X-Message-Number: 16239
Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 06:08:23 -0700
From: Lee Corbin <>
Subject: Re: Alcor's International Policy

At 09:00 AM 5/9/01 +0000, Linda Chamberlain wrote:
>For those readers of Cryonet who would like to know Alcor's International
>Membership Policy and the reasons for which this policy has been put into
>effect, please visit the Alcor website at www.alcor.org and click on

The following appears on the Membership page:


1. Question: Is it possible to become a member of Alcor without living in
the US and being a US citizen?

This is not easy to do.  One of the major problems we have encountered
over the years is the difficulty of serving persons who live in countries
outside the United States.  The first hurdle is signing them up as members.
The second hurdle is actually offering adequate cryotransport.  As
technology advances, this becomes increasingly complicated, requiring
greater surgical skills and more advanced equipment and pharmaceuticals.

Alcor works very closely with Rowland Brothers International Mortuary
Shipping, headquartered in London (with four generations of experience).
Rowland Brothers has a reputation for reliability and outstanding service
that has been expressed to us from international airlines to local
morticians (whom we use to assist us with the legal forms and transport of
our patients during remote operations).  In addition to their worldwide
reputation and network of agents familiar with the laws in all major
countries, the head of Rowland Brothers has given Alcor exemplary
cooperation and assistance.

Alcor's team and facility in England, with over 15 certified Alcor
CryoTransport Technicians, is at the doorstep of Europe and is expected to

be our first line of defense in the event of any needs for CryoTransport of
Alcor Members living there, or traveling there. Outside of the U.S., Europe
has the second largest number of Alcor members, and is more often visited
than any other area outside our own country. The capability in England
represents a major safety net for Alcor members. 

Nothwithstanding the above, the problem with providing adequate
cryotransport outside the United States results from the fact that time is
critical in preventing biological damage after the heart stops (clinical
death) in order to prevent the loss of structures that are likely to be
critical for adequate preservation of memory and identity. The great
distances involved and obstacles such as laws, embassy rules, and airline
schedules tend to work against the goal of acting quickly. 

Another problem is the difficulties of providing funding (since insurance
is usually used). This problem relates to the fact that Alcor must have
secure funding arrangements in order to carry out our primary responsibility:
Which is to protect our already frozen patients first (in any conflict of
interest, such as the needs of a new member trying to make arrangements to
become a cryostasis member of Alcor). 

In order to carry out our primary responsibility, Alcor must make sure that
our long term strength and stability as an organization is not jeopardized
by the financial problems that would result from unfunded cryotransport
operations. Alcor is still too small an organization with too little
financial strength to be able to write off 10% to 20% (or more) of it's
cash flow (like many large companies do, as a business judgement) and still
remain solvent. 

Financial security leads to the need to make sure that members have secure
funding mechanisms. This often presents problems, of course, for persons
who are trying to arrange for membership. Such problems are often even more
difficult for persons who do not live in the United States. Until solutions
can be found for these dilemmas Alcor cannot accept members outside the
United States unless they have American insurance or provide the funding in
full, in US dollars, in advance.

The one exception to this policy at this time (August 2000) is England,
where the membership is large and growing, and there are plans to
eventually form their own organization, associated with but legally
separate from Alcor and responsible for the funding of their own
membership. An Alcor Member in the UK who is an insurance specialist.
Interested persons in the UK should contact: 

Graham Hipkiss (Alcor Member) #6 Dovecote Dr. Wollaton, Nottingham U.K.,
NG15 8EF 0115-928-1019 email: 

Obtaining American insurance without being an American citizen is
difficult. Almost universally, insurance companies require (1) that the

insured have either familial or business relationships that require they
travel at least once or twice to the insurance company's country, (2) that
all paperwork be signed while the insured is in the country where the
insurance company is located, and (3) that the paramedic exam, blood tests,
urine tests, etc. be done in the country where the insurance company is

This makes it difficult for a person to acquire an insurance policy in a
country in which they do not have citizenship. Many insurance agents
(including those on our list of agents who write cryotransport insurance
policies in this country) have found that the difficulties are so
extensive, that they are not willing to put in the time and effort because
of the low probability of success (as they are not compensated unless the
policy is actually put into force). 

Because of these difficulties, Alcor has made a policy that we will not
accept an application fee and enter a person into the membership signup
process until the funding has been arranged. The $150 signup fee is good
for 6 months, thereafter, if the applicant has not finished the process,
Alcor begins to bill the applicant $25 per month to stay in the signup
process. This is our way of helping to overcome procrastination on the part
of some individuals. However, in view of the difficulties foreign
individuals will meet when trying to obtain American insurance it is seldom
possible for a person who does not live in the U.S. to complete this
process in six months (unless they are paying cash). Knowing this, we do
not feel it is ethical for us charge the signup fee unless the funding
problem has already been solved. 

For that reason, Alcor does not enter a foreign individual into the signup
process or charge the signup fee for individuals outside America until they
have resolved the funding question. Upon request, we will forward one set
of the legal paperwork that you will be required to sign (in triplicate,
when the time comes) so that you can read these over and be aware of what
you will be agreeing to.

2. Question: Can a group of people set up a branch of Alcor Outside the US?

Alcor's has a prime directive that governs all decision making: Safeguard
the cryostasis patients before all other considerations. Alcor could not
accept the liabilities and problems that would be guaranteed if we set up
affiliated groups in non-English speaking countries. With our current

funding and personnel situation, the only way Alcor can help groups in
other countries is to offer consulting services to help them set up their
own organizations. 

A substantial amount of money (in the order of $500,000.00 US, as a
minimum), for equipment, training, medical personnel, and consulting fees)
will be needed to finance the startup of such a group. Alcor would not be
acting responsibly if it took time and other resources away from its own
members in order to help build other organizations. Therefore, Alcor would
have to ask substantial consulting fees to justify involvement (fees that
could then support Alcor's other members and obligations).

3. Question: Are there other sources of information about foreign life
extension groups?

See the following web sites:



4. Question: How active is Alcor UK at the moment? Is it possible to get
training or a tour with them?

The Alcor UK group is very active, and they have frequent meetings &
training. Contact David Flude () for more

5. Question: How active is the Alcor group located in Australia? 

We do have several members in Australia, but no formal organization there.
For more information, contact one of our certified Alcor CryoTransport
Technicians who lives in Australia: 

<> (Joe Allen - Business) <> (Joe
Allen - Home)

Lee Corbin

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