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Co-opetetionMike Darwin
LN2 Trip and Back this Summer?D.C. Johnson
Aesthetics in CryonicsNatasha Vita-More
39th and 40th updates of fly longevity experimentsDoug Skrecky
Seventh Day Adventists Are Practising Life ExtensionJames Swayze
Is consciousness only 3000 years oldAndrew Blackall
Cryonics and the SoulOrion(Co30)
An argument for preserving frozen personsDavid Pizer
Marketing Cryonics"Deathist Lurker Girl"
As Others See UsGerald England
Homosexuals, cryonics and the "natural order."Mike Darwin


by Mike Darwin CEO Kryos

The other day I was forwarded the following bit of humour by a friend:

Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called Everybody, and they meet at the bar.

-- Drew Carey

Almost everybody loves to complain and very few people go through their daily life without a fair measure of frustration, angst, and resentment. Life is hard as well as rewarding. Sometimes it is more of the former than the latter.

As I write this I occasionally reach over next to my key board and pick up and hold in my hand a piece of the planet Mars and a piece of the great pyramid of Cheops at Giza. When I was a child I dreamed of going to both places. I dreamed of standing on the sandy expanse that is Giza and scaling the Great Pyramid and looking out over the Nile at sunrise. I have been fortunate enough to do that.

I also dreamed of Mars as I looked at Werner von Braun's plans for going there, rendered into awe inspiring drawings by Chesley Bonestell, and reprinted from Colliers magazine endlessly in the 1950s and 1960s. I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, when I was 13 years old in 1968. I was more certain that I would reach the moon and possibly stand on Mars than I was of scaling Cheops' at Giza and walking the banks of the Nile at sunset.

The Mars Scape compiled from the images sent back from the Mars Global Surveyor hangs over the desk where I now sit writing. There is great pain and sadness in my heart. Like Moses I can see my dreamland and even hold a piece of it in my hands, but I will probably never go there. If I do, it will not be in the way I wanted to, not in the way I dreamed about, not with the people who should have been with me on that journey.

One bright summer day when I was very young I wondered what I would be doing if I lived to see the year 2001. I would be incredibly old; 46 years old, in fact. The years have flown by and it seems like only yesterday that all my dreams were as real the next morning's sunrise. But, while time is swift it is not always kind.

Like the anonymous "Everybody" in the joke above, I have my share of deep dissatisfactions as well as petty frustrations. Despite my 46 years I have not reached any great epiphany of enlightenment that leaves me a soul at peace with universe. I am still all too human. I can't help but reflect on the way my fellow humans have collectively chosen this present we inhabit, this present that was once a dreaming little boy's future. The resources that went into the Vietnam War, the arms race with the former Soviet Union or the war on drugs: even a fraction of these would have solved all the problems and opened all the opportunities that weigh so heavily on me now. The "conquest of space" (to use a 1960s cliche) and suspended animation could have been achieved a decade ago by now -- if not sooner.

The remnants of that little boy in me cannot help but be angry and hurt that this has not happened. The adult that is me cannot help but be appalled by the cost in human life and suffering that the absence of these two achievements has caused.

And so we come to Kryos, the present, and what the future will be.

I must confess I am a very tired man. If weariness could serve as a substitute for Enlightenment then I would be shining with wisdom.

I have spent over 30 years deeply involved in cryonics with very few breaks. I have made enough mistakes to see with clarity how hard it is to make good decisions. This has given me a fair measure of understanding and even compassion for the people who made the decisions that created the world we now inhabit. It's hard being human.

If I have learned any lesson from life both in and out of cryonics it is that one of the hardest things is to know when to complain and when to stay silent. There is in this world clearly a place for both the Oscar Schindlers who work silently to save what they can while living in the status quo, and the J. Robert Oppenheimers and Linus Paulings who criticize, demonstrate, and even lash out at the injustices in the world around them. Knowing when to do which is the hard part. Knowing when there is no good solution possible is even harder.

With the passage of time and the acquisition of experience I have come to realize that criticism, while important, is often self limiting. Anger and hatred are especially effective at obscuring the truth when the issues cannot be reduced to the crisp objectivity of a well defined experiment. That's why scientists love science so much: at its purest it is ever so much more satisfying than the gray blur of hard tradeoffs and judgment calls in everyday life.

I respect the right of people to choose to be a Schindler or an Oppenheimer. Each has its price and each it critics who can and will cut you to the quick. I do not want Kryos to be a combatant in the never ending cryonics wars. They are not wars that can be won with ay kind of victory worth having. For those who have read and understood Barbara Tuchman's The Guns Of August the folly of believing in a quick win or a sure fire strategy should be painfully apparent and taken deeply to heart. The story of the roots of World War I which she so eloquently chronicles is a lesson of human stupidity and hubris so vast it is hard to comprehend. For a feeling man or woman it is impossible to truly comprehend without weeping. We are captivated by human struggles and tragedies on that scale because we are creatures fascinated with extremes and dazzled by numbers.

This tendency to look at big tragedies should not mislead us: all great tragedies start in little ones. What we are doing in cryonics is important. It will be a terrible tragedy if we do not succeed. Small choices and actions made now are like the flapping of a butterfly's wings that are magnified by the chain of causality leading onto to a hurricane.

While it is probably folly, I hope that Kryos can remain focussed on achievement and on constructive work. I hope that we can avoid incendiary debates that generate only obscuring smoke and leave mostly ash in their wake. I have seen and been a party to too many such debates in my years in cryonics. Indeed, I left cryonics in no small measure to work in the garden of science where I dreamed I would be far removed from such an inferno. I learned that there is no such escape and that the only way to achieve any measure of personal peace and satisfaction is to put a very high bar on conflict. There is a time when war is the only recourse. That time is not now.

Alas, dreams do not always come true. I am sitting here gazing at a photomosaic of Mars instead of peering at her dunes through the window of a spacecraft. I have only a 500 milligram piece of Mars to hold in my hand instead of a fistful of cold red sand.

I have had only brief contact with Dr. Jerry Lemler of Alcor. What contact I have had has impressed me very favourably. It is still one of my fondest hopes that Kryos and Alcor can work productively together, that we can be engaged in what E. Shaun calls co-opetetion rather than cut throat competition.

No cryonics organization is a good fit for every person. Realizing this deep down, on an emotional as well as an intellectual level, has been a great relief to me. It takes much of the weight off my shoulders and it makes the world a place where it becomes possible for more of our dreams to come true.

