Cryonics Europe AGM 10/05/03

Present: Chrissie de Rivaz (Chair) Alan Sinclair, Sylvia Sinclair, Mark Walker, Gill Howarth, Ray Rowley, Graham Hipkiss, Ian Thomas, Barry Adams.

Apologies: John de Rivaz, Alex Carlton.

Chairman’s Report.

Thanks to Alan & Sylvia Sinclair for hosting the meeting and for their excellent hospitality. We are also grateful for their constant work developing and researching for training and equipment. General success for the road shows and training practices, especially with the trailer in Cornwall, proving we have the ability to provide remote stand-by. Radio and press coverage was good, including the new trailer facility.

Chrissie attended the CI’s AGM last year and spoke of the facilities at CI. She is now a member of the advisory panel which is a useful forum for matters of concern and information. Subject of next president of CI was mentioned. Bob Ettinger is to retire but will of course still be involved. It is a matter for the directors but undoubtedly, members opinions can be considered. It is a matter which concerns all of us, however remote from US we may be. He will be an impossibly hard act to follow.

Discussion from previous meeting when Charles Platt attended concerning transport to US. New security measures at airports will need investigating, possibly this wouldn't effect undertakers. As far as we know, Albin hasn't had any problems but may not have checked specifically for cryonics since 9.11. Graham and Chrissie attended the Alcor meeting following our last meeting. As reported in The Immortalist, they were not really prepared to use our facilities and stand-by but Charles tried to convince them that until they have their own facilities they may need ours. The group feels that good relations are important and we are prepared to offer CE. standby team if needed.

There was much discussion about the <Bunker>, no longer a possibility due to the strictures of planning regulators. A UK facility requires great consideration in terms of cost, manning, and management. This has now become an issue for the future.

We look forward to another year of growth and good publicity.

Secretary’s Report.

Mark Walker reiterated that there has been a lot of good publicity during the year. In UK, there are 34 CI members and 12 paying members of CE.

Of the CI members there were concerns that contracts weren't up to date. Mark had sent out e-mails and postal mailings to cover these concerns and only had one reply. From this cryo-buddies has been initiated, the idea being that people living alone should have a telephone contact on a regular basis with another cryonicist. There has been some interest. Mark also mentioned that the lack of response from CI members shows how difficult it is to get non-cryonicists to be motivated to join in the first place.

There are a few people in the process of signing up which is encouraging. Ian Thomas stated that he had become interested since the New Scientist campaign, which proved at least one person has taken the publicity to heart.

Still waiting from CI to see how many UK and worldwide members they have gained this year.

Discussion by group on the way that CI counts their members (based on members or fully signed up for suspension).

Mark stated that the database is still ongoing. He questioned the need for including too much detail such as local maps etc. Chrissie suggested the use of E-maps and we discussed possibility of having an e-map with the trailer for locating hospitals and peoples’ addresses. As laptop is included as part of the equipment, it seems a good idea. It was also agreed to look into the idea of having a database on a secure website for access by the standby team, if needed. Mark to pursue this.

Future Quest magazine: Mark needs more stories and information to inform the people. He is happy to continue with FQ mag. as it still reaches some people who do not have email.

Financial Report for 17-4-02 to 16-4-03.

Graham Hipkiss provided a balance sheet for the year.

H.O.P.R.T. Financial Report 17 April 2002 - 16 April 2003

Balance at 17 April 2002     523.41
BOC   326.27
Research   100.00
BT   86.26
Subscriptions   1875.53
Interest   0.67
Insurance Commission   79.66
Misc   16.50
Balance at 16 April 2003    
Current Monthly Income -       180
Current Monthly Expenditure -    27


British Telecom expense is no longer effective and the gas expense has been reduced.

Income is greater than outgoings at present. He suggested that we should possibly invest money on deposit when sufficient. There is a bill for the new perfusion pump to be paid, part of which will be covered by a reimbursement for surgical equipment from Alcor. There is also a donation promised from David Flude, for which we are very grateful.

