X-Message-Number: 3303
Subject: CRYONICS Re: Salesmanship
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 22:53:23 -0700 (PDT)

On Oct 18 1994 21:06:32 -0400 (EDT)  wrote:

snip snip...

> Dave now brings up an interesting issue: potentially misleading cryonics
> literature. I have seen the original CSNY and Cryo-Span literature (please
> note, the company named Cryo-Span in the 1970s went out of business, and
> has NOTHING to do with the company doing business under that name today).
> I absolutely agree that the literature created an impression of
> professionalism that might have exceeded the reality of the operation in
> those days. On the other hand, of course, anyone who responded to the
> literature would have come face to face with the reality of Curtis
> Henderson's garage in a very short space of time, along with the reality
> of Curtis Henderson himself, uttering dire warnings in his usual fashion.
> The Walter Cronkite TV show dealing with cryonics was, in fact, filmed
> partially in Curtis's garage. Thus, the primitive aspect of cryonics was
> no secret. 

No dispute there, but CSNY and CryoSpan were STILL guilty of false advertise-
ing! They did NOT employ all the scientists and engineers they purported to 
have, it was an outright lie that such people were on hand whether the 
members or perspective members eventually knew the real story or not.

> This isn't really the point, however. The real point is, to what extent 
> should cryonics literature go out of its way to create a good impression?
> I would suggest that in the past, all cryonics organizations have been to
> some extent guilty of trying to look richer and bigger than they really
> are. When I wrote literature for Alcor myself, I naturally mentioned that 
> Alcor was the richest cryonics organization. I didn't mention the rather 
> home-made look of Alcor's old facility in Riverside.

There's a BIG difference between emphasizing the positive and downright
misrepresentation.  What you wrote about Alcor was true.  Your *opinion* of
the old facility wouldn't have been so relevant and some people were actually
impressed by that old facility!  Just the same, Alcor printed plenty of
poor mouthing about that place.
> I don't think this is necessarily unethical. I would imagine that anyone
> who calls a business for information expects the organization to describe
> its positive aspect first. As for the negative aspects of cryonics--I
> believe that almost everyone who has ever signed up for cryonics has
> become intimately aware of its limitations. And that includes the people
> who made arrangements with CSNY. 
> It would certainly be unethical to CONCEAL negative information about an 
> organization. But with the possible exception of Robert Nelson's group, I 
> don't think this has ever happened.

Agreed. I've always acknowledged the fact that at least CSNY didn't let
their patients rot in a cemetery like CSC.  

Between "emphasizing the positive" (ok) and misrepresentation (NOT ok),
there's also the possibility of being *misleading*. Like the things Steve
Bridge pointed out about the CryoCare literature by Brenda. Saying that
CryoCare "has" things that it doesn't implies a status that is false, even
though those things are truly available to it. Not as bad as the CSNY
stuff, but getting uncomfortably close. And now that Steve Bridge in his
politics posting admitted that Brenda absconded with Alcor's mailing list,
you guys over at CryoCare have more than one ethical problem to deal with.

On another note, I respectfully disagree with Ettinger's comments today 
about this "bickering" on the cryonet. It honestly shows that there are 
non-scientific problems to be solved, and it discloses just how fragile 
cryonics is. The usenet newsgroup sci.cryonics is the place for the purely 
"clean" discussions of technology (someone should explain this to Mike

Ever forward,


David Cosenza                                           
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