Charles Platt says he hoped cryonics would remain invisible until...

Charles Platt says he hoped cryonics would remain invisible until...

Rick
Rick

March 14th, 2004, 1:20 pm #1

...until it was better able to defend itself, but that the Williams case changed all that. [+]. I've heard other high profile cryonicists make similar statements. Cryonics, they say, has been "flying under the radar" for years. I gasped when I initially understood what this implied-- that the ground on which we stood, legally, was shakier than the California coastline. The desire, on the part of cryonics leaders, to be invisible or to fly under the radar, with respect to the legal framework, and the consequent general lack of awareness and critical review of legal aspects of cryonics over the years among cryonicists, has not been a healthy thing, in my view.

To be sure, there have been articles in Cryonics magazine that covered the UAGA and various legal aspects, including insurances, as they pertain to cryonics. However, these past articles do not, in the history of cryonics, seem to get amplified into a general use by constant reference. It's only in the constant reference to ideas and situations that a culture-- in this case, the cryonics community-- comes to reflect its strength.

Charles Platt, by admitting that he had hoped that cryonics would remain legally invisible until it could defend itself, has actually contributed, in my view, to the weakening of cryonics through his hope for invisibility. Instead of invisibility, Charles-- with his excellent writing skills and acumen-- ought to have been zeroing in and amplifying and expounding on the critical aspects of the legal issues for the majority of cryonicists who regard their membership in cryonics groups as a service and who see themselves as customers rather than activists.

To be sure, Charles has done excellent reporting and writing over the years in covering cryonics issues and his transcription of the Stump bill debate is work well done. However, at the same time, I feel let down as a cryonicist who has tried to follow the issues over the years-- and who only recently became aware of the critical nature of the UAGA and other features of the legal environment that Alcor operates within. If I had known that the the activists and leaders were attempting to fly under the radar and be invisible, rather than open-- in an academic sense of open intellectual inquiry on all fronts including the legal one-- I might have worked away at my personal cryonics effort a bit differently.







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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 14th, 2004, 6:28 pm #2

You misinterprete the phrase "flying under the radar". All it means is that we hoped to avoid widespread (negative) publicity until we were better able to defend ourselves. The legal basis of cryonics is very solid. The problem is, once people get all riled up about one thing or another, they suddenly want to change the laws...just as is now happening in Az.

It is just always easier and cheaper if people just ignore us.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 14th, 2004, 6:32 pm #3

...until it was better able to defend itself, but that the Williams case changed all that. [+]. I've heard other high profile cryonicists make similar statements. Cryonics, they say, has been "flying under the radar" for years. I gasped when I initially understood what this implied-- that the ground on which we stood, legally, was shakier than the California coastline. The desire, on the part of cryonics leaders, to be invisible or to fly under the radar, with respect to the legal framework, and the consequent general lack of awareness and critical review of legal aspects of cryonics over the years among cryonicists, has not been a healthy thing, in my view.

To be sure, there have been articles in Cryonics magazine that covered the UAGA and various legal aspects, including insurances, as they pertain to cryonics. However, these past articles do not, in the history of cryonics, seem to get amplified into a general use by constant reference. It's only in the constant reference to ideas and situations that a culture-- in this case, the cryonics community-- comes to reflect its strength.

Charles Platt, by admitting that he had hoped that cryonics would remain legally invisible until it could defend itself, has actually contributed, in my view, to the weakening of cryonics through his hope for invisibility. Instead of invisibility, Charles-- with his excellent writing skills and acumen-- ought to have been zeroing in and amplifying and expounding on the critical aspects of the legal issues for the majority of cryonicists who regard their membership in cryonics groups as a service and who see themselves as customers rather than activists.

To be sure, Charles has done excellent reporting and writing over the years in covering cryonics issues and his transcription of the Stump bill debate is work well done. However, at the same time, I feel let down as a cryonicist who has tried to follow the issues over the years-- and who only recently became aware of the critical nature of the UAGA and other features of the legal environment that Alcor operates within. If I had known that the the activists and leaders were attempting to fly under the radar and be invisible, rather than open-- in an academic sense of open intellectual inquiry on all fronts including the legal one-- I might have worked away at my personal cryonics effort a bit differently.






