The Minister of Propaganda and Information of Third Reich, Joseph Goebbles, believed that if a lie were repeated enough it would end up becoming the truth. This was how it was a few years before the war, with the Fuehrer energetically indicating the route to take, like a lighthouse beam amid that sea of extended arms seemed to make the minister sound right.

But time has made it a point of showing that this theory was wrong. A lie cannot become the truth. The most it can do maybe is cunningly hide it under a disguise, giving it the appearance of the truth, that is to say, wrapped up in a second lie. And actually it is this kind of lie, dressed up as the truth that manages to survive for a long time, if it were continually inculcated by people as being something certain and useful. So much more if the inculcators and inculcated do not go to the trouble of really understanding in depth what they have in their hands, only judging the fruit by the appearance of its beautiful skin.

Today it seems bewildering to us how most of the Germans from the 30's could be so easily deceived. Could it be that they did not notice the size of the disgrace hidden behind the swastika? How could they be so unaware of the hate and the desire for revenge so badly camouflaged by conceited exhortations?

The fact is that for the Germans then, the seductive external appearance of the Nazi ideology was enough for them. Their inflated egos with national pride did not leave space for any kind of deep analysis at all. Their own collective indolence smelted them into an inert, docile mass, easily manipulated in any direction. The majority really believed that, after Goethe, Wagner and so many others, they were witnessing the birth of one more genius of humanity, in their fatherland, to the world. It was common belief that the economic difficulties and the humiliations of the Treaty of Versailles would shortly be things of the past. Whoever did not share these opinions, therefore those that were not convinced by the party institutionalized propaganda, were considered as blind, ignorant and unpatriotic thus, unworthy of belonging to the Aryan race. In short they were distrusted, so the government, the people and the press made sure that any ideas contrary to the established order could never be made public.

Naturally a hoax of this size could never happen again today. With our intelligence, perspicacity and good sense we are absolutely prepared to immediately expose any attempt like that one. Still more, we count on the retrospective vision of mistakes from the past that maintains us immunized against a relapse, right?

Let us leave the Germany national-socialists and advance a few decades. The year is 1967, the month December and the eyes of the world are turned toward South Africa, attentive to surgeon, Christian Barnard's, speech that has just implanted a heart in his patient's chest, it is the heart of a person who had just died. And the unimaginable happens: the heart beats! On the donor's death, the donor allowed another person to continue living a little longer here on Earth!

In the news conference Dr. Barnard is patiently answering the journalists' questions about the subject. Until, at a certain point, one of the more daring reporters asks a disconcerting question. It is something about the doctor's possibility of having infringed some natural law, or law of God, with his surgical intervention.

Dr. Christian Barnard bears a wide smile, but does not answer. He did not need to. The contempt and the scorn revealed in his smiling expression were more than answer enough. And effective too, so effective that never again did anyone have the courage of disturbing him again with transcendental impertinences of this nature.

And so, exclusively based on supposed external successes, conveniently ennobled by thorough and coercive propaganda (just like the original teachings of Goebbels), the transplants of organs are quickly disseminated around the world. New techniques are developed, courses are made and specialists are trained. The inevitable voluminous medical treatises appear about the subject and other human organs are transplanted and euphoria spreads. Somebody innovates and presents the first multiple transplant. And the press shows, unceasingly cheerful (?), transplant patients, wearing their invariable static smiles, enjoying a healthy, new life close to their relatives. Governments start donor-organ campaigns, massively supported by the population. Nobody wants to lose the opportunity of doing something so simple, noble and politically correct as donating his or her organs.

The pressure increases to such a point that the act of donating organs, seen as altruist, becomes compulsory in many countries, including Brazil. In Germany during the 30's, the Star of David sewn on their clothes identified the pariahs of society. In Brazil, in the 90's they are recognized by the sentence “not an organ or member donor” stamped on their identity cards.

The pioneer operation of Dr. Barnard opened ground to consolidate the lie of the century, that the transplant of organs is a useful intervention and does not cause damage to either donor or receptor. The great difficulty of rejection and the countless postoperative problems are presented as details of no importance, unpleasant temporary obstacles. But rare are those that see these as clear warning signs of nature, and practically nobody seems to be worry about the possible psychic and spiritual damage that come about from such operations. And, nevertheless, these damages exist! And they are very serious, both for the donors and receptors of organs!

Goebbels counted on the Ministry of Propaganda to deceive a nation for a decade. Dr. Barnard just needed one press conference to deceive the entire world for thirty years. What difference is there if both were always convinced of the nobility and justice of their causes, corroborated in their eyes by unquestionable popular support and voluntary government propaganda in their respective periods? A crime is always a crime, independent of its motivation.

Transplants are indeed crimes against the laws of nature, and all those that participate in these macabre experiments have their share of blame, be they doctors, donors, receptors or simple sympathizers for other people's causes.

The supposition that to donate organs is a noble and altruistic act, and that the transplant is a fantastic conquest of science, does not constitute an extenuating circumstance for that crime, but make it more serious, since it contributes in making the crime socially acceptable and indefinitely practiced. Whoever shares this belief, shows that they accept any kind of novelty that appears in front of them without thinking about it, and all that is needed is for it to be beautifully presented. It is the trademark of incapacity or the indolence of thinking for one's self and analyzing about such subjects with the seriousness they require.

Roberto C. P. Junior