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The 12th Annual Colloquium on the Law of Futuristic Persons is December 10th in Second Life on Terasem Island.

This year's theme:
Analysis of State Laws on the Reversal of Legal Determination of Death

If you're interested in speaking or attending, copy the flyer below and contact me at Lori@terasemCentral.org.

I look forward to chatting with you!
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Selskab for Livsforlængende Teknologi (Danish Society for Life Extension) meets for the first time Sunday the 18. June 2017.

The growth and decline of cryonics

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23311886.2016.1167576

Abstract
Cryogenic storage has become known as an alternative to burial. While a substantial fraction of the public finds cryonics acceptable, enrollment remains miniscule. One of the greatest unknowns is whether cryonics companies will be able to operate continuously until reanimation of those in storage becomes possible. Two failure modes are considered; organizational decline and political attack. The cryonics industry has adopted a strategy that implicitly targets atheist millionaires and alienates women. This is a result of neglecting science in its marketing efforts. American cryonics organizations have also incurred an avoidable political risk by refusing to use the funeral industry as a sales channel. Two alternative strategies are suggested that could minimize failure risk by reversing the stagnation of the industry. A “repackaging” of cryonics could accelerate growth and improve services, as well as the political position of the industry. This repackaging includes a restructuring of the channels for funding cryonics. Integration with the mainstream assumes using the funeral industry as a sales channel. While both political experiences and research results have made the need for these developments apparent, pioneers of the industry have resisted them.

Hi David,
I recently read on the new_cryonet yahoo group that you used to be a member of Alcor before switching to CI, and I was wondering what made you make that change.

There is so little public information/discussion about the two organizations that it seems pretty much impossible to make an educated decision/comparison between the two. So any input you or anyone else in this group could give (as far as a comparison) would be very helpful.

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I need comments on this Public Interest Statement for my draft, The Growth and Decline of Cryonics (also available for comment): The search for a “fountain of youth” has occupied mankind since the beginning of human history. Cryonics (freezing at death) offers one of the latest solutions. Revival with a regenerated body is seen as possible, assuming technology has become sufficiently advanced. However, cooling must be continuous, probably for hundreds of years. This paper was written to alert cryonicists of the need for greater organizational robustness, if there was to be any hope that this experiment would succeed. Literature on organizational failure and on barriers to enrollment were reviewed. Two strategies for reinvigorating growth were presented. Unfortunately, Industry leadership refused to accept that there were problems and even censored earlier versions of this paper. While cryonicists consider themselves to be taking a scientific approach to life extension, this response to criticism suggests religious fanaticism. An analysis of leadership attitudes and behavior indicates that cryonics has become a religion for some.

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I am planning a HangOut to answer questions about my pre-publication draft, The Growth and Decline of Cryonics. I will also answer any questions related to my candidacy for the Cryonics Institute Board of Directors. The general problem of free speech and democracy in transhumanism will also be open for discussion.

It will be 17:OO hours UTC either Saturday or Sunday. Please indicate which day you prefer. 
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votes visible to Public
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Sunday

Part 1:



Consumers can purchase a Lifetime Membership and a Cryonic Suspension Agreement from the Cryonics Institute (CI). Neither of these has provision for termination by CI. The Board of Directors ruled in 2010 that the Cryonic Suspension Agreement is irrevocable. It was reported in 2014 that an individual was banned, not only in violation of these contracts, but also disregarding Member Conduct Guidelines. Repeated demands for clarification of this action have failed to yield any information whatsoever. An expulsion attempt in 2015, however, provides some insight (See appended). The ban betrays CI’s most basic principle: Each person will receive the best possible suspension. It creates a climate of fear and discourages new enrollments thereby undermining CI’s corporate purpose: “to promote cryonic and cryobiological research.”

Solution:
The persons responsible for this ban and its execution must resign immediately, and must not stand for office in the coming Election. CI will find a new attorney in order to ensure that this is never permitted to happen again. 

