight times over the course of a month.
When he put the animals into a water maze, a test where they have to remember the location of a hidden platform, he found that the older mice did almost as well as mice of 4-6 months old. Untreated older mice would make many errors and swim down blind alleys in their attempts to find the hidden platform, whereas the mice that had received plasma from young mice located the platform first time, in most cases.
Villeda said that the young blood most likely reversed ageing by topping up levels of key chemical factors that tend to decline in the blood as animals age. Reintroduce these and "all of a sudden you have all of these plasticity and learning and memory-related genes that are coming back". Which factors in particular are causing the effect is unclear since there are hundreds of thousands in blood.
Turning the idea into a therapy for humans will take much more research, but Villeda said there was no reason not to think that, at some point in the future, people in their 40s or 50s could take therapies based on the rejuvenating chemical factors in younger people's blood, as a preventative against the degenerative effects of ageing.
Andrew Randall, a professor in applied neurophysiology at Exeter and Bristol Universities, said that the brain and other organs inevitably deteriorate as part of the ageing process. "Although this [research] may suggest that Bram Stoker had ideas way ahead of his time, temporarily plumbing teenagers' blood supplies into those of their great-grandparents does not seem a particularly feasible future therapy for cognitive decline in ageing. Instead this fascinating work suggests there may be significant benefit in working out what the 'good stuff' is in the high octane young blood, so that we can provide just those key components to the elderly."
Chris Mason, professor of regenerative medicine bioprocessing at University College London, said that real scientific breakthroughs "are often the result of an astonishing observation that if robustly examined may occasionally contain a nugget of great value. This may be one such occasion. The important questions are: what is in the blood of the younger mice that impacts the ageing process, and is it applicable to humans? Neither will be easy questions to answer."
He added: "Even if the finding leads only to a drug that prevents, rather than reverses the normal effects of ageing on the brain, the impact upon future generations will be substantial - potentially outweighing other wonder drugs such as penicillin."
--The Scientific Vampires!
September 20, 1975
Really some of these dreams are so crazy I hesitate to tell them because at first they don't seem to make any sense at all. But when I remember a dream so vividly I hesitate not to tell it, because many of them do make sense afterwards as I get the interpretation. I haven't the faintest idea what this dream means at all, but I might get something on it later, so I'd better tell it to you.
But the next scene was more like a nightmare! They were rounding us all up in this huge barn like warehouse--there must have been several hundred of us inside like prisoners. But our captors seemed to be trying to avoid the impression that we were prisoners but that were voluntarily taking part in some kind of experiment, a scientific experiment, and they were asking who'd like to be next to volunteer to demonstrate somebody's new scientific discovery some kind of physical regeneration. I remember the scientist's name was definitely mentioned and so was the name of the new method, but I can't remember either one of them now.
Some girl was then strapped onto this slanted operating table it was slanted at about a 45-degree angle from her head down to her feet on a sort of platform, apparently so we could all see, and the small tubes about the size of your little finger were running from various parts of her body into this little machine which seemed like a pump. And these two very well dressed but cruel-looking, almost bestial-looking men were sitting on either side of the machine at her feet, with similar tubes in their mouths, each one with one tube running from the machine into his mouth. And the scientist said,
"Are we ready to begin the experiment? Be sure all the windows are closed and doors are locked so we won't be disturbed." But I had the feeling we were being locked in more than that others were being locked out, and that we were actually captives and these so-called scientists were our captors. Anyway, the demonstration began and we were all supposed to watch while the scientist lectured on what was going on. He said,
You will see now that as we start the pump the blood is being drained from the subject slowly, first from her brain and head as she is gradually losing consciousness quietly and peacefullyâ€š so that she no longer even knows what's happening. It is all very painless and pleasant and she no longer has anything to worry about." And sure enough as we watchedâ€š right before our horrified gaze the blood was draining from her head, and her face went white and she obviously became unconscious! Then her neck went white and her shoulders and the whiteness seemed to move down her naked body from her head toward her toes.
