X-Message-Number: 643
From:  (Edgar W. Swank)
Date: Fri, 07 Feb 92 12:11:50 PST

This is a response to Message #629, posted by Brian Wowk, where he
    For the record, Timothy Leary has given explicit written
    permission for his Alcor membership to be made public.  He has
    also given numerous public talks about cryonics and life
    I am mentioning this because it is imperative that people
    understand Alcor officials will never reveal a member's identity
    without explicit permission of that member (not even to other
    Alcor members).
Fine, glad to hear it.
    In contrast, it is not clear what the policies of ACS are in these
    matters.  Avi Ben-Abraham is not just a friend of Muhammad Ali; he
    is also an ACS officer (president).  It would be very interesting
    to know whether Ali really did give permission for his name to be
    publicly associated with cryonics.
I think ACS has similar policies.  I know the sign-up kit has a form
which either gives or withholds permission for ACS to publicize the
details of a suspension.  Since Ali is not (yet? as far as I know) an
ACS member it's not likely he has signed any formal permission.
However, I had the chance to speak to Avi Ben-Abraham and show him
Whitaker's message & my response.  He confirmed that he is a close
personal friend of Muhammed Ali and felt confident that Ali would not
object.  Hopefully this will put the Ali controversy behind us.
Although I was a founder of ACS and am still a suspension member, I
am not an official spokesman for ACS. Any ACS member or prospective
member concerned with privacy should discuss the matter with an
ACS respresentative.
    As to why relations continue to be poor between Alcor and ACS, a
    few of the many reasons can be found in this same article
    ("Playing tag with death", Peninsula Times Tribune, Dec.  29,
        Ben-Abraham was reluctant to discuss his physics work, which
        he said is classified top secret.  The results, which he said
        laid the foundation for the Strategic Defense Initiative technology,
        led to (his) nominations for Nobel prizes in physics and peace.
        Now, the dark-eyed 34-year-old prepares to advance science 500
        years within his lifetime.
    How does ACS expect Alcor members (or any intelligent human
    beings) to read this B.S.  and not be incensed?
                                     --- Brian Wowk
Well, I'm in no position to be able to either verify or refute the
above.  I also have no way of knowing how much of that is
embellishment by the journalist.  It may not be as incredible as it
sounds.  Avi Ben-Abraham is an undoubted genius.  You probably already
know he is mentioned in the Guinness Book or World Records as the
youngest person to graduate medical school.  It's also a fact that he
has many famous and powerful (politically) friends, including
Presidents Reagan and Bush.  In any case, I see no reason for anyone
to be "incensed", really.  Avi's alleged contributions to SDI really
have very little to do with cryonics.
Let me close with some excerpts of a post to Extropians by Mr.
     Date: 04 Feb 92 19:42:33 EST
     From: "Russell E. Whitaker" <szebra!CompuServe.COM!71750.2413>
     To: Extropians <gnu.ai.mit.edu!extropians>
     Subject: Civility post Mark II
    ...  I like to believe I can convince others to share my outlook.
    I have NEVER convinced anyone of the validity of my views by
    couching my arguments in belligerence.  Never.
    ...There was once a time when I would burn down the intellectual
    homesteads of those with whom I disagreed, and salt the ashes
    among the smoking ruins.  This left the inhabitants _very_
    unhappy, and they sometimes came a' gunnin' for me.
    This was short-term thinking.  I paid for it.  Lost friends -
    people with whom I had no fundamental disagreement.  Lost
    opportunities - I paid the costs of satisfying my
    intellectual/emotional time preference.
    ...If you are a _serious_ immortalist, you should consider that a
    great many here will be around for a long, long time.  You WILL
    meet us.  Think about it.
Sounds like good advice, Mr. Whitaker. Why don't we ALL try to follow

 (Edgar W. Swank)
SPECTROX SYSTEMS +1.408.252.1005  Silicon Valley, Ca

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