CI Visit 2002
Iím now slowly coming back to earth after my trip to CI and all the other activity with TV and media in general. I was present at the AGM and enjoyed meeting everyone there. It was good to put faces to people who have been only names.
It was wonderful to stay with Robert Ettinger for a few days and spend time talking, walking the dogs, not to mention becoming aware of how very hard he works for all our benefits. I donít believe anyone realises the hours he spends at his computer, writing messages, articles answering questions and always finding time for a quick response to anyone who needs it. His lifeís work has become a passion with him and it is good to hear his positive attitude to future possibilities. There were other house guests too and as the day of the meeting approached, many folk stopped by to say hallo. David Pascal and York Porter were two guests and we spent many hours Ďchewing the fatí, covering many aspects of cryonics, marketing, promotional material and best use of time. A large group went out for dinner on the Saturday evening and once more, had a good chance for informal discussion with yet another group of members.
I made several visits to the facility to see the two new cryostats, commercial products this time instead of being custom made. The bulk Nitrogen tank is also most impressive, not least because it saves so much time, effort and money. The whole place is looking impressive and has a good atmosphere. It was also a pleasure to visit Dr Yuriy Pichugin at his lab and learn a little more about how his work is progressing.
On Sunday 29th September, it was the AGM of the Cryonics Institute. There were a large number of people present this year, more than usual, I gathered. Though as I had come from the UK I had travelled furthest, I was amazed at the distances covered by others, many of them driving from Florida, California etc. There were many items discussed at the meeting ... one of the major developments being the merging of The American Cryonics Society into CI. This means we have acquired in the region of 100 new members, mostly Americans. A great boost! I gave a report on the activities and developments in Cryonics-Europe and I believe everyone was impressed with all the hard work done by our members. The New Scientist promotion was also much discussed and we all await with interest to see if there will be an increase in our membership. If not, we can certainly be grateful for a hugely increased awareness throughout the country. I have certainly noticed that more people are talking about cryonics and a sense of acceptance of it as a real alternative to burial and cremation, is growing.
It was also interesting to be near to CI when a patient was brought in. He had been prepared before transportation and the cool down begun. Those involved said it had certainly been one of the smoothest suspensions ever. I was most impressed by the calm attitude that prevailed and the respect shown. We certainly have a wonderful asset in Andy Zawacki. He gets on with his perhaps rather lonely job with a dedication that is most creditable. He is knowledgeable and willing to do most things asked of him, even returning me to the airport at the end of it all!
I think this September and October have been probably the busiest time for cryonics ever experienced. The amount of money spent on publicity by the media, is unheard of in the movement. It seems everyone wants a part of it, even if they donít go as far as actual membership! It has been exciting and a wonderful opportunity to spread the word. I sincerely hope that we shall soon have even more new faces at the meetings and make the commitment and efforts of those already involved more worthwhile.