Prometheus Project Description
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 22:19:05 -0700

This is Paul Wakfer's description of The Prometheus Project

Date: 01 Aug 96 05:14:48 EDT
From: Paul Wakfer <70023.3041@CompuServe.COM>
To: pforum <>
Subject: Prometheus Project Description

The Prometheus Project

Convincingly demonstrated, scientifically proven and published,
fully reversible long-term brain cryopreservation within 10 years

As of July 31, 1996, after about six weeks of promotion, first in
CryoCare Forum, and then on the Internet through the CryoNet list and the
sci.cryonics news-group, pledges of $212,200.00 per year, or a total of
$2,122,000.00 payable over a 10 year period have been solicited for the
Prometheus Project. These pledges, ranging in yearly value from $1,000 to
$25,000, have been made by 38 individuals and 2 organizations.

The research project which has been greeted so enthusiastically and
supported so strongly is one which several of us have been talking about for
many months now since we realized that two of the most critical factors which
have kept cryonics small, insecure and unscientific, have become
substantially improved. Those two factors are:

1) that current cryobiological methods to reversibly preserve large organs
which are now nearing perfection should be applicable to the human brain
after suitable modifications, and

2) that the population and the wealth of the cryonics community has reached
a size which should enable it to support mainstream cryobiological
research to perfect and convincingly demonstrate fully reversible
mammalian brain cryopreservation, if cryonicists could only be convinced
to do so.

Because of its audacity and life-providing purpose we have named this
project: The Prometheus Project. If our pledge campaign is successful the
project research will be conducted by a for-profit corporation to be formed
for this immediate purpose and for the longer-range purpose of producing
fully reversible whole-body suspended animation. At this time only solid
pledges of $1,000 or more per year for 10 years beginning in 1998 are being
requested. When a total of over $1,000,000 per year has been pledged, a
company will be formed, an investment prospectus will be issued, share
purchase contracts will be signed by all consenting pledgers, the first
year's payments will be collected, shares will be issued, and the project
will begin. In accordance with SEC regulations, I must state that this
writing is not a solicitation for the purpose of purchasing shares in any
existing corporation.

Needless to say, it is my strong belief, and one I sincerely hope that
you will share with me after due consideration of this Project, that the most
rewarding aspect of the successful completion of the Prometheus Project will
be the almost certain opportunity for each of us to live vastly extended,
healthy lives.

The Purpose of The Prometheus Project

The purpose of the Prometheus Project is to demonstrate by methods which
will be convincing to the public and will be published in a peer reviewed
scientific journal, the restoration to normal physiological and mental
functioning of a mammalian brain which has been preserved and stored at a
temperature below -140xC for at least 6 months or which could be so stored
for hundreds of years if necessary without additional damage.

Logical Necessity of The Prometheus Project for Those Who Wish to Stay Alive

The Problem:

1. Unless major scientific anti-aging advances are made, every one of us
faces the virtually certain inability of our body to sustain its life
within a period of 125 years minus our present age. If you are over 75
years old, the chance of major anti-aging and rejuvenating scientific
advances being made soon enough to allow you to live a vastly extended
healthy lifetime is virtually zero. If you are over 50 years old, the
chance of this is still extremely small. Even if you are only 25 years
old, the chance is marginal at best.
2. In order to continue to live, each of us needs a "time machine" to
transport him or her, at least mentally intact, into the future. At
present there is no method with the proven ability to do this. Even the
best current methods of chemical or cryogenic preservation result in
massive damage to the body and brain from which any future recovery is
at best very uncertain.
3. Furthermore, it has not been proven, and may not even be true that the
brain structures which determine our memories, our personality and all
of our other precious individual mental attributes are being well
preserved through current agonal and cryopreservation processes.
4. The idea of cryonics has been around for 30 years now and the number of
people actually signed up has only grown to between 600 and 700.
5. Because of the length of time that it has been around, the publicity
which such a radical idea has received, and the plot/entertainment value
of such a sensational theme, the cryonics idea is now very widely known.
6. Yet cryonics as currently practiced, remains small and possibly unstable
over the long term. Therefore, even if our mental attributes are being
preserved through the current agonal and cryopreservation processes, and
*can* be fully restored, most people have little confidence that anyone
cryopreserved today will reach, still preserved, that possibly far
future time when advanced technology *will* be able to effect the
necessary restoration.
7. In spite of the multitude of traditional beliefs about death in our
society (I'll have had enough; over-crowding of the planet; make a place
for the young ones; I'll live on in my children; necessary to insure
creativity; it's natural; want to be reincarnated; want to go to heaven;
etc. etc. etc.), there are still 100's of thousands if not 10's of
millions of people in North America who truly love life and would very
much like to have a lot more of it, so long as they could remain
mentally and physically healthy.
8. The vast majority of even those who do not accept any of these beliefs
about death will never sign-up for, nor support cryonics while they
remain relatively healthy, because, being small and unproven it has so
little chance of saving them. Instead, they prefer to put any "extra"
money into anti-aging methods and research aimed at extending their
first "life cycle", giving little thought to the possibility of a
*second* "life cycle".