I still want more of Mars than the half gram piece that sits on my desk. I still want more of the Universe for myself and for my loved ones than exists as a probability now. I am not very sure about how to reach these objectives. But I am very sure of several ways in which I can fail. Blaming arguments and bitter recriminations are one sure way to fail.

I can be sure of this because I am personally too weary for the kind of trench warfare where our feet rot off in the mud while we stare hopelessly up at the stars shivering in the cold certainty that we will never get out of the grave we dug for ourselves in the sure and certain hope of victory.

I want no part of that past for our future. War is sometimes necessary. Let us be damn sure it is a just and absolutely necessary one before we prosecute it. And let us work very hard to make such ugly acts, like death itself, a less and less frequent part of all our futures.

LN2 Trip and Back this Summer?

by D. C. Johnson

Installment 1

Ben Best wrote an essay some time ago regarding the potential of high pressure techniques for cryopreservation. I found it intriguing. His writing inspired some thoughts on the subject--an experiment, and the subject matter of a planned mini-series of posts. This is "Installment #1." While I will be referencing and quoting sections of his writings in subsequent posts, a prior reading of the essay is recommended. It is located on Ben's website ( For those who have not already partaken, and may currently have the time and interest, other background sections to be recommended in subsequent installments include:

Only a thought experiment at this stage, but looking towards fruition (and extension) perhaps with the input from others on the Cryonet, here is the basic concept to date:

Those to chill out at minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit for the afternoon will relocate to a very thick-walled steel container with a heavy breach-lock lid. Envision a high quality, stainless steel pressure cooker--without a handle. Now envision it as being about the size, shape and weight of a cannon ball (with its contoured lid in place). Its center "payload chamber" is about the size and dimensions of the interior of a tennis ball. All the volunteers (i.e., mostly draftees) are in their element inside the this snug vault-like chamber of their preferred environment--pure sea water. This capsule is manned by a small but brave aquatic crab, an equally ambitious and diminutive starfish, and a sea weed. Completely full (e.g., no air spaces whatsoever), the hatch is locked-down and the unit is submerged in a very large insulated Walmart cooler full of liquid nitrogen (LN2), which is situated in the center of a large meadow. The once Standard Temperature & Pressure Volume of fine young specimens and their aquatic surroundings quickly cool and solidify into one round glass-hard block of matter. Two hours later, the liquid nitrogen has completely evaporated from the closed cooler. An hour after that, the chamber's contents have nearly reached room (i.e., meadow) temperature. With a minimum of encouragement, the celebrities quickly exit and are shuttled back in their aquarium apartments to rest up and prepare for tomorrow's repeat matinee performance.

Installment 2

My current "science fixation" is the prospect of taking a few relatively simple life forms to cryogenic temperatures and back--safe and sound. Or, as close as possible to such temperatures, and as close as possible to safe and sound. Aquatic crustaceans, tropical fish and plants should do. Actually plants, (with their unforgiving ridged cell walls rather that lipid bi-layer membranes) will be plenty challenge enough. I will start with them. I estimate odds of report-worthy success to be a little less than one in a hundred.

I may try numerous tactics (if I try it at all) including simple pressure generating techniques to possibly minimize icing damage and/or encourage vitrification. Earlier (Installment #1) I described a means of generating pressure by taking advantage of the expansion properties of freezing water. (I will refer to the technique as "passive pressure generation.")

Aquarium zebra fish are popular choices these days in research--I forgot why, but will try to find the article I read a while back at the doctor's office (first Lipitor prescription). I believe they may be considered good models for such things as gene research and probably partly because of their hardiness. Its hard to off a zebra fish.

The working concept is that the cessation of the specimen's respiration is to be triggered by, and to coincide with, the lowering of temperatures whereby cellular ischemia issues are hopefully averted. More specifically, deleterious oxygen depravation may have been removed from the equation for the revival. Remember the recent news story of the revived "frozen child?"

The hypothesis is that metabolic functions are to seamlessly slow to a stop for a literal suspended animation along the way down and then will kindly resume somewhere along the way back up. All kinds of more than vexing technical problems exist which I'll save for another day/headache.

For now, what is the interest in the perfluorocarbons? With any success, I might consider moving on to bumble bees and other insects. But they breath air and air does not have anywhere near the same compression characteristics as liquids. At such a point, I would consider perfluorocarbons. In addition to having cryoprotective attributes, these liquids could sustain an air breathing creature while later transmitting the pressure desired for potential icing suppression.

Since its got a good long shelf life and is not too expensive per gallon, I might just decide to splurge at some point in the future.

Here are some interesting websites:

Aesthetics in Cryonics

by Natasha Vita-More < >

In Longevity Report 83, Dr Steve Harris wrote:

It isn't the cost that gets people's attention, it's the negative aesthetics. Aesthetics explain some of why cryonics can't even be given away to most people, who react to it rather like the stories of Poe, Lovecraft, and Shelley. Or the images of Irving, or even King's blueberry pie story. It does no good to argue with them about the aesthetics of what will surely happen to them with NO cryonics. We never said aesthetic sense was rational, did we? People already have their mental defences in place about death, and most of these are irrational. These prior defences would need to be torn down first, for the cryonics idea to penetrate. And that process would involve mental pain and wrinkled noses all the way.

It is essential in our highly technological future that we understand and respect the influences aesthetics has on civilization. Death is not pretty, no matter how it is performed. While cryonics may seem unaesthetic to many, so is the decaying of the body in a wooden box or the burning of flesh in a furnace. So, I don't think that this especially is detrimental to the overview of cryonics.

What I do think could be deemed as unaesthetic is the lack of artistic refinement that permeates much of the discussions on technology today. Kurzweil gets around it because he is artistic and understands the rhythm and flow of creativity and combines it nicely with a sense of humanity in his work.

What we do need to take a look at and critique honestly is how cryonics is presented to the public. The most recent Alcor Conference was an aesthetic experience, as it was held in a very lovely environment and produced a sense of quality and appeal. I think this is a fine example. Much of the science fiction and fine arts reflecting cryonics is very appealing. Here's a seemingly minor example of how aesthetics can be produced. Take, for example, the layout and design of announcements and the quality and care put into the CryoFeast. The CryoFeast for example has been an aesthetic experience. Even at Tim Leary's home we experienced a high art environment. When I redesigned the logo and the name, I seriously considered aesthetics - changing the name of the party to CryoFeast from Turkey Roast was done with aesthetics in mind because some people are offended by the paradox of roasting a turkey while celebrating life. Also, I tried to make the party creative and pleasant by putting up an animated invitation and art piece each year for the past five years. Things like this help. Rather than being viewed as a symbol of a Dewar and frozen body, we can be viewed as an intelligent and creative society of people who love life and enjoy aesthetic quality.

