When I was a young man,  Dylan Thomas was my favourite poet. One poem that had a deep impact on my soul contained the line “do not go gentle into that good night— rage, rage, against the dying of the light!” [1]

I took that to be a truth— an eternal truth. For me it was a declaration of independence— nobody would ever talk me into accepting death without a fight!

Why would this be so important?

Because death is a journey from which there is no return.  Every decision you make in your life has a consequence, and some decisions have good consequences, and some have bad consequences— but in most cases,  when  bad consequences start to appear, you still have a chance to  back up and change your mind. You can back out of a bad decision, and although you might have gotten hurt, you can at least recover from it. But if you die and discover you’re not properly prepared, there’s nothing you can do about it.   There’s no way back from death.

That’s why you’ve got to be absolutely sure about death before you die. You’ve got to know for sure if death really ends everything. What if it doesn’t?  What IF something like “renewal” is true and you wind up still alive after you “die”— alive, but in another state of existence? You should make absolutely SURE of where you’re going before you die— because you won’t have another chance to change your mind after you’re gone.

Of course, this whole discussion may  seem to you  a bit absurd. Number one, you’ve probably been taught that there’s nothing to worry about— death is a normal and natural part of life. Everybody dies.  And after you die, there’s nothing. Your brain dies too, and with your brain activity dead, you stop thinking, feeling, and existing. After death there’s absolutely nothing. So there’s certainly nothing to worry about—  when you’re dead, you’re dead.

Anyway, you’ve probably been told there’s nothing you can do to prepare for death. You might be able to delay death for a few years— eat healthy, exercise, don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, et cetera— but ultimately you will die, and there’s nothing you can do about it. There’s  nothing you can  do in this life to change what will happen to you after you die.

Now all these observations appear so fundamentally true, there seems to be no need to think otherwise. And so most people go merrily along on their way, living life to the full, trying not even to think about death, because death is so inevitable, and so final, (and so depressing to think about)— so why would anybody even bring up the subject?

Because in Logan’s Run we are almost immediately confronted with the issue of death.  We are told that in Logan’s world, a person is allowed to live for 30 years— and then when his (or her)  life-clock  turns from blue to red and starts to flash, he (or she)  has reached Last Day. It’s now time to submit to the ritual of Carrousel.


And what happens in Carrousel? The person is (supposedly) renewed.

What is renewal? We’re not really told. The rumours are that renewal involves  immortality. Supposedly we are translated into the spiritual realm. We’re left to guess if this means paradise, or rebirth into the same system (perhaps as a baby back into the Nursery).

Unfortunately, nobody in Logan’s world (including Logan) has met anybody who’s ever been renewed. So there’s really no way to know what happens in Carrousel. What about that flash of light and the sudden disappearance of the candidate— is it really a translation into some higher realm of existence— or  is it simply disintegration? What if the candidates are being blown out of existence?

I’m not the only one suspicious about this process. In fact, I want to say that it’s wiser to be suspicious— because if there is any deception going on here, the candidates who meekly submit to Carrousell don’t live to tell about it.

Frankly, isn’t that the bottom line in this matter of death? Nobody lives to tell about it?

This being the case, Dylan Thomas’s warning is very appropriate. “Do not go gently into that good night! Rage, rage, against the dying of the light!” Don’t die without putting up a fight— because after you die, all your fighting won’t change a thing.

It seems that the runners are also suspicious. It appears they would rather take their chances being killed by a Sandman than submit to Carrousel. Of course, by running they’re also facing death.  But at the very least they don’t have to die at 30. And of course, there’s always the chance of finding Sanctuary. Maybe it’s real, maybe not. It’s at least worth a try. What have they got to lose?

So in the matter of death, the runners are really  the smart ones.

This becomes even more obvious after Logan is ordered to find Sanctuary.  During his assignment (see the first episode) he learns the surprising and awful truth— nobody has ever been renewed. It turns out that Carrousel is a ploy to control the population. Carrousel is a lie.

Now I have a question to ask you. Do you think it’s  possible —after Logan discovers Carrousel is a fraud— for him to willingly and meekly submit to Carrousel after his        life-clock runs out?

 “Of course not!” That’s what anyone with any sense would say.  “That’s absurd! Once a citizen knows for sure that Carrousel is a trick, he or she will never again knowingly  submit to it!”

Well, Logan’s Run has the power to confront by fiction what we may never have considered possible in real life. Is it possible for a System to trick people into submitting willingly to death without a fight? The film gives us at least a plausible scenario of how this could happen. Logan’s predicament makes it very clear that if a System can get control of a society, and  if it has the power of life and death over it’s citizens, it can fool people into accepting death prematurely and without proper preparation.

So what about you?  If you discovered an agenda like Logan discovered, would you take the matter seriously?  What if you were told that the System has purposely twisted and lied about what death is all about— and has invented a way to lure you into accepting death without a fight?

Would that concern you?

That’s why I’m writing this episode.

In my own way, I’m Logan. I’ve discovered that the System has lied to us. And they’ve put their lie into an agenda— and put their agenda down on paper, in a Manifesto.

I discovered it by accident back in 1981.

I’m going to re-print this Manifesto here, and say nothing more about it until after you’ve read it. Read the document carefully.  Read it just as if you had discovered what Logan discovered— the truth about his System’s agenda— a  systematic agenda to perpetrate a colossal lie on an unsuspecting population.