These steps are necessary in order to ensure that the coverup of misconduct ceases and to avoid the risk that a serving officer of CI is indicted for economic criminality. The banned individual may have been deprived of a property interest. Since the amount in question is well above the limit for misdemeanors, a felony conviction could result. Any such conviction would be extremely damaging to CI, if that person was a serving officer. 




Part 2:



1)
Cryonics Institute (CI) “membership confers ... the right to stand for office according to the By-Laws, and the right to notices and reports of meetings.” In order to satisfy these terms, CI must stop election tampering, failures to notify, and censorship. Failure to perform its obligations by its “best efforts” and in “good faith” amount to consumer fraud. Solutions are available at trivial expense. Implementation requires an independent arbitrator.


The rule of law is not functioning at CI. This is a consumer issue, because the only guarantee offered in the contract for services, the Cryonic Suspension Agreement, is that CI will make its “best efforts to perform its obligations” (Section 5). Also, “CI shall not be liable … for decisions made in good faith, whether or not negligent” (Paragraph 1e).  According to CI’s Lifetime Membership Application, “Membership confers the right to execute a contract, the right to annual financial statements, the right to stand for office according to the By-Laws, and the right to notices and reports of meetings.” Since the services are only provided to Members, the By-Laws are inferred parts of the contract for services. Membership rights are essential to ensuring that CI is actually performing its obligations by its “best efforts” and in “good faith,” since the success of the services will only be apparent in the distant future. Failure to perform its obligations by its “best efforts” and in “good faith,” would create liabilities that could compromise CI’s ability to provide services under the Cryonic Suspension Agreement.

The Leadership of CI is failing to observe its By-Laws, rules adopted by the Board, and Michigan Law. It has not provided me with “the right to stand for office according to the By-Laws, and the right to notices and reports of meetings.” The right to stand for office assumes that all candidates will be treated equally to such an extent that their right to “run for office” has not been compromised. The failure of CI to perform its obligations to its “best efforts” in connection with the 2015 election can be seen first, by a violation of my “right to notices.” Even the announcement of the Election and the Call for Ballot Statements was obviously in violation of the Bylaws, since the deadline for delivery or postmarking of Ballot Statements was the same day as the deadline for sending Proxies to the voters. Thus, even before the process began, the disregard of the By-Laws was clear. The notice of the deadline for Board candidate’s Ballot Statements was initially made on a mailing list from which I had been secretly deleted, in violation of rules adopted by the Board. After I submitted a Ballot Statement, that included the sentence, “The Call for this Statement was made via a mailing list delivered only to those that the dictator supports, others are secretly deleted.” a Newsletter was issued for the first time announcing the deadline for Ballot Statements with only three days notice. This had the effect of making that sentence of my Ballot Statement appear untrue, since the Call for Statements was, thereby, announced not only on the Mailing List. 

I then sent an updated Ballot Statement, which showed I had submitted my Statement prior to the publication of the new Newsletter. A few days later, I received an email informing me that if I didn’t delete all complaints about the CI Leadership that I had posted on the Internet, including those in my Ballot Statement, I would be expelled from CI (see appended). This effectively meant that I would have to withdraw from the Election, since the deadline for Ballot Statements had passed and the other documents I had posted were essential to understanding why I was running for office. (Ballot Statements were limited to150 words.) Of course, if I was expelled my Ballot Statement would have been removed from the Proxies. This move failed because I didn’t acknowledge the email, thus thwarting the expulsion attempt. Expulsion would require breaching my pre-paid Lifetime Membership and the Cryonic Suspension Agreement, which the Board has declared is irrevocable. Further, I may have been deprived unlawfully of a property interest in CI. As can be seen from the appended email, the only justification offered was that I had been saying things some people felt were abusive. This has been called a “bystander veto” of free speech and it is unlawful.

