X-Message-Number: 24838
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2004 18:48:56 -0700
From: Mike Perry <>
Subject: Reply to Bob Nelson and Cryoken

Ken's message #24811 with Bob Nelson's response to my posting #24789 is 
quoted, with my comments interspersed:

>For your convenience, I've copied the original post below Bob Nelson's 
>response [here omitted--MP]. I am posting Bob Nelson't response in his own 
>words. Here it is:
>When it comes to the piece written by Marshal Neel some thirty years ago 
>about the,  "Worlds first cryotorium."
>When I read those words today, I offer this. Marshal was defiantly 
>projecting an overly optimistic presentation of. 1: The completion of the 
>worlds first specially constructed Cryonics Suspension storage vault.
>Also of the flowery description of the massive cryogenic vessel that we 
>had purchased and believed would hold between 20 and 40 frozen patients.
>But so what, is this the best you can do is to find fault with a time when 
>there was no understanding of what was the best course of action. At least 
>we were doing something and that was a lot more then most at that time.

What you were doing is not what I was finding fault with, but what you were 
saying about it. It says, "Cryonic Interment, Inc. (CI), *has completed 
construction* of a multiple storage facility for cryonic preservation" 
(emphasis added). This was in your March-April, 1969 newsletter (*Cryonics 
Review*). In the Nov. 1969 issue of *Cryonics Reports* (CSNY's publication) 
there is an essay by Marshall Neel where he says (p. 13) "We want something 
operational before we begin talking about it, and we're rapidly reaching 
the point where we are going to be able to announce an existing facility. 
There will be a public announcement about the first cryotorium in the 
world, a multiple storage unit ..." It appears that Mr. Neel is aware that 
the facility was not yet complete, some half-year or more after an 
announcement that it was. By way of confirmation, in the next (December 
1969) issue of *Cryonics Reports* there is an article, "Trouble in Southern 
California?," presumably written by the editor, Saul Kent, which I'll quote 
in part (with original punctuation).

>At last years' national cryonics conference in Ann Arbor, Mich. [actually 
>held in April 1969, 8 months before--MP], Marshall Neel's presentation 
>concerned a new cryonic storage facility which, according to Mr. Neel, was 
>close to completion. Slides showing the process of construction were 
>offered, and it was stated that within a short time there would be a grand 
>opening before the media, at which several bodies then in individual 
>cryonic storage would be placed into a large multiple-body unit. Cryonic 
>Interment Inc. was the name of the company that was said to own the 
>facility; Mr. Neel was announced as President.
>Since the conference there have been continual statements emanating from 
>the leadership of the Los Angeles based company about the imminence 
>of  the opening of the facility.
>As of December, 1969, the facility has not been opened and there is no 
>evidence to indicate that it will.
>We don't know what has been going on in Southern California because the 
>entire operation has been veiled in secrecy. It is just this air of 
>secrecy that troubles us.

Bob goes on:

>As to the Tri check metering. 2: I believe he meant this vessel had LN2 
>temp. and level gauges monitoring the capsules contents. 3: The capsule 
>had an 24" port hole opening at the top allowing visual inspection as well 
>as easy removal and insertion of patients.

Okay, this is some clarification. Should have been in the original article, 
with a clearer description of what your capabilities were. You had a large 
storage vessel, bigger than those then in use for human cryogenic storage, 
with certain features.

>Two years of related research and testing by the MFG. We had at the time 
>the performance results of this capsules record of efficiency in holding 
>LN2 as well as consultations with other Cryogenic engineers.

Okay again, wish there had been more of this in the article too. I'm 
curious to know: who was your manufacturer?

>Legally we felt cemetery placement was the best choice for storage as it 
>removed the patients from harms way of the city hall and health 
>department. They were constantly warning us to get our patients onto 
>cemetery grounds, or they would take action do so themselves.

Your facility was on cemetery grounds, then. Should have stated that, and 
your reasons could have been given.

>All of the points Marshal wrote about were true.

Except to say that the construction of the world's first cryotorium was 
"completed"--or was it? I don't think you had put the big capsule in the 
vault in the Chatsworth cemetery (or that it was ever put there). Your 
actual facility in the cemetery (a vault of the type normally used for 
burial or conventional interment, if I'm not mistaken) was only put into 
service in May 1970, based on cemetery records, more than a year after the 
article in *Cryonics Review*. If "completed" simply meant the vault was 
finished, and (maybe) the capsule had been acquired but not placed, you 
should have stated that.

>Complete storage arraignments available, true. Best storage and security 
>TIME. There ( from our point of view) was nothing in the world to compare 
>it to.

CSNY did have storage facilities at the time, differing in detail from 
yours but still able to store cryogenically preserved humans.

>Yes we were exaggerating our stuff. But so what . When I look at the Alcor 
>claims I think they are overly optimistic and apparently so does the 
>entire scientific world. I think they are far louder horn blowers then 
>Marshal Neel talking about the worlds first Cryotorium.

I'm aware that different companies like to make claims about being the best 
or "top quality" and such. I'm not a business person and that whole 
advertising issue is not something that appeals to me, nor do I want to get 
involved in the various contentions related to it. But saying you had a 
facility completed when it wasn't (as seems to be the case) strikes me as 
going beyond the "horn blowing" you find in today's organizations. As for 
scientific claims, I'd be interested in some specifics of where Alcor (or 
any other cryonics organization today) is being over-optimistic. I could 
imagine the scientific community being skeptical about the claims that are 
being made--often scientists don't make good predictors of what the future 
will bring and may even act to impede progress. (Maybe you've heard the old 
saying that science progresses one funeral at a time.) I hope, though, that 
any scientific claims will not seem unreasonable when carefully examined.

>But isn't this what the game is all about, making outrages claims and then 
>going about proving them to be true?

Well, to "prove them true" they need to be true, as a prerequisite, then 
you go ahead and prove your case, and everybody (you hope) respects that.

>I think, my friends, it might be appropriate to rethink your criticism 
>from the point of view that this happened thirty-five years ago when there 
>was no other long term storage facility. We were a little excited and 
>proud and I think had earned the right to crow a little

I won't deny you had "the right to crow a little." More careful attention 
to exactly what you said in your crowing would have been helpful, however. 
As for saying "there was no other long term storage facility" you are 
discounting whatever capability CSNY possessed and I think that deserves 
more argument.

[back to Ken:]

>Bob didn't mention the suggestion that he should have moved to neuro 
>separation when recources dried up and he terminated those suspensions, so 
>I will write for him on this. The idea of Neuro separation never crossed 
>his mind. It wasn't an option then, at least not that he knew of. If he 
>had it to do over again he still would not have gone that route. Bob does 
>not believe in neuro separation as a viable form of cryonic suspension.

Maybe Bob never thought of the possibility of neuropreservation or just 
preserving the heads (or, going a step further, brains). Others had thought 
of this, though, including Ev Cooper who talks about the basic idea in the 
Sept. 1965 *Freeze-Wait-Reanimate*. Guy de la Poterie, father of little 
Genevieve who was frozen by Bob's organization in 1972, also had a 
favorable opinion on it--see *The Outlook* Jul. 1974. I don't see why *now* 
Bob would "not believe in neuro separation as a viable form of cryonic 
suspension" and would like to hear from him on this.

Mike Perry

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