X-Message-Number: 13
From: Kevin Q. Brown
Subject: reply to questions (continued)
Date: 24 Aug 1988

Here are my replies to your other questions.
                                       - Kevin Q. Brown

> Are Cryovita, Trans-Time, and the Cryonics Institute on better terms
> than their non-profit counterparts?
No.  The for-profit organizations and their non-profit counterparts are closely
allied (since they share many of the same people).
Correction to earlier posting: Cryonics Institute calls itself non-profit,
whereas I called it a for-profit organization.  The status is confusing because
CI has not yet convinced the IRS that they satisfy, for tax purposes, the
requirements for a non-profit organization.

> a) Just how few of us are there in this mailing list?
The mailing list currently has sixteen email addresses.  I do not know how
many people this represents, though, because at least one address is a message

system accessed by several (many?) people.  Nevertheless, I expected about twice
as many addresses as that.  (Maybe another 16 tried to join the mailing list,
but were unable to successfully send email to me?)

Cryonics never has been popular and that continually amazes many cryonicists.

(Max O'Connor's April, 1988 Cryonics article "Why Are There So Few Of Us" is one
of many attempts to explain that lack of popularity.  I mentioned several
others in message #9.)  Now that the nanotechnology meme is rapidly spreading,
there are many people who actually think that cryonics may work, yet they still
do not pursue it.  Is cryonics just too unaesthetic?  Maybe so.  It's hard to
get excited about something that is the second worst thing that could happen to
you.  (The worst thing being dying without being cryonically suspended.)
For me, making cryonics arrangements falls in the category of "necessary evil".
What excites me, though, besides the possibility of living a very long time,
is the opportunity to have a part in radically changing our culture.

So what about the cryonics mailing list?  My recommendation is to "hang in
there"; these are interesting times.  Even though almost all people who have

heard of cryonics reject it, and most people who understand it do not pursue it,
enough people are being exposed to the nanotechnology and cryonics memes that
cryonics is growing rapidly.  (By cryonics standards, 16 out of 4700
sci.nanotech readers (1 out of 300) is actually good.)  The next few months

promise to be especially interesting to the cryonics insiders.  The Life Against
Death conferences and the upcoming British documentary on life extension and
cryonics are expected to increase general awareness of cryonics in the USA and
likely result in a lot of activity at the various cryonics organizations.
I certainly will have enough material to keep sending out mail blasts to the
cryonics mailing list.  But you should hear from someone besides just me.
Would someone be willing to post summaries of each issue of Cryonics, The

Immortalist, Venturist Voice, Claustrophobia, or any other relevant publication?

Also, it would be good if everyone with a UUCP address (and some exposure to the
nanotechnology meme) knew about the existence of the cryonics mailing list.
I recently had Gene Spafford add the cryonics mailing list to his news.lists
posting of mailing lists.  Does anyone have any other suggestions?

> b) What percentage of cryonicists (a new spelling-checker entry for me) are
>    male?  (Males predominate at libertarian gatherings, too.)
According to Mike Darwin's article "Women and Cryonics" in the Sept. 1987
issue of Cryonics, ALCOR had (at that time) 25 women suspension members out of
a total of 95.  (He did not have information on the membership of other cryonic
organizations, since the member lists are confidential.)  Historically, even
fewer women have been members, and several prospective male members had decided
not to become members when their wives/lovers had become hostile to cryonics.
But the situation is changing for the better.  "What happens when women DO
become involved in cryonics is that they very often show a steady, relentless,
and consistent level of support which typically overshadows the kinds of
performance we get from the average male who becomes involved."  Mike Darwin
suggested that "... once a woman perceives cryonics to be a potentially
life saving, nurturing thing rather than a threat, she is the most powerful
ally cryonics can have.  In many cases it is the woman in the family that has
masterminded signing up the whole family -- filling out the paperwork and
arranging for the insurance."

> d) How does the "Immortalist" compare with "Cryonics"?  Is it necessary to 
>    subscribe to both in order to stay informed?  What is the "Venturist
>    Voice" and who or what ideas are they connected with?
Surprisingly, there is not a lot of overlap between the material covered in
Cryonics and the material in The Immortalist.  Briefly, Cryonics typically
covers hard-core cryonics and The Immortalist has some cryonics and a lot of
interesting life-extension information not directly related to cryonics.  Each
issue of The Immortalist contains the sections "Introduction to Immortalism"
and "Introduction to Cryonics".  The ACS Journal is also reproduced in The
Immortalist (but not the other ACS mailings).  I find reading Cryonics to be
necessary to stay informed and The Immortalist to be a worthwhile supplement.