After the deadline for responding to the expulsion attempt had passed, the Proxies were sent to Voting Members. However, they included my old Ballot Statement, thus placing me at a disadvantage. This made it appear that my complaint was not valid. A disclaimer was also added to the Proxies for the first time, directly under my Ballot Statement. The failure to use my updated Ballot Statement made the disclaimer untrue. It states, “Disclaimer: The Cryonics Institute does not agree with the statements of all candidates. However, in fairness to the election process the statements are being printed as they were submitted.” I have never seen a disclaimer on a CI ballot or on any other ballot before. Of course, candidates' Statements must appear as submitted. Anything else would invalidate the Election. The disclaimer was an attempt to influence the Election outcome. If there was any need for a disclaimer, a neutral one could say, “Statements are being printed as they were submitted."

As a result of this attempt to exclude me from the Election, the transmission of the Proxies was delayed for almost a week, resulting in a delay not only in violation of the By-Laws, but a risk that some of CI’s members, in other countries, would not get them in time to vote. Last year there was a tie vote, so even one missing vote could determine the outcome of the Election. 

In summary, the following By-Law violations or attempts to influence the Election outcome were made:

: the deadline for Ballot Statements made the AGM date invalid
: Call for Ballot Statements made on a mailing list not received by all Members
: new Newsletter undermines my Ballot Statement
: new Newsletter provides inadequate notice to potential candidates
: expulsion threat attempted to bully me into withdrawing from the Election
: my final submitted Ballot Statement was not used
: late transmission of Proxies undermines the Election
: unnecessary and untrue “Disclaimer” biases the Election

This list doesn’t include all attempts to influence the Election. For example, I was told  “You do have the opportunity to change your statement and actually name the person that you are accusing of being a dictator.  Would you like to do that?” Had I responded to this, it would have made it easier to exclude me from the Election and opened the possibility of a libel suit, that could also have been used to bully me into withdrawing. Other violations of notice also occurred. There was no notice of a deadline for Policy Resolutions for the Annual General Meeting. 

Attempts to influence elections have occurred every year that I have stood for office. These attempts included libelous statements, deception of the Membership, invasion of privacy, and censorship. The censorship included violation of Michigan law requiring access to business records by owners. This made it impossible for me to communicate with other Members directly. As a result of actions taken by CI’s attorney in connection with the 2011 election I filed an ethics complaint with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. A ruling on this Complaint awaits determination of the facts in a court of law. It is clear that the Leadership finds the Rule of Law a hinderance to their power. I believe that CI’s attorney David Ettinger is playing the role of king. He is related by marriage to CI’s Secretary, Andy Zawacki, who apparently executes his orders, thereby shielding him from disbarment. 

I sent CI’s Secretary a message: Annual General Meeting date invalid


The answer:

Your opinion is wrong and misleading.

The facts are, no proxies are being mailed out this year, only voting ballots. 
Proxies and voting ballots are two different items covered in different sections of the by-laws with different rules.  You can't apply guidelines from one item to another, to suit your goals.  CI is not in violation of its by-laws.  Please be sure to correct your posts.

Andy Zawacki


and my reply:

The term “ballots” does not appear in the By-Laws.
Please indicate which section discusses this.



There has been no further communication on this issue. 

I fail to see how CI is making its “best efforts to perform its obligations,” when it continues to plan an AGM in violation of its By-Laws. I don’t see how the decisions made could be considered to be in “good faith.” Some of the actions taken were clearly attempts to trick me or bully me into withdrawing from the Election. “Best efforts” and “good faith” are required by the contract. I conclude, therefore, that the consumer is being defrauded. 


Solution:
I see no way that this Election can be considered free and fair, since it violates the By-Laws. The only solution is to cancel the planned AGM and Election. Then, a new AGM and election can be properly announced.


Solutions to the continuing problems at CI are readily available:

2) 
The free exchange of information among Members is a pre-condition for democracy. The Leadership has made it impossible for Members to communicate with each other by imposing a “good news only” policy on all media they control. The current CI President, Dennis Kowalski, promised "free and open communication among all Members” when he assumed office. Instead, he has imposed greater and greater restrictions on communication each year. A couple of years ago, I established a private community for CI Members on Google Plus. However, only about twenty people have joined, because the Secretary does not enroll Members in this community. In fact, the Secretary has not even responded to my request to verify that all participants in the Community are CI Members. 

