X-Message-Number: 7643
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 23:06:47 -0500
From: Garret Smyth <>
Subject: Cryonics marketing - ethics

John de Rivaz: 

> I wonder whether Barry Albin said that 300 people had *enquired*, and this 
> got translated into 300 people signed up.

I wondered that too when I saw the news report, even though the BBC's medical

correspondant seemed sure of his figures. If he was mistaken, he wasn't the only
journalist to have got the wrong end of the stick.

Perhaps someone who deals with Mr Albin could have a word with him about 

that journalists he deals with understand the difference between "enquiries" and

> I got a letter.. ..from someone in the USA.. ..who said "...Whoever controls 
> investments of these 300 people must be sitting on a lot of money..." He had 
> heard the news on the radio.

The BBC World Service is now on both TV as well as radio in very many parts of 

world. If it was the BBC that made the mistake then you will make sure that they
are made aware of it?

There was a reference in the news report to Mr Albin's claim that any cryonics 

related profits he made went to charity. This has appeared in other media too, 
can't be a mistake.

Journalists may be cynical, but we are stuck with the ones we've got. 

Cryonics is not a mainstream activity, hence the interest from the media, and so
outsiders - journalists included - look for motives for people to be involved. 

Someone who provides a service of shipping "the deceased" (as he referred to 
on TV) to a cryonics organisation yet has no personal interest in cryonics and,

although he makes money from what both he and most journalists would see as 
forms of funeral" claims not to make any money from cryonics has a bit

of a credibility gap in the motive department (from the journalist's point of 

at least). There may be an explanation for this - and if there is please let me

know - but the "charity" bit really adds more than just one brick to the wall of
cynicism we already face.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm trying to demonstrate how some of the journalists I 

dealt with think - especially the one that suggested that I exaggerate to make 
"story" better.


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