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Payne concludes: "My feeling was, I didn't care what it was, it could have been dog shit . . . I didn't care if it was iridium or rhodium or what, I only knew it was extremely important for treating the kinds of patients that I had."
Though she would have liked to have seen stronger action taken against Payne, Martha Krupp says she is not surprised that his medical license was not yanked by the board.
"AIDS patients are largely viewed as throwaway people," Krupp says. "The prevailing sentiment, at least until recently, seemed to be, 'Well, they're all going to die eventually, so what difference does it make how or when they go?'"
Ever since David Hudson wound up on the losing end of the civil suit filed by Leslie Burroughs' mother and husband, he has stopped giving his miracle cure to people who hope to conquer diseases or achieve spiritual enlightenment or gain the ability to read men's hearts and minds.
Instead, for $500, those hoping to better themselves can now purchase a "membership" in the Science of the Spirit Foundation, a Tempe-based outfit that works in conjunction with ORMES, Ltd., a company founded by Hudson to help fund the construction of a $2.5 million plant aimed at producing--you guessed it--ORMEs.
According to the literature, ORMES, Ltd., will hand over 25 percent of the plant's output to Science of the Spirit once the facility goes online in 1997. Science of the Spirit will then distribute the "sacramental" material to its members.
But before those life-giving shipments can begin, a prospective member must sign a waiver aimed at indemnifying Hudson against every conceivable calamity.
Apparently, all these preparations keep Hudson a very busy man, and the pressures have begun to take their toll.
On September 9, Hudson's wife, Kathryn, told New Times she was certain her husband would not agree to a face-to-face interview because "he just doesn't think the world is ready for this discovery yet."
Two days later, she phoned New Times after receiving a list of questions that had been mailed to her husband. She admitted she "wasn't being completely truthful."
"What I really should have told you," she says, "was that David had a heart attack."
She says her husband went to the hospital earlier this month with severe chest pains, but has since been allowed to return home. Sometime next week he is scheduled to undergo tests to determine whether he's a candidate for angioplasty or bypass surgery. Kathryn says David would prefer to treat his condition nonsurgically.
In the meantime, he's under doctor's orders to eat sensibly and, above all, rest, which pretty much rules out interviews.
It's not easy telling a man like David Hudson to slow down, Kathryn says, especially when so many people depend on him.
"We get 20, 30 calls a night from people, and sometimes they're very sick," she says. "They all want David to help them."
Now, it's time for David Radius Hudson to help himself.
Which leaves just one question: If the substance Hudson stumbled across 14 years ago is truly the elixir of life, if it has the power to "correct the DNA and perfect the body," as he has repeatedly said, why does its discoverer still have to take medication to control his blood pressure?
From the tone of Kathryn Hudson's voice, such questions are absurd.
"Oh, he never takes it himself," she explains. "He never thought there was anything wrong with him.