Meanwhile we could see these two men sitting at her feet sucking on these tubes from which we could see her blood flowing into their mouths! They both seemed to get almost demonically gleeful expressions of great exhilaration and excitement, becoming very excited and as though they were exploding with energy! And I thought to myselfâ€š "My God, what a horror! How awful! They're killing her right before eyes and drinking her blood right in front of us and claiming this renews their energy and their life forces and helps them to live longer by drinking human blood like vampires, but making it all look very very scientific and sound very very humane!" I thought,
"My god, we've got to get out of here somehow or they're going to kill us all and drink our blood so they can live!" So I began looking around for a possibility of an open unguarded window through which some of us might jump. But the scientist, almost as though he had read my mindâ€š spoke to some of the men who were standing around the doors and windows obviously as guards, he called out again, "Be sure all the doors and windows are shut tight so that no one can interrupt our demonstration."--But I knew what he meant of course: So that nobody could get out and get away from the demonstration! And I just can't remember any more right now. It seemed like then I woke up and remembered the whole dream.
I was so horrified it woke me up! You know how sometimes when you have a nightmare you get to the most awful scariest part and mercifully you awaken! I was so thankful that it wasn't really true, it wasn't really happening! But I wondered afterward if it could be really possible that the day will come when under the guise of scientific experimentation and achievement and mercy killing they're going to literally drink our blood to save themselves!
Do you suppose men are actually going to come to that in those last horrible days of the end of the world? They'll actually go around sucking each other's blood to save themselves from dying from atomic radiation and his effects of blood destroying atomic leukemia! Well it was certainly vivid and horrifying, and I was so terrified by it all and the repulsiveness of it all that I guess I woke up.
Apparently in the last days men will become like animals, brute beasts devouring each other to stay aliveâ€š like those mothers in the Bible who ate their own children to save themselves from starvation during siege and famine! Perverted reprobate anti-God man will stoop to anything, any horror, any atrocity, any cruelty, any perversion to please and save himself in those last days, while trying to make it look like it's all right, humane, scientific, palatable and acceptable to even drink dry the warm living blood of another human being straight from their body and thus selfishly surviving by bringing about another's death!
What an awful horrible thought! I never like to dwell on things like perverted and atrocious cruel inhumane behaviour. I never liked stories about the blood-and-guts violence of war and crime and disasters or even sports. But apparently the violence - loving, blood-lusting, destruction - crazed, war-mad, scientifically-insane, monstrous man of the future is going to stoop to anything to destroy and kill and get what he wantsâ€š while trying to hypocritically justify his actions and make it sound scientific and humane even as he does today.
I think I was being given a picture of the depths to which man will sink in the last days before God destroys the wicked and the putrid Earth and creates a New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, with a new and righteous generation saved by His love and grace because of their faith in Him.
IT WORKS! COMPUTERS FRIED BY EMP-LIKE BLAST
Iran already boasting of capability to use technology against U.S.
by F. MICHAEL MALOOF
WASHINGTON – A pre-programmed cruise missile not too different from a drone has been proven to be capable of blasting out an EMP-type microwave that was able to destroy personal computers and electrical systems inside a building over which it was flying.
The U.S. Air Force and its contractor Boeing have created the High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, which was just tested over a Utah desert.
It’s a project of Boeing’s Phantom Works team and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate, along with Raytheon Ktech, which supplied the high power microwave, or HPM.
The action of the high power microwave has the same effect as an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, from either a high-altitude exploded nuclear weapon or a massive solar storm, but not with their intensity.
The cruise missile, which was launched from a U.S. bomber, was pre-programmed to fly over a target and shoot a burst of high power microwaves at a two-story building. It knocked out rows of personal computers and electrical systems which were shown in a video taken of the test.
Following the first target, the cruise missile then was guided to six other targets, resulting in knocking out all electronics.
“In the near future, this technology may be used to render an enemy’s electronic and data systems useless even before the first troops or aircraft arrive,” according to Keith Coleman, the CHAMP program manager of Boeing’s Phantom Works.
The weapons are getting more sophisticated. How will you protect your family. Have you considered a hardened structure?
The cruise missile is equipped with a powerful magnetron that produces a massive pulse of microwave radiation. The magnetron is a high-powered vacuum tube that generates microwaves that uses the interaction of electrons with a magnetic field. It also is used in radars and microwave ovens.
The Air Force test showed that a non-lethal weapon can knock out multiple electronic targets without collateral damage. It has the same effect as a magnetic flux-compression generator, or MFCG, bomb which can produce electrical energy of some tens of Mega Joules in just tens of microseconds in a relatively small package.
In effect, the MFCG is a directed electromagnetic pulse gun that has military application as its primary use.
All of this also is similar to another U.S. Air Force-developed weapon based on a type of radar called the active electronically scanned array, or AESA.
An ASEA acting as normal radar broadcasts microwaves over a wide area. However, all of its energy can be focused on a single point. A beam from an ASEA basically scrambles electronic components of a target, similar to the effects of an EMP from a nuclear detonation when it fries all electronics.
