X-Message-Number: 12648
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 04:03:17 -0400
From: Michael Darwin <>
Subject: The Lone Wolf

Someone so dehumanized by the cruelty of this world that he calls himself
"Driven From the Pack" wrote the following and deserves a response

>Mike, I am one of those people who inspire dislike in
>others. In case my email address doesn't give away my
>thesis, here it is:  I am not a pack animal. I am an
>atheist, and a contrarian. 
>Humans are animals, and those whom they sense are not
>"of the pack," are driven away. Those  outsiders ARE
>treated cruelly, just as the animal whose smell is
>wrong is savagely bitten and forced away, so too do we
>cryonicists feel the cruel slings and arrows of

When I was very small, perhaps six years old, I saw a print on the wall of
my favorite cousin's living room called The Lone Wold by an artist named
Alfred Kowalski ( a fellow polish jew). I felt a sense of utter
understanding in looking at that print: there are no words for it. 

My cousin was an outsider too. She bought me my first chemistry set
(against my parents' express wishes) and she communicated something to me
of what it is to so different that you will always be alone. She never
married. She was a diabetic. She lived down the street from us. When I was
maybe 7 or 8 years old I noticed milk and bread stacking up outside her
front door, and the kitchen lights on during the day. It was a beautiful
summer day and the scent of flowers filled the air.

I found her dead in the bathroom, probably from a valsalva maneuver. She
had been dead about a week in the summer heat. I dream of her often alive
in her gentle sadness. I always feel I failed her in some way in those
dreams. But this not so. It is just a dream.  

I kill dogs and I hurt them. It is my job and I was made to do it. To do it
well I have had to love them, and to know them better and deeper than most
men ever know each other. I respect them more than I do most humans, and
I've loved more of them than I have human beings. They are pack animals.
There is community in that and for most, but not all of them, more peace
and more happiness than isolation in seperate runs. We community house,
which means that there is a social order and an alpha dog. When the
caretaker is there, he is the alpha, and he is a kind and gentlle man who
has a wonderful way with the dogs.  

Still, it is hard life, and no one, no one, escapes the constant struggle
for status and for safety. Those in the middle with no ambitions can still
fall lower. The alpha is always open to challenge. It is not an easy life. 
Sometimes this ends in death; thankfully this has only happened twice in 6
years, and not at all for the last 3 years.

The alternative is to isolate dog, intensely social animals, for their
safety, and in so doing drive them insane with repetetive behavior, endless
barking and sometimes self-mutilation. THAT is what happens when you
isolate a social animal from the pack, be it dog or man.

Human outsiders will often band together, and will work to "tame" or
"channel" the struggle for dominance and social acceptance with great
success. This means that they do not inspire in *each other* the desire to
be hateful and cruel. They usually externalize it, instead. I was listening
to the French Singer Edith Piaf the other night; there I was in France,
carefree. Hitler was laughable little outsider who no one took serioiusly.
Outsiders who have been treated cruelly sometimes *do* gain alpha status;
it is a strange world we live in.

Cryonicists, as a group, disproportionately treat each other with more
interpersonal savagery than *any* other group of outsiders I've been a part
of. It reminds a little of the old movie about homosexual life before
Stonewall called THE BOYS IN THE BAND. It is not pretty, and it knows no
equilibrium, and no end.

Ettinger would know none of this since he is not a social animal. He does
not travel, intensely socialize, or really get to know people intimately. I
doubt whether there are more than a handful of people in all of cryonics
that have ever had an intensely personal conversation with him, or feel
they know him initmately and lovingly as a friend. To be admired, or even
worshipped, is not to be loved personally. Dogs do that well, and some
people do it well. If you find it, hang onto it.

>Just because we do not belong does not make us wrong
>in wanting to live. 

No. And I never said it did. But self-destructive savagery and irrational
acts of cruelty and denial of reality can make you *undeserving of living.*

And, like it or not, being at odds with the mainstream can kill you. I am a
homosexual, an athesist, a manic depressive, posess an aesthetic sense and
worldview most people find unbearable, and am brilliant at sensing the
softest, most vulnerable part in a person and using that to cause enormous
pain. This mixture of traits is not conducive to one's survival. 

Poor Matthew Shepherd was just gay and he was beaten and strung up in a way
not even the cruelest of human society would tolerate if done to an animal.
This is the reality we must live with. It must change if technological
civilization is to endure and prosper. But that change is decades away at
the earliest.

>You used to revel in your outsider status. Did you
>just get wise, or just get old?

Both. The Lone Wolf does not hang above my desk anymore as it did at Alcor
and at 21CM for so many, many years, and before that above my workspace at
home. In its place is an oversise framed blow-up of an illustration from
TIME magazine from a year or so ago. It shows a human brain in an icy blue
background with a ticking stopwatch overlaying the cortices, and a film of
Ramon Cajahal's silver stained neurons. It is very beautiful to me; it was
painted to illustrate an article on emerging modalites for treating stroke
and cerebral ischemia.

That print is a reminder that I have no time for ennui or sadness. That
there is very little time left at all for me, and less for others. It is a
reminder of the goal I have set out to achieve and a reminder that when I
achieve it I can stop killing and hurting that which I love and respect as
much as I do my own life.

I will always be an outsider because I really have no choice. But time and
experience have taught me a degree of ruthlessness and cunning that I will
use without hesitation until I achieve the goal now illustrated above my
desk. The dogs too have taught me the necessity of this; they are cunning
and cruel to each other.

The universe was not designed to *make* us happy. It seems to allow for
that possibilty. But, first you must know what happiness is. Long ago I
gave up on wanting acceptance from the world. More recently I learned the
folly and the foolishness of fame, with or without power.

Now, I just want to achieve the goals I have set for myself. Credit is
unimportant. Fame is undesireable. POWER is everything. He who guides the
rudder and pilots the boat BACK from the shores of Lethe will be the
ultimate outsider. But he will also be one of the most powerful people in
the human world. 

That is enough for now.

Mike Darwin

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