Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Membership Dues and CMS Charges to Increase in 2011

As we approach 2011, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued members for their steadfast support over the past year.  Many members have helped the organization by making donations, volunteering, hosting gatherings to educate others about cryonics, or simply talking to friends and family members about Alcor’s mission.  Thank you, to all our supporters, for your contributions over the past year.

Although being an active Alcor member means more than just paying membership dues once a year, dues contributions are a fundamental source of financial strength for the organization.  In an effort to ensure cryonics is affordable for as many people as possible, last year Alcor approved the first dues increase in a decade.  Even with this increase, Alcor’s dues were only $30 a year greater in 2010 than they were in 1992 adjusted for inflation. While we wish we could continue these low rates indefinitely, higher costs and expiring grant support have made an increase necessary.

Alcor is continuing efforts to eliminate structural deficits that have historically made it dependent upon irregular bequests, donations, and grants.  At Alcor’s annual Strategic Meeting in September, budgets for 2011 and 2012 were studied in depth.  With the impending expiration of a portion of the generous and extremely helpful grant from the Miller/LEF/Thorp donor coalition that Alcor had been receiving for the past three years, Alcor was facing a $400,000 deficit if no action were taken.  To close the gap, the following measures were taken, some of which were begun the previous year:

  • Increase dues, CMS, and application fees
  • Reduce transactional charges
  • Switch to an electronic magazine
  • Buy out leases (phone, copier, etc.)
  • Reduce or eliminate service fees (janitorial, teleconferencing, etc.)
  • Eliminate discounts and retainers for regional emergency response team members
  • Reduce supply purchases
  • Collect additional media income
  • Draw on the CMS fund to support some salaries as standby readiness expenses

With these measures, we are pleased to report that the projected deficit has been eliminated for 2011 and 2012, and the capacity of Alcor to operate for the indefinite future with reduced dependence upon extraordinary income has been enhanced.  The new fee schedule effective as of January 1, 2011, is below.  The fee increase for primary family members will be around $200 per year, and we continue to honor all standard discounts for additional family members, students and minors.
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Regular adult members (CMS applies for members in the continental US and Canada):
Dues CMS TOTAL
Annually $ 620 $ 180 $ 800
Quarterly $ 156 $  45 $ 201
Monthly $  53 $  15 $ 68
Family members and full-time students (CMS applies for students over age 25):
Dues CMS TOTAL
Annually $ 310 $ 180 $ 490
Quarterly $  78 $  45 $ 123
Monthly $  26 $  15 $  41
Minor family members:
Dues CMS TOTAL
Annually $ 155 $ 0 $ 155
Quarterly $  39 $ 0 $  39
Monthly $  13 $ 0 $  13

Alcor Life Extension Foundation Names Max More, PhD, as Chief Executive Officer

Scottsdale, Arizona – December 23, 2010 – The Board of Directors of Alcor Life Extension Foundation today announced that Dr. Max More, 46, has been named Chief Executive Officer effective Jan 1, 2011. The new executive appointment follows the decision of Alcor Executive Director and President Jennifer Chapman to step down. After 10 years of dedicated service, she plans to pursue her law degree full-time and feels this will put her in a better position for Alcor’s long-term benefit.  Since starting her career at Alcor in 2000, Jennifer’s demonstrated abilities resulted in her rise to the leadership role. She has made important  contributions to nearly every aspect of Alcor operations over the past decade. The Alcor Board and staff thank her, and wish her well in her future endeavors.

An internationally recognized advocate of the effective and ethical use of technology for life extension and cryopreservation, Dr. More brings experience in running non-profit organizations, many years of analyzing and writing about business organizations, and a long commitment to Alcor’s mission. More joined Alcor in 1986 as its 67th member, founded Alcor-UK (originally Mizar Limited) in the same year, and has participated in several cryopreservations. He has spoken on cryonics and life extension at numerous conferences and in many national and international media, including a Crossfire debate shortly after the cryopreservation of baseball legend Ted Williams.

“Max brings a quarter century of experience in and commitment to cryopreservation, life extension, and improving the future,” said Alcor director Tim Shavers, “and has earned a reputation for both practical and principled leadership and bold thinking. Crucially, he shares our vision of Alcor’s mission and understands the organization’s past and its challenges and opportunities. His extensive knowledge of our operations, goals, and needs makes him the ideal choice to lead Alcor as CEO,” said Shavers.

More built Extropy Institute, an educational non-profit organization that created the modern “transhumanist” movement, whose goals centrally include extending healthy human life span. More organized and chaired five successful conferences and, along with Ray Kurzweil, was the keynote speaker at an online summit that led to the development of the “Proactionary Principle”, and was editor-in-chief of the pioneering publication, Extropy: The Journal of Transhumanist Thought. More’s advocacy of cryonics dates to several years before he became an Alcor cryopreservation member in 1986 while a student at England’s Oxford University. His commitment was reflected academically in his doctoral dissertation, a chapter of which argued for a reconceptualization of death according to which cryopreserved patients are neither fully alive nor dead but in a third state.

“I am honored to assume the leadership of Alcor and to continue the legacy of commitment to maintaining Alcor’s patients in cryopreservation while growing the organization and improving our technological capabilities,” said More. “Since I joined, Alcor has grown from 67 members to around 930, and its patients from 6 to 100. I am thrilled to work with Alcor’s Board, with its broad and deep expertise, to continue and accelerate that growth while keeping a primary focus on protecting our existing patients. I am also committed to strengthening the stability of the organization to better endure over the coming decades and to continuing to raise the level of our medical professionalism and business practices.”

