X-Message-Number: 10443
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 10:46:33 +0100
From:  (John de Rivaz)
Subject: Re: Sackcloth and Ashes Cryonics

There has been some recent suggestion that people signed up for cryonics 
should give up 90% of the luxury in their lives in order to support the 
movement financially. This suggestion has come from the ranks of the 
movement, not the leaders, I hasten to say. 

This approach has been tried and failed with much bigger groups than the 700 
or so people in the world who are signed up for cryopreservation.

The biggest example I know of is the British Labour Party who preached a 
similar sermon for most of this century (with the aim of abolishing poverty) 
and who finally rejected it before the last election. It does sometimes work 
in relatively brief periods of intense struggle, such as in Britain during 
the last world war. But the struggle for a solution to the problem of ageing 
and death is not one that is going to be solved with a big explosion after 5 
years intensive effort.

The only example I know of where these methods can work is a with a cult 
with a charismatic leader. Somehow the leader can persuade his flock that 
they should live in sackcloth and ashes and give him everything (sometimes a 
proportion of everything) they own. He drives about in a stretched limousine 
whilst his flock huddle in a barn waiting for whatever cataclysmic event he 
has lead them to beleive in. 

The Jehovah's Witnesses have survived and the group has prospered for 
decades despite the fact that cataclysms for which their members wait never 
happen. We know from "The Bible" that in Roman times Jews were focussing 
their lives on the anticipation of the arrival of a Messiah that would 
change the world. Only those that supported the church would benefit. 
Apparently someone turned up with a case for being that messiah that 
convinced a lot of the world for 2,000 years afterwards. But guess what - at 
the time he was rejected, so that the process of anticipation and collection 
of tithes could continue.

In the last few decades, pollution, global warming and asteroid impact have 
taken on the role of being concepts to raise money for research or give 
justification for regulation. This is slightly more diffuse than cults, but 
the idea is at least similar even if it contains a greater level of 

I am sure that if cryonics got a public image of urging its members to give 
up their lives' fun (or even 90% of it) to support the movement it would 
attract a lot more detractors than it does now. I know, for example, eating 
out is a waste of money, but if you want to be a part, even a small part, of 
the world around you then this is what you do.

I know of no one in the movement, and I am sure that there *is* no one in 
the movement, who totally and certainly believes that
a) cryopreservation will work as a concept
b) every specified individual who is cryopreserved will be reanimated.

Therefore to live in a hovel in sackcloth and ashes in order to promote 
cryonics, by whatever method, could be throwing the one and only life you'll 
ever get in pursuit of an impossible dream. By all means sign up, and 
support cryonics by whatever means you chose. Think something out and work 
on it, *don't be too ambitious*, and if it takes years or decades without 
any obvious result, then stick with it even if those around you think you 
are doing nothing.

Sincerely,     * Longevity Report:  http://www.longevb.demon.co.uk/lr.htm
John de Rivaz  * Fractal Report:    http://www.longevb.demon.co.uk/fr.htm
**************** Homepage:http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JohndeR
    In the information age, sharing can increase world wealth enormously,
        because giving information does not decrease your information.

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=10443