X-Message-Number: 9471
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 00:26:57 EDT
Subject: Personal Note


The exchange between Platt, Darwin, and myself is likely to go on for a while.
Some readers may regard this as a "flame war," or at any rate a disservice to
cryonics, making a bad impression on newcomers. As far as I can judge, I don't
have much choice, even though I would much rather be spending my time on other

I believe the exchange began with Platt's post to Cryonet dated 3 April 1998,
#9403, subject "Damage to CI Patients?" Platt then suggested to "those who
dislike squabbling" that "public disagreement is a normal, integral part of

One might well ask what motivated Platt to resurrect his and Darwin's
criticisms at this time. Did he suddenly decide that the "normal, integral
part of science" now required some "public disagreement?" My guess is that he
regretted his recent, gratuitous statement that CI is the most financially
secure of all the organizations, and felt he had to offset it with something

In any case, Platt certainly knew he was instigating an exchange with the
potential for acrimony, or boredom, or a bad impression on newcomers. Did he
really intend this exchange as a "prerequisite for progress?" Whose progress?
Was he generously drawing the attention of CI people to our deficiencies, to
help us overcome them? Certainly he didn't think that CI would provide
technical help for others to improve. The only explanation that seems to make
any sense is that he wants to discourage potential members from joining CI. Of
course, this is pure altruism, since his own organization, CryoCare, doesn't
want new members. 

In the bad old days, when Alcor under Darwin was attacking CI at every turn,
at first we disregarded it, then responded in kind, then again decided to
ignore it, and never to comment in public on other organizations. It's hard to
say which policy worked best. Ignoring attacks is in some ways the easiest
thing to do, tending at least to conserve energy for other things. But I'm not
inclined to turn the other cheek, and the newcomers who read Platt deserve a
balance. So I am left with little choice but to attempt to straighten out his
wrong and misleading statements. 

Saul Kent recently said that cooperation among cryonics organizations is now
better than at any time in many years. That developed mostly after the Alcor
split and after the stagnation of CryoCare. Platt has thrown a monkey wrench
into the gears. I don't realistically expect his friends to straighten him
out; when Mike dominated Alcor, the many there who disagreed with him were
almost 100% mum. 

Still, Saul and others know that we collectively need all our resources to
accomplish all we are capable of doing.  And I repeat: there is a perfectly
good policy available to minimize discord, as follows: Let each organization,
in its own publications and on its own web page, advertise its procedures,
policies, and advantages--without attacking or even mentioning other
organizations. When asked directly about other organizations, decline to
comment. Then the inquirers will simply make their choices. But I don't really
expect that policy will be adopted.

The current exchange will eventually play itself out. I still have many
responses to make, as time permits. After that, we shall see who is who and
what is what, and who has the best grip on reality.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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