X-Message-Number: 3338
Date: 23 Oct 94 11:15:58 EDT
From: "Clifton  G. Clue Jr" <>
Subject: CRYONICS  truth in advertising

The following posting is from Mike Darwin:

Dave Cosenza writes:

snip, snip, snip....

>> Cryo-Span consisted of essentially two active people: Curtis and Saul. 

>This was in the midst of a long description of how the two of them were
>doing *everything* all by themselves while no one else did anything but
>bitch moan and get in the way.
>Then yesterday in his reply to Dave Pizer, Mike said that CSNY was not 
>of false advertising because they had all the engineers, physicians, and 
>scientists they purported to have in their brochures (he gave several 
>He makes it sound as if these people were at CSNY's beck 'n call. So which 
>it, did they have the people or didn't they? You can't have it both ways.
>The full context of both posts is available for all to see.

No conflict here at all, Dave.  This is the difference between a consultant 
and someone actually  doing the work.  I have quite a number of experts and 
consultants available to me.  I can call up some of world's leading minds 
on cerebral resuscitation, cerebral function monitoring (just had dinner 
with one the other day) cryobiology,  and so on.  But they do not do my 
experiments for me, sit up for 36 hours with a critically ill animal, enter 
and graph data, sweep the floor, clean out the kennels and so on.  Nor do 
will they be there to bail me out if my business goes down the tubes.

This does not make them worthless, or even invaluable.  On the other hand 
it doesn't get the floor swept or the experiments physically done.  There 
was the implication that Cryo-Span did not have these people available as 
experts.  They did. What they did not have was people willing to do WORK, 
particularly not for free.  This not new.

Finally, to both both Daves and everyone else too: the history and 
evolution of CSNY and Cryo-Span were complex and did not run to completion 
over night.  When I first got involved with CSNY in late 1967 early 1978 I 
still felt there was a chance they could make it.  I think Saul still felt 
this way (a guess) although Curtis waspretty black with occassional bursts 
of hope.  When you are in the midst of an endeavor that is all-consuming in 
your life and is the cornerstone of your dreams, objectivity is difficult.  
I would have (as an outsider) shut up shop and called it a day long before 
Curtis and Saul did.  Alomst anybody involved in a failed start-up will 
tellyou how difficult it is to a) realize you aren't going to make it, and 
b) quite when you "rationally" should.

It is not, however, easy to know when to quite.  And this history of 
pioneeriung efforts is replete with nothing short of miraculous 
turn-arounds and last minute saves.  Working under similarly bad starting 
conditions with Alcor circa 1981 I did not walk away nor did the others who 
helped, who were very few. According to Dave C's learned remarks on the 
importance of *adequate* capital in starting a business; we didn't have any 
and by all acounts we should have failed, and we damn near did, several 
times.   At the begining both Alcor and CSNY (from my perspective anyway) 
had much in common.   In fact, it could be argued that in some ways Alcor 
was at a worse disadvantage in that the climate of hostility towards 
cryonics in 1981 (following the failure at Chatsworth) was particularly 
bad.  If it hadn't been for Jerry Leaf's technical expertise and month-to- 
month money (paying the rent) my technical expertise and time (and to a 
lesser extent money) and later to Hugh Hixon's time and technical 
expertise, Alcor would not have made it eithe out of start-up (i.e., to the 
move to to Riverside). 

As I reflect on the past I note that a number of unique circumstances 
prevailed to help make a large difference in Alcor's case:

1) I knew about a lot of mistakes NOT to make as a direct result of my long 
experience with CSNY and with having started several failed or less than 
successful cryonics organizations in the past.  This learning baseline was 
immensely important.  For one thing, if nothing else it prepared me 
psychologically for how HARD and LONG and SLOW the effort would be.  I was 
not disappointed.

2) The technical expertise and committment of key people was better than 
with CSNY.  While Curtis and Saul were very comittted, they did not have 
biomedical expertise and this detracted from the credibility of the 
operation.  Jerry (to the greater extent) and I had these skills and were 
able to use them.

3) My homosexuality (and single status during this period) and accompanying 
single and single-minded lifesytle left me an enormous amount of time and 
energy to plow into Alcor during the critical start-up years.  While Hugh 
was not gay, he was single and unattached, and he too could focus his full 
efforts on Alcor.  

4) The personal lives of all of the principals were reasonably stable.  
Marital difficulties, psychological or substance absuse problems, did not 
interfere with work early on during "start-up time"; and work was the 
principal if not the only activity of our lives during this period.  The 
principals in CSNY had children and careers which tugged at at them, as 
well as serious personal problems in some cases (family and otherwise) 
which complicated and compromised their effectiveness.

5) Most of the early patients we had to contend with were neuro (again a 
lesson from the past! and a not "obvious" one) and were funded.  Storage 
expenses during the start up years were not overwhelming.  Furthermore, we 
were working with "mature" storage technology (thanks in no small measure 
to Curtis) which did not require a constantly running vacuum pump and the 
attendant headaches of keeping leaking, costly to refrigerate, and 
generally difficult to maintain equipment going.

6) And perhaps most critically, the punishing pace of working 36 hours on 
dialysis for me  and then putting in another 40 on cryonics was brought to 
halt very early on (after which Alcor grew even more rapidly).  
Furthermore, the necessity of Hugh Hixon to find full time employment 
and/or divide his time between Alcor/Cryovita and making a living ceased 
and he was able to give his full and considerable efforts to putting out 
the magazine, engineering equipment, and generally facilitating the growth 
of Alcor.

How was this possible?  Certainly the revenues from dues was miniscule at 
this point as were revenues from all other sources?  Also, when push came 
to shove and Alcor was forced to move under considerable pressure (and 
Jerry was reaching the point of inability to continue paying the ever 
escalating rent in Fullerton: over $900/mo. near the end!) who put up 
nearly 1/2 the capital for the new building?  Who paid Hugh's and my 
salaries for YEARS during start up?  Who funded the early Alcor TBW work 
(other than the suppliesand labor Jerry and others contributed: i.e., who 
coughed up the 12-14K in CASH).  Interesting question, huh?

Answer: Saul Kent and Bil Faloon.

Mike Darwin

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