X-Message-Number: 28718
Date: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 13:08:53 -0500
Subject: Refusing Membership

  Refusing Membership in a cryonics organization
is a very serious matter and it is not something
any of us at the Cryonics Institute would take
lightly. But our first responsibility is to our
current Members and Patients.

   A year ago the conduct of Jon Despres was such
that the Directors of our organization felt that his
Membership and possible conduct was potentially
detrimental to CI. I felt that there were indications that
Jon would reform and that his Membership should be
re-considered in one year. At the end of November
the Directors decided that a recent solicitation
of money for an ill-considered cryonics project
by Jon showed that he had not reformed adequately.
Jon is a young man and his life is not in danger,
as far as we know. The majority opinion was that
if Jon were appropriately informed of his behavior
and given another year to demonstrate improvement
his Membership might be appropriate. We would
reconsider his Membership in November 2007.

   In response to this, however, Jon has made threats
of lawsuits and of destroying CI that do not bode
well for his future Membership. I regret this situation
because I hate the thought of denying anyone Membership.

  If Jon has made the Cryonics Institute the beneficiary
of his insurance policy, this was done without our
knowledge or consent. We have never seen the insurance
policy to which he refers. We suggest that he change
the beneficiary of that policy to someone other than
the Cryonics Institute.

   The only other person who the Cryonics Institute has
ever prohibited Membership to has been Gareth Nelson.
Gareth over-paid his Option Two Membership through
PayPal when he joined initially -- 3 payments totaling
more than what was required. This was his mistake,
not CI's. CI's Facilities Manager Andy Zawacki
suggested to Gareth that we could refund the amount
of overpayment. Instead Gareth demanded a full refund
of all the fees that he had paid and threatened our
organization with legal action. Our Membership fees
are normally non-refundable, but in this case we gave
him a full refund and told him that future Memberships
from him would not be welcome.

  The Cryonics Institute did not make any PayPal
charges to Gareth, all PayPal charges were initiated
by him. CI does not steal, through PayPal or
otherwise. Our integrity and reputation are
important to us.

  It is an understandable mistake for someone to
accidently pay twice or misunderstand the
instructions. Such errors can be rectified. It
is also possible to rectify misunderstandings that
have resulted in ill-will. Gareth did not respond to
my last e-mail message to him on 3-August-2006.

  I think Gareth understands that he overreacted in
his accusations. I want to acknowledge his
intelligence and interest in advancing cryonics. But
I also want him to acknowledge that CI does not
steal and that the PayPal charges he incurred were
entirely the results of his actions.

  Because I am making an official statement on
behalf of the Cryonics Institute after considerable
discussion with our attorney and Directors, it would
be too difficult to engage in a back-and-forth
argument about these matters. Therefore I do not
expect to be posting any more on this thread.

   -- Ben Best, President
      Cryonics Institute

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=28718