X-Message-Number: 16353
Date: Sat, 26 May 2001 19:39:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ben Best <>
Subject: My membership in CI

On Fri, 25 May 2001, Charles Platt wrote:

> > 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.

     It has not been a matter of public record why I joined CI -- I have
only mentioned it in private e-mail (including e-mail to CryoCare 
Directors and Officers, which is what Charles probably was thinking
was public). For what it is worth, I will make the information public.

    I joined CI in large part because I wanted to help the organization
improve. I am an activist not a consumer of cryonics (although I may
eventually be). "Some of my best friends belong to CI" and I wanted to do
what I could to make CI a better place. The reason I did not join Alcor
was more a matter of politics than of technology. There were ill feelings,
for which I must accept much responsibility and I felt that these feelings
would make me ineffective in the organization. I hope that time has healed
some of these wounds. Whichever organization I joined, my main concern
would have been to try to make positive contributions -- rather than
simply wait until I need service.

   I am pleased with the reception of my efforts to help improve CI. I
believe that much more can be accomplished by being constructive than
by attacking. I do believe that CI has a will to advance its 
technology, has made steps to do so and has plans for both research
and further improvements -- and that I can contribute to this. I 
would rather it be fast than slow, but I am grateful for all progress.

    I suggest to you Charles, that your attacks on CI are
not doing anything to improve the organization. One of the many reasons
that Paul Wakfer has put me on his list of people he deems unworthy of
his association is because I did not join him in attacking CI on 
CryoNet. Again, I find this behavior to be counterproductive -- and 
I want to point this out to you in the spirit of constructive suggestion
rather than as an attack on you. Mike Darwin has stated that in his
attempts to build Kryos he is refraining from publicly attacking or
criticizing other cryonics organizations. I applaud Mike for taking
this attitude, one I suspect he has learned through bitter experience. 

   I am a somewhat simple-minded person in many ways, and can be moved
by some simple allegories & sayings. A Chinese saying that has stuck
with me for many years is, "It is better to strike a match than to
curse the darkness." And I am moved by the fable of the Wind & the Sun
-- when the wind tried to blow-off a man's coat, the man only wrapped
the coat more tightly around himself. But when the Sun shone brightly
the man removed his coat and hung it over his shoulders. 

   This is not to say that I haven't got lots of anger in me -- you
have seen enough of it. But I also want desperately to survive, and
I believe that the best way to do so is to be as constructive as I
can be. 

   Again, please don't take this as an attack -- it is a suggestion.

                                  -- Ben

            Ben Best ()

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