X-Message-Number: 16224
Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 10:46:57 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: praise for ideas, negatives for Alcor

Hi everyone!

I have given INC money to help carry it over, too. If Ben Best wants to
know more about its history I'm happy to oblige, and I believe I am
still on the Board, though without any real power. I will also add
that the comments about an organization which would allow you to 
use a credit card to pay someone/some group which cannot get a credit
card for itself is IMPORTANT and worth paying attention to. I myself
would like to allow payment by credit card for PERIASTRON but so far
haven't been able to arrange the credit card use directly. Alan Mole
should be commended for coming up with this suggestion.

AS for the new approach Alcor now takes to those who live overseas,
it is BAD BAD BAD, for many different reasons. The least such reason
is that it means that most overseas members of Alcor are going to 
disappear in the direction of some other organization, slowly or 
rapidly. Other reasons: it's quite possible to work out ways to
deal with virtually any life insurance problem; this is especially
so because many of these life insurance companies actually are
worldwide, with branches in different countries. I say this not
because I think it will always be easy, but because life insurance
as payment for cryonics is something which MANY people have and
use, and it's THEIR responsibility, not that of Alcor, to verify
that their policies will serve. Almost all such policies by honest
companies are going to serve; so far I'm not aware of any role of
national boundaries in breakdowns of life insurance, for instance.

Not only that, but as I understand it the cryobiologist from the
Ukraine, Pichugin, will be going to work for the Cryonics Institute.
While their current methods need LOTS of work, this may not be a 
permanent situation.

I myself have US insurance, even though I now live in Australia.
This affects the issue in my case a fair bit, but I will add that
I may still, in the end, decide to change my cryonics group. I 
would do so at once if the Cryonics Institute began to get much
better means of suspension, ideally also with head-only suspensions
(my understanding of the situation is that being able to suspend
heads only by the latest methods looks like it will come earlier
than whole bodies ... and those who want to use it should be able
to). After all, I have friends who do NOT have US policies; even
if Alcor treats us just like it treats the British members (actually
likely) the real problem is that nobody wants to end up as one 
of the very few members of a society while some other society 
has MANY members.

Apparently use of vitrification requires more preparation, and this
is given as one reason (among several) that Alcor doesn't want
members without US insurance policies. The proper approach to such
a situation is to find out how to organize foreign groups so
that the extra preparation becomes accessible, not to simply abandon
them. Some of Mike Darwin's ideas, for instance, will help a lot.

Alcor has become fat and happy, not a good situation, no matter
what restricted policies they choose to institute.

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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