Solution: 
The Secretary will enter all current Members in the private Cryonics Institute Community and enroll new Members as they are accepted. This Community has a no censorship policy, which includes the ability to appeal any decision. Should the Leadership object to enrolling Members in a Community that they do not control, then they can appoint Advisory Board Members to supervise an independent editorial team. The Leadership must agree not to interfere with the independence of the editorial team and their supervision.

This does not involve any additional expenses. CI already subscribes Members to an out-dated mailing list. These subscriptions can be moved to the CI Community. Alternatively, the old List can be retained as an announcements only list.


3)
Participation in the activities of CI has been blocked by secrecy. This is in violation of the Member’s right to receive “reports of meetings.” Decision making via the Board’s private email list violates Member’s rights. 

Requests to supply a webcam at the AGM have been ignored. Only a few percent of Members physically attend the AGM. It is unrealistic to expect Members from all over the world to come to these meetings. The physical meetings can easily become unrepresentative and dominated by cultists. 

The request to provide visibility for the vote count via a webcam has been ignored. Similarly, a request to have those present certify under oath that there were no irregularities has been ignored. There is very little to prevent the stuffing of the ballot box. Proxies do not provide the most basic requirement for democracy, the anonymous vote. 

Solution:
Board decision making must be reported to the Members by the posting of meeting minutes, as was the previous practice.

CI must obey Michigan Law and provide Members with business records upon request. 

Security of elections will be improved by using an Internet vote collection company such as SafeVote. 

All meetings should be open to Voting Members via the Internet, unless privacy concerns force them to be closed. Any closure must be justified in the Minutes. One possible justification could be the discussion of personnel matters. 

These options will have a minor economic effect, if any, and Internet vote collection may actually save money.



Implementation:
Earlier attempts at problem resolution have been met with deception, censorship, and professional misconduct. Therefore, good faith execution of any agreement is unlikely. A settlement must include an independent mediator/arbitrator in order to ensure that consumer fraud ceases.




Begin forwarded message:


From: cihq@aol.com
Subject: Your Cryonics Institute Membership
Date: 4 August 2015 13:29:12 CEST
To: dss@secureid.net

Dear Mr. Stodolsky:

For several years you have printed many inaccurate, misleading and false statements about the Cryonics Institute and its directors.  Your candidates statement is the most recent example.  You have stated that "CI is functionally a dictatorship" and "The dictator doesn’t obey Michigan Law".  Not only are both of those statements false, they may be libelous.  You also made the statement that "The Call for this Statement was made via a mailing list delivered only to those that the dictator supports, others are secretly deleted."  Like the above statements, this statement too is false because the call for candidate statements were made on CI's website, which everyone can access, CI's facebook page and on the CI members yahoo group.  

Membership in the Cryonics Institute is a privilege, not a right.  Privileges can be taken away when they are abused, and your behavior is certainly considered abusive, by many.  Over the past few years, several directors and members have reached out to you and tried to explain to you that you were wrong and that your assessments of CI were inaccurate and misleading, which could harm CI and everyone's chances for possible revival.  However, these attempts to help you were only met with more abusive and inaccurate writings.  We have therefore decided to start the proceedings to revoke your membership in the Cryonics Institute unless you stop your abusive and potentially harmful behavior, immediately.  If you wish to remain as a member of the Cryonics Institute you will have to disable and disband your website on Google + where you are using CI's old logo and you will have to remove all of your essays in which you make many misrepresentations about CI and its directors. If you are serious about preserving your membership in the Cryonics Institute, and are in question of what needs to be removed, you can contact us, but I can tell you that most everything you wrote about CI and its directors would need to be removed.

If you have not complied with these requirements by 9am on Friday the 7th of August, procedures to revoke your membership ... will begin.

Please acknowledge receipt of this email.

Sincerely,
Andy Zawacki
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