X-Message-Number: 9450
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 11:33:22 EDT
Subject: Henny Notes


Thanks to Olaf Henny (#9447) for reminding me of a couple of things. First,
the following quotation from one of Charles Platt's posts:

Quote Charles Platt:
"To obtain more thorough verification, all CI has to do is run a properly
controlled, properly documented animal study using EXACTLY the same
protocol as is applied to CI patients, and publish the results. Why
bother? Because, as I have pointed out, the use of 75% (v/v) glycerol
without any gradual increase in concentration, followed by very slow
freezing, is contrary to basic and widely accepted principles of
cryobiology, and almost certainly causes severe damage. If an organization
chooses to ignore all experimental evidence of this kind, then surely the
onus is on the organization to prove that it is right while all other
scientists are wrong."

"…all CI has to do is…." Why didn't we do that? We DID precisely that (except
that the sheep studies used only heads and not full bodies, and some minor
details had to be different). (The sheep studies came BEFORE application of
these methods to human patients, not as an afterthought.) 

The results were published in THE IMMORTALIST and photo sets were made
available to all. (We now plan to publish the full reports on our web site
also.) So why didn't Charles know we did that? And why does he STILL (#9438)
say "the facts speak for themselves."? (They do, but in the opposite sense to
his intention.) I have always been willing to believe in Charles' basic
honesty and good intentions, but if we don't get a full retraction soon that
will change.

As to the merits of "open and vigorous discussion" vs. tact and public
relations, there is always a delicate balance. When Mike Darwin was running
Alcor and editing its publication, there was a heavy preponderance of "open
and vigorous" over "tact and public relations." That contributed to the split
in Alcor, I believe. (This is not to detract from Mike's major contributions
to Alcor or his continuing contributions to research, from which I hope we all
benefit further.) My own attempt is to try to treat everybody with courtesy
and respect, and avoid giving outsiders a negative impression of the cryonics
community, while still making very clear any important differences in
perceived facts or viewpoints. There is often a temptation to sarcasm, but I
try to resist it. 

John de Rivaz is right, of course, in saying that distaste for personalities
in cryonics should not logically deter anyone from attempting to extend his
own life, but in practice this is one of the problems we face. The logical and
the psychological frequently differ, and we must try to remember both.

(If prospective immigrants to the U.S. were to base their decisions on the
personalities of our Congressmen and government officials, they might stay
away. But the U.S. is a great place to be, regardless.)

Mr. Henny's assumption that I have a suspension contract with Cryonics
Institute is of course correct. My wife Mae does also, and others in my
family, and I have two family members already in suspension at CI. Mae and I
live in Scottsdale, coincidentally the headquarters of Alcor--with whose
people we are on friendly terms--but we will be prepared by a local mortician
that we have trained, equipped, supplied, and paid, before being shipped to
Michigan for storage. (When CI decides on improved procedures, the mortuary
training will correspondingly change. The mortuary is about  two minutes drive
either from our home or our hospital.) Also, the bulk of our estate will go to
CI after we are both frozen. None of this PROVES anything in particular, but
taken in context, by those familiar with the history, it may be suggestive. 

Once more: Policies of organizations differ, providing options for prospective
members. The advice to newcomers is still the same: Inform yourselves as much
as you can, including personal visits if possible. Make the choice that seems
most reasonable as applied to your own situation. Make the commitment. If
necessary, make a change later. 

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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