X-Message-Number: 9432
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 11:35:32 EDT


[cns0409.98] [Sent to Cryonet 04/09/98]

Platt's #9425 repeats his major erroneous assertion and does not substantively
reply to my refutation of it. He said my quotations, on Cryonet yesterday,
were irrelevant, whereas they were precisely on point.

Again: Platt's main and multiply repeated accusation was that the procedures
used on sheep heads by the Ukrainians were not the same as ours--that the
Ukrainians used ramped-up glycerine and we used one pass at 75% glycerine.

He is WRONG, and I provided the references and one of the quotations. "Washing
out and perfusing the sheep heads were carried out according to your
instructions." This was from the first paragraph of the "report of the first
and second stages of the work," THE IMMORTALIST Aug. 1994. Another quotation,
from the 4th paragraph, which I didn't mention in the first reply: "75 volume
percent of glycerol [used]." I just don't know how Platt's confusion arose.

Charles offers the kind suggestion that, to assess the effect of CI's
procedure, we "ask any experienced cryobiologist" about the result of using
75% glycerine! I humbly submit that a slightly better way of assessing the
results is to have experienced researchers repeat our work and publish the
results in print and with photos. This has been done.

IF ANYONE STILL ISN'T SURE who is right on this key point, we now plan to
enter the entire reports, reprinted from THE IMMORTALIST of August, September,
and November, 1994 on our web site. (We don't plan to include the photos, but
those are available, and many readers have the actual issues.) 

I will announce on Cryonet when these reports have been entered on the web
site. If you have any doubts, please check it out.
Some further points I made in a post yesterday to Cryonet apparently got lost,
and will be resubmitted today, Thursday. 
Now, some of Platt's other points in his # 9425. I don't want this to resemble
flames, so I will mostly ignore the personal stuff; but otherwise I will
patiently try to answer all of his points:

1. Did I fail to check CC's membership before referring to its growth? Yes,
because I had a very clear memory, not long ago, that Charles himself had said
it was stagnating. Charles implies that I said CC had negative growth, whereas
I actually implied that it was EITHER slow, zero, or negative, which was
correct. Little tiny stuff, but I'll play this game until I get tired of it.

2. Does CI hide its membership numbers? No. We give them to any journalist (or
anyone else) who asks. We don't publish them in THE IMMORTALIST because we
don't figure them the same way Alcor and CC and ACS and TT do, and we don't
want to give a false impression. The other organizations charge dues or
equivalent to all members or customers, and when they stop paying dues they
are not counted as members. CI, on the other hand, does not charge annual dues
(unless you want voting rights), so we continue to count as members everyone
who has ever joined. This would be misleading in a comparison with other
organizations. (We have had roughly 180 join.)

Incidentally, Charles says the stagnation of CC is deliberate, that CryoCare
made a POLICY DECISION to avoid growth! Well, every other organization that
has slow growth, including CI, frankly acknowledges disappointment. If CC were
growing instead of stagnating, I somehow suspect Charles would not bemoan the
fact. Charles, when you get requests for information, I presume you add a
footnote or a preamble in large type: "Please don't sign up; we don't want
more members." 

3. Charles says I am angry at him. No--at worst, sometimes irritated, and only
sometimes. I always try very hard to remember that fellow travelers usually
provide a net benefit, and when they disagree with me they usually have at
least some semblance of reason, even if not well balanced. On the other hand,
if Charles persists in ignoring the record and repeating erroneous
accusations, the level of irritation is likely to rise.

Incidentally, not long ago Charles asked whether anyone had information on new
developments in South Africa. We have copies of S.A. newspaper reports that
the health minister, Dr. Zuma, has shut down the Medicines Control Council,
which was the chief opponent of the Vissers. At the moment, it appears the
Vissers are gaining in their effort to go forward with clinical tests of
Virodene. There is also a report that a former patient, who had claimed
serious side effects, lied.

As to whether our (and Alcor's) support for Mrs. Visser was "reckless," yet
again, I don't think so, based on what we knew at the time. It remains true
that recovering beating rat hearts from immersion in liquid nitrogen was
demonstrated and unprecedented. It may well turn out to have been a dead end,
but the end is not yet. We still have further research planned.

4. Charles defends his "one in ten thousand" chance estimate for cryonics
patients under "ideal" conditions. He also calls my criticism an attack on his

What I attacked was the public relations effect of his extremely pessimistic
statements. As I said, and as I think is beyond dispute, many or most
newcomers who read such pessimism expressed by the president of a cryonics
organization will have a very negative reaction. Pay a high price for a one in
ten thousand chance? How many will do that? How many will believe others will
do it? How many will believe that someone with that estimate, who nevertheless
invests heavily in time and money, is a well balanced person? 

Certainly I am not a psychologist, and customer psychology in any case is not
an exact science, but I have a suggestion for Charles: Ask any experienced
public relations person the likely effect of announcing to prospective
customers that your high-priced product has only a one in ten thousand chance
of working, even under the best conditions.

Oh, I forgot: you are turning away prospective members ON PURPOSE.
Unfortunately, if people took you seriously, you would be turning away some of
the prospective members of other organizations as well.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=9432