X-Message-Number: 18462
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 17:07:46 EST
Subject: Havelock & planning

Thanks to Dr. Ron Havelock for his thoughtful comments. For the moment, just 
a few brief responses to parts of his comments:

>That future will very likely include legal, religious, and 'ethical' 

[and protection of patients]

>should be a collective burden of cryonicists, not 
>one carried only by a particular service provider. 

Dr. Havelock appears to be suggesting that an "umbrella" organization might 
serve this function. This would seem to require that the individual 
organizations "insure" themselves, so to speak, by creating and financing a 
new organization as resource of last resort (among other things). The 
practical difficulties seem formidable to me.

>I hear a concern for strained and overextended resources and talent.  
>However, there are these needs that the current organizations can't or won't 


>1.  Objective, unaligned information clearinghouse. Helping users understand 

>their options and make intelligent choices. When I decided that it was time 
>to reconnect a long-standing relationship with the movement, my first 
>encounters were only with ALCOR.  From their publicity it was difficult to 
figure out what the whole field looked like and no way to realize that there 
>was an alternative service provider. I could imagine myself moving to 
>to take advantage of their facilities but it would require leaving my job, 
>perhaps my wife, my friends and everything I valued about my present life 
>except the life itself.  Not an attractive prospect. 

The CI web site includes links to all the other organizaitons. Alcor's does 
not, but that probably doesn't matter much these days. Anyone looking on the 
Net for cryonics information can scarcely help finding all the organizations. 

>2.  A charitable foundation. There clearly must be a wall of separation 
between the >service providers of today and the future, and the organizations 
>cryopreservation as a charitable endeavor.  

> It is also possible [who knows?] that an organization with a more 
>purely charitable and non-selfish purpose might attract deep pocket donors 
>a way that our current service providers cannot.

The Society for Venturism fills the bill at least in part.

>3. A persistently pounding public relations office: pursuit of every 
>opportunity to appear on radio and television and the print media.  The 
>purpose of this unit is to make us appear much larger and more important 
>we really are at present.

>[Bob, I seem to recall that your appearances on the Carson show were set up 
>by endlessly repeated calls by Elaine, in effect, bugging the show to death, 

>and it worked! Even when you were bumped, we got some free publicity.]  We 
>have come a long way since then and have done a lot that many can be proud 
>of.  The recent past ABC news item was a real gem. But there is still no 
>for sitting on laurels. 

I don't think that's right. Elaine did a lot of work, but as I recall did not 
obtain publicity by cold calling. Then--and now--they come to us; we don't go 
to them. The media people follow the leader, or occasionally some journalist 
comes up with a "new" or renewed idea. They have strong defenses against 
being solicited. We have tried mailing info packets, news releases, etc. but 
with no noticeable result. Of course, it's always possible it would work 
better in a different time by different people in different ways. 
"Professionals" have also tried a few times with no success. The "Time Ship" 
has received considerable publicity, but to what effect I have no idea.

>4. An organizational home base for those who have serious interest but are 
>unwilling or unable to commit to one or the other of the service providers 
>this time. 

Seems to me the uncommited can just subscribe to the organizations' journals 
and keep in touch that way.

>5. We need an organizational home base for those who are so geographically 
>remote from either Arizona or Michigan to have a realistic chance of 

 >CI doesn't yet have an international network of cooperating funeral 
directors [Bob, 
please tell me it aint so!].  

It is and it aint. The idea is to have a prepared funeral director near you. 
Since we are so scattered, that means that, in this country, any individual 
member (outside of the Detroit area) is unlikely to be near a funeral 
director who is already prepared. But it is hardly ever difficult to find one 
who is willing. We have prepared funeral directors in the main population 
centers of Britain and Australia, and a well prepared volunteer group in 
Britain. That still doesn't eliminate the desirability of having a LOCAL 
mortician prepared. One of the main advantages of using funeral directors is 
that they are everywhere, willing and able to reach patients very quickly on 
very short notice.

>We also need a third type of organization which can step in to assist new 
>service providers who will eventually have to be developed in different 
>regions, certainly one for Japan, one for Australia and one for Europe and 
>UK.  This incubator function could be undertaken by CI or ALCOR but they 
>their hands full already and they have a built-in conflict of interest, 
>fearing a loss of memberships and a stretching of thin resources.
The concept isn't clear to me. The people involved would have to be people 
committed to cryonics. They are already in some organization, and already 
doing as much as they feel they can. Of course, I suppose it is always 
possible that some people, new or old, might be taken by certain new ideas 
and infused with enthusiasm and therefore willing to do more than they were 
previously. Well, Ron has one of his doctorates in psychology, so his guess 
may be better than mine.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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