X-Message-Number: 5967
From:  (Thomas Donaldson)
Subject: To Brad Templeton and Steve Harris
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 1996 22:52:23 -0800 (PST)

To Mr. Templeton:

Yes, cryonicists making use of laws allowing assisted suicide may upset some   
people. If you are thinking of recruiting, then such people are unlikely to 
join cryonics societies in the first place. If you are thinking that we may
get lots of poor publicity, we've already gotten plenty of that and we still
haven't gone away. If you think that other crazies might try to shut us down,
very well. Cryonics societies have made preparations for that one, too. If
you think that the US Federal and State governments would try to shut us down,
so much for US Federal and State governments. Neuropreservation patients can
be very easily moved, internationally if necessary. All of the opposition you
suggest is temporary and fickle. 

Fundamentally, though, as someone who actually sued to get that right for 
assisted suicide, I will say that the opinions of others, including you, would
mean absolutely nothing to me if I really needed it. I do not intend to let
a disease eat away my brain to avoid poor publicity about cryonics. In fact,
any cryonics society which took your position would raise serious questions 
among cryonicists about whether or not its leaders had any intention at all of
trying to preserve those in its care and doing what they could to increase 
their chances of revival... and its leaders would either find themselves 
deposed, or wake up a few days later to find that all their members had 
gone elsewhere. 

Not only that, but I believe that EVERY cryonicist would feel the same on this
issue. Unlike YOUR society, cryonicists believe that individuals are important,
and would not willingly sacrifice any individual for something so fleeting
as public approval.          

By saying what you have just said, you show me that you haven't understood 
what we are trying to do. Cryonics is not a game, or some kind of passing fad.
We CANNOT, quite literally, be dissuaded from it by any light arguments. Think
about that: people have put up with all kinds of abominations simply to
remain alive. To me, your coming to us and suggesting that we should not make
use of laws allowing assisted suicide seems like someone in a sinking ship who

looks into the lifeboats and worries that he might get grimy if he got into 
one.You see trivialities as important and critical issues as trivial. 

I hope that you will someday come to understand. I can't promise you life if
you do. You may find, instead, obloquy and bewilderment, and much work. But
without that understanding you have marked your whole life with futility.

To Steve Harris:

One more delightful story. The picture of Leary in shackles talking to Sagan 
made me laugh, more so because of the subject of the conversation. And now
both men come to face Reality. I've never really thought much of Leary, and
only tried LSD (for instance) once, in the 60's, out of curiosity most of all.
(I haven't had lots of respect for Sagan, either, but he's certainly taken
a much more popular path). But it seems now that we get to see in their 
actions just which man has been more in touch with Reality all along.

			Long long life to all,
				Thomas Donaldson

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