Then go on to EPISODE FIVE, where I will explain the document carefully, and discuss some of the implications.

Here’s the HUMANIST MANIFESTO, exactly as I found it so many years ago:


 FIRST: Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

SECOND: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.

THIRD: Holding an organic view of life, humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected.

FOURTH: Humanism recognizes that man’s religious culture and civilization, as clearly depicted by anthropology and history, are the product of a gradual development due to his interaction with his natural environment and with his social heritage. The individual born into a particular culture is largely molded by that culture.

FIFTH: Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values. Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method.

SIXTH: We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of “new thought”.

SEVENTH: Religion consists of those actions, purposes, and experiences which are humanly significant. Nothing human is alien to the religious. It includes labor, art, science, philosophy, love, friendship, recreation–all that is in its degree expressive of intelligently satisfying human living. The distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.

EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now. This is the explanation of the humanist’s social passion.

NINTH: In the place of the old attitudes involved in worship and prayer the humanist finds his religious emotions expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and in a cooperative effort to promote social well-being.

TENTH: It follows that there will be no uniquely religious emotions and attitudes of the kind hitherto associated with belief in the supernatural.

ELEVENTH: Man will learn to face the crises of life in terms of his knowledge of their naturalness and probability. Reasonable and manly attitudes will be fostered by education and supported by custom. We assume that humanism will take the path of social and mental hygiene and discourage sentimental and unreal hopes and wishful thinking.

TWELFTH: Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy in living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to the satisfactions of life.

THIRTEENTH: Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life. The intelligent evaluation, transformation, control, and direction of such associations and institutions with a view to the enhancement of human life is the purpose and program of humanism. Certainly religious institutions, their ritualistic forms, ecclesiastical methods, and communal activities must be reconstituted as rapidly as experience allows, in order to function effectively in the modern world.

FOURTEENTH: The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.

FIFTEENTH AND LAST: We assert that humanism will: (a) affirm life rather than deny it; (b) seek to elicit the possibilities of life, not flee from them; and (c) endeavor to establish the conditions of a satisfactory life for all, not merely for the few. By this positive morale and intention humanism will be guided, and from this perspective and alignment the techniques and efforts of humanism will flow.

So stand the theses of religious humanism. Though we consider the religious forms and ideas of our fathers no longer adequate, the quest for the good life is still the central task for mankind. Man is at last becoming aware that he alone is responsible for the realization of the world of his dreams, that he has within himself the power for its achievement. He must set intelligence and will to the task.


J.A.C. Fagginger Auer—Parkman Professor of Church History and Theology, Harvard University; Professor of Church History, Tufts College. E. Burdette Backus—Unitarian Minister. Harry Elmer Barnes—General Editorial Department, ScrippsHoward Newspapers. L.M. Birkhead—The Liberal Center, Kansas City, Missouri. Raymond B. Bragg—Secretary, Western Unitarian Conference. Edwin Arthur Burtt—Professor of Philosophy, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University. Ernest Caldecott—Minister, First Unitarian Church, Los Angeles, California. A.J. Carlson—Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago. John Dewey—Columbia University. Albert C. Dieffenbach—Formerly Editor of The Christian Register. John H. Dietrich—Minister, First Unitarian Society, Minneapolis. Bernard Fantus—Professor of Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Illinois. William Floyd—Editor of The Arbitrator, New York City. F.H. Hankins—Professor of Economics and Sociology, Smith College. A. Eustace Haydon—Professor of History of Religions, University of Chicago. Llewellyn Jones—Literary critic and author. Robert Morss Lovett—Editor, The New Republic; Professor of English, University of Chicago. Harold P Marley—Minister, The Fellowship of Liberal Religion, Ann Arbor, Michigan. R. Lester Mondale—Minister, Unitarian Church, Evanston, Illinois. Charles Francis Potter—Leader and Founder, the First Humanist Society of New York, Inc. John Herman Randall, Jr.—Department of Philosophy, Columbia University. Curtis W. Reese—Dean, Abraham Lincoln Center, Chicago. Oliver L. Reiser—Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh. Roy Wood Sellars—Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan. Clinton Lee Scott—Minister, Universalist Church, Peoria, Illinois. Maynard Shipley—President, The Science League of America. W. Frank Swift—Director, Boston Ethical Society. V.T. Thayer—Educational Director, Ethical Culture Schools. Eldred C. Vanderlaan—Leader of the Free Fellowship, Berkeley, California. Joseph Walker—Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts. Jacob J. Weinstein—Rabbi; Advisor to Jewish Students, Columbia University. Frank S.C. Wicks—All Souls Unitarian Church, Indianapolis. David Rhys Williams—Minister, Unitarian Church, Rochester, New York. Edwin H. Wilson—Managing Editor, The New Humanist, Chicago, Illinois; Minister, Third Unitarian Church, Chicago, Illinois.
Copyright © 1933 by The New Humanist and 1973 by the American Humanist Association
Permission to reproduce this material, complete and unmodified, in electronic or printout form is hereby granted free of charge by the copyright holder to nonprofit humanist and freethought publications. All other uses, and uses by all others, requires that requests for permission be made through the American Humanist Association, at www.americanhumanist.org.




WHAT ABOUT YOU?          






[1] Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, DYLAN THOMAS  From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp.