X-Message-Number: 3431
Date: 29 Nov 94 02:43:03 EST
From: John de Rivaz <>
Subject: CRYONICS: Terra Libra and Ponzi Schemes

As a result of correspondence generated when I mentioned Terra Libra, (the

freedom organisation originally promoted by the Venturists, followed by myself),
some people suggested it was a "Ponzi" scheme. Terra Libra have recently
introduced a FAQ file, and I reproduce below their answer to this accusation:

Isn't Terra Libra just another multiple level marketing or "Ponzi" scheme?

First, let me use the word 'system' in place of the word 'scheme.' Scheme is a
perfectly good word but it does have some negative connotations. Second, let me

suggest that you are asking the wrong question. Multiple level marketing systems
(MLMs) are inherent in the free market process. Take your local retailer for
example. The local retail store is part of an MLM. The manufacturer markets to
the distributor. The distributor markets to the wholesaler. The wholesaler
markets to the retailer. The retailer markets to you, the customer. This is the
way markets work. What most people are really asking when they ask if Terra
Libra is 'just another MLM scheme' is, 'Isn't Terra Libra just another PONZI

Ponzi schemes use an MLM structure but there the similarity ends. A Ponzi scheme
has no real products although they may sell a 'product' that tells you how you
can get your money back by continuing the Ponzi scheme to lower levels. and go
away. You are required to 'join' the organization usually by paying a fairly

large fee that you can recover by selling 'memberships' or 'distributorships' to
others. The product you get for your 'membership' fee is information on how to
'sell' memberships to others. Since the products are not useful in and of
themselves, the number of people willing to purchase 'memberships' drops off
fairly quickly and there are no repeat customers. (Once you have 'joined' there
is no incentive to 'join' again.) The result is the people at the top of the
pyramid (Ponzi schemes are sometimes known as pyramid schemes) who started the
whole thing get rich while the people who joined late in the game end up with
nothing to show for their 'membership'.

'Now to answer the original question. Is Terra Libra a multiple level marketing

'system?' Short answer, yes. Is Terra Libra a Ponzi scheme? No. Here's how Terra

Libra differs from a Ponzi scheme. Terra Libra has real products that are useful
in and of themselves. In addition to reports showing you the legal basis for

your individual sovereignty, how to increase your health, etc., there are useful

services offered. While the reports tend to be one time sales, the services have
many repeat customers. This means that Terra Libra can continue on indefinitely

into the future and never run out of customers. Terra Libra will sell you any of

their products and there is no requirement for you to purchase a 'membership' in

Terra Libra. In fact, you can become a Terra Libran without even telling anyone.

You can also become a Terra Libran and never purchase any products at all. Terra
Libra has a lot more in common with your local retail store than it does with a
ponzi scheme.

<end of quote>

Terra Libra News has carried my cryonics column for some months now, and it has
generated correspondence on the subject. When someone complains about cryonics,
a public debate in a newspaper has the effect of educating the writer of the
letter and also many people who may hold similar prejudices.

If anyone changes their mind as to whether they are interested in learning more
about this oragnisation, then please email me for more details.


I have found that it seems to be a very common misconception that when someone
is reanimated from cryonic suspension they are reanimated at the age when they
died. For example if you are suspended aged 91 then you are revived at a

biological age of 91 and continue for as long as people aged 91 live for in they
time in which you are revived. In all probability, according to this misheld
belief, you would merely be prolonging the agony of dying. This is analogous to
old people today who are persuaded to allow various bits removed and replaced

with inadequate prostheses in order to gain a few more weeks' life at the end of
their lifespan.

Such people seem quite surprised when told that a technology capable of reviving

them would also be capable of putting their body into peak condition, similar to
that when it was 25 years old, say. Not only are they surprised, but their
interest usually increases too.

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