X-Message-Number: 16336
Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 11:34:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Yuri, Olaf, and David

Yuri Pichugin wrote:

> Eugene, you was not able to do even 1/1000 part of
> the achievements Mr. Ettinger has done for cryonics!
> What right do you have in order so spitefully to
> criticize Mr. Ettinger and the Cryonics Institute?

Anyone has a right to criticize anyone. If the criticism turns out to be
valid, it may be useful, and credentials of the critic become irrelevant.

Eugene Leitl did little to promote cryonics as it is currently practiced,
presumably because he was appalled by the way in which it is currently
practiced. However, he did dedicate a substantial part of his working life
to acquiring an understanding of cryobiology and applying that knowledge
in research. Vanishingly few cryonics activists have shown such an
interest. By my estimation, Eugene's contribution to cryonics-related
research has been greater than anything that anyone in CI has done in its
entire history. Just for the record.

Olaf Henny (I think) wrote re The Netherlands:

> I'll assert again...the mindset that welcomes euthanasia
> is not an immortalist one but a mortalist one.They believe
> that lives should end.

I'm not sure that this is correct. I think they believe that unnecessary
suffering should end. Their views on cryonics remain untested, so far as I


Re David Pascal--welcome back, I have indeed missed your bile, although
your tendency to be prolix is really quite tiresome.

In the past, as you well know (but prefer to forget), I already stated at
great length my concerns about CI procedures (such as the slow initial
cooldown which is virtually guaranteed to maximize the risk of autolysis);
therefore your statement that I have offered "zero proof" for my opinions
is without merit and should be ignored. In addition I made it clear that I
was expressing opinions, rather than statements of proven fact, since, as
you well know, the fundamental problem in cryonics is that nothing can be
proven conclusively. This lack of proof is indeed the great flaw in this
field, which CI has turned to its advantage. In cryonics, if one
organization uses a cut-rate bargain-basement approach while claiming that
its results may be as good as those achieved by a more rigorous protocol,
no one can _conclusively_ disprove this affront to commonsense. Thus has
CI prospered.

> In other words, CI is violating laws which do not exist by killing people
> who are not alive, and it ought to be sued, although it shouldn't,
> because its patients have no chance, though maybe they do.

If CI were successfully sued, obviously this would set a precedent that
would endanger other organizations where patients probably have a better
chance of resuscitation than those at CI. This is precisely why I have
refrained from writing an expose of cryonics which, I believe, could kill
a large part of the field. I certainly have more than enough material, but
there is no way to damage one part of this field without damaging it all,
since it all looks much the same from an outsider's perspective.

> Ah, the gentle tones of reason.  I do kind of thank Mr. Leitl for writing
> these things.  I think it demonstrates that the person capable of
> producing such a stream is not really the best person to make an
> objective assessment of his subject.

I think Eugene Leitl is a good scientist who is outraged by bad science,
and is so offended by what he perceives as fraud, he allowed his emotions
to influence his text. Personally I would have preferred to see Eugene
attempt an itemized, dispassionate rebuttal, but I certainly understand
the distress he expresses, and your comparison of him to a Nazi in the
Third Reich is of course utterly despicable. It is made even more
offensive by your subsequent suggestion that other people (not yourself)
are the source of personal disparaging remarks here.

> Case in point.  Charles.  Charles, like Eugene, goes around saying that
> CI patients (don t ACS or Alcor have any patients?) have no chance of
> revival whatsoever

Don't paraphrase me. I never said that, and you know it. I would never
make such a statement of fact, for the reasons already given above. No one
knows for sure what anyone's chances are.

> because I have before, in lengthy and picayune detail, during the last
> rumble; partly because such discussions immediately decay into arcane
> technical jargon that 0.001% of readers understand, and that that 0.001%
> disagree about;

Here I agree with you: It has been almost impossible to persuade CI to
write anything about CI's procedures, because you have found that you can
attract a steady flow of members while telling them virtually nothing
about the details. Moreover, since your data gathering is so rudimentary,
in many cases (such as core temperatures during cooling, or edema observed
via burr hole) you don't even have the data. You certainly can't report
details that don't exist.

> change.  In Charles' last strafing run on this list, he blithely informed
> us that all CI patients were dead meat since CI ramped in one-pass

Again, this is a complete and deliberate misquote. I never said that.

> than stepped.  Surprise!  CI ramps stepped rather than one-pass.

CI began its version of ramped perfusion early this year, after about a
decade in which it had claimed the procedure was unnecessary, despite
endless well-documented cryobiological evidence to the contrary. CI was in
the habit, probably for more than ten years, of using highly concentrated
glycerol without any ramping, which almost certainly caused osmotic shock
while failing to penetrate deeper tissues sufficiently during the very
short perfusion time that was used. CI was warned repeatedly (by myself
and others) that its procedures were a) probably poisoning the cells that
were reached by the highly toxic solution while b) probably leaving other
cells completely unprotected, so that they would be decimated by freezing
damage. Pascal responded to this suggestion with his usual mixture of
contempt for critics and breezy confidence. He now presents CI's belated
decision to ramp concentration as a selling point, conveniently omitting
CI's intractable resistance to this procedure in the past. As for the fate
of CI patients who, for a decade or more, were subjected to a bizarre
punishment in which some cells were almost certainly poisoned by toxicity
while other probably received no protection at all, one can only
speculate. It's certainly fortunate for your conscience that you have such
uncritical faith in nanotechnology.

> you do that by raising money and running tests and checking the results,
> as 21CM is doing, as (CI man) Ben Best and (CI research-director-to-be)
> Yuri Pichugin are doing at INC, and as CI itself is doing at its Michigan
> headquarters and elsewhere.

To take indirect credit for Ben Best's funding of research is despicable
and hypocritical. (How much money has CI put into the hippocampal slice
project? Doesn't anyone remember Ettinger's endless posts campaigning for
people to give money to Olga Visser, rather than the Prometheus
Project--which fathered the hippocampal slice project?) Ben did not join
CI because he was entirely satisfied with its procedures. This much I
think is public information. The rest of Ben's opinions should be for Ben
to state.

> You see, CI has gotten it into its noggin that the way to find out which
> procedures work best is to do them and send them out, blind, to
> mainstream researchers who don't have a vested interest in saying 'this
> is better than that'.

As has been pointed out, CI has made a habit of offering only its own
rather odd ideas for evaluation. One hopes that this practice may change.
But so far, CI has merely asked its lab, "Which works better: CI process
(a) or CI process (b)?" I have not seen CI express any interest in
comparing its procedures with other people's procedures. It remains an
island of idiosyncracy.

> posting.)  Alcor is very into vitrification these days, and vitrification
> requires extemely rapid cooling.  I suspect that Alcor feels that it is
> simply too tough to apply its new procedures properly on a long-distance
> basis.

You can suspect anything you want, but the fact is, future Alcor
applicants in the UK were told to shop elsewhere because Alcor felt unable
to verify their insurance arrangements in an emergency. Alcor has made no
guarantee, that I am aware of, to apply vitrification to every future
patient. Nor can it do so, since some cases (where the patient is not
reached promptly, for instance) may be unsuitable for vitrification. To
suggest that Alcor refused future UK members solely because vitrification
procedures cannot be applied in the UK is misleading, inaccurate, and

> I think the problem between CI and Alcor is a lack of clarity on the
> nature of market segmentation.

The problem is that CI's procedures are an embarrassment to a field that
is making some attempts to bury its past. So long as you avoid this issue
and disseminate the usual mixture of facile reassurance and personal
abuse, your opinions are not congruent with reality.

(skipping the remainder of the invective)

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