X-Message-Number: 23962
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 02:56:01 EDT
Subject: Re: free suspensions for celebrities

From Steve Bridge
April 23, 2004

Re: #23947: Re: Third time's a charm on reprinting Dr. Francis Crick Letter 
    #23948: Celebrity Signup Project, Your help and input requested 

To Rudi and others,

I think offering free cryonic suspensions to celebrities is wrong.  All such 
attempts in the past have either wasted a lot of valuable time or have turned 
out badly for the cryonics organization.  Yes, it would be great to have an 

important scientist or influential celebrity who signed up for cryonics and was
willing to talk about it publicly.  But when the celebrity is asked, "How much 
is this costing you?" and he or she says, "Oh, I'm getting this for free," 
that shows NO commitment to the idea and is not influential.

If the celebrity can say, "This is important, and makes scientific sense, and 
I am committed enough to the idea that I have purchased the life insurance 

for it," (or some other funding mechanism) THEN you might have some influence.
It is also not influential to give free suspensions to celebrities who wish 
to remain anonymous. It is more likely to create immense legal problems from 
hostile families, leading to a large, potentially crippling, outgo of funds, 
without any means of recouping them through increased memberships or good 

publicity.  Death drives even ordinary, loving people to be hostile to each 
other and 
possessive of the property and memories of the deceased.  I have seen this 
happen in my own family between my father and his two siblings when their 

parents died.  And they were very close.  It took them two years to recover 
closeness.  It can be much worse with celebrities, who are often people driven 
to succeed and not always close to their families.  With an anonymous 

celebrity, you can get no promotional value, so any publicity you DO get can 
only be 
bad -- from hostile relatives.

In my experience at this (27 years and counting), offering free suspensions 
to ANYONE leads them to treat cryonics as a lark, at best.  The free "members" 
aren't seriously committed.  And in reality very few people are even willing 
to accept a free suspension.  If they were really interested, they would have 
investigated it themselves.

Cryonics is like manure.  People who seriously want it are willing to pay for 
it.  If they don't want it, offering it to them for free won't make much 

And finally:  Rudy wrote to Dr. Crick:

>I believe, Dr. Crick, that if you were interested, I could persuade the 
> ALCOR staff and board to provide for you a suspension at no cost.  For 
> the scientific validity and public relations value of the affiliation.

Rudy, I would recommend that you not put that kind of offer in writing 

without discussing it with Alcor's Board first.  I would think there is a very 
possibility that you could NOT persuade Alcor's Board to do that.  If you 
cannot, you place yourself and Alcor both in very awkward positions.

The "affiliation" of Dr. Crick with Alcor, by itself, would not do much good. 
 Placing someone like that in suspension, when he cannot promote it himself, 
is unlikely to convince anyone that cryonics is workable.  "Poor Dr. Crick.  A 
brilliant fellow but must have gone potty there at the end, letting those 

cryo-people get hold of him.  Maybe they just took advantage of him so they use
his name.  Sad."

Only if someone like that was willing to take a leading role in discussing 
and promoting it, would it be worthwhile.  Maybe.  And most famous scientists 
would feel like they have more to lose than to gain by promoting cryonics.

If you wish to put some effort into persuading scientists or other well-known 
people that cryonics is workable and desirable, please do.  Some of those 
efforts will probably pay off eventually.  But please don't ask Alcor or CI or 
anyone else to give them free suspensions.

Steve Bridge
(An Alcor Advisor, but not on Alcor's Board.  Writing for himself and not for 

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