The Solution:

1. There does exist a method which has been shown to allow the preservation
of a complex organ with no freezing injury at all. With this method
viable rabbit kidneys have been recovered from temperatures as low as
-40xC, with recovery from much colder temperatures expected soon. This
method is called vitrification. It involves turning the organ to be
preserved into a glassy substance, cooling it to cryogenic temperatures,
and keeping it stored at those temperatures until such time as we wish
to recover it for use. Just as glass is fluid at high temperatures and
becomes solid as it is cooled to lower temperatures without any
crystallization occurring, so too biological tissue, by having its
internal water largely replaced with a special solution, can be made to
behave like glass and incur no disruptive crystalline formation when it
is cooled, even to the temperature of -140xC. (This temperature will be
used because it is almost universally agreed by the cryobiological
science community that it is sufficiently low to allow storage for
several hundred years if necessary with negligible deterioration.) The
trick is, however, to use a solution and a method of water removal which
does not in itself irreversibly damage the biological tissue.

2. Because this vitrification protocol is organ specific, the exact
protocol for kidneys will not work for many other organs. Therefore, if
we are ever to achieve suspended animation of the whole human body, we
must proceed to make it work for other organs. The most important human
organ, and the logical starting point for this purpose is the brain.

3. The scientist who has developed this method of preservation for rabbit
kidneys has stated that he does not see any technical reason why this
method, with suitable modifications should not be applicable to any
mammalian organ including the brain. Furthermore, he has estimated that
for any particular organ, the necessary modifications should be able to
be discovered and perfected within a time-span of under 10 years and
with a project budget of under a million dollars per year.

4. Neuroscience developments and techniques for assessing brain function
directly should allow us to convincingly demonstrate the mental
attributes of an isolated mammalian brain. It is also believed that it
should be possible to do in-situ cryopreservation of a mammalian brain
and cooling, perhaps to -70xC, with full recovery of the intact animal.

5. If we can produce a method by which first a mammalian, next a primate,
and finally a human brain can be placed in long-term biological stasis
and recovered with its functionality including all mental attributes
unquestionably alive and complete, we will have the proof that death can
be defeated - that in principal, a life can be extended indefinitely.
Once convincingly demonstrable, fully reversible, long-term preservation
of the brain has been achieved, the mainstream medical and scientific
community will accept the scientific validity of the cryonics idea.
Major public and private money will be spent to develop methods of
providing a body for a restored brain, and to perfect whole-body long-
term suspended animation, if possible. The practice of preserving the
brain, and later the whole-body, if possible, will become an optional
standard medical procedure for the terminally ill and the laws will be
changed to accommodate this new paradigm.

The Logic of The Prometheus Project Funding Method

1. Those persons who have a great desire for vastly extended life *will*
sincerely pledge major amounts of money to a convincingly demonstrable
fully reversible brain cryopreservation project if they are convinced
that it is necessary in order to achieve such extended life, that it has
sound planning which will enable it to succeed if it is funded, and if
their pledges are not due until it *does* have sound planning and *is*
fully funded.

2. Most of those with incomes over $50K per year (and certainly all of
those with incomes over $100K per year) should be able to afford to
forgo the present spending of $5-10K per year (at least if tax
deductible) without degrading their life-style in any way detrimental to
their health and longevity.

3. Within the cryonics and life-extension community, there are well over
200 people who fit this category. Hence, there are a more than
sufficient number of people to fund a project which will scientifically
demonstrate that long-term reversible brain preservation will work, and
therefore, that will be virtually certain to enormously increase the
chance of their lives having the potential of immortality.

4. The Prometheus Project defined here is an attainable and fundable goal.
The results obtained from the 22 cryonicists on CryoCare Forum (over
$100K per year was pledged) strongly suggest that it is realistic to
expect to obtain between 100 and 200 pledges of amounts between $5,000
per year and $10,000 per year each for 10 years.

Organization of the Collection of the Pledges

As founder of the Prometheus Project, Paul Wakfer, one of the $10,000
per year pledgers, will be the person who accepts the pledges and will be the
founder and the interim president of the corporation which is formed once the
necessary total of $1M per year for 10 years is reached until the Prometheus
Project officially begins.

If the Prometheus Project pledge campaign succeeds in reaching its
target of over $1M per year pledged for 10 years, the pledgers will be able
to purchase shares in a for-profit corporation which will be formed to
conduct the scientific research of the project. These shares will be
purchased over a 10 year period at a fixed price of $100.00 per share with
the requirement that an equal amount must be purchased for each of the 10
years. Pledges will not be due and no money will be collected until pledgers
who approve the scientific and business plans have signed legally binding
share purchase agreements totaling over $1M per year. Any pledger who does
not approve of these plans may withdraw his pledge before the Prometheus
Project begins. The signing of legally binding share purchase agreements is
necessary to insure that the required funding will be forthcoming each year
after the project begins.

