X-Message-Number: 9410
Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 03:40:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charles Platt <>
Subject: Business vs Religion: Some Money Facts

I note that Perry Metzger has returned to one of his favorite themes: 
cryonics organizations are not run properly, and if they were, they could
grow and make money. (Forgive me if I am paraphrasing incorrectly, but
this is more or less what I have been hearing for many years.)

If Cryonics were a business, we would have to pay people, and pay for
equipment and supplies, instead of relying on donations.  Here are a few
figures to plug into your spreadsheet, Perry: 

Lab full of equipment: $1 million. (Current market value of equipment, 
much of it NOT new, at the lab used by BioPreservation.) Assume six-year 
depreciation; that works out at about $170,000 a year.

Rent on cryopreservation facility: $25,000 a year.

Salaries for one fulltime and two part-time people to run CryoCare and 
achieve the necessary growth: $150,000. (If you want good service, you 
have to pay for it, if it's a business.)

Salaries for one fulltime and three part-time people to run 
BioPreservation, or something like it: $200,000. (Medical expertise is 
necessary, and does not come cheap.)

Annual cost for creating literature, doing PR, outreach, etc (phone 
calls, printing expense, postage, web site): $20,000 MINIMUM.

That's almost $600,000 a year, and I haven't even included the cost of 
buying dewars occasionally. Currently we have 80 members in 
CryoCare. They would have to pay more than $7,000 a year each to cover 
these expenses.

(Note, I have not included any money for a research budget, currently
consuming $1 million a year in donations from Saul Kent and Bill Faloon.)

Do I hear Perry Metzger volunteering to pay what his cryopreservation 
services really cost? Nope. Do I hear him volunteering to raise a couple 
million in capital, which might be sufficient to carry us for a few years 
while we hurry to sign up as many new members as possible? I doubt it. Do 
I hear Perry Metzger wasting his time debating machine intelligence on 
the net? Definitely!

Also I would like to point out that if sufficient growth was achieved to 
cover the costs listed above, via membership dues, we would have so many 
members, we would need to hire a backup cryopreservation team. I agree 
that if growth continues for long enough, we benefit from economies of 
scale; but it's a long way from here to there. Like any small business, 
we would need money to grow. But I doubt any venture capitalist would 
fund cryonics at this point--because, it doesn't work.

I do not wish to hear anything more on this subject from Perry so long as 
it is couched in his usual generalities ("You people don't really know 
what you're doing," etc etc). Let us deal with the numbers, Perry. 
Perhaps there is some creative idea for raising the necessary money, 
which I have never thought of. You are, after all, in the financial 
business. Tell us.


Re the suggestion that my last post on this subject blamed members: Yes
and no. I did say specifically that it was OUR fault originally for
encouraging the perception that cryonics is a business that provides a
service in exchange for a fee. Now we are faced with the consequences: a
bunch of people who expect that service, while the core group of activists

This is not a trivial problem.

--Charles Platt

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