Depending on the ASEA’s strength, it can scramble the electronics of an offensive target at considerable distances without endangering the aircraft equipped with the ASEA radar.
There are large and small ASEAS. While the larger ones fit on ships, the smaller ASEAs fit in the nose of our latest jet fighters, such as the F-22 and the latest F-35 stealth joint strike fighter.
Boeing also has made a Growler, a modified F-18 Super Hornet designated the EA-18G airborne electronic attack aircraft.
The EA-18G is in use by the U.S. Navy and is the cornerstone of the naval Airborne Electronic Attack, or AEA, mission.
It incorporates advanced airborne electronic attack avionics which is capable of suppressing enemy air defenses, or SEAD, and undertaking non-traditional electronic attack operations, or EMP attacks on enemy positions.
Boeing’s CHAMP project is of a design similar to the company’s other cruise missile designs that are also air-launched and have a low-radar signature but is smaller with compressed carriage wings that extend out after launch.
“Any of these systems can be made to be recoverable or otherwise,” Coleman said. “There are many proven methods of recovering vehicles from the lightweights to the heavier designs.”
The training took place at the Utah Test and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base. While the beam was focused to virtually eliminate collateral damage to nearby electronic devices, the software used in the test reportedly was the same to trigger an HPM weapon warhead.
The cruise missile used in the CHAMP test, sources say, is associated with the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike, or LRS, program. Unmanned aircraft, such as cruise missiles used in the CHAMP test would provide directed-energy weapons support and electronic attack to the LRS program.
“Champ is a template for future HPM programs,” Coleman said. “There has never been this type of system with this kind of power out on any vehicle of any sort before.”
He added that there will be no problem putting HPM weapons technology on even smaller or larger airframes.
These developments have not gone unnoticed by other countries that are aware of the effects of EMP weapons and may be developing some of their own.
Iran, for example, has been flying unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, over U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf for some time taking photos. They easily could be equipped with a magnetron to knock out the electronics on board the ships, since their UAVs are virtually stealthy.
Indeed, Iran has even admitted that it had used newly developed microwave technology to trick the electronics onboard the SQ-170 stealth U.S. drone which it claims it downed in November 2011 as it flew a spy mission from Afghanistan.
The SQ-170 was made to land in Iran with minimal damage. The Iranians then claimed to have deciphered the coded software and learned other secrets surrounding the SQ-170.
Esmaeil Kowsari, a member of the Iranian parliament and vice chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, contended that the Iranians brought down the drone through sophisticated hacking of satellites that controlled the drone.
“The plane was designed to fly on SAT (satellite) orders from an initiation base,” Kowsari contended. “If for any reason contact with the initiation base – in this case Afghanistan – was lost it should respond to orders given by another base in the U.S. If contact with both of the bases is lost, then it should return immediately to the initial base.
“If it cannot, self-destruction is the ultimate choice,” he added. “Despite this, the Iranian electronic war hackers were not only able to hack the SAT controlling the drone and sever contacts with the Afghanistan base, but they were also able to simulate their base as the U.S. base for the plane and as the higher ranking base forced the plane to land without destroying itself, the artificial intelligent-based software did not even suspect that it is being controlled by the Iranian forces.”
As an indication that Iranian electronic measures may be aimed at U.S. forces in the region in retaliation, Kowsari warned that the Iranians will be undertaking electronic warfare against “all computer-based network systems in the U.S. and Europe.”
“Since the algorithm and logic behind other systems are much simpler, the Iranians may be able to control all radars, satellites, planes, ships, tanks, rockets, cruise missiles of the U.S. and NATO throughout the world,” he added. “They may be able to even control American soldiers, who are driven to fight using satellite controlled infrared systems.”
In suggesting that Iran could enter into such systems, Kowsari said the weapons could be deflected back to the “perpetrators” simply by hacking their systems.
While Kowsari didn’t say just how the hacking had been done, recent efforts on the part of Iranians suggest the hacking included the use of some kind of radio-frequency microwave weapon which isn’t surprising since the Iranians themselves have boasted of undertaking such research.
In fact, such information has been publicly available since 1999 to the Iranians and other countries that want to acquire information on RF weapons to counter stealth and cruise missile technology.
Fish oil helped save our son
By Stephanie Smith
updated 12:16 PM EDT, Sat October 20, 2012
Bobby still has significant left-side weakness and is relearning how to walk, but his progress has been tremendous, his family says.