When we consider putting stuff in our bodies and adding stuff to our brains and even taking our brains and putting it into other stuff, it seems messy. We show by design and well written copy what the technology has to offer in a way that is emotionally appealing it receives a more welcomed response.

Aesthetics is all around us and we can interact with it at any given moment.

39th update of fly longevity experiments

by Doug Skrecky <>

This is the 39th update of my fly longevity experiments. In order to complete these updates on a timely basis, many runs are in progress simultaneously. For example this run was started two months after Run #36 was initiated. At that time the highest survival was with flies fed Knudsen black cherry juice, and this stimulated the present investigation into cherry juices. However one limitation of these experiments is that the flies used are a random assortment from the same breeding bottle. They are therefore not all of the same age, and average survival is a rather chancy affair. By comparison, as long as a few young flies wind up in each bottle in a run, then maximum lifespan will tend to be roughly the same in many bottles. It is this later figure that is my primary interest. Unfortunately maximum lifespan in Run #36 subsequently proved to be undistinguished for black cherry juice. The present run further indicates that if anything, cherry juices are toxic, rather than beneficial. Cherry juices are a source of cyanide, which may account for these diverse results. The next run will have more interesting results.

Run #39 Percent Survival on Day
supplement 29 34 40 44 51 56 62 68 74 81 87 93 99
control 82 73 68 68 68 55 36 36 18 18 9 5 0
BJ black cherry extract 40% 62 62 38 30 8 8 0 - - - - - -
Knudsen black cherry 40% 33 33 29 29 24 14 0 - - - - - -
Knudsen black cherry 79 79 67 67 61 58 42 33 18 9 0 - -
Knudsen black cherry (boiled) 79 75 71 71 58 54 33 25 13 4 0 - -
S+F 10 red cherries/cup 64 64 55 50 41 36 27 23 18 14 14 9 0
S+F red cherry juice 82 73 68 55 41 36 23 18 5 0 - - -
Sundew black cherry 95 84 79 79 53 53 37 5 0 - - - -

In Freezer Runs #11 & #12, I used some thicker plastic bags to store the flies for 4 days. Apparently the lack of air permeating this plastic proved to be lethal, with 100% mortality in some cases. No supplement offered significant protection against freezing damage.

Since no supplement yet tested has been consistently successful in reducing freezing induced mortality, I have decided to discontinue this line of inquiry. Instead an alternative additional type of experiment will be reported on in my next fly longevity update. This will be a personal investigation of a food satiety index.

Freezer Run #11 Percent Survival After minutes
supplement/20 gm food 0 35
control 1 0 -
control 2 0 -
whey 2 tsp 0 -
whey 4 tsp 100 0
+ green tea polys 300 mg 18 0
whey 8 tsp 100 0

Freezer Run #12 Percent Survival After minutes
supplement/20 gm food 0 35
control 0 -
ginkgo biloba 800 mg 0 -
glutathione 1600 mg 100 7
inositol 4 tsp 38 0
propolis 800 mg 0 -
sucrose 4 tsp 100 0

40'th Update on Fly Longevity Experiments

by Douglas Skrecky < >

This is the 40'th update of my fly longevity experiments. In addition to my latest fly results, I've also included in this update the results of a series of experiments testing the satiating abilities of various foods.

In fly Run #40 I take a look again at the effects of fruit juices, and compare this with varying the amount of citric acid. Control and juice bottles all had 1/4 tsp citric acid added. Doubling the amount of citric acid yielded results that could not be distinguished from that of the control. This correspondence is so close, I wonder whether the acid was indeed doubled. In any case further increasing citric acid to 1 tsp was clearly beneficial.

The addition of any fruit juice increased maximum lifespan beyond that obtained with either 1/4 or 1/2 tsp citric acid. Only 1 tsp citric acid yielded results comparable to that obtained with the juices. I doubt the juices increase longevity by their acidity. Instead they may provide a factor which reduces the toxicity of citric acid. One hypothesis I will be testing is that citric acid may induce a potassium deficiency, which in turn may harm longevity. A very small amount of additional potassium has been found to increase fly longevity in a published experiment. (Mechanisms of Ageing and Development 16: 221-231 1981)

Run #40

Percent Survival on Day

supplement 32 38 44 50 57 63 69 75 79 85 91 96 101 106
control 66 57 57 43 37 23 9 0 - - - - - -
apple juice 60% 90 85 75 70 60 45 40 40 35 30 15 10 0 -
apple juice 100% 67 64 61 58 50 22 25 25 19 8 3 0 - -
apple juice, Okanagan 75 75 75 71 71 50 25 18 14 7 0 - - -
citric acid tsp 59 50 55 45 41 23 5 5 0 - - - - -
citric acid 1 tsp 84 78 72 59 53 34 28 22 9 6 3 0 - -
grape juice 93 90 88 85 80 71 61 20 7 0 - - - -
grapefruit juice, pink 82 79 74 68 56 44 21 15 15 6 3 0 - -
grapefruit juice, white 66 59 50 41 28 22 13 9 6 0 - - - -
orange juice 82 79 68 61 43 32 21 14 14 7 4 4 4 0
pineapple juice 70 63 63 60 50 27 13 7 7 3 0 - - -

Testing the satiating ability of various foods, or food combinations, using only a single subject (myself) is rather problematic. Statistically meaningful results would not be obtained during a single meal, since calorie intake varies too much from meal to meal. If only a single food was consumed over a week I imagine the results would be meaningful. I decided to compromise and eat only one food or combination, for one day and measure calories consumed on a per day basis.

The first food tested was whole grain rye bread, with no toppings. Intake over one day was calculated at 1388 calories. I found the "staff of life" to be tasteless, but filling.

