X-Message-Number: 10018
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 00:42:44 -0400
From: Saul Kent <>
Subject: Credibility And The Sale Of Cryonics

        George C. Smith asks (10008): "Is there any historical
evidence to support the hypothesis that because something is
scientifically demonstrated to be 'true' or 'workable' that it is then

        The answer is that many medical advances have 
been embraced by the medical establishment, the media
and the public after they have been demonstrated to be 
"true" or "workable".  Examples include kidney, heart and 
liver transplants; cancer chemotherapy, cardiac bypass 
surgery, and effective AIDS drugs.

        In fact, some advances have been embraced by the 
public *before* their acceptance by the medical establishment.  
A good example is vitamin supplementation, which grew enor-
mously in popularity in the 1970s and 80s, in spite of constant 
propaganda by the medical establishment that taking vitamins 
is "worthless".  The main reason for this is the growing scientific 
evidence for the health and medical benefits of taking vitamins 
(and other nutrients), which, in the 90s, is finally winning the 
medical establishment over.

        Smith insists that the successful sale of a product is not a
matter of scientific credibility, but of appeals to emotion. He suggests
that we look to "successful life insurance salespeople" for advice about
how to sell cryonics.

        I agree that attempts to sell a product need to appeal to 
emotions to be successful.  I also agree, as many Cryonet posters 
have pointed out, that there are strong emotional reasons which
keep many people from signing up for cryonics.

        I disagree, however, that scientific credibility is not important.
in selling a product.   A number of years ago, Irving Rand, a highly 
successful life insurance salesman in New York, made a major effort 
to sell cryonics, but failed.  The reason was that cryonics lacked 
credibility, not that Irving was a bad salesman.

        Actually, the best person to talk to about selling cryonics 
is me.  Why?  For several reasons.  First, because I have been highly
successful in using scientific evidence to sell vitamins.  So success-
ful, in fact, that I (and my partner Bill Faloon) are now able to invest 
about $1.5 million a year in life extension research, much of it for
cryonics research.

        Second, because I've had considerable experience selling
the concept of extending lifespan.  I've sold memberships in the Life
Extension Foundation, two books (The Life Extension Revolution and
Your Personal Life Extension Program); dozens of life extension
conferences; and  cryonics itself.  I sold cryonics in the early era of 
the movement (the 1960s and early 70s) as a leader of the Cryonics 
Society of New York, and played a signficant role in selling cryonics
in the 1980s and early 90s (when I was active in Alcor). This was the 
time of most rapid growth in the cryonics movement. 

        I also know, and have worked with others who have been
successful (relatively speaking) in selling cryonics over the years,
including such people as Bob Ettinger, Curtis Henderson, Jim Yount,
Art Quaife, Mike Darwin, Brenda Peters and Keith Henson.

        When cryonics is backed by hard scientific findings
published in peer-reviewed medical journals,  demonstrating good
preservation of brain ultrastructure, I believe it will be easier to sell =

cryonics than it is today.  When Suspended Animation is perfected, 
I think it will be *very* easy to sell.

        Thomas Donaldson (9998) contends that I have been
arguing that "no one will take up cryonic suspension until we prove
it is reversible."  That's not my opinion at all.  I simply contend that
the more scientific evidence there is that cryonics will work, the 
easier it will be to sell.

---Saul Kent  

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=10018