(CNN) -- Time seemed to slow as Marjan Ghassemi saw her 17-year-old son, Bobby, lying in a hospital bed after a car crash.
He had a thick band of gauze wrapped around his head and a tangle of tubes protruding from his body. A hole was cut into his windpipe, and the hollow-sounding hiss of machines helping him breathe filled the room.
At that point, there was no telling whether he would live or die, but Marjan was determined not to cry.
"From day one, when we got there, I didn't want him to know we were crying, that we were upset," she said. "I wanted all positive energy in the room.
"I went in his ear and said ... 'You fight your way and come back to us.' "
It was March 2010. Bobby Ghassemi had been driving fast along a winding road in Virginia when his car barreled off the road. By the time paramedics arrived, he was in a coma and barely alive.
"For all intents and purposes, he was dead on the scene," said Dr. Michael Lewis, a physician who later advised the family. "I'm looking at the reports, and they report a Glasgow Coma Score of 3. A brick or a piece of wood has a Glasgow Coma Score of 3. It's dead."
Ghassemi was airlifted to a hospital. For the first three days, it was touch and go.
Ghassemi's brain was so engorged, doctors needed to relieve the pressure by taking out a portion of his skull. He also had what is called diffuse axonal injury: bleeding that suffused nearly every part of his brain.
"His doctor said to me, 'Listen, he has survived. It is a miracle that he lived, that he made it,' " Marjan Ghassemi said. " 'If he comes out of the coma ... I don't know if he's going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life or whether he'll remember anybody.' "
Ten days later, as Bobby lay comatose but stable, his father, Peter Ghassemi, was sick of waiting and desperate for an intervention. After a series of phone calls to friends, he ended up speaking with Lewis, an Army colonel and doctor.
After some discussion, Lewis proposed something that Peter Ghassemi had never heard about for traumatic brain injuries: fish oil.
At that point, Peter Ghassemi was open to anything.
"Every minute passing was hurting my son ... because they weren't really doing anything to help him besides keeping him alive and stabilizing all of his vital signs," he said. "If there was a chance to improve, I wanted it to be done right then."
Giffords' Doc on traumatic brain injury
'He was really in dire straits'
Fish oil -- which is composed of omega-3 essential fatty acids, also found in the brain -- had been used only once before to treat a brain injury as devastating as Ghassemi's. That was in 2006, in the case of Randal McCloy, the sole survivor of a mine disaster in West Virginia.
McCloy, 26, was trapped in a mine for 41 hours while the air around him and 12 other miners filled with noxious methane and carbon monoxide. By the time he was pulled from underground, he had had a heart attack, was in liver and kidney failure and had a collapsed lung, according to his doctors.
His brain was also riddled with damage from the carbon monoxide and methane.
McCloy's prognosis was not very different from Ghassemi's. According to his neurosurgeon at the time, Dr. Julian Bailes, restoring McCloy's normal brain function was truly a long shot.
"Randy was really on death's doorstep," said Bailes, now co-director of NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, Illinois. "He was really in dire straits."
Like with Ghassemi, once McCloy was stabilized, there was little doctors could do to stem the tide of inflammation and cell death occurring in his brain.
But Bailes and other doctors on McCloy's team resisted the "wait and see" course common in these types of cases and began an unorthodox treatment regimen, including hyperbaric oxygen treatments and high doses of fish oil.
"The concept was then trying to rebuild his brain with what it was made from when he was an embryo in his mother's womb," Bailes said.
The brick wall analogy
That's the theory behind using omega-3 fatty acids to heal brain injury. The human brain, which itself is a fatty mass, is about 30% composed of omega-3 fatty acids, according to Lewis.
In his words, high doses of omega-3 fatty acids, since they mirror what is already in the brain, could facilitate the brain's own natural healing process.
"It really gets down to what I would call my brick wall analogy," Lewis said. "If you have a brick wall and it gets damaged, wouldn't you want to use bricks to repair the wall? And omega-3 fatty acids are literally the bricks of the cell wall in the brain."
Most of the studies about omega-3 for traumatic brain injury are in animals, but they indicate potential for healing the human brain.
After a trauma, the brain tends to swell, and the connections between some nerve cells can become damaged, while other cells simply die.
National Institutes of Health research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may inhibit cell death and could be instrumental for reconnecting damaged neurons.
Another recent study revealed genes that are activated to contain massive damage -- especially inflammation -- when the brain is injured. What activates those genes: omega-3.