Furthermore, no one was trying to flying under the radar...that would not have been possible. It is merely descriptive of how the public acted towards us.

Now if we were really trying to hide, there wouldn't be an Alcor sign on the building, we would never give nterviews or tours, there wouldn't be publications or a very complete website.

Don't built up too much out of a single phrase.
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Rick
Rick

March 15th, 2004, 1:01 am #4

You misinterprete the phrase "flying under the radar". All it means is that we hoped to avoid widespread (negative) publicity until we were better able to defend ourselves. The legal basis of cryonics is very solid. The problem is, once people get all riled up about one thing or another, they suddenly want to change the laws...just as is now happening in Az.

It is just always easier and cheaper if people just ignore us.
It's not true that cryonics is on solid legal ground and it's not true that leading cryonicists haven't knowingly been flying under the radar hoping to not be spotted on the regulatory radar screens. I've heard it said that cryonics has been operating in a "legal loophole". The law isn't changing-- but rather the legal loophole is being closed, in Arizona. The idea of cryonics was never envisioned by the creators of UAGA. Therefore, for cryonics to employ UAGA was merely a fortunate get-by-for-now strategy-- at least up until possibly tomorrow. Every top insider in cryonics has probably known this for years, even decades, without writing about it extensively and repeatedly in an effort-- to stay under that radar.

Now here's the awful part about this. IF the people who knew the implications of using the UAGA loophole wrote about it extensively and honestly and repeatedly, it may very well have led to Alcor staying in California where cryonics law has been most extensively tested rather than to attempt the manuevre of crossing state lines and setting up shop in Arizona where cryonics law and cryonics cases haven't been tested very well.

The original argument that I heard for Alcor moving to Arizona was that earthquake risks in CA were unacceptable. This idea certainly had and has merit, however I've also heard that that was a lark-- that the REAL reasons behind Alcor's move to AZ were different.

That said, I still think of cryonics as valid research under UAGA rules and I consider myself a possible future experimental subject who qualifies under those rules. If cryonics had NOT flown under the radar all these years, leading cryonicists might have written to the UAGA regulators and planners, asking in advance about the status of cryonics in a proactive way. That's not what happened. Cryonics has been avoiding UAGA people, hoping to keep the loophole open "until cryonics gains strength". The wisdom or logic of that idea is questionable, but it's existence and historical fact is not.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 15th, 2004, 1:19 am #5

Read the UAGA. While certainly unanticipated by its authors, cryonics is perfectly within the letter and meaning of the UAGA. It is intentionally non-specific on uses, since no one knew how uses change.

Attacking us through the UAGA is only one of many ways to attack cryonics under the law. That does not mean any of these argument hold merit, which is why the smart opponents are trying to change the law.

We had just hoped to remain unnoticed a little while longer by the busybodies who seem to already know what is right for everyone else, and who speak with the "wisdom of repugnance".
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Rick
Rick

March 15th, 2004, 1:25 am #6

I've heard leading cryonicists say 20 years. What was "a little while longer" in your book?
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Rick
Rick

March 15th, 2004, 2:51 am #7

Furthermore, no one was trying to flying under the radar...that would not have been possible. It is merely descriptive of how the public acted towards us.

Now if we were really trying to hide, there wouldn't be an Alcor sign on the building, we would never give nterviews or tours, there wouldn't be publications or a very complete website.

