X-Message-Number: 24785
From: "Ken" <>
Subject: RE: # 24145 Robert Nelson [Joesph A Zarka]
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 01:58:02 -0700

In answer to your question, answer 1 is more correct. Bob Nelson was infatuated 
with the idea of cryonics and worked very hard to make it a reality. He did make
some poor decisions, the most obvious one was taking on suspensions without the
means to follow them through. He honestly wanted to give his friends; Marie 
Sweet, Helen Kline and Russ Stanley the suspension they wanted. He kept them in 
temporary suspension, busting his behind keeping them on dry ice for around two 
years. Money was not his motivation. When Bowers came around with Nisco and his 
capsule, he saw an opertunity. Placing the other three in the capsule, to Bob at
the time, was a better temporary solution for them than the dry ice storage he 
had been maintaining. 

With the money the CSC received from Russ Stanley, Bob purchased a capsule that 
would hold up to twenty patients. He needed enough income from paying 
suspensions to get a large vault and keep the large capsule filled with LN2. 
Unfortunately the Nisco capsule was leaking badly and the money needed to keep 
it going dried up before he could get the large capsule in service. If there was
any dishonesty it was in not telling Bowers that he intended to add other 
bodies to her capsule, but the capsule was donated to the CSC and it was his to 
do what he wished with it. Bowers herself abandoned the capsule and failed to 
pay the required maintenance and storage fees. She sent Bob a letter telling him
that she couldn't make payments and washed her hands of it. Bob didn't hear 
from Bowers again until 1979, after the lawsuit had begun. She won a $35,000 
claim against Bob which, in my opinion, she was not entitled to.

As for taking advantage of the potential upcoming boom in cryonic suspensions, 
Bob did prepare for that by starting Cryonic Internment, Inc., and by purchasing
the large capsule. While his main vision was to advance cryonics, he was aware 
of the potential for profit and expected to earn money eventually... who didn't?

Bob didn't abandon anybody, he did everything he could to fulfill the wishes of 
three of his friends and fellow pioneers of the cryonics movement. He did more 
than anybody else was willing to and failed. His biggest crime was secrecy, and 
was that such a great crime? Under the circumstances I think not.

I view Bob Nelson as a true pioneer in the cryonics movement. His drive and 
willingness to take chances advanced cryonics much further and faster than it 
would have been without him. Cryonics at that time was a discussion. Bob made it
a reality. The science and people were in place, they just needed a leader and 
a strong salesman to take it to the next level. Bob fulfilled those roles 
admirably. Instead of just hammering him for his failures, he should be 
applauded for is successes. I'll be the first to put my hands together. Will 
anyone else?

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