X-Message-Number: 9359
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 11:48:33 EST
Subject: strategies

The difficulties in selling cryonics are well understood. (There are some
overlaps among the following):

(1) We have an unproven product offered at a high price with a complicated
purchase procedure.  

(2) The main body of "expert" opinion is negative.

 (3) Much religious and cultural tradition is against us. 

(4) Those who can best understand and afford it are those who have the least
urgent need (or so they think). 

(5) Immortalism is psychologically threatening to most people in several ways.

(6) The wrong people preempted leadership, and the best qualified potential
leaders mostly have their own fish to fry--much smaller fish, from our point
of view, but not from theirs. 

(7) Many of those to whom cryonics appeals are independent thinkers and less
social than average, and perhaps more disputatious, tending to make it
difficult to foster a community atmosphere. 

(8) The absolute numbers of immediate prospects are so small that it doesn't
help to know--for example--that Libertarians are relatively good prospects.

Our assets are also well known. (Again, there is some overlap in the

(1) Indefinitely extended life, in youthful good health, and the potential for
unlimited improvement and enjoyment in an open-ended future--these are
unprecedented upsides.

(2) Every year, advances in science and medicine make our thesis more
credible. Our own research has the potential to accelerate this progress and

(3) Some of our gains are behind the scenes and cumulative. Many people have
thought about  cryonics for a long time, even if only occasionally, and will
be triggered to action at some point. In other words, some of  our efforts
have already paid off, or will in the relatively near future. 

(4) Doing something about "fate" (for yourself or others) produces a good

(5) Our members are considerably better informed than average, and we can
tactfully let this be known. "Doctors choose cryonics, 20 to 1." (Relative
numbers, not absolute.)

(6) Growth in Net browsing is beginning to add to queries. Media interest is
not cooling off.

(7) Within a decade there may be a sea change in traditional attitudes toward
the "natural cycle" of replacement of generations, when it dawns on many
people that their children and grandchildren may never die of "natural"
causes. It is one thing to be part of an inevitable cycle; it is quite another
to be the last dinosaur.

(8) Use of local funeral directors--specially trained and equipped--can help
mitigate the problem of prompt attention for dying or recently deceased
members. I will have more to say about this at the upcoming Alcor conference.

(9) Although the future can look scary and offputting, its possibilities can
also be presented in an attractive way. I will also have more to say about
this at the Alcor conference.

(9) Much can be done by "mere" improvements in execution within each
organization. Apple computer for many years had the best product, but didn't
execute well in its business plans. The angel is in the details.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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