X-Message-Number: 14275
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 12:10:41 EDT
Subject: INC tax exemption etc

Wakfer has clarified a couple of issues I raised. Further on tax exempt 
status of INC:

Not being a lawyer, I can't offer any legal opinions, and am not intimate 
with the legislative and regulatory details. However, certain things seem 
perfectly clear at least on a common-sense basis.

INC has contracted to allow 21CM exclusive marketing rights to any useful 
results of INC research, the hippocampal slice cryopreservation project. In 
other words, some of the money is provided by individual donors who may then 
take a tax deduction, INC being a 501(c)(3) organization. Some of the money 
is provided, indirectly, by the U.S. taxpayers, because of the tax 
deductibility of the donations--and this gift is generally unwitting and 
unwilling. The commercial benefit potentially goes to 21CM, meaning its 
shareholders and management. Donors to INC could even find themselves paying 
through the nose for cryopreservation services using INC/21CM procedures or 
services, these having been licensed by 21CM to other for-profit companies 
including BioTransport, perhaps. This cannot be kosher.

If this sort of thing were generally allowed, then, for example, IBM could 
contract out some of its research to a tax exempt university, in return for 
exclusive marketing rights. The research would be paid for, in part, by 
donors to the university, e.g. alumni--again, generally, unwittingly and 
unwillingly. IBM's shareholders and management would reap the benefit. This 
CANNOT be the intent of the original legislation or of the regulatory 

In the case of INC and 21CM, some involved will care and some will not. Some 
may just want the research done at any cost--better to be relatively poor and 
potentially immortal than relatively rich and soon slime, and it doesn't 
matter who gets the money. But of course the choice is not that simple, and 
some would care even if it were that simple.

The conflict has now escalated in view of the reported impending change, with 
Dr. Pichugin slated--according to Wakfer--to work in future directly for 
21CM. I suspect that some prospective donors to INC will consider themselves 
suckered unless they get some 21CM stock in return. 

All of this does not imply that everyone agrees it is likely that INC or/and 
21CM will produce results warranting that focus for their own discretionary 
funds. There will be more detail on this in the next issue of THE IMMORTALIST.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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