The James Swayze Fund -- Update

Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 22:28:38 MST

One or two people have written me asking how the attempt to raise money
to help James Swayze get a suspension is going. Well, to date, the James
Swayze Fund has gotten about $7000 in hard contributions. As most
readers here know, Robert Ettinger of CI has pledged to personally pay
the remaining amount to guarantee a suspension for James, provided at
least $20,000 can be raised. So, thus far, we've over one third of the
way there.

This is not as much in the way of contributions as we had hoped. On the
other hand, all things considered, it is not a bad result either, and
future prospects look encouraging.

I say that because the James Swayze Fund has so far had to face four

1. First, of course, the September Eleven bombings. That awful
incident, and the continuing consequences, completed dominated all the
media, internet included, for several weeks. Discussion of James
Swayze's personal situation, and just about everything else, took a back
seat. In addition, everyone's attention, donations, and giving went to
disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross and so on. That
attention and those donations were certainly appropriate, but they did
set publicity and contributions for the Swayze Fund on temporary hold,
and forced us to look at our fund-raising efforts in terms of a longer
time-frame. It's unfortunate to consider that the effects of the bombing
were such that nearly all its victims died almost immediately and that
the great amounts of money donated could not save them; whereas James
Swayze *can* still be saved. But then that's also a reason for optimism:
 in James' case, there's still a chance to make a difference.

2. Prior to Robert Ettinger's announcement, $10,000 was already pledged.
 A number of those previously pledged donations for James did not

3. James himself -- to very much understate things -- is not been in the
best of health, and has in the past two months had to undergo some rather
daunting tests and treatments. That's limited his own ability to take
part in the effort, by responding to things like questions and

4. Lastly, the funding effort to date has so far been restricted to a
very small number of potential contributors -- specifically, the readers
of the Cryonet and Extropian lists, and the sci-cryonics newsgroup.

Given these factors, I think it's fair to say that we've actually done
rather well in reaching more than a third of our goal. And what is
particularly heartening is that some of the factors above are changing,
and are now moving back in James' favor. To be specific:

1. The complete domination of the September Eleven incident in the news
and in the area of donations is easing up a bit. It's more likely that
the message about James can get through now, and get a response.

2. Simply because some of the earlier pledges have not come in, it
doesn't mean that they'll never come in. Those pledging may be a little
tardy, but -- if you're one of those pledgers, and you're reading this --
bear in mind that the CI and the Swayze Fund are more than ready to
accept your donation, and that with Robert Ettinger's announcement there
is a real liklihood that your pledge will make a difference. There is a
real fighting chance for James now, so if you've forgotten to send in
your pledge because you've been caught up in events or in personal
matters, or have just not been reading Cryonet and missed the
developments, please: send your pledge in.

3. Though James' health is fragile, he's recovered enough to be able to
deal with interviews and so on and his active involvement in the process
will be a definite help. In addition, CI has set the membership process
for James in motion by sending James the appropriate forms and so on.
Thus, all the paperwork and conditions should be in place by the time
suspension becomes necessary. Once the funding is in place, everything
will be ready.

4. CI -- or rather, those people on the CI team that are trying to raise
funds for James --has decided to try to get James' story out to a larger
number of people, in hopes of getting contributions from the general
public. To that end, we are putting out a set of press releases that
hopefully will bring in contributions from outside the circle of regular
Cryonet readers.

That's how things stand now.

What can you do to help?

First and foremost -- donate. I'm sure we all wish James well, but the
bottom line is that our wishes won't get James a suspension, and our
donations will. Yes, large donations are better than small ones, but we
ought to remember that if every signed-up cryonics member gave as little
as ten dollars, that would nearly put us over the top. Just ten more
cryonicists pledging a thousand dollars apiece would do the same thing.
Through CI, the James Swayze Fund has even arranged to take donations by
credit card via Paypal at So contributing doesn't
mean taking a big bite out your savings: you can pay off your donation
by credit card at as easy a pace as you like.

The next best thing you can do? Tell others about James's situation and
about the Swayze Fund. The fact is, even most cryonicists and people
sympathetic to cryonics are not daily readers of Cryonet. There are
people are out there who very much sympathize with the idea of cryonics
and who might be very willing to contribute, but who just don't know
about James' situation. Let them know. Mention it when you see or email
them, and mention James' web site at
Just casually letting people know doesn't cost anything and isn't very
hard to do -- but it might just get through to those one or two people
whose contribution could get us over the finish line.

In this connection, I'd especially like to thank Charles Platt, for being
good enough to allow me to mention the James Swayze Fund in his Alcor
Forum newsletter, and Rick Potvin, for letting me do so on his online
Alcor forum. I think this is a good example of cryonicists being able to
pull together in a good cause, and also a good example of something that
James Swayze has brought to the cryonics community: a reminder that we
*are* a community, and that we *can* work together to help one another.
Helping James Swayze may not only benefit James, but demonstrate that the
cryonics community is willing to stand together and care for its own; and
that may very well increase all our chances.

David Pascal

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