X-Message-Number: 13038
From: "John de Rivaz" <>
Subject: Cryonics Charity
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 12:01:14 -0000

In response to the debate about possible  charity cryopreservations, I have
composed the following.

It starts off by discussing problems, and then suggests a solution. If the
proposed charity only started with $5k and performed no cryopreservation for
ten years, then it could be a going concern according to my calculations.

This is not supposed to be a hard and fast recipe, but the starting point
for a debate that may produce further problems and solution I have not seen.

World Cryonics Service (WCS)

There has been a little interest in the concept of offering charity to
cryonics patients who are unable to afford or get life insurance. The fact
is that charity frequently begins at home and should end there if there are
no surplus funds. You should not put strangers before friends, or you lose
your friends! If you give cryopreservations to people living near you, you
are not being totally charitable. You are generating local interest and are
creating a local cryonics community. This may one day save you life - some
of these people may be around when you deanimate and be willing to engage
the local officials in the battle for your life.

However, the concept of charity today is really a form of business, those
who operate charities well are in a win-win situation - they get some
benefit themselves whilst helping others. Indeed some people who operate
charities get word wide recognition, which seems to be something that many
people crave. "Give till it hurts" Bob Geldorf comes to mind. Those who
contribute to charities are buying a sense of belonging to the world

Also, it should be borne in mind that the best way to help total strangers
is to contribute to research that betters the human condition generally.
Cancer research charities would benefit more strangers per dollar that
cancer relief charities, for example. Research into ageing would benefit
more people than cancer research because research into ageing would lead to
cancer prevention *and* prevention of other causes of suffering.

Contributing to a cryonics research project run by your cryonics provider
will help more strangers than contributing to a project that offers free

The results of all research projects could also benefit people who give them
money, but usually any individual giver is unlikely to influence progress,
so this effect is negligible.

But, how might a cryonics charity benefit the progress of cryonics?

* It could focus public opinion on the benefits of cryonics if done

* People who use concepts such as "selfishness" to impose their own opinions
about cryonics could be made to look foolish.

* It could influence individuals, employed by official bodies, who may want
to act against cryopreservations if they are doing so under the glare of
media disapproval. Suppose a local community in England had collected enough
money to send one of their number to America for a life saving operation and
an English customs official prevented the person leaving the country because
of some legality. I doubt whether any customs official who valued his
security and that of his family would dare to take such action even if the
law required it. A "blind eye" would be turned.

Therefore there are some benefits from an organisation such as WCS. But how
might it detract from the progress of cryonics?

* It could divert money that would otherwise be spent on research.

* It will divert money that will otherwise be used as an "overpayment" for
someone's cryopreservation. (Unless the money was given by someone not
themselves signed up - apparently a possible scenario.)

I think that these problems can be reduced if certain arrangements are made
in the constitution of any proposed charity, namely that it buys memberships
in advance and makes periodic pre-payments in advance to the cryonic

On the basis that the Cryonics Institute is the least expensive of the main
providers, that neuropreservation is more expensive than CI's
cryopreservation, and that neuropreservation is not publicly acceptable,
then CI is the only logical choice to be the provider for a World Cryonics
Service (WCS). If one of the other providers were to offer a cheaper service
to WCS clients then this would be totally unacceptable to their members most
of whose funding arrangements will form a substantial part of their

WCS would receive income from:

1. People who have given it money
2. People who are cryopreserved and have some money but not enough for a
cryopreservation, who bequest it to WCS.
3. The growth in its assets as a result of the world's technology progress.

As long as it has capital, no 3 will predominate as the major source of its

It will in addition receive benefit in kind from members of the cryonics
community who have professional  skills they can give to it. However once
set up it should not require much time. It should never pay professional
fees or retainers - that is not what people will give it money for. (And
which people criticise conventional charities for.) However this benefit in
kind is not part of the basic equation - it is merely necessary to keep the
rest of society from taxing or otherwise attacking it.

WCS would incorporate as a charity in all the worlds major economies,
enabling people to give it capital without the penalties of capital
taxation. If the cryonics movement feels that it is a worthwhile project,
lawyers and accountants within the movement will give it the necessary time
to do this. In some countries I understand that private individuals can
sometimes deal with government agencies that incorporate charities, although
success is unlikely. "If you want to give money to charity, there are plenty
to chose from. There is no need for your crackpot scheme" is what a private
individual is likely to be told, maybe not in these exact words. An attempt
by a UK life extensionist to set up a life extension research charity
failed, yet a few months later someone else who was part of the
establishment managed to set up something very similar, according to what I
remember hearing on a radio program. (Sorry, no more details.)

WCS will invest its money in technology stocks - there is no other sensible
investment: without technology advancement, there will be no cryonics
advancement. This can be achieved by a mutual fund such as the technology
fund run by Invesco or a technology index tracker fund such as QQQ.

Once WCS has achieved about $35k, it will buy one CI membership, entitling
it to buy one cryopreservation at the lower rate of $28k plus transport.
Once it has that membership it is ready for any deserving case requiring
cryopreservation. Hopefully it won't get any, and its funds will grow as
long as technology goes on growing. Spectacular advances in electronics,
computers, genomics and later on nanotechnology will ensure this growth.

Once the WCS fund reaches about $300k it can start pre-paying
cryopreservations for use as needed at a rate of about $10k/yr. This might
seem an odd suggestion, but it is to address the problem that it is
diverting funds from cryonics that may otherwise be used for overpayments or
other gifts. It also has the advantage to the WCS fund that once
cryopreservations are prepaid, the risk of having to realise investments at
a bad time in the market is reduced. (I recommend that anyone relying on a
technology trust fund to pay for a cryopreservation always has 30% more than
is needed in the fund to allow for market drops.) The relatively low rate of
prepayments ensure that the overall growth of the fund is not adversely
affected. At that rate, initially it will prepay one cryopreservation every
three years. But as the fund will still grow it will soon afford to prepay
at a faster rate.

Of course WCS  is more likely to get calls on the funds, before any growth
can occur. If it has not attained enough to prepay a membership, then it
will have to pay the $35k instead of $28k. If there are insufficient funds
then it will not be able to cryopreserve whoever dies at that time. That is
tough, but if the fund did not exist then the unfortunate individual would
not get cryopreserved anyway. Once WCS has used up its membership it has to
buy another, of course.

It should be remembered that the vast majority of people will not chose
cryopreservation however ill they are even if it is free. Many disabled
people would love the chance of a new body but would still balk at cryonics.
They are too indoctrinated by historical perspectives on reality. The
chances are that if WCS is initially well endowed and the one or two
patients that have been suggested live for another decade or so, then it
will be financially capable of meeting its demands. Also it should be
remembered that as it requires people who are cryopreserved to make some
contribution from their estates, the cost to WCS per cryopreservation need
not be the full amount.

Sincerely, John de Rivaz
my homepage links to Longevity Report, Fractal Report, my singles club for
people in Cornwall, music, Inventors' report, an autobio and various other
projects:       http://geocities.yahoo.com/longevityrpt

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