Second food was Gala apples. Unlike the bread, eating apples proved to be a chore. They had very poor short term satiating ability. I'd "fill up" on apples, but still remain hungry for a short period of time. This undesirable side effect might be due to an induced protein deficiency. I vowed not to test any more food combinations that had no protein in them. At the end of the day I was hungry again, but the idea of trying to go to sleep on a stomach filled with apples held little appeal. To compensate for going to bed hungry, I added a 150 calorie fudge factor to bring up daily intake to ab libitum levels. With this correction, estimated ad libitum intake was 1413 calories, which is remarkably close to that for rye bread.

Third food was Astro no fat lactose reduced yogurt. Unlike the other foods, this involved some variety, as both strawberry, blueberry, and peach yogurt was consumed. Daily intake was 1483 calories, which is not significantly different from the other foods. Palatability was much higher than the other foods. Fourth food was boiled whole potatoes. I was rather surprised to find I consumed 2179 calories of these. However the next day I spontaneously skipped lunch, due to lack of hunger. I suspect a longer term test lasting several days would have yielded results not significantly different from the other foods.

Fifth food was Ryvita high fibre whole rye crisp bread. This was much drier that regular bread, but intake was only slightly higher at 1564 calories.

Sixth was a combination, alternating one container of Astro no fat yogurt with one Gala apple, all day long. Some experiments with rodents find that dietary variety stimulates intake. My own experience is that eating some yogurt with an apple is more satisfying than either alone. I guessed calorie intake with this combination would be reduced. The scientists say it should go up. Total intake of both yogurt and apples was 1976 calories. Looks like the scientists win this one.

Seventh food was mixed vegetables, including carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. To provide protein I also ate one 500 gm container of no-fat cottage cheese (336 calories) with the vegetables. Total intake including both vegetables and cottage cheese was 1768 calories. Some Doctors recommend vegetables as healthy diet foods. Healthy they may be, but vegetables certainly are not good diet foods for this spare tire!

Further satiation experiments will be reported with the next fly longevity update.

Food Daily Calorie Intake

apple, Gala 1413
potato 2179 (skipped lunch next day)
rye bread 1388
rye crispbread 1564
vegetables/cottage cheese 1768
yogurt, no fat 1483
Yogurt & apple 1976

Seventh Day Adventists

Are Practising Life Extensionists

by James Swayze < >

I used to be one. If I could kid myself into still believing in God I would be Seventh Day Adventist over any other religion. Having studied some about most other religions and indeed most other Christian based religions I still find SDA's as the most practical and logical and literal truth following of any religion in existence. This is of course assuming The Bible had no flaws which now being an atheist I adamantly point out that it does at every opportunity.

However, had I not been an Adventist once I most probably would not be an immortalist or Extropian or hopeful to be cryonicist. Notice I didn't say I am a cryonicist. This is because I am not funded nor likely will be any time soon but that's another issue. First of all Adventists are practising Life Extensionists! They were so long before science ever got the notion to consider it. They were many generations before any of us here were even born. Second only to their preaching that the seventh day Sabbath of the Ten Commandments is Saturday and not Sunday, and they are right - just consult a calendar, is their health message.

They encourage vegetarianism. They abstain from pork, not just because some part of The Bible suggests it and not also solely because pork once was dangerous for trichinosis, but for practical - one may even say scientific - reason based on the fact a pig has just one stomach and therefore the possibility that more toxins will reach the animals flesh. They observed the effects of biomagnification (the theory that toxins accumulate and magnify in effect as food travels up the food chain from smaller beings being eaten by larger and so on) long before it became a scientific theory. Another not well known fact is that many Adventists have practised and preach caloric restriction long before Walford adopted the practice.

The founder of the Church first promoted a healthful lifestyle in the 1800's when it was unheard of. She was even instrumental in raising/shortening the lengths of skirts because she felt it unhealthy to be so fully closed in and that the skirts of the day dragged in the dirt which was caught up to land upon the body - this despite the prudish sexual morality fashions of the day. She promoted healthy breathing techniques and the opening of windows for fresh air and also bathing in a time full of superstitious beliefs to the contrary.

Speaking of fresh air and preaching healthy lifestyles how many churches do you know of that have a five day quit smoking program? How many do you know of that produce and market soy meat substitutes. Guess what, Adventists knew red meat was not so good for you long before it became mainstream scientific theory!

Politically Adventists unlike all other fundamentalist religions strongly support separation of church and state. In our present time where conservative Christians all around us are clamoring to bring government and religion together and promoting such things as prayer in school and infiltrating school boards and government offices with right wing Christian extremists, Adventists stand apart in condescension of such deeds. They support freedom of speech more than any other fundamentalist group. Adventists tend to be either liberal or libertarian bent and even those that are members of the republican party. Regarding issues of legislation that cryonicists may someday face you can count on that Adventists will be allies not enemies. They've always supported a persons right to personal choice over state dictated.

Scientifically Adventists have always been ahead of the crowd where other fundamentalist religions are concerned and very often ahead of mainstream science as I have mentioned above. They are not afraid to try unpopular and even controversial sciences. You all may remember the attempt to transplant a baboon heart into a human. A failure, yes, but they didn't shy away from it out of superstition and didn't get detracted by issues of human versus animal ethical bugaboos. Unlike other fundamentalist religions biology departments at Adventist colleges and hospitals recognize the Earth is older than the literal interpretation from The Bible and that evolution defines our medical theories. Adventists have always believed we are not alone in the universe and so are not Earth centric.

Theologically speaking Seventh Day Adventists among all Christian religions would be the most accepting of cryonics. They do not believe that one's soul exists before birth. Unlike many Christian religions they do not believe that the soul upon death immediately goes to heaven. They will point out that in 29 places in The Bible the state of the dead is written as being unconsciousness or sleep, that you "know nothing" and cannot be contacted or held accountable. They do not believe in contemporary faddish beliefs of the charismatic fundamentalists such as speaking in tongues or the rapture nor in secular spiritualism. They do not believe that life after death is as a bodiless spirit. They don't believe in ghosts, except for the third being in the trinity the "Holly Ghost". So, given all this every Adventist I have talked with has no problem with cryonics agreeing with me that it is no more a usurpation of their god's plan than cardiac resuscitation and they have no problem with that either. They have all agreed that if one does come back from cryonic suspension then one was not truly yet dead.

Out of all Christian religions the first to be an ally to cryonics, I would submit, would be the Seventh Day Adventists. In fact I would encourage the cryonicists here that have Christian spouses and relatives who are not friendly to cryonics to urge them to become SDA as a first step towards accepting cryonics. One reason to justify cryonics for anyone that shares Adventist beliefs would be to use cryonics as a way to be alive to actually witness their Christ's return.