Don't built up too much out of a single phrase.
...it's more along the lines that cryonics was trying to "sneak in the back door" of the UAGA situation. We know this to be true because I think any examination of the historical record will demonstrate that no cryonics organization has ever written to a UAGA office asking "can we do this"? There has never been an official letter from an official UAGA office that was published in Cryonics magazine saying "Yeah, sure, go right ahead. WE don't mind". So cryonics wasn't trying to hide, but cryonics has been trying to "underplay" and "underreport" the reality of the situation. This distortion of the legal universe has had an effect on members, making them less aware of the singular critical importance of the connection between their immortality and their reliance upon the "window of opportunity" during which cryonics "wouldn't be noticed". In a sense, the people "in the know" in cryonics have been gambling with our cryonically enabled amortal futures, speaking of the UAGA only when they had to, and certainly not raising the level of understanding, in a monthly newsletter to cryonics members. Now, however, Peter will pay the piper. We'll see how dearly, tomorrow on Monday March 15, 2004, about 40 years after Ettinger published Prospect. Speaking of Ettinger, he hasn't said diddly about this entire situation has he? The father of cryonics is silent at a time when the future of cryonics may be silenced. Interesting. I would welcome Robert, our brother, to the Church of Cryonics, however. Even though the Church of Cryonics isn't officially Christian, forgiveness is a highly valued trait. We forgive Robert for not speaking up at this time. (Okay, I know I'm taking this too far-- but it's supposed to be a bit fun too. So leave me alone).
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 15th, 2004, 3:19 am #8

I've heard leading cryonicists say 20 years. What was "a little while longer" in your book?
About $100 million longer. That makes us a dangerous size to attack . Could happen next week, in 10 years, or never.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 15th, 2004, 3:26 am #9

Case closed on that one, huh? So it wasn't "longer" but in "wealthier". And how was this wealth to be accumulated? Through a long series of "last minute cases" that were to kept anonymous? You're kind of admitting a "gambit" was being executed. Certain cryonics bigwheels were thinking "let's keep a low profile on the UAGA until we have enough money to really influence the UAGA board so that they accept cryonics at face value for what it is". Given the current rate of patient care trust fund accumulation, and the current level of it at Alcor at about 3 million I think, how long do you think this process would have taken? And to think that just one neuro of one famous ball player blew the entire scheme. If the operating room leader who advised Ted Williams be neuroed understood the high stakes of this gambit, I wonder if it would have proceeded? They must have gambled that nobody would find out that that people like Larry Johnson wouldn't work themselves into the inner sanctum of Alcor to expose the situation prematurely. ALL CONJECTURE, on my part of course. All conjecture. None of it is true.
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 15th, 2004, 3:36 am #10

...it's more along the lines that cryonics was trying to "sneak in the back door" of the UAGA situation. We know this to be true because I think any examination of the historical record will demonstrate that no cryonics organization has ever written to a UAGA office asking "can we do this"? There has never been an official letter from an official UAGA office that was published in Cryonics magazine saying "Yeah, sure, go right ahead. WE don't mind". So cryonics wasn't trying to hide, but cryonics has been trying to "underplay" and "underreport" the reality of the situation. This distortion of the legal universe has had an effect on members, making them less aware of the singular critical importance of the connection between their immortality and their reliance upon the "window of opportunity" during which cryonics "wouldn't be noticed". In a sense, the people "in the know" in cryonics have been gambling with our cryonically enabled amortal futures, speaking of the UAGA only when they had to, and certainly not raising the level of understanding, in a monthly newsletter to cryonics members. Now, however, Peter will pay the piper. We'll see how dearly, tomorrow on Monday March 15, 2004, about 40 years after Ettinger published Prospect. Speaking of Ettinger, he hasn't said diddly about this entire situation has he? The father of cryonics is silent at a time when the future of cryonics may be silenced. Interesting. I would welcome Robert, our brother, to the Church of Cryonics, however. Even though the Church of Cryonics isn't officially Christian, forgiveness is a highly valued trait. We forgive Robert for not speaking up at this time. (Okay, I know I'm taking this too far-- but it's supposed to be a bit fun too. So leave me alone).
Don't be rediculous. nobody writes the government and asks "is this OK to do". Are you nuts? The answer is always no.

What you do is hire the best lawyer you can find, and say "This is what we want to do...will the UAGA work?" and follow his advice.

Ask the government permission? <shaking head>
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