X-Message-Number: 9005
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 12:37:33 EST
Subject: Prometheus

The only thing about Prometheus that was ever clear to me was the goal, and
that only in the most general terms. One thing that was always unclear was the
question of succession in case Paul could not continue (even though at early
stages of discussion a for-profit corporation was envisioned, which would have
created at least the formal framework for succession). 

But as I said in my most recent comment here, everyone agrees with Thomas
Donaldson and with Paul Wakfer that the success of the research takes priority
over other considerations--unless those other considerations themselves tend
to compromise that success.

So now we get once more to the (to me) equally unclear status and
relationships of 21st Century Medicine, BioPreservation, and the university
that is said to be helping to fund (certain aspects of) Greg Fahy's research. 

My impression has been that Saul Kent and Bill Faloon, with or/and through
21st Century Medicine or/and BioPreservation, have always intended or hoped to
get Greg's team to work full time on cryonics (brain primarily)--funding it
themselves if possible and necessary, but of course seeking/accepting help
from more or less any source, notably Prometheus. 

Thomas Donaldson now suggests that 21 CM might be the appropriate entity to
take over Prometheus. That makes considerable sense, and might also fit in
with the original Prometheus objective, on which most of its pledges were
based, to become a for-profit group. But it might not be so comfortable for
those who just want to make donations for research and want assurance of
maximum timely availability of results for cryonics organizations. And there
is also a possible question of succession involved, since again we have a very
small number of key people (currently Kent, Faloon, and Fahy, as far as I

Paul has reported over $400,000 per year for Prometheus having been "pledged"
under various conditions. Possibly much of this could be salvaged or realized,
assuming that the motivations were mainly not financial. That is an important
sum, and should not be abandoned before diligent efforts to find a way.

It seems to me what is most needed now is a CLEAR and straightforward proposal
(or at least discussion) by Kent, Faloon, and Fahy. In the past, as it seems
to me at least, much of the information from or about them has been very
obscure, hedged, guarded, and difficult to evaluate.

Mae and I personally, because of age, are unlikely to see full success of the
research. And others are pursuing research (and we are supporting research)
perhaps more closely related to the interests of older organization members.
But we still want it to succeed, as soon as possible, for many reasons. It is
also possible that early partial successes by the Fahy team could improve our
chances. In sum, we are more than willing to consider support for some
variation or resumption of Prometheus. But there MUST be candid and clear
discussions and proposals, no disingenuousness or evasiveness.

Finally, we feel deep regret for Paul Wakfer's personal problems and
disappointments. He has invested enormous effort, time, and (relatively) money
on Prometheus and other projects related to cryonics. These efforts may yet
eventually prove successful in their primary aims.

Robert Ettinger  

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