X-Message-Number: 13190
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 2000 10:37:09 -0500 (EST)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: The Religion Argument

> Here I disagree.  Yes, you don't have product to sell in the sense of a car
> or a better mousetrap.  But religious leaders and politicians also "sell"
> people products that don't exist. Religions are even further out than
> cryonics because of what they promise. 

You seem to forget that almost all religions are founded on the Word of a
Prophet, perpetuated via a Book. This is regarded as absolutely firm
evidence. We don't have quite the same thing in cryonics; Bob Ettinger
comes closest, but with all due respect, he doesn't have quite the same
charismatic status as Jesus. It is conceivable we could go the mystical
route with some success: Abandon any idea of promoting cryonics in an
ethical, scientifically valid manner, and start a cult based around a
mythic figure (Curtis Henderson, perhaps) who ACTUALLY DID restore people
to life using some secretly developed protocol, out in a disused Titan
missile silo south of Tucson--until the Government used Black Helicopters
to shut him down. We still have fragments of his writings, guarded at an
undisclosed location, and available only to those who have proved
themselves worthy of viewing the sacred text. Presumbly, to be worthy, you
have to tithe 10 percent of your income for a few years, and undergo many
sessions of indoctrination--uh, I mean auditing--uh, orientation--before
you are allowed to progress to the inner sanctum. You think this sounds
ridiculous? Check out the Book of Mormon some time, or Scientology
advanced teachings. I am convinced that with a suitable leader, the above
scenario would make a lot more money and attract a lot more converts than
any cryonics organization constituted as currently constituted.

Sometimes I genuinely feel that this is the way to go. Why? Because it
debases cryonics to a level that many people seem to want. You want to
waste time in theological discussions about uploading? You want easy
instant answers instead of the hard slog of unglamorous research? You want
a reassuring father figure? You want false hope? FINE! Be my guest.

As for politicians: You seem to forget that they have a monopoly on power
that ultimately gives them authority over the army, the agencies such as
FBI or BATF, and indirectly, the local police, not to mention the IRS. If
we had this kind of support, I guess we would find fund-raising easy, too.

> What do you, Stephen, think of the idea of setting up another organization
> to pool all the cryonics organizations' promotion efforts together?

My name's not Stephen, but I'll reply anyway: Sorry, this seems unwise. In
a field where hardly any money is being spent or work being done, you want
to add a layer of additional administration to monitor the meager
results? Would it not be better for the administrators to get out there
and do something themselves?

Daniel, I urge you to put some of your ideas into practice, instead of
discussing them fruitlessly. Small ads don't cost that much. The Web is
free or at least cheaper. The search engine goto.com allows anyone to PAY
to have an organization at the top of the hit list, and it can be as low
as a penny a hit. This way, when someone uses goto.com to search for
cryonics, your cryo-information organization, c/o a domain name that you
can register for--$150, is it, or $75--will be the first source listed.
Then you can test your ideas on the flow of people who have searched for
"cryonics" at goto.com. Total outlay would be under $250, assuming you
already have a web-capable computer. Do it, and tell us what you find.

--Charles Platt

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