Interview with Alcor Life Extension Foundation
by Thomas Silverman
We dream of seeing the future, we dream of reaching other planets in other galaxies. Some people suffer an existential crisis that is too great to ignore. Does death have to be the end?
The 146 people currently cryogenically frozen in the Arizona desert don’t believe so.
I spoke to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, bringing the future ever closer...
Firstly, what is the process someone has to go through with you before they are accepted to be preserved by Alcor?
There is no process. An application is submitted, the applicant obtains funding and the board looks over the funding and approves the application.
Is there any type of person, or anything in a person’s history that would mean you would deny their application?
Only if they had Ebola.
Is there an average age of applicants, and is there a tendency towards male or female?
Mostly male, presently age 35.
You don’t freeze people as such, but extract as much water and blood from the body as possible that is then replaced with a “medical grade antifreeze.” The body is then stored at temperatures below -120°C, a process called vitrification. I also read that no adult human has been brought back to life after this process. Have experiments been carried out successfully on non-human lives, and if not, can people really rely on the fact that the body and brain would be able to survive such a procedure?
The only life forms that have been brought back are earthworms at this point. Testing is in various stages but not being done by Alcor. We are a storage facility. There is no guarantee and our members know this going in.
Your website states that, right now, you legally have to wait for the moment of death before you can preserve someone’s body. If the law changed tomorrow, where would Alcor stand on a living and willing customer putting themselves into vitrification, with the before mentioned non-certainty in regards to being brought back to life?
We would not change our stance.
Do people often discuss the idea of being preserved at length with their family and loved ones prior to applying? Or have you been met with surprised/shocked families at the moment of one of your customers deaths?
Families have to agree and sign documents stating their agreement called a Relative's Affidavit.
I imagine you have lots of powerful/driven people in your tanks who just can’t seem to fit enough in one lifetime. Do you ever have couples signing up to be reunited in the future, for nothing other than love?
How many people do you currently have in preservation at your labs?
Do you offer people an estimate of when technologies could be developed to cure them, i.e when will they be brought back to life?
Possibly 50 to 100 years.
What are the main reasons you hear for people wishing to be brought back into the world in the future?
Wish to see the future, possibility of space travel, longer life.
Alcor strikes me as a company that focuses on two moments. The moment of death, and the moment of revival. Do you think as a race we spend too long thinking about the future, and not enough time living in the present moment?
That would be a purely subjective viewpoint.
What does the future hold for the human race?