On a personal note all of my family, save one, my step brother who shares my atheist beliefs, are Seventh Day Adventists including parents, grand parents, uncles, cousins and distant cousins on both sides of my family. When I told them I wanted to be cryopreserved they weren't shocked or appalled and support my decision. They don't like that I am atheist but if I were not and still wished to be involved in cryonics they would still support me. My mother supplies me with 19 vitamins and supplements I take daily some of which were suggested by Paul Wakfer and Gary Tripp but she supplied the rest for many years before I became acquainted with Paul and Gary or even the Life Extensionist movement. She did so not only because she is a nurse and able to research and understand the benefits but because it was natural for her with her life long Life Extensionist Seventh Day Adventist beliefs. Some of you may recall meeting my step father who single handed, except for some help from Gary Tripp after we arrived, drove me to and cared for me at the Asilomar conference. He took copious notes of all the lectures, not for me but for himself. He engaged in discussion and genuinely enjoyed learning every aspect.

I firmly believe if money were not the obstacle it is I could persuade much of my family to use cryonics. They might do so for the afore mentioned reason of seeing the second coming they believe in or simply to assuage my grief at their loss. After all it matters not to them as an observance of faith being no different logically than heart resuscitation. They would feel if it failed no matter they still have their belief in bodily resurrection. If it is successful then fine their god still awaits.

Now in anticipation of the discussions to come I wish to cover an issue that irks me. I have heard people accuse Seventh Day Adventists of being a cult. Now to me as an atheist, all religions are cults. However, being a little more reasonable and comparing religions to each other I wouldn't define a cult as having hospitals and colleges all over the world. Perhaps those that promote this negative aspersion do so because SDA's won't lock step with the rest of the fundies. Perhaps it is because they don't shy away from pointing out the hypocrisies of their peer religions. Perhaps the peer protestant religions don't appreciate being held up to the standard the SDA's set. I don't know nor do I much care. I just wanted to nip the cult issue in the bud. If Seventh Day Adventists are cultists then so are Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals and all the rest. By the way, the "Branch Davidians" of Waco massacre infamy are not and never were sanctioned by the official SDA church. In fact one of the major warnings preached by the church is the danger of following "false prophets" such as David Koresh.Editor's Comment:

There is a description of Seventh Day Adventism on

From it, there these interesting beliefs held by Seventh Day Adventists:

Immortality: They deny the concept of "innate immortality". They believe that a person is not naturally immortal. When a person dies, they remain unconscious until they are resurrected. Eternal life in a new world is a gift which God will give only to righteous Christians; the rest will be annihilated. Thus, they do not believe that a person goes to heaven or hell immediately upon death.

Diet: Members are expected to abstain from alcohol, coffee, tea and tobacco, and every "soul-defiling habit". They have interpreted the Old Testament dietary laws as prohibiting the eating of some foods. The church recommended avoiding red meat for many decades before medical science caught up with them. Many SDA member are vegetarians who supplement their diet with eggs and milk.

As of mid-2000, the Church has about 11 million baptized members, worldwide, who are "of age" and on the "official" roles. The total number of members and adherents is perhaps double that. They have a growth rate of about 11% per year. Adventists can now be found in 205 of the 229 countries and areas of the world recognized by the United Nations, with 91.6% of membership living outside of North America.

Also linked from this site is which gives some of Ellen White's writings and critical appraisal of them. Like anyone's beliefs, there are some elements of truth and some ideas which are now known to be untrue. Clearly if they were "revelations from God" as claimed, all would be equally true, according to the definition of God as being omniscient. God left out telling her about things like antibiotics, pasteurisation and many similar ideas which could have easily been implemented at the time. Apparently God considered it more sensible to spend a great deal of effort discussing moral issues and medical ideas now known to be flawed.

But we as cryonicists need to be aware that we have potentially 11 million allies in this group. Religious thought, concepts of "god" etc, are just ways of looking at the universe and describing it. Like science, they can sometimes be wrong. But also like science they can sometimes also be correct. It may well be due to pure chance, or it may be that, like scientific method, "religious method" can come up with correct answers. The only difference is, that scientific method gets it right more often than religious method. It is, of course, possible that one day a different methodology may be find that doers better than either.

Is consciousness only 3000 years old?

By Andrew Blackall

Readers might ponder this question less after a trip to Wiltshire's Avebury Stone Circles ( circa 2500 BC ) . In many ways, I believe that pro rata, human consciousness is less tuned in today than it was when our neolithic ancestors created such places. Humans today have a far more broad based opportunity to subdue their consciousness and sadly, most do.

The web is full of tin pot cults screaming at humanity to 'open it's mind' and whilst I'm sure some truth is out there, most people wouldn't understand it if it hit them with a bat. Indeed, if we are to believe that a shadowy elite such as the Bilderberg Group rules the world, practising sodomistic rituals in California's Bohemian Grove whilst worshipping the owl god, perhaps human consciousness is at an all time low. History, they say, is the truth of the victors and on that basis, perhaps our era will be seen as a genuine dark age. Society currently craves the latest 'high tech' machines whilst castigating science as the new Satan, it elects politicians from three 'main stream' parties all of whom belong to the same clubs, the same consultancy groups and often attended the same schools. Society pollutes and defiles the planet upon which it lives with the biggest throw away society since the Romans.

At a time when increased longevity is within the grasp of Joe and Jane Public, society en-mass still ridicules it and castigates those questing for a couple more decades as crack pot nutters. Cryonics is frowned upon as the domain of the vane fool and plastic surgery is viewed as a form of self mutilation beyond the gutter press wonder lust for breast implants. Even the humble veggie is pigeon holed as a be-sandled hippy trend of left wing anti socials. So perhaps consciousness is slumbering somewhere beyond the epidemic obesity, the drug dependency, the poverty, corruption and control.

Maybe free speech is still alive on the web. Maybe I will live well into my second century. Maybe I'll recover from the cryochamber to find a human consciousness re-awoken.