Webmaster Report

Provided by John de Rivaz and read out.

The web site has had a consistently good rate of "hits" and a combined search, such as suggests that it is available to a number of search engines. A search on <"Cryonics" and "Europe"> produced over 100 listings using Copernic Agent Professional.

I have resisted and will continue to resist the idea of a flashy web site using Dreamweaver or something similar, as such sites are often not readable on some browsers and takes ages to download. Our web site has most of the pages in hand coded html and this is the most efficient way to do it. The only pages that are slow are the videos and audios, and there is nothing that can be done about these.

Our thanks must go to Ian Thomas who has kindly provided the web space so that high quality videos can be available to those with a broadband connection. In addition his web space enables a more professional looking site without using web forwarding and pop-up advertisements. Cloaked or not, a web site that uses forwarding is obvious for what it is to most except for the seriously net-illiterate.

The internet still remains the foremost way of introducing people to cryonics. They can browse the web extensively without fear of being harassed by sales people or telephoned at inconvenient times, or indeed have sales people turn up unexpectedly on their doorsteps like those selling religion. Indeed, after thoroughly reading our site together with those of Alcor and the Cryonics Institute there is little else anyone can learn about cryonics or the arguments both for and against the idea.

The media publicity serves as the stimulus for people to put the word "cryonics" into search engines and read this material. The vast majority of those likely to be interested either own computers already or have the ability to access the Internet either at work or in a public library or netcafé. One of the big problems is to explain that cryonics is as affordable as many activities considered commonplace, and that it is not just a fad for the very rich. Our motto ought to be "Read our Site – then you’ll know what it costs and that you can afford it." This is opposed to sites offering products and services where you have to telephone a salesman to find out the cost – where the motto is "If you want to know the price then you can’t afford it".

Ray Rowley suggested that we could introduce a WAP site just to introduce another means of informing and accessible more easily. Mark agreed to discuss with John (via email)

Media Manager Report.

Probably the best year ever for publicity for cryonics in Europe.

Main activities resulted from New Scientist promotion ... TV, radio, press, magazines. (Website contain most information) . Work with several collections of students. Esquire recently.

Paris trip with discussion with Yvan Bozonetti ... possible French group forming. Situation in France does not permit cryonics. (Mandatory burial or cremation within one week of death) TV was not best as antagonism was quite prevalent with refusal to accept possibility of success.

On-going with various projects ... pets, plans for remains after death, Focus magazine, etc. There is also a programme featuring Barry Albin to come.

Elections of Officers.

All officers were re-elected unopposed.

Chrissie de Rivaz: Chairman and Media Manager

Mark Walker: Secretary and Membership Secretary

Graham Hipkiss: Treasurer and Insurance Advisor

John de Rivaz Webmaster

Ray Rowley: Assistant Chairman and Secretary

Alan Sinclair: Facility and Training Manager

The London Organiser was deleted from the list due to lack of interest.

Other Business.

Report on CI’s research status (taken from web)

Undertakers: Richard Williams (in West Country) is still interested but has not progressed his interest. Some members wanted to contact Rowlands to see what is their status regrading service for cryonics. Mark agreed to write to him and Alan was to provide the address.

Graham agreed to write to the insurance company to get a quote for cover for standby members when on duty or training.

Taking an advert in New Scientist was suggested, ostensibly to offer a contact to the competition

losers. Chrissie said she had asked for contact but this was refused (due to data protection). She agreed to attempt to enquire about the possibility but not to commit to expenditure. She had also written a letter after the campaign but it had not been printed.

Most were in favour of another ‘Road show’ meeting in Cornwall in September and the weekend of September 6th and 7th was agreed. As this would be largely a social weekend and another chance for discussions, Alan would not bring the trailer unless for a specific purpose. Accommodation is linked to the website and anyone planning to come down is advised to book early. If anyone has problems with this, please let us know and we will try to organise something. Cornwall’s an excellent place for a holiday so don’t be limited to a weekend!