"We have strong data that suggest omega-3 will activate good proteins to cope with brain damage and turn off proteins that cause neuroinflammation," said Dr. Nicolas Bazan, director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health in New Orleans and author of the study.
And besides that, according to Bailes and Lewis, fish oil may be the only solution for brain damage that continues after a traumatic brain injury patient has been stabilized.
"There is no known solution; there's no known drug; there's nothing that we have really to offer these sorts of patients," said Bailes, who along with Lewis received money from companies that make fish oil after their treatment of Ghassemi and McCloy.
The damage to McCloy's brain was profound, according to Bailes. Not only did it experience massive cell death, the protective sheath around McCloy's nerve cells had been stripped during the hours of exposure to toxic gases. That sheath, called myelin, allows brain cells to communicate with one another.
Bailes consulted with a fish oil expert and eventually decided that administering 20 grams a day of omega-3 fish oil through a feeding tube might repair the myelin sheath. (For comparison: A typical supplemental dose for someone with an uninjured brain is about 2 grams a day.)
"We decided to throw the kitchen sink at him," Bailes said. "If we were going to fail, we were going to fail with all guns blazing, so we gave him a very high, unprecedented dose to make sure we saturated and got high levels in the brain."
Less than three weeks after the mine disaster, McCloy was emerging from his coma. Three months after that, he was walking and speaking.
Citing McCloy's dramatic recovery, Lewis spoke with Peter Ghassemi about introducing omega-3 for his son. After that conversation, Peter Ghassemi was convinced and began to pressure his son's doctors.
"It was a fight," Peter Ghassemi said. "They didn't believe, and they said, 'Fine, the West Virginia miner was one case. Bring me 999 more cases, a thousand more cases ... before I can give it to your son.' "
But eventually they conceded, and Bobby Ghassemi was started on high-dose fish oil therapy, at a dosage that mirrored what Bailes had given to McCloy in 2006.
'The whole place was cheering for me'
Two weeks after beginning the regimen, Ghassemi was emerging from his coma.
"We saw hand movements on the left side," Peter Ghassemi said. "Around the fifth or sixth week, there was some movement, and then his hands started moving more, the leg was moving more."
Soon after that, Bobby began to show signs of recognizing his family and his dog and of discerning things like colors and numbers. Slowly, his brain was recovering, and his family ardently believes that the high-dose fish oil is the reason why.
"His brain was still recovering, but with (omega-3), it recovered much faster and in a shorter amount of time," Peter Ghassemi said. "His brain was damaged, and this was food for the brain."
Three months after his accident, Bobby Ghassemi was well enough to attend his high school graduation.
"The whole place was cheering for me, and they all stood up and were screaming and cheering my name," Ghassemi, now 20, recalls with a smile. "I took my graduation cap off and waved it around."
He still has significant left-side weakness and is relearning how to walk, but his progress has been tremendous, according to Lewis.
"In my opinion, and this is pure speculation, he never would have come out of a coma if it hadn't been for the use of omega-3s to allow that natural healing process to occur," said Lewis, founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute. "In the end, the brain has to heal itself. There are no magic cures for brain injury."
Large-scale study needed
But what do these two dramatic stories really say about omega-3 as a potential treatment for traumatic brain injury? For now, they are merely stories with omega-3 as a common denominator.
The remaining questions are as poignant as the stories themselves: Could youth have been a factor for Ghassemi and McCloy? What about other treatments given to McCloy, like hyperbaric oxygen? Could they have played a role?
Those and other questions could and should be answered, according to experts, with a large-scale clinical study.
"These two clinical cases where we have a wildly unexpected recovery, was it just luck that they woke up?" asked Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, an omega-3 expert and chief of the Section on Nutritional Neurosciences at the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Or is there some reasonable scientific explanation for it?
"Given that there aren't any other treatments, this is a good bet," Hibbeln said. "It's really only reasonable to go forward with doing the full press of careful intervention studies."
The implications of a successful study are huge: 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury each year in the United States.
And research into how omega-3 might function for stroke, Parkinson's disease and early Alzheimer's disease is ongoing.
"The message that I'm trying to get across is, there's more you can do," Lewis said. "If you add omega-3s, we can then begin to let the brain heal itself a little more efficiently."
"Up until the time the pharmaceutical industry gives us a drug that cures all brain injury, this is the best hope we have," Bailes said.
Until next week...keep on believing.
“In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
And I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid [it] on the boil, and he recovered.” (2Kings 20)