Cryonics and the Soul

Orion(Co30), aka Francois

Ok, there seems to be a misunderstanding about exactly WHAT is cryonics trying to achieve. Cryonics is NOT trying to achieve a freezing process that is reversible with simple thawing of the frozen individual. Cryonics is trying to preserve enough of the information contained in a body to allow the successful reconstruction of that body at the molecular level using a future technology. Freezing in liquid nitrogen is the method of choice in cryonics because chemicals reactions that can destroy the needed information are completely stopped at those temperatures. The frozen body can therefore wait forever for the required technology, provided of course that someone maintains the low temperature for all that time.

A way to illustrate this is to think about a book. The book contains information. If that information can be retrieved, the book is not "dead". An intact book out of the book store illustrate a living individual, healthy and functional. Tear the book in half and you have a "recently dead" individual. You can still glue the parts together and get back a reasonably healthy individual. Put the book in a shredder and you have a dead individual in cryonic suspension. The resulting mass of confetti is very confusing and hard to handle, but it is still possible to piece the book back together, then tho read the text and print a brand new book out of it. Burn a book to ashes and you have a dead individual that was allowed to decompose or was cremated. Information is lost, the book cannot be reconstructed, the individual is dead.

Remember, what is important in a living thing is not

the substance, it is the information. I can buy and mix together all the chemical elements present in a human body (heck, I can get 72% of the needed stuff out of my kitchen tap) but I will not get a human, I will get some sort of nondescript goop. To turn that goop into a living human I would have to take the atoms and put them together in the same way they are put together in living human body. Cryonics aims to preserve the information needed to do this. It will be the task of a future technology to come up with the devices that can read the scrambled information, unscramble it and put the atoms in the frozen body where they belong. Under those conditions, current freezing procedures are perfectly adequate for the purpose.

An argument for preserving frozen persons.

By David Pizer

Looking for a way to get your friends and loved ones signed up?

The main argument in the abortion debate now is not whether it is good or bad to kill a baby human (fetus, zygote or embryo?), most people agree that it is bad to kill a baby human, but they argue about what is a baby human. At what stage of pregnancy does this tissue become a human?

The most convincing point that anti-abortionists have come up with so far is that if you don't know at what stage the zygote-embryo-fetus becomes a person, then you should not kill it at any stage. They give the argument that if you were out hunting and it is the last day of the season and you really wanted/needed to kill a deer, and you saw something moving in the bushes, but you could not be sure whether it was a deer or a human, you would agree that you should not shoot at it because it might be a person. So you should not kill (abort) a zygote-embryo-fetus because it might be a person.

Many of our fellow humans (non-immortalists) think that frozen bodies are probably just dead bodies and not really persons. You can't get them to agree that frozen bodies are persons, but you might be able to get them to agree that frozen bodies might be people.

Or in case of potential efforts to get them unfrozen, (should that even happen again), we might think about not trying to convince them that these frozen bodies are persons, (it might be too big a leap for having any chance of persuading them), but just to agree that these frozen people might be persons.

Even agreeing that a zygote-embryo-fetus might be a person often is enough to convince a person not to have an abortion. This might be a position that those of you who are trying to convince friends and loved ones to get signed up will want to experiment with.

Marketing Cryonics

by "Deathist Lurker Girl"

There's no denying that a snappy tune might help, as suggested on CryoNet. Human beings are known to be emotionally stirred more by meaningful lyrics set to music than by the bare words themselves.

However, a major stumbling block to me is the seeming lack of a warm, welcoming community of cryonicists who seem genuinely interested in "evangelizing" cryonics, yet at the same time are respectful of the rights of others to decline their chance at immortality. The overall approach being something like, "You're fine just the way you are, and we accept your right to make your own choices, but we have something we think is very desirable, and we'd like to tell you more about it..."

I would be more inclined to want to support or join a group whose members:

And, yeah, love... hearts and flowers...because I'm cheesy like that. When I think of a "community," I think of people caring about one another. That doesn't mean you never disagree, but it does mean that you value your connection with your peers enough that you are not easily estranged by disagreements. It also means that you're not nasty to one another for no good reason. And if you are, you apologize.

Okay, before this starts sounding any more like All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (or whatever the title of that book was), I'm going to bid y'all a fond goodnight.

As Others See us

by Gerald England.

New Hope International Review - http ://

NHI Review, 20 Werneth Avenue, Gee Cross, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 5NL

Longevity Report #82

This short pamphlet is basically about the people, companies and scientists who are involved in Cryogenics {sic} and longevity.

You know, living forever, that sort of thing.

If you want to understand the mechanics and the reasoning behind longevity and what the boffins of this world are doing to try and achieve immortality then get yourself a copy pronto. Included are graphs and reports on the freezing process, charts on the longevity of various flavoured tea, as well as a graph on the longevity of coconut juice after it has been frozen. And they do make for some interesting reading, but -- hey, you knew it was coming! -- it's all rather too esoteric for my tastes. Perhaps if I'd read Longevity Report #1 I'd make better headway here. But somehow I doubt it.

As well as graphs on the lifespan of tea and people, we have various articles too. One of which is an interesting one penned by Dr Yuri Pichugin. Interesting the way it delves into the mind of a cryobiologist and interesting the way it tends to conflict with itself. You see on the one hand he writes of a belief in God but also notes that,

'I stand on the base of observations and facts rather than religious beliefs and anyone's fictions.' He also seems keen to get young people into cryogenics too saying, 'Better they go to cryonics societies than, for instance, Jehovah's Witnesses.' Yet gives no reason as to why they should. It's a confusing article that seems to have missed the irony of criticising religious groups for its unscientific attitude to cryogenics and not subscribing to their way of thinking. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

Ultimately, though an interesting look into a possible scientific future, Longevity Report, like the Religions it tends to criticise, throws up more questions than it answers. reviewer: Deian Vincent.

Longevity Report #83

An interesting collection of essays on the subject of Cryonics. Some thought-provoking stuff here which will be of interest to any writer researching into the meaning of life, God and the whole darned Universe.

Perhaps the most poignant piece was penned by Tim Freeman: "Who Does Cryonics Or Why More Males?" My gut reaction to that question was the old reproductive reason.

Cryonics is defined by Yvan Bozzonetti as

another brand: It is a gamble on coming technologies. I recall seeing an American TV documentary last year which examined the procedure and issues behind the desire for longevity. Is it really desirable to outlive all your friends and relatives? Who can actually afford to live that long?

