X-Message-Number: 135

From att!saqqara.cis.ohio-state.edu!compuserve.com!72320.1642 Mon Nov  6 
09:22:34 1989
Received: by saqqara.cis.ohio-state.edu (5.61/4.891102)
	id AA26077; Mon, 6 Nov 89 09:22:27 -0500
Date: 06 Nov 89 00:41:33 EST
To: KEVIN <>
Subject: CRYONICS -- cryonicists and Nazis
Message-Id: <"891106054132 72320.1642 EHI42-2"@CompuServe.COM>

[ The following message was originally sent about 6 weeks ago but somehow
  never reached my machine and it had to be sent again.  My apologies for
  the delay. - KQB ]

TO: Kevin
Originally sent 9-28-89, re-sent 11-5-89

     It  is  pretty  bizarre reading Andrew Klossner's  contention  that 
there  is some essential conflict between cryonics  and  humanity,  that 
"one  must  triumph  and  one  must perish."   Besides  the  comic  book 
melodrama  writing  style,  the man apparently understands  very  little 
about  real cryonics in this country.   Unfortunately,  it appears  that 
Mark  Robert Thorson may be equally ignorant and may himself be creating 
an unnecessary ruckus.  What is this "Cryonics Nation" crap anyway?

       It  is possible that Klossner is making all of this stuff  up  in 
his mind,  I suppose,  since I have not seen the previous conversations.  
But what concerns me more is that there may indeed be some irresponsible 
and  disturbed cryonics "fans" (not actual cryonicists) who  are  making 
these  proposals  that Klossner is reacting to.   WHO is saying  that  a 
depopulated  Earth  is  a  goal?    And  who  is  proposing  involuntary 
sterilization?  No one that I have ever met.  If true, that would indeed 
be  an unconscionable violation of individual liberties.   What kind  of 
"cryonicists"  are on this "alt.cyberpunk" anyway?   It sounds like they 
may  be merely cryonics dilettantes,  involved in the discussion because 
the argument sounds like fun, not because they are seriously involved in 
cryonics.   Assuming  their  proposals  somehow speak for  the  cryonics 
movement as a whole is like thinking that the speeches of a high  school 
class president make U.S. foreign policy.

     Anyone  who portrays cryonics as being in conflict with the  normal 
goals  of humanity is badly misguided and  completely  wrong.   Cryonics 
isn't  a religion or philosophy or political statement.   It is simply a 
technology.   It seems very reasonable that at some point in the  future 
(100-500  years) the normal human lifespan will be measured in terms  of 
centuries rather than decades.   Some few people in the world today have 
decided  that  being dead doesn't sound like much fun and that  cryonics 
may give them a non-zero chance of being alive in an interesting distant 
future.    But  that distant future will exist whether cryonics survives 
or not.

     Cryonicists  are  very  interested  in  the   continued,   peaceful 
existence of humanity, of course, since if humanity wipes itself out, we 
have nothing to come back to.  And there would be no one to thaw us out!
But  I have not spoken to one single cryonicist who believes that  there 
is  some  kind  of way that cryonicists will take over humanity  in  any 
form,  much less try to wipe out most of it.   Anyone who is proclaiming 
that is speaking from his own delusions of grandeur, and does not in any 
way speak for cryonicists as a whole.

     Perhaps  I  should  introduce myself.   I  am  Steve  Bridge,  from 
Indianapolis  IN.   I am a children's librarian by profession,  and I am 
the Midwest Coordinator for the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.   Alcor 
is  probably  the  largest and most influential cryonics  group  in  the 
country right now.   I have been involved in cryonics for about 13 years 
now, and I know all of the leaders in Alcor very well.  I also know most 
of  the  leaders  of  the American Cryonics  Society  (except  Avi  Ben-
Abraham),  and  I  have met and corresponded with Bob  Ettinger  of  the 
Cryonics Institute many times.

     Comparing  cryonicists with Nazis or Communists or any other  group 
which has prevented the expression of individuality is completely wrong-
headed.   Cryonics is not a cult or unilateral movement of any kind.   A 
cult would imply (to me) that some leadership is trying to get people to 
follow  their philosophy and politics and to believe no other way.   The 
cult would try to dictate the actions and thought of its members.

     In the real world of cryonics,  though,  we can't get agreement  on 
what  time  it  is or where to have lunch,  much less  on  philosophical 
approaches.    If  anything,  the  average  cryonicist  tends  to  be  a 
libertarian, even somewhat of an anarchist.  "Live and let live and stay 
out  of my face"is their basic philosophy and they only in turn wish  to 
be  left  alone to follow the dictates of their individual  consciences.  
The  only thing you could get any cryonicists to agree on is  that  they 
want the choice in disposition of their remains after legal death.  They 
want  to have them frozen in the chance they will not be seen as  "dead" 
by future generations.   Getting agreement on any other single statement 
is nearly impossible.   Heck,  recently,  we couldn't get nine people to 
agree  on  the  wording  for a simple statement to the  effect  that  we 
believe the human personality is essentially contained within the brain.  
How we could possibly think we could take over the world?

     In  addition,  from  a  purely  technical  standpoint,  the  entire 
argument about cryonicists somehow "getting nanotechnology" and using it 
to control the minds of others is hilarious.   Cryonicists are not going 
to  develop  nanotechnology.   It is being developed right  now  in  the 
universities  and corporations all over The U.S.  and Japan.   Sony  and 
Xerox and Dow and Genetec will have nanotechnology.  And, of course, the 
GOVERNMENT will have it.   (There,  you want a REALLY scary idea?)  That 
means  the military,  the CIA,  and various Oliver North types who think 
they  are protecting us somehow by taking away our individual  freedoms.  
Cryonicists  will be as much at the mercy of these  political/industrial 
whims as anyone else.   No matter how well things go, if cryonics works, 
it be as a mere "side effect" of nanotechnology.  

     The idea of cryonics is about as far away from nazism and communism 
as it is possible to get.   If we want anything philosophically from the 
future,  it  is  the  freedom of choice -- the freedom  to  choose  life 
instead  of  death,  the freedom to choose a life style  that  fits  our 
curiosities  and  personalities.   I  am not saying  that  every  person 
involved in cryonics is a sweet, benevolent person who wouldn't dream of 
inflicting his ideas on you.   Of course,  in any large group there will 
be  those  who  insist  that YOU WILL CHANGE and  WE  WILL  CHOOSE  YOUR 
CHANGES.   But in cryonics,  those characters are comparatively few  and 
have no power.   They may well be VOCAL; but you will just have to guard 
against that as with any other pushy person.

     Finally,  I would like to advise Andrew Klossner, Mark Thorson, and 
anyone  else  in  on this conversation to write or call the  Alcor  Life 
Extension Foundation and ask for our free information pack.   This  will 
include an excellent book,  CRYONICS:  THRESHOLD TO TOMORROW, which is a 
reasonable explanation of cryonics,  with plenty of discussion of social 
issues.   I'm sure if you have deep hostility toward cryonics this won't 
entirely  take  that away.   But it seems clear that several of you  are 
arguing without the entire story.   Let's at least argue from a  similar 
body of knowledge.

     Contact:  Alcor Life Extension Foundation
               12327 Doherty Street
               Riverside CA 92503

     Please  forward  this  reply  along to anyone  who  might  find  it 

                         Thank you,
                         Steve Bridge ()

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