X-Message-Number: 11399
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 10:23:49 -0500 (EST)
From: Ben Best <>
Subject: Icing celebrities

    Robert Ettinger wrote:

> Possibly the best prospects are those who have only their celebrity to offer,
> not money. Clarke may be one of those--well known and respected, but probably
> not rich. One enticement might be the opportunity to save others, or at
> minimum to help larger numbers make serious investigations. Good for the ego.
> So how do we do that, other than plain nagging? 

    What's the special advantage in lack of money? More incentive?  Are
people with money are somehow less popular? (Even if this is true, money
does command *respect*, of a kind.)

> Alcor is reported once to have offered Fred Pohl a free suspension if he would
> sign with them and allow it to be publicized. Aside from the fact that it
> didn't work in that case, I have mixed feelings about that idea. It feels
> wrong, a bit sleazy; if the celebrity really is convinced, why shouldn't he

> pay like everyone else? If it becomes  known that he got a freebie, won't that

> backfire? On the other hand, it is well known that many celebrities think they
> have a divine right to freebies, and even the rich ones demand that someone
> else pick up the dinner check or provide a free evening gown etc. All in all,
> I still oppose free suspensions for celebrities of any sort.

    I wasn't intimately involved in the case, but I feel like a large part
of the grief suffered by the BPI team and CryoCare in general was due to
the fact that Timothy Leary, even if he wasn't fully a freebie, was being 
subsidized in so many ways and we were bending over backwards to
accommodate him. For Leary, the attraction to cryonics, I believe, was the 
eccentricity factor -- but when it came to the serious practice of
cryonics it wasn't fun anymore. You may think that any publicity is better
than no publicity, but the Leary case also took a heavy toll on the
psychological attitudes of the cryonicists most directly involved. And
does cryonics REALLY benefit from being associated with New Age airheads
-- even well-known ones?

    It might be an interesting exercise to catalog all of the negative
outcomes possible from celebrities as well as the positive ones before
courting them so heavily. Celebrities are often surrounded by people who
are passionately opposed to the association of their celebrity's name with
cryonics -- and will fight bitterly (possibly even to the point of damage)
to prevent the association of the celebrity with cryonics. (This was seen
in the Leary case.) A cryonics organization may need to be prepared to
handle such a fight. Also, for some reason there are many people who
associate cryonics with "celebrities" like Hitler and Saddam -- and use
this as proof that it is could be a tool for dangerous egomaniacs. 

                        -- Ben Best 

            Ben Best ()
            ICQ -- http://www.mirabilis.com/20636141

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