John Grigg states in his essay, "The Alcor Adventure Video Review" that in his opinion

more people have not yet signed up for cryonics because the procedure is not currently fully reversible! At present there is no guarantee of success in the freezing procedure. Douglas Skrecky is doing a long-term study on flies feeding on different juices. This current issue contains his 36th Update! Intriguing. Personally, I rather envy those who want to live forever. They must have found the meaning of life!

I think I'll settle with making the most of the time I've got left, before it all goes horribly saggy. Just don't tell anybody about that picture I've got in the attic!

reviewer: Sarah Crabtree.


It is interesting to see which bits stick in someone's mind. The US TV documentary mentioned two questions that are often raised. Of course the "outliving friends and relations" can be met two ways - One you still have the descendants of your relations and new friends to get to know, and the other is that some of the existing ones may follow your example and sign up themselves. As to affording it, the question is very often raised on the basis of not really knowing what it (ie cryonics) really costs. People focus on the most expensive options and consider it as a single payment, whereas the reality is that there are many options and the payment, whether by buying insurance or investing in a trust, is spread out. If you capitalise what people spend throughout life on say car ownership, then the figures are frightening.

Estimates on the real costs of bringing up a child are contentious but figures in excess of cryopreservation costs usually emerge. On this basis one could well say "Who could actually afford to bring up one child?" Of course most people can, the reason being that the high costs are distributed throughout about 20 years.

Homosexuals, cryonics and the "natural order."

By Mike Darwin

When I was 17 years old (29 years ago) I spent a summer with Curtis Henderson on Long Island living in his home and helping out around the old CryoSpan facility in Coram, Long Island. I was no stranger to cryonics having been involved at the age of 13 and having cryopreserved my first patient, Clara Dastal, the previous December. It was a bleak time in cryonics. CryoSpan was clearly dying and there were fewer than 30 people truly signed up for cryonics in the entire world. You would have had to live through those times to understand how bleak and hopeless things seemed (and were).

Litigation was a constant threat, and one day Curtis, in his keenly cynical way said "Listen son, you'll know this thing has come of age when three things happen: First when people start suing you for not freezing their relatives instead of for freezing them. Second, whenever the minorities of the era begin to clamour that they are being unfairly discriminated against because they are not being frozen at the same rate as the dominant non-minority. And Third, when idiots who known nothing of how this thing (cryonics) was built tell you are to be eliminated or reprogrammed a la 1984 because you don't deserve to live as you are and the Johnny come lately know what's best for you.

Cryonics must be getting close to breaking into the mainstream and maybe making it to the Scientology level of success: two out of three "markers being realized" isn't bad. Thus, it is as a genuine marker of progress that I noted Louis Epstein's comments about homosexuality, and the arrival of others who are ignorant of how what they have to argue about on Cryonet came about. This is as deeply satisfying as it is amusing. As usual, Curtis' predictions have proven all too accurate.

First, some words about homosexuality from my perspective as a biologist. It should be noted that I am a homosexual and thus while I have some unique insights, my views must also be carefully examined for conflicts of interests and lack of objectivity. The readers can judge for themselves.

I'll start with some very basic observational field and evolutionary biology. It is a hard concept for non-biologists, but one thing that is abundantly clear is that nature truly is Dawkins' Blind Watchmaker. There is no absolute order or proper way in nature: the only imperative is survival of life, usually in the form of the species. Here again, there is no one right way. Some species survive by expending most of their resources on repair and maintenance of the individual (birds, redwoods, bristle cone pines), while others concentrate on high reproduction rates (bacteria, mice, and other organisms that experience high death rates). There isn't any one "best" strategy. The "best" strategy is the one that "works" for a given environment. Sickle cell trait is no advantage in a world without malaria and is considered a genetic defect, unless of course you live in a malaria infested area. Having seen the swath malaria is cutting through contemporary India I have great respect for the utility of the sickle cell "defect."

Nature just doesn't give a damn, to be blunt. The dice of genetic and thus phenotypic variation are constantly being rolled and the outcomes tested against an equally dynamic and changing environment. It doesn't take great brains to realize that we have the wild bestiary of extinct animals in the fossil record because the environment changed. The dinosaurs were the dominant large life form on this planet immensely longer than humans have existed, and for that matter, than for the length of time mammals have been so abundant. By historical standards the jury hasn't even convened on the utility of the "brains" experiment. Right now, wings have the edge: birds live longer, better lives than mammals, including man, although we are closing the gap, albeit at enormous destabilizing impact on the rest of the biosphere. (A problem that will hopefully be fixed if we are both clever and wise).

So now we come to sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular. Sex is very fluid in nature and many strategies exist to achieve reproduction. Human reproduction has proven incredibly successful for an animal our size. But, it can't hold a candle to strategies used by insects and microorganisms which account for far more of the terrestrial biomass than we do and who, by the way, have proven more evolutionarily stable in design. I have a Class A piece of amber which is 200 million years old and I can't tell the termites or the ants preserved in it from contemporary ones that infest my house from time to time. That's what I call a good initial design! Durable to say the least! But alas, unlikely to reach the stars, write sonnets or colonize the solar system.

Homosexuality is very robust across a wide range of species including most mammals and birds. It is constant at between 2% and 10% of the population as an exclusive behaviour, and more like 15% to 20% as a transient, occasional, or opportunistic behaviour. It's long durability (at least 5,000 years in humans) suggests "evolutionary utility." On the other hand, it may be just one of countless "mutations" or "variations" which just don't experience enough selection pressure to be weeded out. Nature, however, is economical and weeding variations, however seemingly "useless" is done at great peril. Introns may not be so useless after all.

The genome to evolution is like a huge library full of seemingly useless stuff which can become incredibly valuable when weird enough circumstances occur: like a comet or asteroid plowing into the earth and completely changing environmental conditions which have been stable for millennia within a few years or decades...

Even today, there are some tenable theories about the utility of homosexuality and reasons for its evolutionary conservation. These reasons bear strongly on the intersection of homosexuality and cryonics which has been highly significant, as I will show.

What are the possible reasons for homosexuality being "valuable to the species" and evolutionarily conserved?

1) Heterosexuals make lots of babies. If you are heterosexual you will know that babies and the wives that go with them consume almost all available resources. The focus of the hunter-gatherer heterosexual unit is survival of the family group and the tribe.

