X-Message-Number: 23976
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 12:29:53 -0400
From: randolfe wicker <>
Subject: Celebrities can be valuable tools.

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Free services for cryonic preservation for celebrities has been the subject of 
several postings recently.  I personally think many of the objections to "free 
services" are well taken.

However, I can tell you that I shared Rudi Hoffman's letter to Dr. Crick with 
two of the nation's leading science reporters at national publications.  I got 
an immediate response from one asking to be kept informed of any further 

It would be a real coop for Dr. Crick, or any scientist of similar stature, to 
become interested in cryonics.  The controversy around Ted Williams revolved 
around the family squabble that followed.  There was a lot of publicity but very
little information involved in that news coverage.

With a scientist like Dr. Crick, the debate would focus on "why" he made the 
decision to embrace cryonics.  This would introduce the entire issue in a 
"arguments for" and "arguments against" format.  The result would be widespread 
dissemination of information.

Cryonics, unlike nanotechnology, calorie restriction, AI, and even the 
Singularity, is still dismissed out of hand.  There is a new book entitled "The 
Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Cloning" by Jay D. Gralla, Ph.D., which 
devotes its last 100 pages to "Beyond Cloning" issues--bioengineering of plants 
and people, gene therapy, pharming, nanotechnology, thoughts of Ray Kurzweil, 
etc.  Each of these subjects was explored in the "pro and con" informative 
format.  Cryonics, Alcor and Ted Williams got totally dismissed.

"Ted Williams died in 2002," the book says on page 210, "and his after-death 
fate has elements of farce, the grotesque,tragedy and seaminess-and it's an 
example of what can happen when bioengineering goes wrong."

Except for cryonics, this book turned out to be an excellent reference resource 
-although it did give Alcor's web address.  I got a basically positive 
legitimate non-charlatan profile on two pages which contained only two minor 
errors.  My ideas were presented in a concise and comprehensive manner.  That is
saying a lot given the drivel-driven level of public discussion in books and 
the press about cloning in general. Of course, those opposed to cloning got the 
most coverage.

The discussion of cryonics was totally framed by the Ted Williams controversy 
and coverage of the decapitation and holes being drilled in the head carried in 
Sports Illustrated.  

"Making the story even more of a farce is that John-Henry owed Alcor $110,000 
for the storage, says the magazine." the two-page summary in the book concluded.
"According to the magazine, an Alcor board member and advisor joked that as a 
way to convince John-Henry to pay up, they should throw away the body, send it 
in a 'frosted cardboard box' C.O.D. to John-Henry, or else put it on eBay as an 
auction item.

"As we go to press, the story continues with no resolution.  It's a cautionary 
tale about the desire for immortality via genetics and engineering".

Failure to even be "discussed" in a far ranging and generally fair book like 
this one, shows how far cryonics has to go to become a mainstream subject of 
debate in our society.

Cloningly yours,
For eternal life,

Randolfe Wicker

Founder, Clone Rights United Front, www.clonerights.com 
Spokesperson, Reproductive Cloning Network, www.reproductivecloning.net
Advisor, The Immortality Institute, www.imminst.org
Special Correspondent, www.stemcellsclub.com 
phone: 201-656-3280

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