X-Message-Number: 20437
From: "John de Rivaz" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: Cryonics funding
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 11:11:06 -0000

> From: James Swayze <>
>If the lump sum invested
> with the investment financial institution were legally willed to the
> organization, or better yet was actually owned by that organization via
> prepayment and the interest upon special agreement reverted back to the
> originator, how could creditors and family have a chance at grabbing said
> sum? Would their be any legal problems setting this up?

The stock answer to any plan like this which sounds like perfectly good
common sense is that "it would be legally unsafe". I am sure that you would
get this answer from any organisation you care to mention, cryonics or
otherwise. All anyone can do is to have a trust (either privately or as part
of life insurance) where the capital remaining on their death goes to the
cryonics organisation and the income to themselves, but like any legal
document such a trust isn't totally safe. (The "income" is negative with
life insurance, of course, and is the premium.)

Any cryonics organisation would also tell you that as far as cryonics is
concerned wills are not worth the paper they are written on, and certainly
not the fees charged to write them. All any legal document such as a will or
a trust (whether it is associated with life insurance or not) - is, is an
invitation to sue. The greater the amount of money that is involved the
greater the  cost/benefit risk of suing improves as far as the litigator
initiating the process is concerned.

Cryonics organisations haven't got the extreme wealth needed to defend law
cases, so they have to err on the side of caution and do as little as
possible that might cause one to occur.

In addition, the financial arm of the legal profession have made it very
difficult and expensive for any organisation to offer anything which can be
construed as a financial "product". This applies however ridiculous such
construction may appear to ordinary sensible people.

These problems are by no means exclusive to cryonics, and many commercial
organisations appear to be producing legally checked stock answers to
comments, complaints or suggestions from customers. These answers often have
little bearing on the question or comment raised, and are just repeated if
the customer tries to converse. Whereas the PC may have liberated
communications the law, or more precisely **fear of the law**, is bringing
all activity in the USA and similar countries such as the UK, to a slow
grinding halt.

The USSR banned technologies of communication from its citizens. Had it
succeeded in invading the USA and carried out similar bans, then resistance
would have been extreme I am sure. However the concept of "free speech" is
becoming a thing of the past. Although the idea of "the right to free
speech" is still often used and probably exists, people are becoming
**afraid** to speak out on many subjects. Company meetings are no longer
properly minuted, and people are as afraid of lawyers as they were of the
KGB in Russia. Even discussing methods to ensure that you are running your
business within the law can be construed as "conspiring to **get around**
the law."

So it is not reasonable to expect too much common sense from cryonics
organisations. They are not free to use it.

It is not the fault of their legal advisors either - there is no point in
shooting the messenger.

What is needed is revolutionary change in the way society is regulated and
governed, and that is outside the remit of cryonicists. Things may well get
very much worse before they can get better, and we just have to weather the
storm as best we can. The concepts of communist state control have not gone
away, they are still with us. But there is no "Moscow" to attack, it is now
a cancer within human society as a whole. Civilisation may just choke up, or
it may recover. If the latter occurs, cryonics will still work, if the
former then it certainly wont. It is just another factor in the "Drake
equation for cryonics."

Sincerely, John de Rivaz:  http://John.deRivaz.com for websites including
Cryonics Europe, Longevity Report, The Venturists, Porthtowan, Alec Harley
Reeves - inventor, Arthur Bowker - potter, Holistics, de Rivaz genealogy,
Nomad .. and more

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