This doesn't leave a lot of spare time for art, music, literature or nursing and care of sick and the dead. Homosexuals in almost all human cultures tend to combine the superior food gathering capabilities of males with the nurturing aspects of females. In the natural (pre-civilization) state illness and death of tribe members is commonplace and women suffer a disproportionate share of mortality. The presence of men and women who do not have reproductive units of their own allows their energies to be used to benefit the group as a whole. Humans are uniquely cultural animals and we depend on story telling, myth and history to survive and communicate survival critical knowledge from generation to generation. Homosexuals represent a pool of non-reproducers who can act as backup and support for these functions.

It may be no accident that homosexuals in both primitive and modern societies occupy the following roles which are of general social benefit in disproportionate number:

2) Male-male and to a lesser extent female-female bonding approaching romantic love is critical to successful hunting and combat operations. This bonding typically stops before sexual interaction in the modern world. Such bonding is, however, problematic for the family unit. Women resent it because it takes the male's efforts out of the sphere of supporting the immediate family. Most soldiers are young and most tightly bonded males end this phase of their lives when they marry. Homosexual males can continue in this mode whether they actually act on sexual impulses or not. From the time of the Spartans through to the present an unbelievably large number of career military people are homosexuals of both sexes. Eisenhower's entire female support staff was lesbian; a fact which he found out when he decided to clean house and get rid of all lesbians in the service. He reconsidered when he found nearly his entire mission critical female staff was lesbian.

From personal experience I can say that the US Navy, Air Force, Marines and to a lesser extent the Army, have a staggering number of career officers and enlisted men and women who are homosexual or bisexual. Immediate discharge of these people would severely cripple the US military and destroy its institutional memory and culture in key areas. And, for the record, I don't support visible presence of gays in the military as it is currently structured; neither do I support a coed military with men and women on aircraft carriers and in trenches. This isn't working from the numbers (pregnancies, rapes, sexual harassment) I can see.

The price paid for the necessary male-male and female-female bonding may be more extreme variations which pour over into sexual identity. This is to be expected: nature doesn't run on tight specs; it creates a range of intensities and lets selection pressure sort out the appropriate balance for the current environment.

Homosexuality is no more or less aberrant than the first feathers or the first wings or the first human born without a brain or one born with a tail. It's all the same to the universe. It's a blind crapshoot and whatever works, works. It is worth noting that humans have the highest miscarriage rate of any animal we know of and one of the highest rates of birth "defects." We view this as bad socially. However, it indicates that in this species a high rate of experimentation has proven beneficial. Most experiments and innovations turn out badly. Think about your PERSONAL lives and the things you've tried and failed at. There are a million books on how to succeed, but very few on how to fail. How to fail and survive it is the more important of the two; talk to anybody who has been fantastically successful and you'll hear mostly about failures that taught them lessons and often were they key to success. Failure, coupled with sorting and learning from it are the real drivers of success.

Now to cryonics:

Fact: A disproportionate number of activists in cryonics have been and still are homosexuals. With the exception of CI (Ettinger has always been its leader) every extant cryonics organization has had a gay man as its CEO for a critical period in its history. All cryonics organizations have had homosexual men and women who have served with distinction on their boards as Officers or Directors often being innovators.

Fact: A huge amount of money and effort that has gone into cryonics has been as a result of gay men and women. During Alcor's years of peak growth to date, gay men occupied key positions in the leadership of the organization. The same was true of ACS and CI (then CSM). This was so for several reasons:

a) No one else would do it. Most qualified straight men had wives who hated cryonics and threatened their husbands with dire repercussions if they became more involved. The gay men had the time and the money to focus their efforts full time on cryonics. People like Pat Dewey, Jerry White, Margaret Bradshaw, Al Lopp, Gary Meade and many others did what most straight men didn't have the time, energy or money to do or to risk doing.

b) Homosexuals have been and still are outsiders. They have been lied to and persecuted by the establishment enough to become deeply suspicious of the system's legitimacy and rightness. They have learned to think for themselves. If they are open homosexuals they are far less driven by "what the neighbours will think" and thus far less inhibited about engaging in an unpopular and deviant behaviour like cryonics. Indeed, the same arguments levelled against cryonics are the SAME ones used against homosexuality: it's not natural, it's against the order of things, it is anti-religious, it is deviant, it is socially unacceptable (you'll be an outcast), it is anti-status quo and anti-establishment (not approved by the Doctors, the Church, and your Mother)...

c) Homosexuals don't usually have children to distract them from their own mortality or give them a sense of continuing through their children. They thus have a lot of time to think about the meaning of DEATH.

d) They are typically more narcissistic and focused on their bodies and their health. This is probably in part an artifact of being ostracized for those very external characteristics and partly because male homosexuals don't have to deal with the barrier of women to sexual access. Sex is more casual more often and it is looks driven more than it is with female heterosexuals. Women want money and stability (statistically) over looks and a quick roll in the hay. And why not, THEY get stuck with the kids and childbirth and child rearing are not easy for single women even today.

FACT: A disproportionate number of patients now cryopreserved are gays and lesbians.

FACT: The largest bequests to a cryonics organization I'm aware of has come from gay men. The lawsuit over the legality of cryonics was funded largely by a talented gay man named Dick Jones who won 3 Emmys for his writing on the Carol Burnett show.

On a personal note, I'm no gay rights zealot nor are most of the gays in cryonics. Most are of a libertarian bent. I favour equal enforcement of laws that already exist. My sexuality would be peripheral to who I am if people like Mr. Epstein hadn't made it otherwise. It still isn't high on my list of essentials as to who I am. Old fashioned reproductive behaviour in general looks pretty silly when you take the long view. In any event, the typical heterosexual drive to reproduce is not tenable in the very kind of world cryonicists want to create. A solid sphere of human flesh expanding at the speed of light is not only impractical, but silly to contemplate. If any re-engineering for long lifespans has to be done it could just as easily be argued it is more likely to be needed for heterosexuals, or, as politically incorrect homosexuals call them derisively: BREEDERS.

Me, I just sit and watch the Universe in wonder. It's a weird place and the longer I live in it the fewer certainties I have. Homosexuality, yeah, it has been very important to cryonics, VERY important. But that was then. Who knows what the future will bring?

One thing's for sure though, straight, gay or something else, you aren't going to recruit people by calling them defective and threatening their autonomy by "fixing" them for their own good. I've got a modest collection of Third Reich items including concentration camp badges, scrip, and Aryan Certificates. Horrible and sobering. I display it prominently to remind me that moral certainty on issues of this kind is a very dangerous thing.

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