Re: Saving James Swayze

From: John Grigg (
Date: Thu Aug 30 2001 - 22:02:59 MDT

Zero Powers asked:
>Do you know how much more is needed? Is anyone running a tally? There
>might be some generous benefactor on the list who is willing and able to
>"top it off."

Robert Ettinger has stated he will not be running a public tally. This is because it could cause some people to hold off in the hopes others will donate.

I think there would be a certain appeal to letting people know how much has been donated and how much still needs to be. I suppose my understanding of human psychology would support this view! lol I sincerely hope people will not hold back because of the way Mr. Ettinger has decided to do things.

He will announce when the needed sum has been reached. Then he will give a pro rata sum back to each donor based on how much "over" the donations went.

I will repost below two emails by Robert Ettinger regarding the fundraising project. Just in case some of you missed them.

best wishes,


Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2001 09:35:29 EDT
Subject: Saving James Swayze

 Most Cryonet readers are probably familiar with the James Swayze
 situation. James is almost completely paralyzed, and under federally
 subsidized care. That care has a price. All his earnings have been taken
 away, and whatever he might somehow manage to earn will also be taken
 away. His health is precarious, but his determination and his
 intelligence are not. He learned about cryonics, and the possibility
 that through cryonics he might yet overcome his unfortunate situation.
 He wants to try. The only problem is that he can't afford it.
 CI, and I personally, would very much like to see Mr. Swayze get his
 chance. The difficulty is that no cryonics organization can simply
 provide suspensions free of charge. Suspensions are expensive, and that
 expense is ongoing, as daily care and maintenance and supplies are needed
 to safeguard patients. Cryonics organizations cannot get into the habit of
 taking financial losses, even for charitable purposes. We saw that
 happen many years ago with the Chatsworth situation. There, charity
 patients were accepted. But with no money to fund their care, or pay
 company bills, the company failed, and those patients and all the
 patients were lost.
 CI has determined that that will never happen to our patients, and so it
 is CI policy that funding, in every case, has to be adequate and certain.
  Nonetheless, I and a number of others at CI have been trying to come up
 with some way to give James his chance.
 My own ideas have gone through several phases. At one point I thought CI
 might reasonably give James a price break, or even fund his
 suspension in exchange for his active help in public relations. But as
 I learned more about his situation, it became clear that this might not
 be fair either to CI or to him. From our point of view, the potential
 value of his PR help is really uncertain -- it could be considerable, or
 it could be negligible, and there is a legal question as to whether he
 can earn anything at all without government regulations interfering. From
 his point of view, the demands on his time might be counter-productive.
 His health varies from bad to very bad, and forcing someone in poor
 health to work for what might be a very long time is neither wise nor
 fair. He ought to use his time as he sees fit, perhaps to work on his
 inventions, perhaps just to extract a bit of enjoyment from life.
 Rudi Hoffman did a lot of work on life insurance possibilities, providing
 some interesting potential for future problem cases, but leaving gaps in
 James' case, about which I won't go into in detail here.
 So I think now that it just comes down to individuals coming together
 voluntarily to donate the cost of a CI suspension for him. To make that
 possible, I've made a personal decision.
 Just under $10,000 has been pledged so far. The total required --
 suspension fee, membership fee, and local and transportation costs -- we
 figure $33,000. That leaves us $23,000 short, assuming all the previous
 pledgers make good.
 I now make the following commitment. If we can get another $10,000 in
 donations, paid to CI along with payments for the previous pledges (total $20,000),
 then I will personally make up the difference (i.e., fund up to $13,000 additional).
 I don't want to be misunderstood. I hope we can get a total donation sum of
 $33,000. But if we achieve at least $20,000, and we seem to be nearly
 halfway there already, then I will make up the difference.
 Now, a few particulars. Every plan can be argued and nitpicked back and
 forth, but I want to avoid argument and get cracking, so the following is
 not just an idea or a suggestion but the plan:
 1. We want donations, not pledges -- cash, not promises. Please send your
 donations as soon as possible, payable to Cryonics Institute. (On the
 memo line of the check, usually at the lower left -- not on the payee
 line -- you may write "James Swayze Fund.") Mail it to Cryonics
 Institute, 24355 Sorrentino Court, Clinton Township, Michigan 48035. You
 will of course receive an acknowledgement. Donors' names and amounts will
 be kept confidential if requested -- though we'd prefer to thank you
 publicly and make your generosity public at some point. Setting an example
 for others could inspire others to help.
 2. We do not plan to announce the status of the fund until the goal of
 $20,000 is conclusively passed. Otherwise, obviously, some potential
 donors might hold off, hoping their own contributions will not be needed.
 Please, don't hold off for any reason -- James' health is much more
 problematical than that of most people, and it would be ghastly if he
 were to miss his chance by a hair.
 3. Donations are not refundable, except as follows. If donations should
 happen to exceed $33,000, the overage will be refunded pro rata (the same
 percentage of each donation will go back to each donor). If James should
 die before the necessary amount is reached and he is not suspended by CI, all
 donations will be refunded.
 I hope that all $33,000 can be raised. But at the moment raising even
 $10,000 (beyond the current pledges) could secure a cryonic suspension, and
 the possiblity of a new life, for James Swayze. $10,000 dollars seems like a
 lot of money, I know. But there are said to be approaching a thousand people
 in the world who are signed-up members of cryonics organizations. Some are
 comfortably off, some of them are quite wealthy, and all of them are able to meet the costs of membership and insurance.

 If each one sends in what he can afford without hardship, James Swayze would be able to realize the hope all of us have -- a chance of a new and healthy life in an amazing future. We've all seen a lot of disagreement among cryonicists on this list. Let's put it behind us, and pull together this once, to help a friend--a man of
 extraordinary spirit, who needs to have his extraordinarily bad luck mitigated.
 Robert Ettinger

Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 20:27:21 EDT
Subject: Swayze addendum

In my post concerning Saving James Swayze, I forgot to add the following:

If enough money is not raised over a reasonable period, any donations made
will be returned to those making the donations.

Robert Ettinger
Cryonics Institute
Immortalist Society

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