12 March 1974
In 1919 I graduated with honors as a “diplomingenieur’ from Norges Teckniske Hoiskole (Norway MIT) with 0.1 (Outstanding) in economics. From age 16 I had seriously studied psychology, sociology, world religions, yoga, Sufism.
In my many-faceted career I worked in all parts of the world. While building ports and railroads in Turkey, I advised Saraguglu Shukri Bey, Secretary of the Treasury for the ‘ Young Turks’ on the financial structuring of the new republic, also savoring of the teachings and music of the Mevlevis, a sufi branch in Turkey. In India and Indonesia I build irrigation works while continuing my Yoga studies. In Norway, while building factories and residences, I wrote “After Us the Glut’ at the request of Dr. Nygaard, President of Aschehoug publishers. This survey of world resources and how better to utilize them netted me a managing directorship of a new banking venture in which the Government cooperated. In the USA, form 1940, I worked as a director of a small company making dynamic balancing machines, while talking to bankers and economists about the Norwegian banking venture. This was brutally stopped by the Nazi invasion.
Visitors straight from Hitler’s war headquarters reported to British intelligence, helping me devise a plan for removing Hitler form the German scene and terminating the war. Accepted by the British, I was told, it was rejected by American leadership, in favor of “beating the Germans so they know it.” Later I commuted from the front to serve on a Norwegian monetary commission to plan recovery. My ‘minority plan’ was accepted, later, by the Norwegian congress.
In 1950 I joined the University of California as a research engineer, first in desalination, later in air pollution, and a close and precious liaison with students. My final title was consultant. In 1961 the State of California inquired of the University while I was still working, after having just filled 65. “Because,” replied Professor Al Bush, “Here is one man who can get a research project off the ground and keep it moving.” The State agreed to let me work the rest of the year. In 1954, February first, I submitted to the chancellor at Berkeley, as a result of discussion with Dr. Eugene Burdick, a plan for comprehensive energy research, linked to student participation. Everybody saw the coming energy shortage even then. During my eleven years at the University I had been farmed out to other tasks, one year with the X-15 experimental plane, particularly the nitrogen cooling system, two years with Boeing 707 jet and Bomarc Missile, one year as assistant to President Hans Hosli of the Hispano Suiza Rocket Factories in Geneva, Switzerland, working on strategic and technical matters.
Just before completing my term at the University of California, I began working with Arthur Schlesinger and Seymour Harris of the Kennedy Administration on a multi-survey project that was hoped to lay the foundation for continuous full employment. Dr. Harris was Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury. The work gained momentum until a comprehensive meeting was planned “as soon as the President would return from this political trip to Texas.” The assassination paralyzed the project. Later I joined Dr. John H.G. Pierson, retired economic advisor to the United Nations, in his thirty-year long flight for full employment, while working as a Value Engineer at the Keyport Torpedo Station of the U.S. Navy. I am still in this dual job. In 1963 I was lend-leased by the US Navy to the United Nations, to head a mission as “Economiste-ingenieur” to Tunisia. The economically weak southern Tunisia was to be helped.
I am a licensed engineer in New York State since 1950. I have published 8 books, of which three in the United States: “The Future is Ours” (Forum, 1948), “Man and this Mysterious Universe” (Philosophical Library, 1919), “A State of Almost Happiness” (Manyland Books, 1972) and shall send you any of these if you wish. I would think, however, that the final chapter of a coming book on full employment would be of more interest, and/or a chapter on “mind” in another coming book on our total environment. I enclose some comments on these two coming books by experts in the fields.
My age, 77, is a bare minimum for understanding our present complex civilization and environment. Dr. Jacques Menetrier, the Paris universal genius (medic, physicist, author, artist) tried his new device on me in 1961. “Bryn,” he said, “You are 35, just a baby.” I replied I was 65 at the time. “No, no,” he said, ”I mean, your most overworked organs are 35 years old, the rest younger. You will live happily, actively, till you are 120 calendar-wise.”