X-Message-Number: 14850
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2000 12:36:32 EST
Subject: sideline businesses

In Message #14839,  "D. den Otter" <> reiterates  his 
advocacy of a new full-service European cryonics organization, and also 
suggests that cryonics organizations should go into sideline businesses, 
including MLM (multi-level marketing) for income.

First, I still think that, on a near-to-intermediate term outlook, it would 
be foolhardy for Europeans to rely on a new European organization. It makes 
much more sense for individuals there to join an existing organization, and 
then, if they wish, also pursue the goal of European full service, either 
through a new and separate organization or through a European branch of an 
existing organization.

But right now I want to focus on the idea of sideline businesses. This has 
often been suggested, and in fact Alcor is already in at least one sideline 
business, viz., the real estate business. As I understand it, Alcor has in 
interest in the entity that owns the building in which it leases space, the 
remainder being leased to other tenants. Apparently this has been very 
successful so far, owing to Dave Pizer's expertise and guidance. In  terms of 
financial results to date, it has been superior to CI's policy of owning its 
property free and clear--no mortgage, no debt, no landlord. Nevertheless, the 
real estate business is just another business, and any future venture might 
or might not be successful. More importantly, any sideline business might 
have the potential for conflicts of interest, which should by all means be 

How about partly overlapping businesses, such as sperm banking? Again it's 
just another business, despite the overlap, with plenty of competition and a 
potential for conflicts of interest. One can make a case for it, but it 
certainly isn't clear-cut.

If an individual, or a consortium, wants to start a business and allocate 
part of the profit to a cryonics organization, that's fine. But nothing new 
is involved; this has always been possible, and to some extent has always 
been done.

As for Mr. den Otter's statement that existing sources of revenue are 
inadequate, I suggest he review Cryonics Institute's financial statements 
over the years. We are not only holding our own, but gaining. 

None of this is intended to disparage or discourage new initiatives. New 
ideas, or old ideas in new hands, certainly have the possibility of gain. But 
newness for its own sake has no special merit, and risks loss of money and 

We can't just say, "If it aint broke, don't fix it." Something that isn't 
broken could still be improved, maybe greatly improved. But I would strongly 
advise caution on the part  
of newcomers, and a study of history. 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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