About the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

Alcor Life Extension Foundation is a not-for-profit research organization founded in 1972.  Alcor is the world leader in cryonics, and cryonics technology.  Cryonics is the science of using ultra-cold temperatures to cryopreserve humans. The intent is that advanced scientific procedures may one day be able to revive cryopreserved humans and restore them to good health. Alcor performed its first human cryopreservation in 1976, and has engaged in long-term care of cryopreserved members in its state-of-the-art facility since then.

Among the scientific achievements of Alcor is the use of advanced cryoprotectant formulas capable of vitrification. Vitrification enables cryopreservation to take place without the damage that occurs in freezing tissue. Alcor has published papers in scientific journals documenting the quality of tissue preservation possible with its procedures, and the effects of clinical death on the brain. Alcor also sponsors research in the field of nanomedicine, a technology that may someday be used to revive cryopreserved patients.

Alcor is overseen by a Board of Directors consisting of successful and well-regarded scientists, physicians, attorneys, and other professionals. Alcor also has a group of scientific advisors, who are leaders in the fields of medical research, nanotechnology, and
computer science.

Alcor has about 930 members and 100 cryopreserved patients. The public is welcome to attend regularly scheduled tours of the Alcor facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information about Alcor and cryonics, visit www.alcor.org.

Holiday Party for Alcor members

You are cordially invited to a Holiday Party hosted by the some of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation members in Southern California.  It will be held on Sunday, January 2, 2011 from 4 PM to 8 PM in Newport Beach, CA.  The theme of this celebration is to put the past behind us and begin a brand new year—and brand new decade—moving ever closer to the exciting, long and youthful future that lies ahead.  Meet with others who may have many of the same expectations and dreams, to share ideas and collaborate on projects.  Please bring a healthy dish and something you like to drink. And you’re welcome to bring anyone you wish….the more the merrier!  Please RSVP to Kat Cotter at katcotter@gmail.com or call her at 310-528-6712 and she will provide you with the address and directions.  Join us for this first party of the New Year and start 2011 off with a bang!

Alcor Cryopreserves A-1203

James “Jim” Stevenson, PhD, first became a member of Alcor in 1989 and was assigned member number A-1203.  Jim was an experimental psychologist for NASA for 35 years in the Human Systems Integration division.  Jim was blind and his work had applications for sighted as well as vision-impaired people.  He was a long-time advocate of cryonics.

In late November of 2010, Jim was admitted to the hospital with abdominal pain.  He notified Alcor immediately and we remotely monitored his condition over the next couple of weeks.  Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and there was no treatment the doctors could offer due to the late stage of his diagnosis.  When Jim’s condition took a turn for the worse, Alcor deployed members of the Northern California Response Team to the hospital to pre-position the medications and response kit.  Aaron Drake, Alcor’s Medical Response Director, and Steve Graber, Alcor’s Readiness Coordinator, flew to Palo Alto, CA, where Jim was hospitalized.

As Aaron, Steve, and members of the Northern California team met with hospital administrators to lay the plans for the expected cryonics procedures, Jim’s vital signs continued to decline over the course of the day.  Late the same evening, Jim was pronounced by the attending physician with the Alcor response team at his bedside. 

The Alcor field team stabilized the patient and performed a field washout, with the assistance of a friendly mortuary.  This was the first field washout performed by an Alcor team in several years and a significant milestone in Alcor’s emergency response capability.  The team also performed a neuroseparation in the field and expedited transport of the patient to Alcor using a charter flight.

The Alcor OR team achieved terminal perfusion.  Alcor’s redesigned cooldown and acoustic monitoring system, which controls the cooldown process and detects tissue fracturing during temperature descent, was used for the first time on a human patient with good results.

Cryonics Magazine Goes Digital

Cryonics Magazine has been a staple of the Alcor Foundation for decades. We hope our readers find it a compelling source of information about topics of interest, such as how to optimize your cryopreservation arrangements, recent happenings at Alcor, issues facing the field of cryonics, relevant sciences, and more. While Alcor has no plans to stop producing Cryonics Magazine, we have gone digital in our distribution.

Alcor will no longer distribute printed copies of Cryonics Magazine. However, we will continue to offer each issue free of charge electronically on the Alcor website. An electronic magazine has the advantage of being available for viewing at the convenience of anyone with a computer, while costing significantly less for Alcor at a time when proactive budget balancing is a high priority.

We understand that sometimes our readers may want a printed copy of the magazine. As a result, we are making arrangements with an online print-on-demand service, where our readers can request a printed copy of any future issue of the magazine for shipping to a designated address. This is a good way to continue your own collection of Cryonics Magazine or affordably inform others about Alcor. Whether you want a single copy or multiple copies, we encourage you to use the print-on-demand option, when it becomes available. Each issue will only cost $9.95 plus shipping.

To view the 1st and 2nd quarter 2010 issue of Cryonics Magazine, and all past issues, simply go to:
http://www.alcor.org/magazine

In the coming weeks, we will announce instructions regarding how to request printed copies of Cryonics Magazine, whether for yourself, your friends, or a family member. If you have any questions, simply call us at the below toll-free number:

D’Bora Tarrant, Front Office Administrator
877-462-5267 x 101
dbora@alcor.org