X-Message-Number: 16347
Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 11:29:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: 7th Day Adventists; Destroy vs. Build

Thanks James for the very interesting background on the 7th Day Adventists
(it is a pleasure to find actual information on CryoNet, even if it's
slightly off topic). I was aware of some aspects of the church, which is
why I compared it with a cryonics organization. I'm sorry you felt that
the comparison was unflattering, but I meant it literally: The church and
the organization may actually have an equal chance of resuscitating
people, at least in my personal estimation. I tend to think that any
biblical-based religion is an artifact based on self-delusion--but,
obviously I cannot prove that a Christian God is NOT watching me. I tend
to think that many or most of CI patients may have been damaged
irrevocably, but obviously I can't prove that either. All I do know is
that the chances of resuscitation seem vanishingly small in both cases,
and I wouldn't bet my life on either of them.

In one respect I prefer the 7th Day Adventists because at least they are
honest about themselves, as a group sharing a faith. I have no problem
with that, and I would have no problem with CI if it, too, presented
itself as being a faith. Unfortunately, their literature drags science
into it, which bothers me.

Regarding the complaint by another reader that my posts threaten to
destroy rather than build: If cryonics can be destroyed by one person
stating opinions and facts on a news group, it isn't worth very much. I
don't believe that any such "destruction" is imminent. I see CI attracting
members very rapidly. I see Alcor shooting itself in the foot, but, I
doubt that the wound is fatal, and Alcor's management inflicted it, not me
(maybe you should blame them?).

As I have said repeatedly, negative feedback is necessary in any closed
system that should retain some stability. Virtually no source of
independent information on cryonics exists right now. This is a terrible
situation. It basically means that any organization can claim just about
anything regarding the probable success of its procedures, without fear of
rebuttal; and all organizations are well placed to cover up embarrassing
facts about themselves.

Can you imagine a hospital that was run on this basis? No provision for
anyone to sue for malpractice, no control over the PR department, no
regulation by any outside agency or professional body such as the AMA, no
way of determining the outcome of procedures, no generally accepted
procedures for surgical operations and medication of patients, no formal
qualifications for doctors--you'd find all kinds of wacky treatments being
tried, and if they didn't work, no one would want to say anything about
it. That's cryonics, right now. And you want LESS commentary by
independent sources?

As for the situation re Alcor and the UK: I believe in the widespread
dissemination of information, because without information, no one can make
an informed decision. I note that after an initial angry denial that was
emailed to me personally (not to CryoNet) by an Alcor official who turned
out to be unaware of everything that had happened, my statements about the
UK have not been challenged; while Linda Chamberlain referred us to an
Alcor web page that turned out to be hopelessly inaccurate, out of date,
and misleading. Why complain to me for describing something correctly,
instead of complaining to her for inadvertantly spreading misinformation?

Also I believe my statements of fact about CI are correct; it's my
opinions that have caused resentment. But I feel I do have a right to my
opinions, and if the facts that I present are correct, they should be
presented. Of course, if they are not correct, I should retract them. But
it _is_ a fact, for instance, that CI formerly used a very high
concentration of glycerol without ramping, denied there was any need for
ramping--and then finally decided to ramp the concentration after years of
denial. Anyone with any sense would wonder about this. But, maybe the
people who are joining CI in large numbers don't read CryoNet. Or maybe,
like the 7th Day Adventists, they are just looking for a faith. At
$28,000, it's rather an expensive one.

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