Venturism is a new (less than two years) immortalist organization that is
not tied to any one of the three cryonics organizations and that seeks to
benefit the entire cryonics community.  (Achieving this requires some tact
since the various cryonics organizations do not always get along well.)
The articles in Venturist Voice tend to not be as "meaty" as the articles in
Cryonics, but the price is right and it is supported by some solid (but not

frozen solid) cryonicists.  Venturism is recognized as an official, IRS-approved
(non-theistic) religious organization that promotes achieving immortality by
technological (NOT spiritual) means.  By becoming a Venturist you can fill out
a Certificate of Religious Belief that says that you want to be cryonically
suspended, not autopsied, when a doctor declares you dead.  This cannot hurt
and it may save your life.  As to whether or not Venturism is really what you
would call a religion, well, maybe philosphy would be a better word.  (However,
cryonics actually does involve some amount of faith.  Cryonicists believe that
life and, in particular, consciousness have a purely physical basis, yet have
no proof of that.)  Venturism is not just a gimmick to enable people to claim
a religious objection to autopsy, though.  Venturist Voice also provides a
forum for immortalist philosophy, fiction, poetry, etc. and Dave Pizer,
one of the two founders of Venturism, has plans for creating a cryonicist's
"retreat" on a plot of land that he owns in Arizona.  Also, the Venturists sell
several cryonics-related promotional products: cryonics T-shirts, cryonics
buttons, cryonics bumper stickers, little yellow diamonds to stick in your car
window (Cryonicist on Board), etc.  Venturism is worth tracking to see where
it evolves.

Here is some subscription information.  You may want to ask for a sample copy
before subscribing:

Cryonics, monthly, $20./year USA, $40./year Canada and Mexico, $35./year all
others.  Make checks payable to ALCOR, 12327 Doherty St., Riverside, CA 92503

The Immortalist, monthly, $18./year USA, $33./year overseas.  Make checks to

Immortalist Society, c/o Mae Junod, Treasurer, 24443 Roanoke, Oak Park, MI 48237

Venturist Voice, quarterly, currently free.  Write to The Venturists,
1355 E. Peoria Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85020

> ... Grief, financial difficulties, memorial services, and wakes will
> continue, must be planned for and should not be lightly dismissed.
True, but the grief will not be as bad with cryonic suspension as without it.
The ALCOR publication "Cryonics Threshold to the Future" points out that
when a terminally ill patient completes cryonics arrangements, the
"situation and attitudes [of the patient and family] are tremendously
improved."  By making cryonics arrangements, the situation is no longer
hopeless and the patient and family are no longer powerless to do anything
about it.

> If anyone is really interested in exhorting the masses, I recommend
> checking out a Toastmasters club.  It's a network of people who want
> to improve their public speaking.  It's effective, it's friendly,
> and it's cheaper than the Dale Carnegie course.
Funny that you mentioned that.  As part of this year's 40-hour/year education
requirement at work, my supervisor suggested that I join the local Toastmasters
club.  You are right; it's effective, friendly, and inexpensive.  My second
talk was about immortalism (though not cryonics) and I was glad that I was able

to talk about it without alienating the people in my club.  I did not even touch
the issue of cryonics, though, because cryonics does not make sense until one
knows about nanotechnology and cell repair machines and that is too much for
me to explain in just seven minutes.

> ... I recall in "Beyond Life" by James Branch
> Cabbell that the author says that his books are for him a personal 
> immortality, that his visions, thoughts, and humor will be carried
> in the brains of his readers. ...
Here is quote attributed to Woody Allen:
  "I don't want to live on in my work.  I want to live on in my apartment."

h) Why did you pick ALCOR?
One of the first things that pointed me toward ALCOR was in the back of Engines
of Creation, where Eric Drexler gives the (then current) addresses of the

cryonics organizations; he listed ALCOR as the preferred organization.  (That is
hardly conclusive, but Drexler's opinion is generally well worth listening to.)

I was fortunate in being able to meet both ALCOR and ACS people at the (last)

Lake Tahoe Life Extension Festival and came back much more impressed with ALCOR.
The ALCOR people seem to be much more open (ie. not secretive) about their
organization.  They tell you (in Cryonics magazine and in person) when they
fail at something (such as experiments on dogs), not just when they succeed.
They give you lots of details on their procedures for cryonic suspension.
(And they have long been known as the "hard-technology" cryonics organization
that used high-tech medical equipment to support their cryonic suspensions.)

The directors of ALCOR are required to be signed-up suspension members of ALCOR,

which, to my knowledge, is still not true of ACS (and maybe CI, too).  The ALCOR
people are quite determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that suspension
members are safely suspended and preserved.  (In the case of Dora Kent, they
were willing to be hauled away in handcuffs, rather than tell the Riverside
County coroner where they had stored her, to protect her from being thawed out
in an autopsy.)  My experience with ALCOR over the last two years has repeately
confirmed my initial impression.  (The April 1987 issue of Cryonics gives even
more grounds for preferring ALCOR.)

> i) Are there any suspension organizations that operate overseas or 
>    internationally?
Here is a quick summary:
Mizar - associated with ALCOR (provides initial support and shipping to ALCOR)
   Michael Price
   54 Union Road
   Northholt, Middlesex UB5 6UE
   Tel. 01-845-0203
Pacific Cryobionic Society - associated with ACS
   P.O. Box 986
   33 Cannington Road
   Dunedin, New Zealand
   Telex, 5793 AI UNIV
   Telefax (64) <24> 778681
Cryonics Society of Canada - no cryonic suspension capability
   P.O. Box 1501, Stn. A
   Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4C3
   President: Douglas Quinn


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