Pledgers who wish to have a tax deduction for the amount of their
contribution are encouraged to make arrangements with one of the cryonics
organizations or life extension societies which have the ability to issue tax
deductible receipts for charitable donations. After the Prometheus Project
has begun, those organizations will then use the donated moneys to purchase
shares under the same terms as other individual or corporate purchasers.
Cryonics organizations which have this capability (or will soon) are:

Alcor Life Extension Foundation
American Cryonics Society
CryoCare Foundation
The Immortalist Society

All cryonics organizations have been contacted and have been asked for their
help in promoting the Prometheus Project through mailings to their membership
and advertisements in their periodicals. They have also been asked to accept
donation pledges, to turn these into share purchases if the pledge campaign
is successful, and, furthermore, to proxy the shareholder voting power of the
shares which a donor's money has purchased to that same donor. By this
method, individual contributing cryonicists and life extensionists will
control the Project instead of the competitive and sometimes antagonistic
cryonics organizations. It should be very clear that the success of the
Prometheus Project will be extremely beneficial for the cryonics
organizations, their members and their patients. In addition, the Life
Extension Foundation has agreed to accept donation pledges, and later to
accept donations, to issue tax deductible receipts, and to make share
purchases under the contractual terms necessary for funding the Prometheus

The Prometheus Project will be delighted to accept any pledge of $1000
or more per year, but for administrative and share purchase purposes requires
that all pledges be made in units of $100 per year. Again it should be noted
that all pledges must be for the same amount per year for all 10 years,
although up-front, lump-sum pledges with delivery of shares yearly are also
acceptable. A pledge for $8,000 as a lump-sum up-front payment is being
accepted as equivalent to a pledge of $1,000 per year for 10 years.

Any individual or organization who pledges, and later purchases shares
will receive "technology credits" of a dollar value equal to twice that paid
for their shares. If the corporation should develop technology which it then
sells for the purpose of human cryopreservation, by returning shares to the
corporation, these technology credits may be used for purchasing this
technology. In this way, if the corporation should develop technology which
allows less damaging human cryopreservation, every purchaser of shares who is
also a cryonicist or cryonics organization is guaranteed to obtain a return
of at least double their investment. If the corporation succeeds in patenting
highly marketable discoveries, inventions and procedures, of course, the
return from the rise in share price may be far greater.

While pledges are being received and are building to the total of $1M
per year required, the scientific plan of The Prometheus Project and the
business plan of the corporation which will conduct it, will be developed and
prepared. Any help that can be contributed to this part of the project (or
any other part) is very much welcomed. These plans will be published even in
unfinished form as they are developed and prepared. This project is very much
a "boot-strap" process. For many reasons, I believe that is the *best* way to
accomplish it. I look forward to your questions and suggestions and you can
be sure that if the ideas are worthy, they *will* be incorporated into the
developing project plans.

At this time, the Prometheus Project is essentially a pledge campaign
asking a strictly hypothetical question:

1) *If* $1M/yr in pledges for 10 years is collected, and
2) *if* satisfactory scientific and business plans are developed, and
3) *if* the researchers and their projects are satisfactory to you, and
4) *if* a corporation is formed to employ these scientists to execute these
projects which issues a prospectus and share offering for that purpose,
4) *then* how much would you be willing to contribute, beginning in 1998, to
share purchases of equal amounts for up to 10 years, in that corporation.

No money is being requested and no investments are being solicited. If this
campaign is not successful no corporation to execute the project will ever be

The reason why I believe that the Prometheus Project pledge campaign
will be successful is that you are *not* being asked, "how much are you
willing to invest in a high-risk, bio-tech R&D startup", even though any
corporation which executes the Prometheus Project plan will be all of that.
No, you are being asked, "how much of your present life are you willing to
commit towards a very good chance at an enormously lengthened future life",
and *that* is a significantly different question.

Before ending, I wish to leave you with some thoughts.

For several weeks now, I have been putting a lot of thought toward what
I am now calling the "Prometheus Project" and I very strongly believe that
each of us who really wants to live should begin pushing this project
constantly and continuously with all the time, money and life-force which he
or she can afford without degrading his or her current life below a certain
minimum acceptable quality. I have become convinced that if any of us are to
survive long-term, one way or the other, this project *must* be accomplished.
I believe that the Prometheus Project should be nonpartisan and strongly
supported by all organizations because it is much too big for any one
cryonics organization. We need all the ideas and help we can get from any
source whatever and *I* pledge to promote it and discuss it with absolutely
no negativity, innuendo or bias with regard to any particular organization or
individual. I expect each organization and each cryonicist to understand why
it will be beneficial for them to strongly support the project. We must speak
about this project in all our communications and continue to speak of it non-
stop, and relentlessly until we have achieved the funding goal. I ask every
one of you to include it with every thing you write, hammering away at the
idea incessantly, never letting up for a moment until we have done it.

The Prometheus Project is not a *charity* for which I am begging you to
give up part of your life for some purpose exterior to you which *I* happen
to think is important. No! What I am asking is that you honor *yourself*,
that exquisite individual consciousness which is yours alone.

-- Paul --


Paul Wakfer Voice/Fax: Pager:
US: 1220 E Washington St #24, Colton, CA 92324 909-481-4433 800-805-2870
Canada: 238 Davenport Rd #240, Toronto, ON M5R 1J6 416-968-6291 416-446-9461
(currently in California)