X-Message-Number: 1123
Date: 10 Aug 92 22:36:45 EDT
From: Charles Platt <>
Message-Id: <>

To: Kevin Brown
                     Announcing Alcor DC 
The first meeting of a new cryonics group in the Washington, 
DC area was held on the afternoon of Sunday, August 9th, 
1992. Twenty people were present, including out-of-town 
guests Michael Darwin, Saul Kent, and myself (Charles Platt). 
The meeting was hosted by an Alcor member who prefers not to 
be identified publicly as a cryonics advocate. A couple of 
attendees (a doctor and a biochemist) also wanted to keep a 
low profile. I have a hard time remembering people's names 
anyway, so I was happy to omit them from this account. 
The DC group is largely the creation of Brenda Peters, who 
telephoned many people in the area, urging them to 
participate. Thanks, Brenda. 
The meeting began with self-introductions from the out-of-
town guests. Saul described his current situation ("I sell 
vitamins by mail order, and the FDA wants to put me in jail") 
and then embarked on an inimitable personal history of 
cryonics, including the Dora Kent debacle ("The local coroner 
wanted to put *everyone* in jail"). Unflappable and 
unstoppable, Saul finished with a brief overview of current 
political infighting at Alcor, and offered to give away 
copies of his book of complaints against Carlos Mondragon "to 
any member of Alcor who might be interested." 
It turned out that there weren't any Alcor members present. 
(A couple of people later mentioned that they had started the 
sign-up process). Mike Darwin quickly backtracked and gave a 
slightly more reassuring introduction to cryonics, explaining 
the feasibility of it and emphasizing unity, harmony, and 
freedom from current litigation. 
I introduced myself, then each attendee gave a brief self-
introduction. Among them were a commercial space consultant 
from the Los Angeles area, who had moved to DC three years 
ago; a physics teacher; a doctor; a builder of trade-show 
exhibits who had been interested in cryonics for 10 to 15 
years but had never done anything about it; a man from the 
Army Corps of Engineers, who had found out about Alcor 
through his local public library; an attorney; a musical-
instrument salesman; a liquor clerk who calmly described how 
he had managed to obtain stem cells from his mother's brain 
and store them cryogenically; a secretary in the Department 
of the Army, who had no personal interest in cryonics but 
wanted information about it for a science-fiction novel that 
she was writing; a young man who was studying for a Masters 
degree in personnel management and had heard about Alcor 
through an article I wrote in a science-fiction magazine; a 
deputy sherriff who had been turned on to cryonics by an old 
episode of "The 6 Million Dollar Man," in which Andre the 
Giant was frozen and thawed out; a computer engineer who had 
become interested in cryonics through The Whole Earth Review 
and had polled half-a-dozen physicians affiliated with Johns 
Hopkins, who told him it was "a dangerous fraud"; a man who 
owns a small business installing TV antennas; a biochemist 
who said he had been interested in life extension and 
cryonics since around 1980, but had been put off by the lack 
of facilities in the immediate area; and a teenager who said 
she liked the idea of cryonics as a way to see the future. 
The self-introductions were interesting, but they took a 
while, so there was a short break for snacks and soft drinks. 
Then the meeting reconvened and got down to specifics. 
A vote affirmed that almost everyone was interested in 
starting a group, and almost everyone was willing to pay 
dues. A treasurer was elected. Annual dues were set at $60 
($20 for students). An attorney offered to incorporate the 
group. Someone volunteered a permanent address (see below). 
Someone else offered use of a room for meetings. 
Saul pointed out that there are Alcor members in the 
immediate area who have not yet been contacted. It was 
resolved to do a mailing to these members, publicizing the 
group and inviting them to get involved.  
There was a lot of discussion about the name of the group. 
The attorney suggested that the name should not contain the 
word "Alcor," because he felt that Alcor sounded unstable. 
Saul reassured people that there was only one problem, which 
would probably be resolved before too long: a number of 
activists wanted a new president at Alcor. Mike firmly stated 
that he is still working for Alcor, suspending new patients, 
and he remains committed to Alcor because there are patients 
whom he cannot abandon. I pointed out that there are 
substantial benefits for any regional group that affiliates 
itself with Alcor. 
It was resolved by unanimous vote (with two abstentions) that 
the local chapter should be a corporation; and it was 
resolved by a majority vote (with one dissension and two 
abstentions) that the name should be Alcor DC, pending 
approval from Riverside. 
Next was the matter of electing officers. No one volunteered, 
so I suggested to the man who had been most vocal in his 
dissension that he could be the acting chairman. He agreed 
and was elected by unanimous vote. 
The next meeting of Alcor DC will be on the first Sunday 
after Labor Day. The place and time will be announced.
The mailing address for Alcor DC is 26 North Summit Avenue, 
Suit #210, Gaithersburg, MD 20877. 
My personal impression is that the group needs one committed, 
enthusiastic individual to drive it along. Right now, there 
are about a dozen people who are interested and willing to 
pay dues, but none of them seemed willing to invest very much 
time. On the plus side, though, the group contains an MD, a 
biochemist, an attorney, a deputy sherriff, and an EMT--a 
useful range of skills. 
If the next meeting attracts more people, one of them may 
have the necessary dedication. Later this month, a 
promotional promotional mailing will be done to people in the 
immediate area whose names have been supplied by Alcor in 
If the DC group does sustain itself, it will be the eleventh 
Alcor chapter (the others being located in Los Angeles, San 
Francisco, Arizona, Indiana, New York, Florida, Nevada, 
Boston, Great Britain, and Australia--did I miss anyone?). 
This coming Saturday, there will be an inaugural meeting of 
yet another new chapter, in Philadelphia. This, too, is the 
result of active work by Brenda Peters. Obviously, it's a 
period of unprecedented growth for cryonics. 

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