X-Message-Number: 9418
From: "Scott Badger" <>
Subject: Religion, Growth, & Intentional Communities
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 20:47:45 -0500

Regarding the religion issue:

This is a non-issue to me.  Cryonics should no more be a religion than any
other firm offering medical care.  It is true that cryonics is still in its
infancy and its leaders do, as a result, occassionally act like religious
zealots.  The act of trying to convince a skeptical public on a service in
which you are heavily invested often leads to "religious-like" devotion.
But you feeling that way doesn't actually turn the business into a religion.
I don't think it is our goal to save people's "souls" or rescue the masses
from the oblivion of death.  Cryonics offers a rational gamble to survive
into a time that offers many more benefits than are currently being offered.
We don't want anyone to change their religious beliefs or worship any new
deity.  We want them to simply live and enjoy what life has to give them.
Leave religion out of it or expect failure.

Regarding growth and sales;

Perry Metzger said;

"The problem with cryonics is that it is going to be a business that
people don't like being involved in, exactly like the funeral home
business. Its going to make people queasy to go up to people with
dying relatives when they are vulnerable and hard sell them on
spending lots of money to freeze grampaw. There are people out there that
can do this -- I'm not one of them, though, and so far as I can
tell very few people around the cryonics world that have the
personality that would let them do it. One needs a certain kind of
hardness that most of us lack -- a certain deliberate calculation. I
don't have that sort of soul in me. That is not to say that others do
not have that sort of ability."

Having been a salesperson in the past, I must say I don't much care for how
Perry stereotypes the "souls" of these people.  First of all, salespeople
are just people.  Secondly, they are fundamental to the success of most
businesses.  Thirdly, one does not have to be cold, calculating, and
hard-hearted to market the benefits of any service.  It is almost always
possible and preferable to design a sales strategy/script that is sensitive
to the emotional needs of the prospect and his/her relatives.  You would
probably want salespeople that are themselves members, but who are also
"not" on a religious mission.  I can see where it could  become tempting to
speak in "hyperbolease" and promise the moon.  But Social Psychology has
demonstrated that people are more readily persuaded when they view the
speaker as credible and expert, when they perceive the message as being
not-too-disparate with their own current position, and when some mild level
of anxiety is generated with a concomitant solution for relieving the
anxiety.  Let the buyers figure out for themselves that immortality is at
least a remote possibility.  Sell the relatively near-future benefits.

Regarding Intentional Communities;

The more I think of this, the less I like the idea.  It sounds to me like
these people withdraw from society.  That's not what this industry needs at
all as far as I can tell.

Scott Badger

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